Wednesday, August 31, 2011

RJ Goes to the Vet

RJ: Welcome to pet ownership. Sigh. I took RJ to the vet today for his mandatory post-animal shelter visit, and he came home with an e-collar to make sure that he didn't lick his surgical site from his neutering procedure and some antibiotics to help him get over his cold. The sneezing has gotten so bad that some of the cat bogies are a little bloody. WTH?! I feel so bad for the poor guy. He's probably thinking "Maybe I should go back to the animal shelter. This is really no fun." It'll be better once you get better, I promise. I even bought home treats for him on the way home from work because I was feeling guilty. While the vet appointment was no fun for RJ, the vet was super nice. I wouldn't mind having her as my doctor, but then again I'm not a cat.

Etsy: I worked on folding some origami dresses for an Etsy custom invitation order. I'm waiting for some nice cardstock that I ordered to come in the mail, so this was a good activity to do while I wait. When it comes in, all I have to do is print out the text and assemble. My goal is to ship the 45 invitations by Saturday. ::fingers crossed::
At the office: I went to my coworker's happy hour after work today. It was at a pool hall. I chatted away with my coworkers and didn't play any pool. I even drank beer (Bud Light), which is quite the rarity. I would have gotten a mixed drink, but I already spent some fun money today on some FroYo. I needed it after the vet appointment to make me feel better. Hello, emotional eating. Anyway, it's going to be weird to not have him at the office. Now my department is me, my boss and my boss's boss. Talk about itty bitty.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another Office Goodbye

Today, I went out to lunch with some of my co-workers to say goodbye to one of my teammates. His official last day is tomorrow, but since my boss was in town, we did the group lunch today. There were so many things on the menu that I wanted to try, but I ended up with the grilled chicken salad (romaine, monterey jack cheese, black beans, avocado, crispy tortilla, ancho chili dressing). The dressing had a little kick to it which was a welcome diversion from my usual go-to thousand island salad dressing.

I had about 30 minutes to do some work after my lunch before I had to go get the cake that I ordered. When I went to order it yesterday, the options were half-sheet (feeds 36 people) or whole sheet cake (feeds 60 people). I'm glad that I went with the half-sheet even though 40 people RSVPed. We had only one row of cake left at the end of the event. I'm glad we didn't have more because I would have been tempted to take a lot of leftovers home!

Because of the cake consumption, I ended up going to Janice's spin class tonight. I guess everything evened out.

I went to my parents' house after the gym and as I was driving, I noticed that there was a car behind me that looked similar to theirs. As I got close to the house, I realized that it was them! Ah ha. This would explain why no one picked up the house phone.

I got a request for another "best wishes" card for a girl at the office. It's sad to see quite a few people leaving recently, but at least it's encouraging that there are jobs out there and people are hiring. Here's what I came up with.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Dark Peony, Pink Pastel, Warm Green
Stamps: Studio G Ditto (sentiment), Inkadinkado- Nature
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper, Martha Stewart- Classic Butterfly
Paper: American Crafts- City Park, American Crafts- Letterbox
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Sunflower Yellow

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Close Call

Hurricane Irene: I got totally lucky with Hurricane Irene. I didn't lose power at all. Well, actually, I did, but I didn't notice it. I only knew that I lost electricity because the microwave and oven clocks were blinking this morning. There were a few downed power lines and non-functioning traffic lights and large tree limbs in the street, but I didn't see anyone's house or car get wrecked because of the storm. Whew!

Yard sale finds: I went to a moving sale this morning and finally found an end table, yay! The lady was asking for $25, but I had some other miscellaneous things that I wanted (surge protector, extension cord, and plastic desk organizer). She ended up giving me a deal and let me have all the items for $25 total. I already put it in my room with the lamp that I bought a few weeks ago. Now the lamp has a place to sit on, instead of being stored in my closet. I also don't have to worry about stepping on my glasses or cell phone, I have a place to put them too! The desk organizer was a welcomed upgrade from the basket that I used to put random stuff in. Now my desk has a semblance of order. Next goal: trying to find some artwork to liven the walls of this place up!

I included a picture of RJ below a) to fill up that picture space in the table and b) I think it's amusing.
Card: My aunt and cousin from Taiwan came to check out the new place today for the first time. They were big fans, yay! For tonight's card, I wanted to make a thank you card to give them for their generosity. I used my new Hero Arts Cling flower stamp that I bought at Archiver's. I decided to use it in the same way that I used it at a Jennifer McGuire class that I took last year, with white embossing powder and Distress Inks and cutting out petals for leaves.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in white
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Barn Door, Tattered Rose, Peeled Paint
Paper: American Crafts- Letterbox
Stamps: Hero Arts Cling Stencil Flower
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stickers: Basic Grey
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl, Recollections

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Yard Sale Score

I went to two yard sales today (they were still being held despite Hurricane Irene approaching) and scored at one. I got these containers, 5 for $1, yay! At first, I wasn't going to get them, but then I thought they'd be the perfect size to store crafty things. For example, right now, my polymer clay is stored in a nice Pyrex glass container that should really be used for left overs. I only put them in there because I didn't have anything else. Now the clay has been moved to one of the white containers and the Pyrex is washing in the dishwasher. I could also store embossing powder in them- just pour the whole bottle into the container with a spoon for easy clean up (or no clean up at all). The search for the nightstand continues. We'll see what tomorrow brings, weather permitting.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fall-To Layout #155

RJ update: I freed him from the confinements of my office and let him have free reign of the townhouse. Well, there's not much of it, so therefore, there's not so much for him to be overwhelmed with. He spent most of the day on the smaller couch, sleeping belly up. Mom came to visit after her doctor's appointment and she seemed to like RJ. Whew/hooray!
At the "office": Today was the first Friday in a while that I've worked from home, and I actually got a lot of stuf done. Unfortunately, with the "working from home on Fridays" that means that I'll miss the "last Friday of the month free staff breakfasts." There was one today...womp.

Grocery shopping: I went to Safeway this afternoon to take a break from my computer and it was like a zoo there! All the bottled water was gone because of the approaching Hurricane Irene. The sheer volume of food that people were purchasing, you'd think that they were expecting to be stranded for weeks. I noticed that some people purchased raw meat like ground beef. Maybe if you cook it right away, that'd be fine. But if the power went out, that meat would not be good anymore. Anyway, we'll probably be doing the same thing in about 4-5 months when it starts snowing. Great, can't wait.

Card: Here's my take on Fall-To Layout #155. I wanted to use some of the polymer clay flowers that I made a few weeks ago. Once I picked out which flowers I wanted, it was easy to pick out the papers. I thought using purple ribbon would be too matchy-matchy, so I decided to use a contrasting turquoise ribbon instead.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Stamp: K&Company- AB Lotus Greeting Stamps (sentiment)
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost, American Crafts- Letterbox
Clay: Premo Sculpey Clay in Fuchsia, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Purple
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen

I have my eye on a few yard sales this weekend. I hope Hurricane Irene doesn't come by until the afternoon so I have the morning to continue searching for a nightstand.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Meet RJ the Cat

So, here's the scoop.

I've been thinking about getting my own kitty for a very long time. Even before getting the new place, I was already thinking, "Well, when I move into my new place, I can get my own kitty." I love Ginger, but I would have to make a specific trip to my parents' house to go see her. If I got my own kitty, I could have a kitty around 24/7.

I saw on the humane society's website that they were having a black cat special this month. They were going to waive all adoption fees for solid black cats over 6 months. I went to the humane society last Sunday to find a black kitty but the one that I had my eye on, the staff there was concerned that it was semi-feral. Eek. Yeah, sorry, no thanks. Then I spotted this black and white cat. He had been at the animal shelter for over a month, but looked healthy and friendly. Ding ding. I waited for a visit with him so I could hold him and see how he would react, and he was very chill about it. Mmmyep, you're coming home with me.

I completed some paperwork on Sunday, had some interviews with the adoption staff, paid my fees yesterday, and the final step was the humane society sending him to the vet this morning to get neutered. I was able to pick him up after work. He was a trooper in the car. Maybe he's already used to being in a cage.

Anyway, here are his stats. Male. Black and white domestic shorthair. 11 pounds (he's very solid...not like Ginger, who feels very squishy). The humane society said that he was approximately 4 years old. Since he was a stray, I think it's difficult to identify how old he is. Very cuddly. Not very meow-y, but does purr a lot. He likes to head-butt, which is something that Ginger or the other family cat Oliver, who passed away a few years ago, didn't do. He seems to like hanging out under the craft desk and on the chair that I have at my craft desk.

I have him staying in my office for the next day or two so that he doesn't get too overwhelmed.

Oh, and his name. Well, RJ doesn't stand for anything. It's the name of the raccoon that's in the comic strip and movie Over the Hedge. The cat has a mask, similar to the raccoon having one.
Talk about a summer of changes! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Working From Home = Awesome

I am so glad that my boss allowed me to work from home a little bit this morning. I blitzed through 2 sets of meeting minutes that I needed to clean up as well as got a good start on my newsletter draft. I guess it's because I'm not distracted by meeting leftover food and temptation to go across the street to the main building to visit people.

For tonight's card, I wanted to continue using my new crafty goodies that I got from Archiver's last week. Holy cow, was that last week? Time is really flying by! Anyway, I wanted the card to be a combination of old stuff and new stuff. The older elements on the card are the paper and the chipboard elements. I've seen people use a craft knife to adhere alphabet stickers to cards, and now I know why. Fingers kinda get in the way for those tiny stickers. While I don't have a craft knife, a bone folder did the trick. Hmm, the background panel is quite busy, huh? I guess it's a nice balance to the white panel.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Prussian Blue
Stamps: Hero Arts- Cling Classic Fabric Design
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: Making Memories- Chloe's Closet
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl
Stickers: Basic Grey
Chipboard: American Crafts- Fieldhouse- Glitter Blue Skies

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

East Coast Earthquake

Dear Mother Nature-

Earthquakes do not belong on the East Coast of the United States. We can handle snow in the DMV area, but not earthquakes. Just something to consider the next time you want to surprise us.


I was IMing with my sister who's at school when the earthquake happened.

Sister,13:53: oh man, the building just starting vibrating really badly... i have no idea what just happened
me, 13:54: mine tooo!
Sister, 13:54: really?
me, 13:54: YES!
Sister, 13:54: earthquake?
me, 13:54: maybe?

Mmmyeah, not quite the way that I thought I'd be spending my afternoon. At first I thought it was construction going on, but then when I got up and my purse fell from my desk to the floor, I started to get a little freaked out...along with my office neighbors. On one side, I heard, "explicative, explicative, explicative!" and on the other side, I heard "WHAT'S GOING ON?!" Sigh. Thankfully, the earthquake caused minimal damage. Whew, that was close! :P

Productivity, hooray!: On another note, my day started out really well with getting one thing off my non-work-related to-do list. My car headlights went out recently, even though my high beams work. Isn't that weird? I remembered Dad talking about an auto shop conveniently near work so I went over around 7:45 AM and by 8 AM I was going to work with functioning lights. YAY!

Running: I went for a 5 mile run today and achieved a 11:21 min/mile pace. I was supposed to do 6 miles, but the sun was going down and I wanted to get home. During my run, I noticed a family (parents, stroller, and dog) walking in my direction. I noticed the dog first and then I looked up at the parents. OMG, I know the lady! She's my co-worker! I recognized her right as I was running by so I turned around and yelled hello. She said, "Hey! I didn't know you lived around here." I told her that I had recently bought a townhome and was trying different running routes. She's a new mommy, so she's been out of the office on maternity leave. It was nice to see her with her new cute addition to the family.

Man, oh man. What a day!

Song of the day: "Just a Little Bit"- Kids of 88

Monday, August 22, 2011

Masculine Best Wishes Card

I went to Anna's 1-hour spin class tonight, and it felt good to go. I hadn't been in about 2 weeks (ugh)...need to get back in the workout routine...

A co-worker's last day is next week, so I wanted to make a card for the office to sign. This was going to be a challenge for me because I don't make masculine cards very often. Probably 90% of my stamps are on the feminine side. I had some toy transportation stamps, but that would probably not be appropriate for someone that's 30+ years old, right? I had to get a little creative and fold origami neckties so that I wouldn't have to worry about not having any masculine stamps. This is what I came up with. Sorry about the lighting...the card's too big for my light box! I'm in love with the chipboard stickers...very versatile!
Card Specs:
Paper: American Crafts- A La Carte, City Park, Metropolitan
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Stickers: Basic Grey Dark Chocolate Chip Chipboard alphabet stickers
Ribbon: Sweet Petites from A.C. Moore

Sunday, August 21, 2011

CPS #232

The highlight of today involved finding a furry, four-legged roommate. I turned in an application, so hopefully that'll all go smoothly. When he arrives, I'll give full details. Keep your fingers crossed for me, ok? =^..^=

Here's my take on CPS#232. I recycled the color scheme that I liked in this card from earlier this summer (bright blue, red, and black). I like how the blue provides a pop of bright color against the red and black.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Blue Lagoon
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Nature (flower), Inkadinkado- Round Frames (sentiment)
Paper: g.c.d. Studios- Chianti Collection
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 8
Punch: Fiskars Threading Water border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Ribbon: Sweet Petites from A.C. Moore
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Other: Royal Blue American Crafts Stamp Marker

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fall-To Layout #154

You'd think that not sleeping on the plane would make me tired, but instead, I didn't go to bed until around 2:30 early this morning. Fortunately, it wasn't that much of a struggle to wake up this morning. I think it was because I had a to-do list that I had to accomplish before my graduate school friends came over for a housewarming party: vacuum, pick up breakfast food, ship Etsy orders, etc.

This was the first time that my graduate school friends have come over to see my new place and it made me feel good to get compliments on it (most of the credit goes to the previous owners that kept the house in fantastic move-in condition). We had a mini brunch feast after I gave everyone the tour: cinnamon buns, blueberry scones, fruit, cupcakes, and a fruity drink. Yum yum! :) I wish I remembered to take a picture...

My friend themed day continued to later in the evening when I went to hang out with my undergrad friends Meg and Robyn. We went out to dinner at a place called Hops and then went to see Captain America because Meg had free tickets. It was worth the wait. Chris Evans was very hunky in the movie. ;) If I counted correctly that's the 8th summer movie that I've seen this year. That's probably a personal record right there.

It feels pretty good to get back to cardmaking today, especially with the new crafty goodies that I got during my trip to Minneapolis. I used some alpha stickers, my new white gel pen, and a new stamp in today's card (Fall-To Layout #154). I can see why the Uniball white gel pen always gets good reviews. This is not to say that I don't like my Inkssentials one, but the Uniball one didn't skip while I was writing with it and it's really opaque. Score.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Warm Red, Blackbird
Stamps: Hero Arts- Cling Classic Fabric Design, Studio G (alphabet)
Punch: Fiskars Threading Water border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Paper: American Crafts- Abode
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl
Stickers: Happily Lost Collection 12X12 Abcs Cardstock Stickers
Buttons: Bucket White from Michaels. Favorite Findings in Ocean.
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb
Other: Royal Blue American Crafts Stamp Marker

P.S. My birthday card that I created for the CARDS Magazine challenge was featured in their gallery recently.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Minneapolis, Day 3

Another day-long meeting, but at least it was different from yesterday's. It was basically yesterday's crowd + new people. I was able to put names to faces/voices. I communicate with all of these people through phone and email and now it's nice to add a personal touch to it. The facilitator had an unexpected medical family emergency, so she had to present her PowerPoint via speakerphone. Despite the last minute changes, I think everything went really well. Some people were making fun of me and how I was taking pictures of the notes that were written on the flip charts. I had it handy. It was difficult to capture what everyone was saying, so I thought that was a technologically savvy solution.

The flight home felt like forever. It's probably because I didn't sleep at all, which is really rare.

Oh, and true to what I told my boss's boss last night, I polished off the ice cream carton in the freezer and ate the bag of peanut M&Ms that I saved from yesterday's afternoon break. Most unhealtiest dinner. Ever.

Here's a picture of what I bought at Archiver's on Wednesday. Check out all the fun alphas, especially the new Amy Tangerine ones! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Minneapolis, Day 2

Today was a very long meeting that was mostly about strategic planning. We started out with discussing some work style personality test results. I had taken the test 3 years ago and was identified as someone that just wants to get stuff done. After we talked about which category we were in, we had to line up in a spectrum based on extroverted/introverted, practical/creative, analytical/belief and structured/flexible. In the practical/creative spectrum, I was the last one on the pratical side, all by myself. Same with when we were lining up with the structured/flexible spectrum...I was at the end of the structured side, all by myself. I don't think anyone was totally shocked with that. I like deadlines. I like things to be defined. If you don't like it, work with someone else, I guess.

For dinner, we went to another restaurant in the Mall of America called Crave. I ate a chicken caesar salad for dinner because I had eaten pretty much all day long. But for a cocktail, I had an Angry Dragon, which was very yummy (much better than last night's Dark and Stormy). It had Bacardi Dragon Berry, Soho Lychee, cranberry, citrus zest in it...interesting, huh?

I sat next to my boss's boss at dinner. He turns to me, "Tina, I have a question.'re going to be coming home pretty late tomorrow, right? What are you going to have for dinner? I'm going out of town again on Sunday, so this is going to be tricky, cooking on Saturday. What are you going to do?" I paused for a moment. Well, if he wants an honest answer. "Ice cream." He just stares at me. My boss is across the table, probably laughing on the inside. I repeated myself in case he didn't hear me. He smiled too. Well, that's what I have in the fridge. I don't want to have a filling meal at like 11:30 at night. I don't have any bright ideas. Just unhealthy ones.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Minneapolis, Day 1

This trip has been pretty awesome so far. Well, the 5 AM wake up wasn't that pleasant, but everything else has gone smoothly. At the airport, I sat near a guy that had a box with vents in it. I overheard him talking to a lady who asked him what was in the box. It was his cat Scarlett (apparently, she had a brother named Rhett, but he died not too long ago...what can I say? I was a good eavesdropper.). She was 17.5 years old! I couldn't believe it, but I guess that's totally doable. Ginger is 14 years old. The guy with the cat was sitting in the same row as me and another guy in the row asked him if it was a cat in the box. The guy with the cat said yes, and the guy had to ask for another seat because he was really allergic to cats.

After I got to Minneapolis (I slept pretty much the whole flight), I was able to get into my room early and then I zipped over to the Mall of America. OMG, wow, it really is a huge mall with an legit amusement park inside. I didn't go on any of the rides, but I was amused by the people going on all the rides.

My favorite part of the mall was going to Archiver's. I didn't even know there was one at the mall, so this was a very welcomed surprise. I must have spent 45 minutes there going through the whole store at least 3 times. Of course, I bought goodies...mostly alpha stickers and a white gel pen. Then I went to the Aquarium downstairs and I finished off my trip with some ice cream. Total time walking around the mall: approximately 3 hours.

I was exhausted by the time I got back to the hotel, so I took a nap and a shower and by then, it was time to meet up with people for dinner. We ended up going back to the mall and going to an Italian place for dinner. I had the chicken marsala with a drink called "Dark and Stormy." I liked the lime kick that the drink had.
I have a long two meeting days ahead of's off to bed!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Packing, packing, packing

'Nough said. Off to Minneapolis tomorrow. Hello, Mall of America. We'll be spending lots of quality time together as I'm getting in in the morning, and I probably won't be able to check into the hotel until later on in the afternoon. This should be interesting.

It's going to be an early to bed!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"That's all we can do."

At the office: ARGH! I am not one to like unwanted surprises, so when some people had to regretfully let me know that they couldn't attend the meeting at the end of the week in MN, I got a little panic-y this morning. Calling the hotel, calling the travel agent, talking to some of the VIPs this afternoon on a conference call to adjust and finalize the agenda. At least the materials got shipped to the hotel this afternoon. We'll just do what we can. "That's all we can do" = my boss's motto.

Kitty?: I was on the county animal shelter website this morning and apparently, they are doing a promotion with solid black cats or kittens by waiving shelter fees in the month of August. Hmmm. ;)

Card: I was inspired by this week's Make a Card Monday by Kristina Werner, where she made a card using the emboss resist technique. I dug out my clear embossing powder, picked out some stamps and Distress Inks, and got to work! I decided to go with some cooler colors, rather than bright and cheerful. Does that make the card too depressing, given the sentiment stamp that I chose? Hmm.

Card Specs:
Embossing powder: Stampendous! in clear
Embossing ink: VersaMark
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Charcoal. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Weathered Wood.
Stamps: The Paper Company Studio- Greetings (sentiment), Inkadinkado- Nature
Die: Cuttlebug- Flowers (flowers)
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials
Pearl: Queen & Co.- Pearl
Foam adhesive: Thermoweb

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Estate Sale Fail

The search for a night stand continues. I decided to go to an estate sale near my old high school to see if they were selling a night stand, and unfortunately, they weren't. One funny thing that happened was that when I was walking out of the house, there was a woman approaching the house and she said "Oh, no, I don't like walking into an estate sale and seeing people leaving without stuff." Yeah, well, lady, you can't win every day. I already had some good yard sale karma earlier this weekend, and I'll take what I can get and be thankful for it.

After the estate sale, I went to the high school track and did the workout that was really for yesterday, but moved to today. I actually manage alright considering the heat and humidity. Who's ready for Fall? ::raises hand:: ME!

A potential large Etsy order is in the works. I worked on samples tonight to send to my contact. I hope she likes them! ::fingers crossed:: Earlier this evening, I worked on making more polymer clay flowers with my MoldMuse molds.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Ribbon Storage

Yard sale finds: Unfortunately, I didn't find a night stand for my bedroom, BUT I did find a bunch of goodies during today's yard sale adventures: 3 DVDs @ $1 each, felt sheets for 5 cents each (I got 20 sheets. This will really come in handy when it's time to die cut felt flowers), and a bag of clothespins for $2. I've been looking for these clothespins so that I could reorganize my ribbon. I'm so glad that I was patient and didn't buy them on Ebay or something. My ribbon has been on their original cardboard spools, but they take up so much space. Through Jennifer McGuire's blog, I found a great solution with ribbon storage- just twirl the ribbon around the clothespins and secure with a small pin. I've consolidated 1 drawer tray and 1 box of ribbon to just the 1 drawer tray. Whoo hoo!
Movie: The original plan for Saturday night was to go with Meg and my friends from graduate school to a Orioles baseball game, but because of the weather and chance for more rainy weather, Meg and I decided to not go to the game. Plan B was to go get dinner and see a movie (that way, it didn't matter if it was raining or not). The movie we went to see was The Help, which was really good (so good that I cried at the end). I hope to find the book before I go to Minneapolis next week so that I could read it while in transit.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Company Picnic

Company picnic: Whew, am I glad that I'm able to work from home on Fridays! It was nice to not have to change out of my pjs to get some emails done.

Today was the company picnic, so after catching up with my boss for a little bit, I zipped over to the grocery store to get cups, drinks, and ice- items I was responsible for. Fortunately, they were having a 2, get 2 free. Score! I figured this situation falls under the Halloween Candy policy where you buy/give what you enjoy yourself, and then when you have leftovers, you win too. So, of course, I bought drinks that I liked. I even bought juice boxes for the kids that were coming. Who doesn't like a juice box, right?

The food at the picnic was fantastic. The people that catered last year were asked to come back this year. Menu: pulled pork, BBQ chicken, veggie wraps, potato salad, coleslaw, salad, and banana pudding. Yum!

For the kiddie activity, one of the guys from the office bought a piñata and filled it with candy. The little kids had fun taking turns and hitting it, but they weren't hitting with the force required to break it open so we ended up dissecting the piñata and letting all the candy drop. The kids made a mad dash for the candy to fill their little buckets. The kid on the right promptly started eating a sucker...isn't she adorable? There was a large bag of the leftover candy for the adults, and of course, we call congregated around it.

After the picnic, I invited my former officemate Jennifer to the new place for her to check it out. I wasn't planning to have a housewarming party with the people from the office, but I did want her see the place because she basically heard about the entire house hunting/buying experience at the office and I wanted to show her the end product in person.

Running: Yesterday's workout was 3 miles @ 9:50 pace, but since I went to see Wicked, I didn't end up running. I, instead, did the workout tonight. 4 laps around the neighborhood came out to 3 miles. I clocked in at 30:25, which translates to a 10:08 min/mile pace. Whew, not bad.

Goal for this weekend's yard sales: find a night stand.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Wicked Evening

Meg's friend's friend had two tickets to see a Kennedy Center performance of Wicked that she's unfortunately wouldn't be able to use at the last minute. Meg asked me if I wanted to go with her, and at first, I was going to decline (the Kennedy Center is a little bit of a hike for me), but then I decided to go (when's the next time that I'd be able to go see a play like that?).

I am so glad that I went! The musical was awesome! I can see how so many people like it. I already like the songs "Defying Gravity" and "For Good," but now I have some context of what's going on in the plot when the songs are sung.

I even came home from an Etsy sale. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

CPS #230

Sorry for the momentary absence. My parents and I were moving my sister to her new school so she could start her PhD adventures. Whew, with all the packing and moving my family's done this summer, we're experts by now! I don't think any of us are going to be moving anytime soon, so this is going to be it for now, thankfully.

Training: Today's workout was 5 miles @ 11:30. The first 2.5 miles I was doing pretty good at a 11:12 pace (28:00), but then I slowed down to a 12:38 pace (31:35) because I had to walk a little. My overall pace for the 5 miles was 11:55; total running time was 59:35. Stoooopid hills. ::grumble:: Maybe I need to find a flatter route ;)

Card: Here's my take on this week's CPS (#230). I wanted to use the polymer clay flowers that I made last week, and I thought they'd look cute as flower centers. I also used a new stamp that I bought over the weekend at Michaels.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Wild Honey.
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), Hero Arts- Cling Dots
Paper: Die Cuts with a View- Mango Frost
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals
Clay: Premo Sculpey Clay in Pearl and Turquoise
White Gel Pen: Inkssentials

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weird Dreams and Safe Haven

Do you ever wake up from weird dreams wondering where they came from? A guy that I had a major crush on in high school was in my dream last night. High school was a while ago...what brought this on?! Maybe this was initiated by my reading a Nicholas Sparks book last night before bed, I dunno. BAH! Apparently, my subconscious has not moved on. Sheesh.

Oh, what Nicholas Sparks book am I reading? It's called Safe Haven. I started reading it earlier this summer, but I kinda forgot about it with all the house stuff and work travel going on and then I had to return it to the library. I checked it out again, and it's pretty good.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Office Card Order

I got an email from HR yesterday, asking if it'd be possible to order a set of 50 cards, a mix of anniversary and birthday cards to send to staff. Ah-ha! So maybe putting a box of free cards in the office kitchen from time to time is really paying off. I made 37 cards yesterday and today and I need to finish the rest tomorrow so that I can make my Monday morning deadline. My craft table is a mess...wanna see? This is the first Saturday in a while that I haven't gone to a yard sale. There's always tomorrow though. ;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fall-To Layout #152

This morning started out with an 8:00 AM dental appointment, and I am happy to report I have no cavities (despite all the candy I eat, but don't tell Dr. S that, mkay?).

I decided to take a "sick day" today to spend some time with my sister before she moves next week. We went all over the place: Bed Bath and Beyond, Michaels, AC Moore, Petsmart, Home Goods, the library, etc. I had some fun crafty things in my hand at all the craft store stops and at Home Goods, but I put them away at the last minute because I thought to myself: "Do I really need this right now? This money could go to your hypothetical kitty fund." I did score a baking pan at BB&B though. The kitties at Petsmart were freakin' adorable. One of these days...sigh...

The training workout today was a 1.5 mile warm up, 4 x 400 @ 2:10 per 400, and a 1 mile cool down. My sister was nice enough to do the track workout with me. We drove over to our former high school and we were not the only people working out on the track/field. The school recently put in a new artificial turf and track. It was very...bouncy, so it was very forgiving on my feet.

After the workout, we watched the movie that we got from the library: Easy A. Funny stuff. Recommended to rent, but not buy.

Here's the card for today, my take on this week's Fall-To Layout #152. I was happy to see that my bow-tying skills are still sharp.
Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy, American Crafts- City Park
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4, Carla Craft sakura punch, Marvy Uchida Jumbo Daisy
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

Thursday, August 4, 2011

CARDS Magazine Challenge: Birthday Cards

At the office: I slipped out around lunchtime to go to the post office and then swing by the Pier 1. It's going out of business so everything was marked down. I was going there with the intention of finding some reed diffusers to make the new place smell nice. My boss gave me a vanilla scented one, and I put it in my bedroom. It makes me happy when I walk into my room and it smells nice. The scents that I chose were Island Orchard and Baked Apple and Dates. I really liked how there was a scratch-and-sniff sticker on the top so that you didn't have to open everything to see if you liked the scent. It reduces the chances of me dropping the whole thing at the store.

One of the directors is having a baby girl next month, so we, of course, celebrated with cake. I was THIS close to getting some frozen yogurt until I walked into the office next door to see if she wanted to come along. "Uhh, Tina, but we're having cake." Oh, yeah! Mmm, cake. I had a slice of the chocolate one with cherries.

Card: My ribbon flower card was featured in today's CARDS Magazine challenge blog post. :) The new challenge is to make a birthday card. I wanted to use some of the polymer clay flowers that I baked last night. I love being able to make my own embellishments!

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Warm Green
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), Hero Arts- Cling Dots, Fiskars- Friendship Garden, Fiskars- Friendly Flowers
Paper: American Crafts- Dear Lizzy
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Clay: Premo Sculpey Clay in Pearl
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

Off to the dentist tomorrow for a regular check-up. Fun times.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Molds from MoldMuse

Today didn't really start off on the right foot. The left side of my neck was killing me, and I thought I could last all day at work, but I ended up going home around lunch time because the pain got so bad. I'm hoping that a full night's sleep and a Salonpas patch will do the trick.

The good thing about today was that my sister and cousin came over to hang out around dinner time. My cousin hadn't seen my new place yet, so I was happy to give him the tour. "Wow, it's so nice! It kinda feels like a hotel." Well, that's because I've only been here for a month. Maybe if you wait a little longer, it'll look more lived-in.

My molds from MoldMuse arrived today so I tested them out tonight with the polymer clay that I purchased at a yard sale last weekend. I picked out 3 types of flower molds - sakura, rose, and mum. The rose and mum are easy to use, but the sakura one is a little more tricky with all the detail. Here are some of the flowers that I baked tonight. I can't wait to get some gloss to put on them and attach earring posts to them for homemade jewelry.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Office Mooching

Hello, committee meeting season. How I've missed you and your leftover food!

The first one of the season is taking place this week and while it's not my committee meeting (mine's actually going to be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a few weeks), I can still enjoy the leftover food. My "second breakfast" was eggs, turkey sausage, potatoes and a yummy biscuit. I wasn't planning to get the biscuit, but I'm glad that I did because that was my favorite part of the meal. I stopped by to say hello to the receptionist. She looks at my open plate of food. "Are you taking that across the street?" (Um, yes. Uh oh. Am I in trouble? The email to all staff went out. It's up for grabs!) "Tina, it's going to be exposed to the elements outside. Get something to cover it before you go back to the other building." Oh, that's what she wanted to tell me. Ok, makes sense. Good thing people are looking out for me, even if it's little things like keeping my food safe.

I was on a conference call when the lunch leftovers email went out. There weren't a ton of leftovers in the kitchen since an hour had just gone by, but I did snag enough pasta with mushrooms to constitute a filling lunch.

The mooching continued when I went to my parents' house for dinner tonight. They couldn't possibly eat all that steak on their own, right? Even with my sister and cousin there too, they'd still need some help. Fortunately, I live very close by!

Is it still mooching if it's your family?

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Sisterly Card Assignment

Card: My sister requested a thank you card to send to her previous landlord. Fortunately she gave me some guidance of what she was looking for. She liked the thank you card that I created last week with the bird, but she didn't want the rectangular panel on the left and no flowers near the bird and since her landlord is a guy, some masculine paper, please. Here's the card that I came up with.

Card Specs:
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, Olive Pastel
Stamps: Studio G (bird), Inkadinkado (sentiment)
Paper: American Crafts- Metropolitan
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Labels 4
Other: Black American Crafts Stamp Marker

Weirdness: On my way home from spin class tonight, the radio weather report was talking about rain. I thought to myself, "That's crazy. There's nothing going on right now." And right as that thought finished, it started pouring. Super.

At the office:
There's a committee meeting at the office tomorrow. Word on the street is that the lunch is coming from an Italian place. I'll have to be conveniently around when the email announcing leftovers goes out to all staff. Ha ha.

TV: Whoo hoo, JP got the final rose! He and Ashley look so happy together. I hope they live happily ever after :) While Ben didn't get the girl in the end, I thought he took the bad news as well as could be expected and left the show with dignity. That must have been crushing. Eek.