Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

Today wasn't anything out of the ordinary -- actually, it was really lousy outside, and I was really busy, so it wasn't very exciting either. There are two things though that made this day really great, aside from the yummy and healthy food with Joel, and the mini-walk with Mariella.

1) I joined a new gym! I am both excited and nervous about this. Mostly just nervous, because it's scary going to a new place and feeling judged (it's in my head and I'll get over it). Although I can't wait to start fitting into my clothes again. I've been feeling awful lately.

2) I got to meet this great artist whose work I had coincidentally been really excited about seeing last week! Stacey Rozich came down from Seattle to watch The Curious Mystery play and talk about their artwork, which she is creating for the next CD and LP. SO EXCITING. She is amazing, and it was really nice to meet her, even if it was just for a brief time. I'm excited to work with her -- I kind of wish that we could collaborate on something personal (with me photo-wise), not for work. Check this stuff out! It's SO GOOD!!!

Alright, I've got to get some stuff done so that I can go to bed in a little bit -- I am getting up when Joel gets up so that he can drop me off at the gym on the way to work at 5:35am! Think good thoughts for me!


Spending Hiatus // Week Four

I can honestly say that I didn't buy anything for myself this week! Actually, I didn't buy anything for anyone else, either. Joel bought two cute vintage shirts that he can wear for job interviews (he still has his job, but maybe for a different job or part-time job?), and to hang out in. They are adorable! And I wasn't totally free of spending . . . Joel and I had dinner out twice this week, but did a huge grocery trip to not have to go again for a while, thank goodness. I'm so over eating out. It makes me feel so lousy. This week, I'm focusing on whole foods!

As for our problems with getting our gym membership refunded, I have been told for sure this time that we will have a refund to our card by this time next week. By this time next month (actually, half way through the month), we will OFFICIALLY HAVE OUR CREDIT CARD PAID OFF. NO JOKE.

Luckily, Joel took some time to eBay an old computer of ours that didn't work anymore, and we ended up $100 richer because of it. I was paid $400 for an old shoot, and Joel put some of his paycheck towards our card, and we will have officially paid $800 towards the credit card this month. Seems like a lot. And it is! It just kept going up and down . . . but not anymore. It is going down, down, down, and with the help of one more paycheck, it will be so out of here next month! Then is the hard part of creating a real true-to-life cash budget, and sticking to it. This is a good goal, though.

We'll just plan on spending this week riding bikes and snuggling and loving on kitties.

Monday, March 29, 2010

EGYHOP dinner at Northern tonight!

{Calvin and Dirk at last month's dinner}

Tonight at Northern in Olympia is the EGYHOP (Emma Goldman Youth & Homeless Outreach Project) dinner. Once a month for the past three months, K has been cooking dinner and inviting anyone hungry to come and eat! The left-overs are then boxed up and given to the EGYHOP folks to take with them on their bike to distribute to others who might need something to eat, but just couldn't make it down. If you know someone who might need a meal, send them down! It's chili night! This happens the last Monday of every month.


New Tumblrs/Blog Look & Forks Trip!

{the only reeeaaallly cheesy picture from our trip to Forks}
I'm listening to Pandora Radio, the "Bryan White" station that I created, and it's pretty much my favorite thing on the planet. It has all of the good stuff that I love, and all I want to do is listening to country music and go to country shows, and shoot country bands. George Strait just came on to remind me of the George Strait/Reba McIntyre show that we drove by and missed yesterday, but with tickets at $120/each, it just wasn't a possibility. Bummer!

I'm actually listening to music because I'm sitting in the dark while Joel's sleeping, and the weather outside is totally bogus and scary with crazy rain and wind, and trees hitting the house and fence. The cats are kind of bugging out over it, and I'm dreading my walk to work tomorrow. :( I need to get another bus pass asap.

Joel and I had a pretty mellow weekend. There was a lot of sleeping in, home-made french toast with bananas, grocery shopping, cleaning and organizing, movie watching, and a day trips to Puyallup and Shelton. Nothing too exciting to speak of, and not the best weekend ever, but it could have been worse. It was nice to have a couple of days off from computer problems at work, and time to work on my own artwork.

I've been spending some time going through my google reader, and I've created two new tumblr pages for the tutorials that I want to try, and the images that I love. It's really making some room, and giving me organized places to draw inspiration from. You can find the links here:

Just click the images to get to the different pages. While I was at it, I gave my blog a new look, just in time for Spring. I wish I could figure out how to really cute it up, but unfortunately, I'm not that html savy. At least that's a good goal to shoot for! Edit: "loves" is no more! Sorry!

About a month ago, Joel and I took a really nice trip to the coast to get away, and I figured that it's about time I post a few pictures. It was the best trip we've taken in a while, even though it was only for about 36 hours total. We really packed a lot into it!

We left a little early from work on a really nice day on Friday and drove to Aberdeen and hit a couple of thrift stores, got a snack, and drove on to Forks. We stayed at my favorite little hotel there, and had a really embarrassing night, but nothing too terrible. We ate at the local burger place (and had the Bella burgers, duh!), and went back early to watch some tv and get to sleep early. The next morning, we got up before the sunrise, and drove to Neah Bay to see what was going on around there. It was soooo beautiful! The speed limit was about 35, and we drove along the coast for what seemed like forever. I swear we spotted about seven bald eagles while we were there, and a billion wild dogs. We followed the road for as far as it would take us, and ended up at Cape Flattery. We took a hike down to see where it would take us, and the scenery seemed completely fake and surreal. It's hard to believe that we were in Washington!

We were back from our little hike (and it was, going back!) before 8:30, so we headed back to Neah Bay to have breakfast by the water. We had yummy omelettes, and went on to the local museum and killed a couple of hours talking to man working who was able to give us a bunch of information for first-hand info about the people around there, and events that had taken place around the area. It was really neat! There's a life-size replica building inside of the museum of the old buildings that used to be around there, not to mention some really great dioramas!

We made our way back to Forks after this, got drinks from the grocery, and drove down to Ruby Beach to meet our friend Judy, who was up there for a few hours for a day trip! We walked around the beach, found caves, raced to touch rocks before the water came back to hit us, drew pug faces in the sand, walked through streams, and dipped our toes in the tides. It was really magical and bright, which is totally different from the last time I was there with my mom last summer -- total fog. It was fun to hang out with Judy in a different location, and I hope that we can do it again soon!

After our fun at the beach, we drove to the Hoh Rainforest, but it was getting dark, so we didn't venture too far. We did stumble onto massive amounts of mossy trees and about 30 elk. We kept going, and I'm glad we did, because we were able to make it to La Push to see the sunset. And wow, what a sunset!
We were going to take off after that, but Joel found a parking spot, and we found a secret sketchy trail down to the beach that cut the time down there in half. We found a cute bench and hung out until it was almost too dark to see, so we headed back to Forks. So magical!

We walked around town and of course went to the Twilight store to find a goodie for my mom (we just saw New Moon two weeks ago! This weekend they were showing both Twilight and New Moon at the drive-in! I wish we'd waited to see both there!), and got some mexican food that made us feel totally awful.

We decided to head home after that to sleep in our own bed, and save more sight-seeing for another trip! Seriously, one of the best day trips ever!

Hope that you have a nice Monday! I will leave you with a video of the crashing waves from La Push!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spending Hiatus // Week Three

Let's be honest. Spending hiatuses are no fun. No fun at all. And what I've been learning about myself (perhaps I already knew this?) is that I have NO WILLPOWER and NO SELF-CONTROL. Maybe it just depends on the day? Honestly, I really blew it this week, and I'm embarrassed to tell you how!

Remember that quilt that I had my heart set on? The one that I fell in love with and had to buy? Remember how I canceled my order and was feeling good about my decision? Saturday during the day, Joel was on the phone with his grandma, and I was reading blogs. There was that darn quilt on another one of my favorite blogs. I quickly turned the computer around for Joel to see it, and he ignored me. When he got off the phone, he told me to order it. And I ignored all reason, and tried to! Guess what. Less than a week after they had been released, they were SOLD OUT. Really? Really. I pouted, and then started calling stores in Washington. The store in Lacey lied to us, because when we showed up, they didn't have any . . . but told us who did. We started driving to Tacoma, only to find out that they were out too, and called a final store, who had TWO LEFT! We hauled our butts down there, and are the proud and incredibly happy (well, I am, Joel doesn't really care) owners of a beautiful new Liberty of London Garla quilt. IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!! And I don't even feel sad about it at all. Is that wrong of me?

Coincidentally, it's the kitties' new favorite place to be, and the only place they've been sleeping (see above and below), and Joel doesn't find it too bad himself (see the photo at the bottom!). :)
What I do feel sad about is all of the eating out that we did this week (we had a billion friends in town, and ate in Tacoma, Olympia and Seattle), as well as the major shopping trip that I took alone to Old Navy and Target. To my defense, I had a 30% off everything coupon, as well as a $10 off coupon, making everything a billion times cheaper (well, 30% cheaper, and $10 off!), and I took full advantage of it. I bought a couple of cute shirts that I could wear during the summer and winter, two pairs of flip flops, a new pair of my favorite jeans (did I mention I bought everything on sale already? My jeans were marked down to $13 . . . ), and about four new summer dresses. This is a big deal, because I haven't worn dresses (excluding my prom dress) since I was in elementary school. And even though my mom told me yesterday that she would take care of it, I feel guilty. And I think I might take everything but the jeans back. I think I'll try everything on for Joel tonight and he can give me his honest opinion, and then I will feel okay with taking it back. What I really need to work on though, is just not going. At all. It shouldn't be okay to buy things and take things back. I don't really neeeeed these things. I have clothes, you know. I just want new ones. I want to feel pretty, and stop wearing the same uniform that I wear every single day (either jeans and a gray American Apparel hoodie with sneakers, or jeans with a cute top and a black cardigan and my sparkly black Toms. Every. Single. Day.).

On a good note though, Joel cut my hair this weekend, and I feel like a kind of new person. I love that. At least I didn't pay for the cut, right? And Robin and I painted our nails. It's the little things that kind of make you feel good, and spending money shouldn't be one of those little things. I'm going to post a big photo post soon with all of my excitement from the weekend and past week, since this could easily become my "what I spent this week" blog. Think good thoughts for me! ABSOLUTELY NO SPENDING MONEY!

Oh! And another thing that I wanted to mention this week, is that I joined The Daily Plate, this great website that tracks your meals, snacks (I wrote snakes on accident -- sick!), and your exercise. I downloaded the iPhone app for it, and it will sync with the website, so I can track at home and on the go. This may seems incredibly similar to Weight Watchers, and it is, but now I'm also seeing how much sodium I'm taking in (too much), an how much protein I'm eating (not enough), and best of all, IT'S FREE! I looooved Weight Watchers, but I had a hard time paying $40/month when I wasn't even doing good (my fault, not theirs). So, I will see how this goes, and still count my points, but also be aware of what I'm doing elsewhere. And be more knowledgeable and healthy (hopefully!) because of it.

As an update, I wrote that earlier in the evening, and decided to get my butt into gear, and tried those clothes on. We returned allll but two dresses, and a pair of jeans ($75 worth of returns). No joke. What am I thinking??!! We went grocery shopping tonight too, and made the best dinner ever. Seriously, it was so yummy. No more eating out! Seriously!!

I hope that your week was more successful than mine, and that you are doing lovely, wherever you are. :)


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spending Hiatus // Week Two

Have you ever canceled a membership, and you just keep getting charged? That happened with our gym membership. We canceled on January 2nd of this year, and we have been charged THREE TIMES since then. They finally stopped my membership, but somehow didn't cancel Joel's, even though the cancellation was on the same letter that was sent in, and we have both spoken to multiple people, multiple times. It's not a big deal, but we're wasting $60 on something that we're told multiple times that we're being refunded for. Stupid!

As for this week's Spending Hiatus, it was a big bust. I just talked it out with Ben, and I've made it a little better. Here goes:

1) I bought two birthday cards. One, for my grandma (her birthday was last Friday!), and one for my dad (whose birthday is next month -- and sells tools. Perfect, right?). I feel like these are legit purchases, since these are important people and important days!

2) I've been psyching myself up for the new Liberty of London collection at Target. Like, checking back everyday on the website and obsessing over the patterns. The day that they came out, Mariella and I went to Target. I decided that I didn't need anything, and talked myself out of buying anything (except for laundry detergent, but that doesn't count! It was the cheapest there, and smelled the best. Win, win.). Later that night, I made Joel go with me to the other Target to see if they had anything else. See, I had my heart set on one of the gorgeous bedspreads/quilts. They had a billion more things, but after seeing them in person, decided that the quality wasn't my favorite, and it turns out, I didn't need anything. Success!

Fast forward to that night after Joel's asleep, and I'm reading blogs. The first one I open to rea
d is Rachel Denbow's, and I am in LOVE WITH THE QUILT. Again. I mean, look at those pictures of her sweet baby hanging out on that pretty fabric! I wake Joel up, show him the pictures (which he doesn't remember), and order it. Just like that. Two days later, I've decided that I don't need it. I should be paying down my credit card, and I don't need to be adding more things to our house (thanks, Ben and Joel!). I just canceled my order. Phew!3) We went to Tukwila yesterday to buy Joel a new laptop cord, so that we could avoid buying a new one at some point, and he could use the old one. Turns out, his computer still doesn't work well, so we're returning it. And of course, we can't go there without going to H&M and Macy's. Joel walked out with a new purple hoodie ($20), and I walked out with two shirts ($20 total as well). I have justified the hoodie because since Joel and I have been living together (for almost two years), he's never bought a new one -- he's only worn my old ones, which fit him, but are a little too big. As for the shirts, I talked it out with Ben again, and even though they were incredibly on sale (the peacock one from $80 to $5, and the ruffle hoodie from $50 to $12) and good quality, I don't need them. What I do need is to save my money, and lose weight. Once I lose weight, I'll fit into all of those old hoodies and cute clothes that I already have! What an idea. So, even though they're cheap and adorable, they're going back. That should be some good motivation for me.
4) We went to Ikea, walked through, and didn't buy one single thing. There is a first for everything. Congratulate me on this!

5) I ate out. FIVE TIMES. Once with Ben and Mariella to take Mariella out to lunch in exchange for a bunch of healthy snacks, another time to get pizza with Joel (at least it was whole wheat, and a small that we split), another with the whole office to get pho, healthy mexican food with Joel, and a final time to get frozen yogurt with Joel as well. All on separate days, of course. I can't even believe that, when looking at it all written out like this.

Finally, the number one thing that I've done to save money this year though is to not go to SXSW. I've had a big of regret this week as two of my co-works have taken off down there already, and last week, everyone I know and haven't talked to in at least six months has gotten in touch with me to see if I'll be down there. Unfortunately, I won't. But, I can rest easy in knowing that I'm not putting another $400 on my card for the plane ticket, and then a whole bunch more for food, shows, and whatever.

This week, I will be better.

Other good things from the week include a surprise cupcake and pug visit from Mariella and Lou (soooo good!).

Yummy tacos made by my darling Joel.

Having all of my fabric organized and put away!

The best EVER pug print from Mike Dellinger -- uh, check that out!

Pretty blossoms on the trees!

This pretty view from the office! A rainbow!

And this little dude staring at me this morning to wake me up:

I hope that your week is as good as mine has been so far!