Monday, March 31, 2014

Men Who Cook

Last year I got the opportunity to participate in a fundraiser for the local YWCA.
(Silly me, I didn't even realize that there was a women's version of the YMCA!)
So what better way to raise money for the ladies than to have an event where handsome men cook!?!

It was a lovely afternoon full of amazing food, delicious beer, and fun with friends... And if you follow me on Instagram, I'm sure you remember the hot dog waffle on a stick. Good golly!

So this year, Houston decided he wanted to participate and be one of the men who cook for the event!

He rocks.

So, I'm doing my part and spreading the word in an attempt to sell more tickets!

Over a dozen breweries participate, and last year Hangar 24 and Stone made appearances.  There will be plenty of food, with variations ranging from the fanciest to the most fair-food like - hence the hot dog waffle on a stick.

Here is how it works:

You purchase a $20 ticket to the event that gets you access to the party and tokens for drinks and food. Use the tokens at whatever booth you would like.  For example, last year one token at the fire department's booth got you a lobster ravioli, crab, bread, sangria, and a yummy tiramisu!

I had to make two trips because I couldn't carry everything at once.

There is a silent auction, a DJ, and the most popular event of the day: the fire man auction! Yes ladies, you heard me right, they literally auction off a fire man. And just like the scene out of Coyote Ugly, the ladies go crazy.  The highest bidder gets the gentleman for a whole day of their choice.

Last year a local Jazzercise owner won three of the fireman. Her plan? Make them come to Jazzercise! If that isn't brilliant marketing, I don't know what is.

So, won't you please participate this year? There's so many ways to get involved, and it is so great to support the YWCA! 

More information available HERE

April 12th ~ 4:30-8:00

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hooray For Today!

Friends! I can hardly believe I have finally composed 100 blog posts!

Thank you for joining me on this journey through blogging - I look forward to having a creative outlet after work and school, it this helps keep me from losing my mind, and I especially love that someone actually takes the time to read my sometimes melodramatic thoughts on life and my serious first world problems.

This blogging milestone makes me happy.

The other milestone that occurred today? Not. so. much.

Why? It is my birthday, my 30th birthday, and for various reasons I'm having a really hard time with it. This month has been really rough and I've been in a terrible mood and beyond cranky. (Sorry Houston, I love you) 

Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be alive. I'm happy I have my health and I'm excited for the things to come. But right now I feel old. Plain and simple.

So in an effort to put a positive spin on the day (that I've been dreading for a whole month now), I decided to make a fun list of 30 things I would like to do while I'm 30. -- I know most people make a list of 30 things to do before they are 30, but I was too busy soaking up every last minute of being 29 that I totally didn't do that.

1.       Use my passport!!!  It has been in a cabinet for six years!
2.       Get serious about my fitness. – Lose 15 pounds.
3.       Run/jog a 5K just for “fun”.
4.       Take a ballet class.
5.       Stay in bed for one whole day and don’t care how completely lazy it is!
6.       Take a cooking class – specifically to learn how to use knives.
7.       Have a picnic and a nap in a park on a sunny day.
8.       Go to the drive-in movie for the first time.
9.       Learn to bake a pie… from scratch!
10.   Buy some fun colored pants.
11.   Start a Bible study... and finish it.
12.   Kayaking in Long Beach.
13.   Visit the San Diego Zoo – and take my nice camera.
14.   Visit the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
15.   Go to Disneyland… because I love that place.
16.   Whale Watching!
17.   Have fun at the Santa Monica pier – I have never been there.
18.   Get a hammock for Houston’s back yard. Take a nap in said hammock.
19.   Take a photo class with Houston.
20.   Thank a U.S. Veteran for their service every time I see a hat/jacket/etc.
21.   Get more massages!
22.   Take a train ride somewhere other than the Metrolink to work.
23.   Finally learn to use my sewing machine. Take a class? YouTube?
24.   Complete a 30-day Instagram challenge.
25.   Go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market.
26.    Build a snow man (I realize I will be cutting it rather close next year, but whatever)
27.   Use my Rosetta Stone to keep up with French (since my class at RCC was an absolute bust!)
28.   Watch the entire FRIENDS series. How you doin’?
29.   Write another 100 blog posts in a year.
30.   Make a new habit by doing something for 30 days straight.  

I realize writing a blog post about the birthday I hoped most people would forget is slightly counterproductive, but I am trying to shake off the cranky attitude and embrace my new found age. I am sure the cranky will resurface the first time I have to bubble "30" in on an important document.
I am looking forward to the next year and eager to start crossing things off my list - give me a break about the list making thing... after all, it is my birthday. 

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Movin' and a Shakin'

I don't like change. It's as simple as that. I have a really hard time when things don't go as I have planned and I'm not one to roll with the punches. I have talked about how I am a planner, HERE, and how I am trying to let go of my death grip on life - I am failing miserably at it by the way .

Two years ago I started on a journey with work that would push me to the brink of exhaustion, help me meet the man of my dreams, and make me grow as an individual. 

I became a commuter. 

I had always considered my drive to work in the morning a commute, all 45 minutes of it, but when I was transferred to a different office I realized I had absolutely no concept of what real commuting was. A post about that to follow soon.

[seriously, did no one realize that was a bad number for the front of the train???]

All of that to say, I am still commuting a couple days a week and there's very little margin in my days - which is also one of the reasons why I insist on planning so much. I'm trying to squeeze as much as I can into a tiny window of time. Just ask my mom, she will tell you that I never just stop by to say hello... and she only lives 15 minutes from my place!

But here's the dilemma: either I suck it up and keep commuting 15 plus hours a week [yes 15 hours a week] or I move.

-Insert panic and complete freak out here.-

I have lived in my current apartment for 7 years. 7 years! In that time, my best friend, Leah, has moved 3 times, got married and had a baby. To put it in perspective, when I moved into my apartment the razor was the "it" phone to have, and an iPhone hadn't even been introduced to the world. Bob Barker was still hosting the Price is Right (my favorite show) and the Kardashians had not completely taken over television and caused IQ scores to plummet [why did you turn my television over to them Bob??? WHY???]. Crazy right?

I HATE the thought of moving. This little apartment is my home. My fear of moving is composed of a couple things:

I dislike change and nearly every time I've moved in the past, it has been due to something slightly traumatic.

I know where everything is in my home... moving disrupts my comfort level.  What if I need to find the pink post-it note with a bicycle on it and it is no longer in the second drawer under the crayola markers???  -- control much???

Third floor apartment.  Enough said.

I love my little place... what if I move and hate my new apartment? I will curse the day I decided to move away from my castle in the sky - have I mentioned it is on the third floor?

With all honesty, I was am a drama queen, so moving is not all that terrible, its just a big decision that I've been avoiding for quite some time... like four years avoiding. UGH.

So, I did what any good planner would do... I made a list of pros and cons.

So, is my long term comfort and SLEEP worth the discomfort of moving my small collection of belongings 45 minutes away?
I think so friends, I think so. For almost the same price a month, I can save between 7 and 10 hours commuting a week!  That is an entire workday for some people.

Pray with me and encourage me on this journey, please.  I am scared out of my mind.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Bestie's Baby Shower and Logo Gift Wrap

Two years ago, my refrigerator was covered with wedding invitations.  This year, it's baby season!!!

Yesterday, one of my besties had her baby shower for her sweet baby girl, Harper Grace.

Let me just tell you, that baby is one lucky lady. She was so blessed yesterday and the shower was beautiful! The hostesses really outdid themselves.  The decorations were beautiful and the shabby chic theme was precious. 

I knew I didn't want to wrap my shower gifts in anything super pink (since Shauna doesn't really like pink in general) and thought it would be fun to coordinate with the rustic theme of burlap and lace.

I wrapped the gifts with kraft paper and then decorated with twine and pearls. A doodle with the little lady's name (based on a Little BabyGarvin's doodle) and a flower on top.  Perfectly dainty. 

I also got a few football themed gifts and since Aaron coaches football at Norco High School, I wanted to tie that into my giftwrap as well. I have good penmanship, but I am horrible at drawing/sketching. So I had to get creative and figure out how to get the Norco logo on the present.

Originally I thought I was just going to use carbon tracing paper, but I kept forgetting to stop at Joann’s on the way home. So I improvised.  It worked pretty well, other than a couple pulls from the sharpie and mistakes on my part.

So I figured I would show you how I did it. 

I printed my logo I wanted to trace on plain white computer paper in black ink and wrapped my gift with brown Kraft paper that I purchased at Target for $4.99. I creased the edges really well and then unfolded the paper.

Then I lined up the logo sheet with the top crease (making the logo appear on the top of the box) and taped it down so it wouldn’t shift around while I was tracing. Be sure to tape it image side down so when you flip the paper over the image will be facing the right way.

Untape the box from kraft paper and place on top of your lightbox.  I’m too cheap to purchase an actual 
lightbox, so I use an old box lamp - I just have to watch that whatever I am tracing doesn’t get too hot. Trace your image and voila! Logo giftwrap! Re-wrap the box, lining up the creases and finish wrapping.  Decorate with additional embellishments if you would like!


Congratulations Keck family!  I can’t wait to meet your beautiful baby girl!

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

Easy Stenciled Gift Wrap

Monday, March 3, 2014

When Frugality Goes TOO Far

I ran out of toothpaste six days ago.  No big deal.  Just go to Target buy some more, right? Well, it doesn't work that way for me. I coupon, I penny pinch, and I account for every dime in my budget so, spending $3.50 on my favorite toothpaste was absolutely out of the question.

So, I used my travel sized Aquafresh toothpaste for ONE day, and disliked it so much I had to figure something else out.

Looks like a normal tube of toothpaste, right? 

Enter my scissors.  Not only for crafting, but also useful in helping a bad breath crisis! I cut off the end of the toothpaste tube and discovered a gold mine of minty freshness!

The amount left in the tube got me through four more days of oral hygiene until I could get the coupons clipped and get to the store.

The best part?  3-packs of Crest on clearance at Target for $5.08, plus my coupons, plus a $5 gift card when you purchase three, plus my 5% Target redcard discount means that I got NINE tubes of toothpaste for 81¢ each!  Heck yes!

The only bad news is that I will be butchering my toothpaste tube in the future to get every drop of paste and I have already moved on to new victims as well.

Someone stage a frugal intervention… Quick!

*photos copyright polkadottedbluejay* 

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