Friday, December 30, 2011

One Year Later ...

I know this is silly, but I just had to write a new post after a year of silence. Looking back at my history, I've been blogging since 2005, and that's a long time. Most recently, I've been blogging at my new home organizational blog, Behind Closed Drawers. I can't believe I waited an entire year to write that here!

Friday, November 12, 2010

From Apartment Therapy: How to Hang Artwork

This is something I've never heard before in all my time researching home decorating! Great stuff. 57" is now my new standard.And for the record, I read Apartment Therapy almost daily. It is full of wonderful inspiration!


http://vimeo.com/16721085

Monday, November 08, 2010

How to Throw an Open House Party for Dirt Cheap!

I know I haven't blogged a lot. Heck, I've hardly blogged at all. There is good reason (there always is, right?), and that reason is I have been, sometimes literally, neck deep in sorting through the last bits of our boxes from the move in time to throw a bash.

It was our first official party in our home. Friends and family made the trek out to Bellevue to meet the new digs and say hi to the attention hog of a pup. On top of everything else, Daniel's birthday was the next day. I got him a lab coat and goggles that he wore the remainder of the evening (gift success!) and surprised him even more by topping that by taking him out with a bunch of friends to play laser tag in downtown Nashville.

Sure, the picture frames weren't, well, filled with pictures. And the stack of papers (the last bastion of unsorted-ness) was shoved into a plastic tote and stashed out of sight in a closet. And we were left with half a birthday cake and a ton of brownies to consume ... but I loved having everyone over and planning it out. I didn't like the 2am night-before bake-a-thon so much. But that's another story.

Bottom line: my husband enjoyed his sort-of-surprise party, and I enjoyed planning it. I enjoyed making do with breakfast foods and leftovers while he was on a business trip the week before so I could spend our grocery budget on yummy edibles. I enjoyed coming up with the look and theme and scoring some 50% flowers at the grocery store the morning of and making $6.99 of carnations, daisies, roses, etc. spread across a multitude of mason jars. Which, I should proudly point out, were re-used for the THIRD time since I got them for our romantic dinner last year that ended up with us being engaged only an hour or two later. (The second time was at our wedding.)

I love a good deal.

Even better yet was some of the art I did manage to set up pre-party. Namely, a pencil imitation of a Master that my grandfather made in the 80's, alongside a trio of art mannequins we already owned. Unity through repetition. See? I did learn something in college! Or the $1 clearance kitty dish mat (i.e. Modern Art) that I measured out and cut to fit an un-fittable frame! Or the dirt-cheap ready-to-be-thrown-out map of Nashville that just happened to have my bathroom colors on it and was trimmed and framed in one of my Craigslist-find frames!

I'll have to post some pictures. It's all very exciting.

And so is the direction I'm going with what I hope will be a new blog. Yes, you read that right. A new blog. After five years of Ruby Red ... I'm thinking of moving on, and this post is a hint what direction I will be heading. I'm so excited!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Life: A Random Blog About My Weekend

 HEALTH & EXERCISE
I ran for 25 minutes straight on Sunday and it felt glorious. I was pouring sweat (thank goodness for my new sweat-wicking top and the hand towel I brought with me to the gym!), but it was a huge achievement to do something I have NEVER done in my ENTIRE life. At 30, I'm now capable of doing something I didn't do when I was 12. Pretty stinkin' amazing if you ask me. Apparently, 4.2 on the treadmill is my stride/tempo. Usually, either my lungs or my legs give out around 10 minutes, but this time both worked just fine and I ignored the little voice in my head that wanted to stop for a while and walk instead. I ignored the fatigue in my legs and worked on improving my upper form. Something about pumping my arms and standing straighter helps ... maybe a physical therapist or personal trainer could tell me why, but for now I'm glad to just know I CAN DO IT. I have two weeks left in the Couch-to-5k program, and just over two weeks until my first 5k in the Germantown neighborhood of Nashville. I hope my husband will be able to finish strong, too. A nasty cold or allergies or both has had him pretty run down this past weekend. Hope I don't come down with it!

In addition to running, I've started adding weight training and some cross-training type aerobic exercises on my "off" running days. Looking forward to feeling strong enough to try a Zumba or step class to shake things up, and also some yoga and Pilates to keep me lean and flexible. I'm so looking forward to reclaiming my real size me ... hopefully by this time next year I will be strong, and lean, and healthy, and full of life! (And fitting into clothing that I love, instead of trying to find something that fits? I hope!)

FRIENDS & HEALTHY LIVING

I have several friends who are right there alongside me in the journey to better health. It's wonderful to hear their good news and work through the challenges together. I look forward to being next to them at the upcoming 5k!

FRIENDS & WEDDINGS
One of my best friends came home with a sparkly addition to her left hand. Yay! Another pretty wedding to look forward to next year! October brings the close to this year's wedding season for my group of friends. Very excited about attending the upcoming outdoor fall wedding in a couple of weeks (same day as the 5k, actually) to watch a wonderful couple unite in marriage in the same area of the park in which my own husband and I got engaged last year.

FAMILY & FRIENDS & BABIES
Before you jump to conclusions ... No, not us. Trust me. When it's our news, you'll hear about it!  I just have many people I know and love (or people they know and love) who will be welcoming little ones into their lives within the next year. It is so wonderful to hear their great news! I can't wait to meet these precious new persons who are coming to a home near you in Fall 2010 and Winter/Spring 2011.

HOME
My home is my palace. I love, love, love our little condo. It's a townhouse and I am enjoying every minute of fixing it up and making it ours. Our landlord is great and the location is great, and even the neighbors are great (and quiet!). All in all, a pretty sweet deal. We're 15-20 minutes from almost every amazing Nashville neighborhood, including downtown, Hillsboro Village, West End, Green Hills, The Gulch, 12 South, and Belle Meade, and only 30 minutes from Brentwood/Franklin. The only location downside is we are a sad 50 minutes from my friends in Murfreesboro, and at least 1 1/2 hours from any family. *pout* :-( I miss them.

I've chosen paint, and scoured Craiglist to claim some amazing finds. My latest? 65 pictures frames of many different sizes, some with mats, and some brand new, for only ... drum roll please ... $30. That's .50 cents a piece. .50 cents. You can't even get a decent frame at Goodwill for that much. SCORE.

Slowly, the house is shaping into our home. I worked on unpacking and sorting in the craft room yesterday, and I'm looking forward to getting rid of the last 10-12 boxes that reside against the far wall of our dining room. I also look forward to hanging art and photos in my "new" picture frames ... and then inviting our friends to an open house near the end of October.

I enjoy setting up house. I love nesting. Which reminds me ... I also love marriage.

LOVE & MARRIAGE
I don't brag on my husband nearly enough on this little blog. Daniel, if you're reading this ... you're my world. I love you. Thanks for putting up with my quirks and anxieties and strong opinions on decorating and whether or not to iron a shirt (or choice in movies!), and for being my biggest fan and encourager during my weight-loss and health-gain journey. You're the best.

GOD
Through the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the here and there of life, one thing has been constant: God's presence and control. It is so amazing to know that He is over all that is this life of mine. Even when I feel like things are spiraling out my control, they are never out of His. I stand amazed. And humbled.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baking

Maybe it's the fall, but I got the urge to start baking again, and experimenting with foods and goodies. One of these days I may even take on the ultimate dream--make gorgeous cupcakes, candies, and oh-my-word-so-tasty caramels.

We'll see.

For now, I tried this recipe (my modifcation: slightly less salt, add 1/2 tsp. baking powder) from the lovely lady of Spork or Foon, who in turn modified it from Maple N Cornbread's recipe.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Smuckers Peanut Butter Packets are Evil!


256 calories per pop. Yes, EACH.

That's just disgusting. There went my calorie budget for today. And here I was hoping to have a nice dinner out without more than a little portion control. So much for that.

What, I ask, adds the extra 50-100 calories in the Smuckers name, when my calorie counter (which I used too late, alas) tells me any other peanut butter is about 100 calories per tablespoon--quite a few, to be sure, but still much better than 256 calories!

You have some explaining to do, J.M. Smucker Company. ESPECIALLY since your Jiffy brand is a lot less caloric!

*facepalm*

Monday, August 30, 2010

Modern-day Idolatry

Ever bowed down and worshiped an idol? Ever exalted a piece of wood or stone to god status? Ever sacrificed a belonging of personal value, or given of your time, or chanted prayers to it?

Neither have I.

But this morning, I looked directly in the face of an idol and it stared back with gray-blue eyes that looked an awful lot like mine. I groomed my idol carefully and offered it food and coffee. I took my idol to work and paid more attention to it than my job at times. I took my idol home and took care of its needs before my household chores, my husband, or my Bible. I placed it in an elevated position in my priority list, right next to my other idols of Entertainment and Laziness.

God, please forgive my Self-Centeredness.