Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

At the office: The Federal government had an unscheduled telework/leave option today, so I decided to take it (even though I wasn't experiencing any storm damage).  I woke up this morning and didn't feel like getting out of my pajamas.  Plus, I had my work computer, so there wasn't anything that I needed to do at the office that I couldn't do at home, e.g. working on session proposals.  I even had my weekly call with my boss in Colorado to talk about the drafts that I wrote.  Last week, we divided up the session proposals: I somehow ended up with 6 to do and she had 3.  Even though the office was closed on MON and TUES, I took the initiative to do work anyway.  "Tina, you had office closures MON and TUES and you managed to get your work done.  I didn't have an office closure and I didn't get my work done," she says to me.  Yep, that's me.  The model employee.

Halloween: I'm not sure what was up with the trick-or-treaters this year, but I didn't get that many or what seemed to be fewer than last year.  I even went to Target to buy more candy after my call!  I am debating on whether or not I should donate it to the office kitchen.  Maybe if I put it in the cabinet on top of the fridge, I'll be less likely to reach for it because it'd require a chair.  Cute costumes this year were an elephant, Sleeping Beauty, G.I. Joe, and Spider-Man.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Post-Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy: I made it through Hurricane Sandy just fine, whew!  I was worried that I was going to lose power during the night and have no electricity for a few days like what happened this summer.  I feel so fortunate because many people in this area and along the East Coast have not been so lucky.  Hopefully everything goes back to normal pretty soon.

Work: Because I had internet, I was able to get some work done, even though the Federal government was closed.  The session proposals for next year's Annual Meeting are due on Friday, so I wanted to make sure that I got drafts completed (I have 2 more to go) and allowed time for others to review before I submitted them.  I'm going to be happy when Friday rolls around because it'll be one last thing to stress about.

Card: Here's the festive card that I made tonight.  I wanted to use some Die Cuts with a View cardbases that I bought a few years ago and use some newish stuff that I bought at the rubber stamp yard sale last Saturday.  Christmas will be here before you know it!

Card Specs:
Card Base: Die Cuts with a View
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird. Stampin' Up in Garden Green
Stamp: Stampin' Up- Northern Hearts, Inkadinkado- Holiday Expressions
White Gel Pen: Uni-Ball Signo Broad White Gel Pen
Baker's Twine: We R Memory Keepers Sew Easy Fancy Floss in Candy Stripe, Liquid Pearl in Rouge

Monday, October 29, 2012

Moo Nails

What a yucky day outside.  For the most part it was rainy and slightly windy, but then the wind picked up around 8 PM and it's wooshing around outside my window.  I'm currently blasting music to drown it out, so that I can ignore it and not be so freaked out.  In an effort to pass the time at home today (aside from doing some work), I did my nails this morning. I call them my moo nails.  Base coat: Revlon in White On White (2 coats). Black: Konad Special Polish in Black. Bundle Monster plate #222.

Please, oh please, let the power stay on! 

Stay safe, East Coast folks!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chinese Food and Casino Night

Casino night: Last night was "Robyn and Tina have Chinese food" night...otherwise known as "Meg's out of town this weekend."  On the Maryland ballot this year, there's a question about gaming expansion in Maryland.  I was on the fence about the issue, and Robyn suggested that we go to a casino to check it out and do some "research."  Upon arrival, I was immediately bombarded by shiny lights and lots of noise.  I can see how it'd be appealing, but I quickly became over stimulated.  We each put a $5 limit on our gambling: I lost all of it and Robyn made $0.11 (she gave me a nickel when she cashed out, ha ha).  There were slot machines as far as the eye could see, and even the table games were run by a computer. 

I looked around and saw a ton of people gambling and felt uncomfortable supporting an establishment like this because I think it encourages bad habits.  The shiny lights and fun games encourage people to stay, which in turn, makes them gamble more and I don't think that's a good use of money, but that's just my opinion.  It was fun for the 1.5 hours that we were there, but I don't think I'll be going back any time soon.

Robyn took this picture of me and I sent it to Meg saying "This is what we meant by Chinese food."

Hurricane Sandy: Julie almost got stuck in Chicago on Sunday because of the approaching storm.  I was supposed to pick her up tonight really late, but fortunately, she was able to make it out of Chicago this morning.  The office is closed tomorrow (we follow the Federal operating status), but I foresee myself teleworking a little bit as not to hold things up.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rub-ons and Rubber Stamp Yard Sale

Rub-ons and Rubber Stamp Yard Sale: I came away with tons of goodies today...all before lunch time!  The first yard sale that I went to was a regular yard sale, but this lady had a ton of rub-ons. I'm talking like a trunk full of them.  I only picked 15 sheets (3 for $1) because a lot of the other ones were really for scrapbooking, given that they were very long and said things like "Princess".  I was looking for the ones that card makers could use.  Then I went to a rubber stamp/scrapbooking yard sale that was about 25 minutes away from my house.  I got there right at 9 AM and found some awesome deals on new and used rubber stamps and ink pads from Stampin' Up.

Card: This is the last of the card bases that I messed up on and repurposed.  I used the border punch to punch some cardstock to cover up the bad spot. Here are some of the other card bases that I repurposed...this one and this one and this one.  I wanted to use as many of my "new" crafty goodies as I could, of course!

Card Specs: 
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Pumpkin Spice,Warm Green.  Stampin' Up in Riding Hood Red.
Stamps: Inkadinkado- Tree Clear Stamp Set, Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern, Stampin' Up- Definitely Decorative Ferns, Stampin' Up- Lovely as a Tree
Rub-On: Karen Foster Design- Thinking of You
Punch: Fiskars Scalloped Sentiment border punch, We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper

Friday, October 26, 2012

Refinance Closing and Card

Vacation Days: These past few days off work have been amazing.  I have to confess that I did do some work email and one work related call so that things didn't lag behind, but overall, I have been pretty good about staying away from my work computer.  It's been nice to wake up when I feel like it and do whatever I want!  I've been reading James Patterson's Private Games, hanging out with my sister, and taking lots of naps.  Today, I went to the real estate attorney's office to close on my refinance (4.625% rate down to 4%...30 years down to 25 years).  I went to a bunch of stores afterwards in that area (Michaels, Ross, Tuesday Morning, Marshalls, Joann's), but didn't find anything that I liked enough to spend money on it.  Shocking, I know.  However, tomorrow will probably be a different story since there's one yard sale that will have scrapbooking stuff near my house and then there's rubber stamp/scrapbooking yard sale about 30 minutes away from me.  I hope to get a lot of loot by lunch time!

At Real Estate Attorney's Office: (Story #1) The guy that did my closing paperwork with was the same guy that I did my closing paperwork with the first time, when I bought the house last year!  He asked if I had been there before.  Yes, good memory.  "You looked familiar."  If he was telling the truth and not just saying that, I'm impressed because the office must have seen lots of people coming in and out over the past year.  (Story #2) One thing that I remember about this office is a wall full of snacks and candy.  I made a mental note to myself to grab some on the way out.  The receptionist asked if I wanted a bag.  "No, thanks.  I'd probably grab more than I should if I had a bag." She laughed.

Card: I got a letter from Suzie this week, so I owe her a reply letter.  I figured I could use another one of the card bases I messed up on and cover up the part where the ink didn't hit the paper.  (Here are some of the other card bases that I repurposed...this one and this one).

Card Specs: 
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Pumpkin Spice, Blackbird. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Vintage Photo
Stamps: Studio G (sentiment), Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern
Paper: Chatterbox, American Crafts- Botanique
Brad: American Crafts
Die: Spellbinders Nestabilities Foliage, Sizzix- Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Flowers
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Monday, October 22, 2012

Halloween Nails, Part 2

I decided to redo my nails today because the ones that I did on Friday were chipping like crazy.  The Konad polishes that I purchased last Friday from WowSoCool also arrived today.  I love prompt customer service!   I do have to say that black special polish is more opaque when stamping than my regular black polish.  I need to practice with getting the image one straight, but I wasn't going to waste time and polish to do it all over again.  No one's going to look at these nails that closely anyway.  While I could have done the pumpkin image again, I wanted to try the snake skin pattern on.  Snakes and Halloween.  They're related, right?  Base Coat: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Heat Flash (2 coats). Black: Konad Special Polish in Black. Bundle Monster plate #215. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Army 10-Miler

Robyn and I woke up early this morning and metroed from our respective places to cheer Meg while she ran the Army 10-Miler.  Just like in the St. Patrick's Day 8K earlier this year, Robyn got a balloon so that we could be easily seen from the crowd.  She wasn't the only one that had this idea.  I saw people that had a macaw balloon and a whale balloon.  There were quite a few spectators and even 2 bands playing...and of course, a bunch of cute Army guys to gawk at while we waited for Meg to appear.  We saw Meg just before the 6 mile mark and performed our friend-y duties by screaming and cheering her name. 

I spent the rest of the day napping and reading...until it was time to go to dinner at my parents' house.  It was a nice way to end the weekend.  I'm only working on Monday tomorrow, and then taking the rest of the week off of work.  I can't wait to be able to wake up whenever I feel like it!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Early Bird Fails

Yard sale-ing: Sometimes you're lucky and sometimes you're not.  Today was the latter.  I woke up early to see if I could find some cool stuff!  Anyway, I went around 4 yard sales today and didn't find anything that I liked (I know, shocking, right?).  I was eying some packing tape, and the guy was asking for $1.50 for a roll.  Nope.  I'd give you $1 for two, sorry.  Then I was looking at this desk organizer/letter holder at another yard sale.  The lady wanted $15, but "could settle for $12." I walked away from that sale too.  I don't have room on my desk for it anyway.  I did go to TJMaxx and Ross though and bought 2 pairs of pants and underwear.  Not a bad shopping day over all!

The Watchful Eye: After my shopping adventures this morning, I went to visit my parents'.  Of course, I raided the Halloween candy stash.  Hello, Mom.  Don't hide it in the same place every year if you don't want me to eat it.  Anyway, I was skimming through a Martha Stewart magazine in the sun room, Mom comes up to me, "What's in your hand?" It was a Twix wrapper.  Dang it. Caught every time!

Card: Here's the card that I made tonight.  I used another card base where I didn't like how the stamped background image came out, so I found a way to use it anyway by covering it up (similar to this card).  I used some copper pigment ink to stamp the pumpkin and leaves, but it didn't come out as strongly as I wanted it to.  Maybe the subtle look is better anyway.

Card Specs: 
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Pumpkin Spice, Blackbird. Brilliance Archival Pigment Ink in Cosmic Copper
Stamp: Inkadinkado- Autumn Foliage, Hero Arts- Envelope Pattern
Paper: Recollections
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner Chomper
Embossing Folder: Tim Holtz- Cracked, Dot Matrix

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall-To Layout #213

Nails: I am not one to get excited about Halloween (except for the candy part), but I was waiting on some emails to come through so I decided to pass the time by doing my nails and do some stamping. I noticed that I actually had a Jack o'Lantern image that I could use! The stamping came out very faintly, but that's okay. I actually broke down and bought 3 bottles of Konad special polish in black, white and pink. When I do my stamping, I want better results so hopefully the special polish is all it's cracked up to be. Base coat: OPI Black Onyx. (2 coats). Orange: Sally Hansen Insta-Dri in Heat Flash. Bundle Monster plate #222.

Card: Here's a Christmas card that I made tonight.  I was inspired by Fall-To Layout #213.  I didn't want to use any ribbon on this card, so I went with a cute felt snowman sticker.

Card Specs: 
Ink: Colorbox chalk ink in Blackbird, French Blue. Tim Holtz Distress Ink in Broken China
Stamp: Studio G (sentiment), Hero Arts- Stunning Snowflakes
Paper: My Mind's Eye Countdown to Christmas
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner
Embellishment: Jolee's Boutique- Snowmen
Other: Black Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shoe Fail

I bought some heel inserts yesterday to prevent my feet from slipping out of these cute pair of heels that I have.  I wore the heel inserts for probably 2 hours today before I realized that I had wasted $7 on them.  I went back to DSW near my work this afternoon to see if it'd be possible to get my money back if I brought my receipt tomorrow.  The lady was like "Ok, just this one time..."  What?  Are you keeping track?  ::eye roll:: I decided to try another DSW that's close to my gym, and it was almost like the sales clerk knew what my problem was.  "Oh, yeah. I know they don't work because I tried them myself."  She gave me my money back without making a stink about it.  Yay for understanding customer service.

FYI, the heel inserts that I bought that didn't work are from the brand Apara.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Future Vacation Plans

At the office: I was talking to one of my coworkers the other day and she stops me in mid-sentence.  "Lemme see you nails!"  They were a grey/purple-ish color (Sally Hansen Insta-Dri).  She smiles and hold out her hand.  She had the exact same shade on.  :)

Future Vacation Plans: (cue music: "I'm So Excited"- the Pointer Sisters).  Several of my friends and I are turning 30 soon...either later this year or early next year so Meg and two of her running friends had a grand ol' plan to go on a cruise to celebrate.  There will be 6 of us total on this trip.  Last night, I committed to the trip by booking my 4-night cruise to the Bahamas in March.  I am SOOO looking forward to this because a) yay, vacation, b) I get to hang out with my friends, and c) I've never gone on a cruise before.  Whoo hoo!

At the Parents' House:  This was the cost of tuition when I was a freshman in college.  I found this card in some of my stuff at my parents''s laughable and depressing at the same time.  In other news, Ginger found a new basket to sleep in.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yard Sale Finds: I was so excited to go to the Annual "Attic in the Street" event this year.  It's basically a block long yard sale that happens in a neighborhood that near my parents' house.  I came away with 3 pieces of artwork and a decorative tile piece.

Funny story #1: I walked by the guy that had the floral pieces and asked him how much the artwork was.  He said $10.  I said thanks and continued to walk around to see what the other tables had.  I walked by the artwork again and asked him if he'd cut me a deal if I bought two pieces.  "$25."  What?!  How is that a deal?  I reminded him that he told me that each one was $10 a few minutes ago.  I guess he was confused as to which two pieces I was looking to buy.  He settled on $15.  SOLD!

Funny story #2: I was eyeing a red beaded necklace.  I even picked it up to take a closer look and knew that I made a mistake when I put it down because the lady next to me bought it for $4!  Ugh, the downfalls of second guessing yourself!

Girl time: I went to Alexandria with Meg and Robyn to help Robyn do some bridesmaid dress shopping.  Gee, wasn't that a humbling experience!  Since they didn't have dresses in Robyn's size, I was the stand-in.  Even though I can usually do a size 10 or 12, the dresses at the store definitely ran small because there was no way I could fit in a 10 and a 12 was tight in some areas.  The store attendants weren't really all that great, but at least Robyn was able to get her measurements and she can get the dress somewhere else.  We ended up getting Italian food at a nearby restaurant (check out my thing of ice tea, wow!) and then hanging out at Robyn's place for the rest of the afternoon...until dinner time, when we went to get BBQ.  This place redeemed themselves, since last time, they ran out of pork!  The GW Parkway northbound was closed, so I had to find another way home and at one point, the traffic was SO bad.  When I got closer, I noticed that it was because of a car accident. A huge black SVU was totally smashed and pointing in the wrong direction and there was glass everywhere.  Yikes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall-To Layout #212

Sick: Ugh, not a good week health wise.  Been feeling a little under the weather lately with a cold.  It's times like these that I'm very thankful that my boss is understanding (she's getting over a cold as well) and the organization has the technology to allow us to work from home easily. 

Shopping: Unfortunately, with being sick, all my crafting mojo has gone out the window.  I didn't feel like working on my craft show inventory or any cards for the sake of creativity.  However, today, we're back to normal.  I even went to Michaels after work today to see what kind of 12 x 12 paper packs they had since they were on sale for $11.99.  While some other goodies were on sale (stamps, ink pads, open stock paper, dies), I came away with 2 huge paper packs - Recollections Bright and Basic and Recollections Mosaic Memories (this paper looks like My Mind's Eye Stella and Rose- and a thing of kraft cardstock.  The Recollections paper works really well for folding origami dresses.  My goal was to find a Bright and Basic back so I dug through the shelves.  The first time around, I came up with nothing.  I even gave up and walking around to the other stacks, but then I came back and physically got on the floor to have easier access to the bottom shelf.  Success!  I must have gotten the last stack!  I noticed that there was a Recollections Christmas stack, but I didn't feel like I HAD to have it.  I had some extra money on my gift card and my total for the three items came out to $22.00 even.  Funny, huh?

Food: I made a batch of chicken marsala this afternoon.  I redeemed myself because the last time I made it, OMG, the chicken was so dry.  Yuck.

Card: Here's my non-craft show inventory related card.  I broke into a My Mind's Eye 6 x 6 paper's the last one of the four that I bought at TJMaxx recently that I hadn't opened yet.  I used Fall-To Layout #212 as a reference.

Card Specs: 
Ink: Stampin' Up- Early Espresso
Stamp: Stampin' Up- Elementary Elegance (sentiment)
Paper: My Mind's Eye Honey Cake
Punch: We R Memory Keepers Corner
Stickers: Basic Grey Micro Mono Stickers
Floral stickers: Basic Grey Bloomers- Pyrus collection
Other: Brown Sharpie Ultra Fine Point marker

Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012 Craft Show #1

Today was my first craft show of the season.  I wasn't sure if I was even going to do one this year because vendor fees are so expensive and it takes me forever to just break even.  However, this opportunity popped up unexpectedly when a lady contacted me through Etsy.  She was looking for vendors for a school family event celebrating the St. John the Baptist School's 50th Anniversary Celebration.  The fee was going to be $75 or 10% of what I made to help defray the cost of the family events.  Oh, 10%, perfect.  That's an awesome deal. 

This was quite an impressive event: 3 horses were available for horseback riding, clown, 2 caricaturists, 3 food trucks (bbq, snowcones, cupcakes), face painting, rock climbing wall, bouncy castle, games, etc.  There weren't many vendors, but the crafts that were showcases were cool: magnet boards, hairbows, doll clothes that were replicas of the school's uniform, illuminated initial art (like in the bible), and jewelry.

Funny story #1: Several people asked me if I was a parent at the school.  Um, no, I'm not a parent.  After I thought about it, the question made sense since this event was being held at a school.

Funny story #2: A little boy with a $20 in his hand came up to me and bought a card. I was a little hesitant in selling him something because hello, where did you get that money?  "Do you know who you're going to give the card to?" "No, I just like buying stuff." Hah, honest answer.  I was putting away his money and writing a note to myself and when I looked up, he was back.  "My mom wants another one of those cards."  I points at a lady across the way.  Ah, his mom was the magnet board vendor.

I ended up making about $150 after handing in my vendor fee.  Not too bad for sitting at my table for 3 hours.  Some of the things that I thought wouldn't sell actually sold, so that was a pleasant surprise.  I was thankful that the weather held up, whew!

My night ended with Meg and Robyn coming over for girl time with pizza and The Avengers.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Blast From the Past

Physical (part 2): I got my blood test results back from the doctor today. Mostly good, but she informed me that my blood sugar was a little high and I need more vitamin D in my diet. WAIL. Ugh, this is NOT the season to not be able to eat sugary things. Hello, Halloween? She also told me to limit the white flour and white sugar. But those are staples in anything that tastes good! I guess I won't be able to enjoy the fruits of my baking adventures as much. Sigh.

Family: I went over to my cousin's house today. My other cousin (his sister) is visiting from Taiwan for a week and she brought a package specifically for my mom. Mom opened it up and it was a huge collection of photos. Here's one of them. Mom is the girl in the very front. It's a little funny that Julie, my sister, looks like Mom back in the day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Computer, Yay!

Sears finale (for real, this time): I got my $599 check for the UV mold prevention light that I had uninstalled last week.  They told me that it'd take a month and it only took 1.5 weeks.  Wow.  Too bad they showed their good customer service at the end of this whole ordeal!

Physical: I went in for a physical today because it's been a while since I've had one.  I was naive to think that I'd get out of there within 30 minutes.  I was really there for 2 hours, and the majority of that time I was waiting and waiting.  Fortunately, I had my iPhone with me so that I could check work email and text. I got a clean bill of health from the doctor, and I'm hoping that the blood work says the same thing.  A funny moment from the appointment was when the physician's assistant was weighing me and she slowly moved the marking over.  I saved her some time and told her that the marker needed to be closer to the 150 lb mark because I had weighed myself earlier that morning.  She laughed.  Hey, it's just a number.  I work out.  Whatever.

Candy attack: I wonder what the people that take out the office trash think when they see all the candy I've been eating the past few days.  At least it's not bags of Halloween candy.  Ugh.

New toy: I decided that since I got my money back for the light, I could revisit the thought of getting a new computer.  I bought one in July, but had to return it because the internal webcam died on me a short time after I bought it.  I decided to go with this Dell 17 inch laptop.  I had a bad experience with Dell a few years back, but have decided to go back to them because my office uses Dell and so does my sister...Dell has not let them down so far.