Sunday, May 29, 2011

101: Workin' On It...

There are several items listed in my 101 in 1001 goal list that are multi-parted or they are completed but I haven't shared with you just yet. Instead of leaving these until 2013 to talk about (because knowing me and my memory, I won't remember the first parts enough to be able to prove to you that I completed them) I am going to update some of them here. Plus, it makes me feel like I have somewhat accomplished some of this massive goal list. Whose idea was it to make these silly goals anyways?

This is a long one...so you may want to tell your kids to leave you alone for a while and let you read this...this is way more interesting than your kids anyways, right?

_________________________________________________________________________

First, I highly underestimated the number of pictures I take. Number 4 on the list is this: Take 1001 pictures in 1001 days. Turns out I only needed 83 of those days to complete this goal. In my defense, I had to add some easy goals in there because there are some really daunting ones in the list too. For example, number 23: Spend an entire day without turning on the computer/no internet. Virtually impossible....I've tried. I am going to try to accomplish this one one day on vacation. It's gonna be tough.

Regardless, here is the lucky picture #1001. My Daddy working on our Christmas craft in his workshop on craft night. What a good Daddy he is!

063

_________________________________________________________________________

Number 1 on the list is gonna be another toughy: Read 101 books in 1001 days. Now, if I had kept up with the original pace, this would mean I would need to finish 1 book each 9.91 days. It didn't seem too daunting at the time.

Given that calculation, I should have read 25.8 books by now. I have attempted 15 books, and only completed 13. Gulp.

Here's the list so far. My new revised pace for book reading in order to finish in time is 8.4 days/book. Gulp again. I may have to start counting 'The Cat in the Hat' and other books I'll be reading to little Charley.
Kathryn_Stockett_The_Help_book
My favorite of the 13 so far!

1. Heart of the Matter - Emily Giffin
2. Lucky - Alice Sebold
3. Remember Me - Sophie Kinsella
4. Handle With Care - Jodi Picoult
Eay, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert [just could NOT finish it}
Broken - Karen Slaughter (had to return it to the library before I could finish it)
5. Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
6. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan - Sophie Kinsella
7. Shopaholic Ties The Knot - Sophie Kinsella
8. Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
9. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
10. Happily Ever After - Nora Roberts
11. A Secret Kept - Tatiana de Rosnay
12. Girls in Trucks - Katie Crouch
13. Men and Dogs - Katie Crouch
_________________________________________________________________________

Number 10 on the list is this: Eat at 10 local restaurants I've never eaten at before. Should be relatively difficult since 1) John and I rarely eat out and 2) when we do we go back to our favorite Mexican restaurant every single time. It's taken a little convincing, but I have ventured out to 5 different places so far. Hey! That's halfway complete...wahoo!

photo 42
Here would be an appropriate place to give you a picture of my food from one of these restaurants. Instead, you are getting a picture of a receipt.
My list of restaurants and what I ate there so far is this:
  1. Red Rocks - Ben Bourne's Buffalo Calamari, Cassi Smith's Petite Filet
  2. Mama Ricotta's - Pollo Romano
  3. Cantina 1511 - Queso Fundido, Enchiladas de Dennis
  4. Bricktops - Homemade Guacamole, Steak Frites
  5. Roosters - Salami and Cheese Wood-fired Pizza
If you are in Charlotte...I'd recommend any of these! So far we're 5/5, but my favorite was probably Bricktop's. That guacamole was mmmmm, mmmmmmm good.
_________________________________________________________________________

Speaking of guacamole, it has helped me complete a piece of number 7: Try 10 new foods. Tried it, loved it, and it's on my list of yummy foods for good.

Ironically enough, it's the ONLY food I think I've tried so far, so I'm 1 for 10. But give me time...this one is a toughy for a picky eater like me!
guacamole

_________________________________________________________________________

Number 52: Upgrade to the latest iPhone...check! iPhone 4 is in my possession, and there is a big possibility that I may upgrade to the iPhone 5 before my 2 year contract is up. Gasp!
111

Turns out, iPhones are a lot like Honda cars. They hold their value really well. When my 2 year contract was up, I used my discount to purchase the iPhone 4 for $200. Then, I listed my old iPhone 3 (that's 2 models back, for you non-iPhoners) on Craigslist for $175. It was sold in about 20 minutes. Shoot...I should have listed it for more.

So, seeing as how I basically upgraded for free, I should easily be able to sell this iPhone the same way when the next one comes out, and my out of pocket should be less than an "upgrade" price anyways.

Mark my words: buy Hondas and iPhones if you don't wanna lose your stuff's value!
_________________________________________________________________________

Next, number 70: Try 5 new cupcake recipes out of my “Cupcakes! From The Cake Mix Doctor” book.

I've tried two new recipes so far from this book. I hate to say that although they were good, they do not compare to the Red Velvet cupcakes that were the first ones I made from the book. But, is there really such a thing as a bad cupcake?

The first ones I made were called Halloween Spider Cupcakes and they went like this:

2010-10-31

The next ones I made with my nieces Lindsay and Lori. We always bake when they come over, so this time we made Chocolate Cream Cheese cupcakes and it went something like this:
2011-05-21
Cracking the eggs is their favorite part.

They did come out yummy, but had a ganache "frosting" instead of a thick, sugary, sweet frosting and I think that's what I would have preferred. But we had no problem eating them anyways...even though I was out of milk!

_________________________________________________________________________

Number 74: Get new [matching] kitchen appliances. Check! We are still in the midst of redoing our kitchen, and so I'll talk more about it all when it's all finished and shareable, but you can now rest easy because instead of 4 kitchen appliances in 3 different colors, we now have 4 appliances in one, uniform color.
2011-05-29
Maybe I'll even take un-crappy pictures when I share the entire kitchen face lift with you!
_________________________________________________________________________

I think that brings my list up to date. Have you made a goal list yourself? How are you doing on it?
.
.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WWW. We go Way Way back.

Some people find it strange that the internet plays such a big part in my life. But they don't understand the internet like I do. (I've got your back, internet!) He and I go way back. I basically have been BFFs with the internet since 1996ish. And before that I was all over Mr. Computer too. Lemme tell you a story.

Mr. Computer and I were introduced in 6th grade. Well, I lie. I had been using computers in school since 1st grade, but I think anything before Windows doesn't count. Let's be serious. So, when Windows made it's way to my classroom in 6th grade, our teacher thought it was important to begin getting us acquainted with using a mouse and using Windows. Since my last name was at the very beginning of the alphabet, I was in the first foursome of students that got to try it out. (This was lucky for me because she never continued on with the rest of the class!) Our lesson that day was to open up Microsoft Paint and write our names on the screen using a mouse! Oh, teach! You expect so much from us! Anyways, this is when my love affair began even though I'm sure my first assignment looked something like this:
paintname
but worse, I'm sure.
From there, Santa brought us a home PC soon thereafter and I spent several years playing Solitaire and other software games that came with the PC. (Yes, came WITH it! Crazy, right?)

But one cold, December night in 1996, my best friend and I had had enough phone chatting. We needed more social interaction and we knew just the way to get it. We promptly hung up the phone and ran to ask our parent's permission.

aol-cd

We'd only been getting the AOL CDs in the mail and with the newspaper every week for months on end. We figured it was time to see what this was all about. Both sets of parents willingly gave out permission and credit cards and we were set to go. I haven't been without it since.

The first few years of our relationship I'd categorize as "The Chat Years." The sole purpose of using the internet was to instant message my friends, chat in random chat rooms, and listen for that lovely, "You've Got Mail" sound each time I logged on. Getting kicked off was commonplace. In the summers I'd stay up really late chatting with my friends for hours because this was the only time that it didn't matter if I tied up our only phone line. There was also an occasional game thrown in, such as Slinko. Remember that one?

After I turned 18, I entered the next phase of my internetting. I'll call this phase as the "Barely Legal" years. You can use your imagination to figure out what I did for those years. The introduction of the webcam was a major turning point here.

webcam

JUST JOKES! (Mama, please sit down and let your face return to its natural color.)

Anyways, where were we? Ah yes, let's continue....

The next few years we'll call "The Research Years". I was in college and was really beginning to see just how much information the WWW had to offer me. Very factual information of course. This was clearly before the internet became flooded with misinformation. You could quote any random website in your bibliography for your paper and it was considered a fact. No questions asked. Towards the end of college they began requesting information only be taken from scholarly digital libraries and such. Such party poopers. Because I know it says right here that the world is going to end in a few hours and I believe it because I believe everything I read on the internet.

I became the fact-looker-upper for my family. They all knew that I could get them whatever information they needed, so they'd just make a mental list of whatever they needed to know and give it to me to figure out for them. I still have this role with my parents and I love being able to help!

Which brings us to today's era. "The Look-At-Me, Look-At-Me, My Entire Life is Playing Out on the Internet For You to See, and I'd Love It If You'd Give Me Some Attention Please" phase. This one is so right up my alley that I don't know if I'll ever outgrow it.

social-networks44142o

We started with MySpace (because we were out of college and you had to have a college email address to get a Facebook). Then came blogs. Message Boards. Online Gaming. And finally when Facebook revised their joining requirements, came Facebook - the godfather to all social networking. There are picture sharing sites, and tweet-sharing sites (I'm not really on board with that one.) Consumer reviews out the wazoo. And people sitting at their desks on a beautiful Saturday afternoon blogging instead of out enjoying the weather. Oh, maybe that last one is just me.

But regardless, I belong here. Each piece of feedback I receive, whether in person or online, fills my social-networking-loving heart up that much more. I may like some of my online buddies more than some of my own siblings! (There's 3 of them, and they'll each think it's not them that I'm referring to so I'll be safe by telling you that!)

Regardless, I'm glad we met, me and the WWW. He completes my life in a way that only he can. I mean, who else can suck so much life out of me on a daily basis? The WWW on my phone on the commute. The WWW on the computer during the workday. The phone on the commute home. The computer once I get home. And then one last check of the phone once I'm in bed. And who couldn't love something like that?

009
10 Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what website I'm on!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

lurker

As you know, I read a crap load of other blogs. They interest me in a way that newspapers and magazines can't. It's very similar to my reality TV addiction...I am physically incapable of watching anything besides reality TV anymore, and I guess it's bled over to my internet reading as well. I'd rather read real, live stories than biased, alarmist stories in newspapers or magazines. But don't worry about me too much yet -- I am still an avid fiction book reader and I still enjoy movies. I haven't completely given up on fiction!

With that said, I read a blog post today that I am going to politely copy. I don't have nearly as many readers as her, but I think there are more lurkers out there than I realize and I think it will be a fun experiment. If it's sounds boring to you, then just humor me and do it anyways!

I wanna know who you are. I actually really know the majority of you since I have a lot of friends and family that read and since I share every post on Facebook, but there are others that stumbled over here from other blogs or websites, and I am equally interested in hearing from you all! I don't care if I've known you for all 29 of my years....comment! My memory is failing these days and I'd hate to all of a sudden forget about you! ;)

With all that said, leave me a comment and tell me about yourself!
  • Who are you? 
  • Where are you from?
  • Tell me about your family (do you have kids, are you pregnant, trying to get pregnant, etc.)
  • How did you come across my blog?
  • How long have you been reading?
  • Is there anything you'd like to see more or less of in my blog?
I honestly can't wait to read your responses and maybe add quite a few more blogs to my reading list!
025
Tuna says, "Purrrrrease comment!"
.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

iPhone Antics: V

I, II, III, IV

For those of you not bilingual in Roman such as myself (as in Roman Numerals), this is iPhone Antics 5. You're welcome.

These are random pictures taken with my iPhone that I can't bear to delete, but they are not facebook share-worthy. So they get dumped here especially for you!

Let's start with some pictures from work...

First, this was a present I left on coworker Patrick's desk a couple months ago. Each month, I am responsible for getting certain reports to him for another report he puts together and I was feeling extra gifty this month. I normally walk them over to him or just hand them over the top of our in-between cubey wall, but this day I made my reports into a little present for him. There wasn't any ribbon in our supply cabinet (I know - shocking!) so I cut a strip off of the side of my paper roll that goes in my adding calculator and colored it blue. It was a particularly busy day, I'm sure.

photo 1

One day John sent me a picture message of the amount of work stacked up on his desk that he had to do. Apparently the message was that he was very busy.

photo 23

So I replied with a stack of paper work that was sitting on my desk:
photo 4
Okay so that was my pile of paper to be shred and not work, but same difference right?
I win.

I am lacking a good full length mirror in my house, mainly because there isn't really a good place to put one. So, I may or may not spend a lot of time in the workplace bathroom checking myself out and documenting my growing bump since there is such excellent mirrorage in there.

My Pictures8
I would be so embarrassed if someone walked in during my photo shoot or if a coworker secretly reads this!

Enough about work. Let's move on to food, er, junk food.

I was so thrilled before Easter when I found these cute little bags of Cadbury eggs at Target. I loved the fact that I didn't have to buy a huge bag (and therefore eat a huge bag) of them. But, when I go to Target at least 3 times a week and get a mini bag each visit, would I have been better off just buying the big bag to begin with? 
photo 11
I got a little anxious/excited while ripping into this bag.
I've mentioned my inability to cook here before. But, this shows the extent of my issues. I can't even properly toast a Pop-Tart.
photo 32
I still ate it - burnt or not, a Pop Tart can NOT go to waste!
A few weeks ago we went to a garage sale where the homeowner was a girl scout troop leader and had some leftover girl scout cookies for sale. I bought a box of tagalongs and ate 3 soon thereafter. I also shared 3 with my nieces and my sister, for a total of 6 cookies consumed. There are 15 cookies in a box. After getting home with the box, I set it down to share some with John as well. For someone who "doesn't like sweets" I was not expecting to see this when I returned to the box an hour and a half later.

photo 52
That equals 9 cookies consumed in 90 minutes.

And now some randoms...

I got this as a text from John with the message "Bunk beds." Pretty appropriate I'd say.

photo 13


This was from this past weekend when I went to the Strawberry Festival with my sister Joy and my nieces. Ironically they sold out of strawberries before we could buy any, but I did manage to knock item #88 off of my 101 List: Go to a festival of some sort that I haven’t been to before. Check!

photo 31
 

Each spring my Mama's ferns become the home to baby birds, and this weekend we saw the babies for the first time this year. Awww! (And to think, my Mama complained that these sweet babies would soon be pooping on her car due to the proximity of the ferns to her car. Can you believe she'd say such a thing about these babies!?)
New Image


And finally, this one was from my recent trip to the beach with my family. My dear mother should probably go to the optometrist and get her prescription checked soon.  

photo 5

What did we do before camera phones? We certainly didn't have gems such as these! Until the next time...
.
.

Friday, May 6, 2011

On Becoming A Daddy

Not me of course, because I'm more in the market for becoming a mommy, but for John who is slowly becoming a Daddy.

When a woman first discovers she is pregnant, Mommyhood begins. There are thoughts of superficial things like how you want to dress your baby and then super serious thoughts about how you want to raise your child...although you don't have to tell me that many of my "now" ideas will change when it comes down to it. Regardless, it's instantaneous for a woman.

But, in my (very) limited experience, it's not the same for a man. When he finds out he's going to be a Daddy, it means just that. He's GOING to be a Daddy, but not just yet. He has a good 8 months before he has to put that hat on. When his wife tries to talk to him about their baby, he can't focus yet. It hasn't really become a reality yet.

But slowly, as ultrasound appointments are attended, name suggestions are thrown around, and the house starts to fill with baby stuff, Daddy starts becoming a Daddy. But you'll have to catch him in the act because he'll hide it from you otherwise.

So when I brought home the stroller and diaper bag from the garage sale last weekend, I thought I could see the Daddyhood light shining a little bit brighter as he took the stroller for a spin around the downstairs. And later when I was upstairs and he was downstairs, when I heard the loud rip of the Velcro opening I knew he was checking out the diaper bag. But, I just smiled to myself and didn't say a word.

At some point this week though, it changed. No longer was he admiring the baby stuff behind my back. He was ready to show it off to the world. He WAS a Daddy whether he could hold her or feel her yet or not. When he walked outside while I was on the phone yesterday in plain view of any and all neighbors, I knew he had officially crossed over.

john+tuna


He's ready. Tuna, maybe not so much.
.
.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Being Cheaptastic

As you know, my family and I are into 2 things: 1) saving money and 2) garage sales. Ironically these things go hand in hand so I don't have to prioritize these items. I am allowed to shop until I drop at garage sales because that just means I get the shopping bug out of my system AND get things we need or want for cheap! It's a win-win!

(What's not so win-win is the early start time to garage sales, but the thrill of getting a really great deal makes the afternoon nap you'll need so worth it!)

Turns out I'm going to be needing quite a few new items for this baby. As luck would have it, baby items are quite easy to find at garage sales and are usually in excellent condition because babies only use things for short time periods themselves. So, I have a pretty lengthy list of items I'm in the market for this year. And garage sales have not been disappointing.

Here are some of the best deals I've gotten so far this spring.

Before I knew the sex of Charley, I was skeptical to buy anything yet. But, one Saturday morning, I came across a bebePOD seat in green that I couldn't pass up. It was still in the box and included  the tray and tray covers, and was only missing the attachable toy. When I saw the price tag for $5, I was sold!
057
$60 at Babies R Us. I paid $5. 92% off
All things I've bought this year aren't for baby, like this item. I, Lacey Lastname, have never owned or used a toaster oven. We didn't even register for one before our wedding because I am still unsure of their use. But apparently they are easier and quicker to use than the oven in some circumstances, so I was willing to give them a try. When I came across this toaster oven which matched our other counter top appliances in brand and in color, with the nice price tag of $6, I was sold once again! The couple that sold this to me had recently combined households and were just selling things they had duplicates of. It even looks like it had barely been used. Their loss, my gain!

045
$70 at Target, I paid $6. 91% off

I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to brand name purses, clothing, etc. I do prefer one brand of purses (Elle) but I get them at Kohl's when they are on sale, plus a 30% off coupon, and usually some other deal stacked on top of that. So while I may still pay $30, I cannot fathom spending $100+ on some stupid purse.

So, when I got pregnant and started hearing other mommies talk about their designer diaper bags much like designer purses, I really had no interest. Not because I think the bags are ugly or anything, but just because I think it's a waste of money. But would I feel the same way if I found one of these designer diaper bags at a garage sale for 93% off of retail price? Of course not! Now we are in a price range I'm more than comfortable with!

So when I bought the $150 Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag for $10 on Saturday (from a VERY snooty woman, no less) and realized that when I start carrying around a designer diaper bag in a few months and people are going to start thinking I'm one of these snooty people, I did hesitate for a second. But, I'll be proud to tell them I only paid $10! In your face designer-diaper-bag-toting mommies!

041

042
$150 on average, I paid $10. 93% off
I have decided to go the Snap N Go route for my stroller for the first 6-12 months or so (however long the baby is still in the infant carrier). It's just a frame with wheels that allows for the infant carrier to snap on top and is very lightweight and folds small, which is good for me since I have a smaller car. They are pretty inexpensive as they are, selling for $75 or so which is not too bad considering other strollers' pricing.

When I found this deal on Saturday, it was too good to be true. I recognized that it was somewhat an older model since it was blue and not black like the most current models, but for this price, I can try it and if it doesn't work with newer model infant carriers then I'm really not out very much. How much you ask? Well, how does this sound?

039

I couldn't pass that up! 94% savings again! I don't know about you, but when was the last time you saw a store advertising savings that big? Um yeah, never.

037


Which brings me to my final point: When you start getting things at such a great price, you may struggle with purchasing mundane things like milk or gas at full price. What do you mean Mr. Gas Station Attendant? There is no 90% off sale on gas? But honestly, besides the necessities, I can't tell you the last time I bought clothing or shoes or anything of that nature at full price. Full price is for the suckers, I say!

So, are you a sucker or a bargain shopper? Don't worry, I like suckers too. Cherry is my favorite.
.
.

Weed(s)

I really hate that everything I have blogged about lately has had to do with being pregnant. But, I swear there are other posts sitting in 'drafts' that I have been too lazy to finish that are non-baby for you original Life of Lacey fans. They will be coming soon...promise.

This blog in particular doesn't have to do specifically with baby Charley. But, in a round about way it does.

You see, I have heard via many avenues throughout my life that weed is bad for children. There was the D.A.R.E. program in school, and then those wonderful commercials on TV and radio, and lots of other anti-weed campaigns I've witnessed.

120295835v6_480x480_Front_padToSquare-true

Now that I have my own child on the way, I figured it was about time to get rid of all weed(s) in order to be a more suitable home for Charley. It took a lot of John's time, because, well, weed(s) are addictive and it's hard to break an addiction for at least some green in the backyard every once in a while, ya know? I myself just decided to go cold turkey and let John handle it while I was away.

So, in the course of a few hours, we became weed free!

From this:
129
(I maybe forgot to take a before picture, but this is the best I could find and 100% unedited. This is the picture used over there ----> in my sidebar, but obviously not cropped and edited.)
To this:
533

2011-05-02

It looks so much better and I know John is glad to be done with weed(s). Yay for being a 100% drug free home!
.
.