Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Let's go WAYYY back to when I first moved out on my own..

Life was grand in the year 2000.  I was 18, I had a full time job at a hot resale clothing shop on Hawthorne BLVD in Portland Oregon.  I only wore thrift store clothes, I even had a bumper sticker on my car that said "I am a Thrift shop Junkie".  It was also a band sticker..all wrapped into one.  I was so hip.

A friend of mine had scored a sweet house in the up and coming hipster central, otherwise known as NE Portland.  I on the other hand, was living with my parents.  Rent free, eating free food, free cable, free phone, and even got $20 a week to clean a little around the house.  I know..SPOILED BRAT.  But being 18, I thought I had it SO rough.  Like OMG..I had to give my mom a heads up if I was staying out for the night just so she wouldn't worry.  Pfffft!

*Let's just take a moment here and laugh at ridiculous teenagers are.

It wasn't long until my friend asked me if I wanted to move in and rent a room.  Conveniently enough, I had just gotten paid.  So before I had a chance to spend my hard earned $700 on cd's and thrift store hauls, I jumped at the opportunity.  

I called my mom at work and told her I was moving out.  I thought I sounded serious, but apparently she thought it was a joke.  Because when she got home and saw that I was packing up, she was in a state of shock.  Within about 3 hours I managed to pack up all of my belongings and a large box of food.  Because I knew I needed food..right?  Without a clue of what I really needed, I crammed all my stuff into the car and strapped my twin mattress to the roof (with my mom standing there in shock).  I thought it would be more rock & roll to put my box spring on milk crates rather than lug my bed frame the whole 7 miles across town.  Off I went!

I moved all of my stuff in and set up my room.  I was so pumped and excited about all of the fun my BFF and I were going to have living in our own house!  Then she was like, so where's your kitchen stuff?  And I was like..uhh..what?  Apparently she thought I was going to be bringing a set of dishes, pots and pans, and so forth.  Oh geez.  We lived on instant meals for months, until we built up our dish collection and were able to make semi-real food. 

Three months into living on my own I was so sick.  Sick of the stress of having to make sure I had enough hours at work, sick of my roommate, sick of not being able to have my own food without someone eating it before I got home from work, sick of lame parties (seriously, we didn't even know how to party..it was us and like two neighbors drinking boones wine and watching Shawn of the dead).  I was sick from eating poorly, not sleeping, worrying, and from missing HOME.  

No one ever tells you that when you move out it takes more than just having your own bed to make it feel like HOME.

It took months and months before I got into a rhythm and figured out how to function.  Funny because FUNctioning doesn't always mean FUN.  I had to learn that the hard way.  

But I made it!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Taking summer by the balls

All at once or nothing at all.

I am thinking that my mantra for this year (simplify) might be some sort of joke I'm playing on myself.

The summer has coasted by like it always does and before I know it, it's August and we're thinking about back to school.  When August gets here, we're all in a frenzy to squeeze out every last drop of summer before schedules get crazy and the weather starts to suck (here in Portland, it's all about the RAIN).  

This year our second child starts kindergarten.

So I thought it would be great for her to be enrolled in the kindergarten readiness program at her school.  She gets to meet her teacher, get to know her new class mates, and starts learning about classroom stuff.  It's four days a week for the whole month of August..pretty fun for her!

Apparently I didn't check the requirements because it requires a parent/guardian to attend a PTO type group with the other kinder parents TWICE a freakin' week for 3 freakin' hours!

I couldn't back out.  Cadence was so excited about 'summer school' that she had been counting down the minutes.  So we're in.  It's all or nothin' baby!

On top of our crazy life in general, I recently started a prelicense course to obtain my Real Estate Broker license.  Which I work on in the evenings, you know my "spare time". 

So I am taking on these new changes and trying to roll with the punches.  

By September I will have a kindergartner that will be all ready to go when school starts, and I will be well on my way to becoming a licensed Real Estate Broker!  

That's what I call taking summer by the balls and.. or is it horns?  Well anyway, you get what I mean!


Monday, July 7, 2014

10 ways to cool off on a hot day..because it's hot outside.

This week I am here with another awesome writing prompt from the writer's workshop with Kat from:

Mama’s Losin’ It

"My list of ten ways to cool off on a hot day"

I picked this prompt because I KNOW how to cool off.  We don't have AC and it sucks!
Well, okay I lied, we have a portable AC in the master bedroom which we have yet to hook up..I left my motivation back in the 70- degree weather.

With kids you HAVE to figure out how to cool off.  For starters we close the blinds and turn on the fans until the sun as left the East side of the house.
After that, it's time to get creative.

We have a pool of course, it's a whopping 12" deep and about 10' in diameter.
So #1.) Get your feet into the pool.  The kids will do the rest, and you'll be soaked in about 5 minutes.

Also, we have a variety of sprinklers.  I personally am not a fan of the sprinkler because I'm always scared of the element of surprise they have...sneaky little things.
So #2.) Turn on the sprinklers, they will keep your kids cool and active for about ten minutes.

One thing I have gotten real good at is freezing things.  If it's sweet, juicy, and won't separate when thawed, you better believe I've froze it.
So #3.) Get your hands on some yogurt, juice pouches, watermelon slices, berries, or pudding and FREEZE it!  It's a hit with both children and adults.

On days that are especially warm, I head towards public AC.
So #4.) Get everyone in the car and head to Target.  You'll be cool and free of sweat stains for the whole 45 minutes you're wandering the aisles and checking out the clearance racks.  

They say that cooling off your pulse points works, and you know what.. 
they're right!
So #5.) Grab some ice, a glass of cold water, your iced tea, or your Slurpee and place it on the inside of your wrists, on the inside of your bicep/forearm, and on the back of your neck.  Now that's relief!

Stay hydrated, it will help keep your body from overheating.
So #6.) As much as I hate to say it, save the sangria for later.  Keeping hydrated with cold drinks that don't contain alcohol or a lot of sugar will help you stay cool in the end.

Break out the hot pants!
No one is convinced that your not overheating when your wearing skinny jeans and a t-shirt in 90 degree weather, you're not fooling anyone.
So #7.) Get your ass into some shorts.  Nobody cares what your legs look like, they don't have to be booty shorts, just put on some damn shorts!  (skirts will do also..)
Once you've got the shorts on, get the tank top on too.  Trust me...your pits will thank you!

Stop wearing leather boots / booties in the summer, this isn't coachella.
Your feet need to breathe and as soon as you let them breathe your body will cool down too.
So #8.) It does not always have to be fashion over function.  You can be just as cute wearing some sandals or even a pair of slip on flats or toms.  Just like #7, you aren't fooling anyone, we all know you're feet are sweating like pigs in those boots.  Break out the cool shoes.

Without AC you will definitely be sleeping with the fan on and the window open while crossing your fingers that it cools down and that no giant spiders come inside..(maybe that's just me).
So #9.) Take an ice cold shower before bed.  Make it ice cold at first then once your body has cooled down, bring it to just barely room temp.  You will sleep better with a lower body temp, and your hair will be wet which will also help.

When all else fails, there's #10.) Go jump in your neighbors pool while they're at work and the pool has yet to heat up.  BOOM..that's what I call refreshing!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An experience I wish I could shake from my memory.

Hi all, I am here again joining in on the weekly writing workshop with Mama Kat.
Please check out her site and vlogging, she's hilarious!
Mama’s Losin’ It

Today I'm going to be telling you all about an experience that I wish I could shake from my memory.

The summer after my freshman year in high school I decided I wanted to get a job.  I knew that I wanted to work with animals.  On the first day of summer break I set out to apply at all the local businesses.   Before setting out, my dad sat me down and gave me a little pep talk.  He told me to "own it" and that if I was brave, honest, and kept eye contact I would have a shoe in against all the other teenagers looking for work.  Yeah, my dad's pretty awesome!

The first place I walked into was the local vet clinic just down the street from our house.  I took a big deep breath before walking in and gulped down all my fears of rejection.
Within 20 minutes I walked out of the clinic with a JOB!
I was the new kennel tech (which is a fancy way of saying shit scooper, dog bather, animal feeder, and kennel scrubber).  But hey!  It was a job and I was STOKED!

I had the crappiest shift anyone could hope for.  Split shift 7am-11am & 2pm-6pm.  I'm pretty sure it kept me out of trouble haha.

After a few months of working there I had experienced many animal deaths (I had to help with numerous euthanizations, in which the bodies were kept in bags in the back room til the cremator guy picked them up), and all kinds of horrific scenes with injured animals.  I was already contemplating quitting because half the time I broke down in tears on my walk home.  I just wanted to save all the animals.

On one bright hot morning in August I walked to work like usual.  I opened shop and started walking the dogs, rotating animals to clean kennels and cages, and feeding.  I walked into the back room to get the specialty foods (for the fancy pets that had their own special foods).  The light was on the back wall of the room which was like a long hallway lined with kennels on each side (think set of creepy horror movie..).

Being 15 and scared of many things..I usually swung the door open as wide as I could to cast as much light into the room while bolting down the hall at the speed of lightning to get to the light switch before the door shut and left me in the darkness of the creepy kennel room.

So there I am, opening the door to the kennel room to get the food.
I swung the door open nice and wide, I leap and start running down the hallway, the door slowly closing behind me..
When all of a sudden I TRIP.  I tripped and fell on something in the middle of the floor.

(Have you ever seen that one scene in the movie Sunshine Cleaning where the girl falls on the gross mattress and jumps up just as fast as she fell?  Well..that was me in this moment!)

I jump up and clamber my way to the light switch.
I flip the switch and spin around to see what tripped me, and what it was that I fell on top of.
Immediately I gasped and covered my face. 

It was a large..VERY LARGE thick black bag in the middle of the floor.  The content was a large (150+lb) dog.  A dog which I had been caring for, I had aided in his xrays, his medication, his general care while he was on the mend from some sort of sickness.
Well, the dog had died the night before and was too big for the doctor and assistant to put up on the table where the other deceased animals were usually laid (for the cremator guy).

I put all the animals in their clean kennels, fed and watered them, and got the hell out of there.  I left a note saying something along the lines of "THANKS A LOT FOR LEAVING ME A FREAKIN' NOTE TO TELL ME TO WATCH OUT FOR THE GIANT DEAD DOG IN THE HALLWAY (which I tripped over)!  HERE'S A NOTE FOR YOU: I QUIT!" 

I cried and laid in bed the rest of the day.  I was sure it was the worst day I'd ever experience (oh, 15 year olds are so dramatic!).
The next day my parents made me go in person to collect my check and apologize for my abrupt notice.  Pfff!

THAT is one experience I would love to shake from my memory.  :)

DIY yogurt & berry popsicles!

Summer's here!  That means sweaty little kids running around the house.
Luckily we have plenty of outdoor water "things" for them to do, but when it comes to snack time you just need something cool.

This week we brought out the popsicle molds (got mine at Ikea) and dove right in making our own fruit and yogurt popsicles!

Any regular yogurt (flavor of your choice) will do.

I used fresh strawberries and blue berries for the add ins.

I divided the ingredients for my kids, because I knew there would be a fruit and yogurt blowout if they had to share out of one container.

Hattie decided she wanted to eat most of her ingredients first..

Once the molds were full..I popped them into the freezer for a few hours.  That's why the kids are in their pajamas..we made them in the morning so that they could eat them after lunch.

Test them after a few hours, if the stick slides out just put them back in the freezer for a while.
They turned out awesome and the kids LOVED them!
YAY for healthy frozen summer treats!

What are your favorite summer time snacks?

Monday, June 30, 2014

DIY nail polish rack!

Those of you who know me, know that I like nail polish.  A lot.
I enjoy the bright colors, the pastels, the metallics, and sometimes even the glitter polishes.
About once a year I go through all my polish and toss the ones that have gone bad or the shades that I don't wear.  Even with the purging, my collection has grown to a point that I get annoyed sifting through them in the Rubbermaid that I used as storage.

I wanted a way to store the polishes so that I could actually SEE them.  
I thought that if I had them all set up it would make it easier to find the shades I want and to avoid buying doubles.

I found a plain wood shadow box type thing at Craft Warehouse for $7!  It's supposed to be a shadow box or organizer of sorts.  

(This is where I failed to take a before picture womp womp!)

After two coats of black paint and some gold antiquing in the individual boxes I had the nail polish rack I was looking for!

The only bummer was that each row of boxes is slightly different in size.  So the taller bottles had to be put in the bigger boxes, which meant I couldn't organize by color like I wanted to.

All in all I am super happy with my new polish rack.
Now it's all neatly displayed and I can see what I've got.

DIY projects don't have to be complicated!  Just have fun and make something!
What is your current DIY project?

Friday, June 27, 2014

First day of SUMMER!

This week I am joining the (pretty much world famous) Mama Kat's writer's workshop
Mama’s Losin’ It
Before I dive into this post, let me tell you a bit about this woman..  She's hilarious.  I started following her on YouTube and have laughed myself to tears more times than I can count.  

So, after finding that she also has a regular blog (where she does a writers workshop), I knew I was hooked.

The prompt I chose for this weeks post is How did you spend the first day of summer?

Usually the first day of summer includes a kiddie pool full of squealing children, soggy lawns, popsicles dripping all over the deck, scraped knees, and meltdowns.  Having three little girls, this is pretty much par for a summer day around here.  

Except, this year Eric and I decided we wanted a break.  With the help of friends and family, we were able to get away for a whole weekend!  We decided to check out eastern Oregon because we'd never been before.  Plus, the chances of it being sunny were about 200x more likely than they would be if we were to go to the coast (the beautifully damp Oregon coast..).

We hit the road mid afternoon, excited to break free for a few days.  

Let me tell ya.. we were in a daze at first.  There were no little girls in the backseat whining that they were "cold" because the windows were down (doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees outside, they'd still be cold), no one needed to pee, no one had lost their toy out the window, no one was asking to listen to Taylor Swift.  We weren't going to take this moment for granted!

We stayed at a sweet hotel that served booze in the evening...take note hotels everywhere...serving free booze helps!  Oh, and so does an in room Jacuzzi.

Pendleton Oregon, is a very very quiet town.  Actually, I'm pretty sure they're still talking about us.

The first day of summer was spent wandering little shops, checking out the hat maker shop, the woolen mill, the old buildings, and of course the brewery.

The weather could not have been better.  Warm, dry, breezy..oh hell yeah.
As for Pendleton Oregon, well it was what it was 
(quiet cowboy/old white folk town with overpriced antique shops). 

The best part was spending the first day of summer with my babe, relaxing and just being us.