Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I might have an obsession

I think I might have a problem.

As many of you know, I love school/office supplies. There is nothing like getting a new notebook, pack of pens, Post-its, or paper clips. The other day I was cleaning my home office and noticed that I had a lot of Post-its/notepads, Sharpie markers and paper clips.

Justin has been making fun of me for a while about the amount of Post-its/notepads and Sharpies I have. I have always responded by saying, "The reason I have a lot is because I use a lot of post-its/notepads and Sharpies." After seeing all my post-its/notepads and Sharpies I will have to admit that I have a post-its/notepads and Sharpies problem. I knew I had a lot but I didn't know just how much until I put them all in one place. Take a look at all my post-its/notepads and Sharpies as well as a few of my other favorite office supplies.

Before you make fun of me you must know that I really do use these on a regular basis. I am always jotting a note on a post-it or making a list on a note pad and I use my Sharpies to make those notes and lists. I am a little embarrassed that I do have an unopened package of Sharpies, but I know those too will be used soon.

Now here is where I would have say that I have gone overboard. I don't really use paperclips that much nor do I use the pushpins that much either. When I am at the store I just can't pass up a colorful pack of paperclips. However, if I ever find myself in need, I know right where to find them.

I hope that I can resist the urge to buy any office supplies for a while since I have seen how much I have. I really hope I can do this.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Staying Organized

I love being organized!

There is nothing like getting a new planner and filling it with birthdays, meetings, appointments, and other activities. I love being able to glance at my planner and see what my days, weeks, and months will look like. I have a planner that is always with me, a calendar on my phone that is connected to my computer, as well as Justin's iPod touch. Unfortunately, despite our extensive list of scheduling resources and devices, there are still times when one of us has something going on that we forget to put on our shared computer calendar.

I have always wanted a family calendar somewhere in our house - one that we could easily look at multiple times a day without having to pull it up on a phone or computer. I had planned on putting one in our home office but unless one of us is working on a specific project, we don't spend a whole lot of time in the office (although that might change with Justin's new endeavor). One place that I know we pass through multiple times everyday is the kitchen. It didn't take long to find the perfect spot - a blank wall that was just screaming "hang something here!" I measured the space and started my hunt for a calendar.

I found many different calendars that I liked, but most of them were dry erase. The reason I didn't want to a dry erase calendar was because it would be really easy to accidentally erase things from the calendar. Also, people (Justin) are always tempted to wipe a finger (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not) though the writing. Finding myself at a dead end, I decided that I would make my own.

Here is the list of materials you will need:
  • Bulletin board
  • Paint
  • Post-its
  • Ribbon
  • Push pens
  • Ruler

I set up shop in the garage and started spray painting. I thought about sanding the trim but wanted to get started so I skipped that and just starting painting.

I knew it would take a few coats but after 5 coats of the paint just soaking into the cork I knew I needed a new plan. I really wanted this to work to I took a few days and did some research and found that using real paint would work better. We were painting our kitchen cabinets at the time so I just took some white gloss paint we had for the cabinets and started painting. It worked! I still had to paint three coats but the paint was much thicker and adhered to the cork much better than the spray paint. It turned out just the way I had planned.

Here is a close up view of my paint job. I was a little worried that the paint would scratch off but it has proved itself very durable.

The next step was also very time consuming. I knew I wanted to use Post-It notes as the paper to write on since they are cheap a small. After laying out 30 post-its on the board I found that they were too big. I looked online for something smaller but came up with nothing. So, I decided to just cut the Post-It notes to the size I needed. Since each square would be 2.5''x2.5" I cut the post-its a little smaller than that. I don't really have an exact size but that are around 2x2". This part was easy once I had the right size. Here are the materials you will need:
  • Paper cutter
  • Post-it
  • Temple
  • Pencil
  • Pen

Use your template to trace out the 2x2 square. Next you will use the paper cutter to cut the square. I found that my paper cutter would only cut about 3 or 4 Post-Its at a time.

After you have all the squares cut and the dates written on them, its time to write out all your plans (my favorite part)!

I have not color coded my events but I think that is something that I might be doing in the future. I do love using all the fun colors. Once I had cut all the Post-Its I laid them out on the calendar and used my ribbon to make the columns. I didn't take any pictures of this part...sorry. But once you have anything pinned up you have a wonderful custom calendar.

I have really enjoyed using this calendar and I feel like it is keeping both Justin and I very organized. You will also see a white paper pinned to the calendar - that is our dinner menu. That way Justin can just look up there and see what we are having for dinner and does not have to ask. Or if he is in a good mood he can start dinner. HINT HINT!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

School Back in Session

I have to say we love it when school starts back. When you live in a college town and work at a college (as Justin does), you notice a difference when the students are here.

The title of this post actually means a little more than just having students back on campus this year. Justin had decided it is time to get his masters. I have been telling him for three years he needed to get his masters since a perk of working at MC is they will pay for you to take up to three classes a year. There was no reason for him to not use this opportunity to get this masters. Right?

When he first started working at MC he did look into getting his masters, but was unsure of what he should get it in. Since he does do some freelance on the side and has taken a bit more interest in business, he felt that getting him MBA would be the best option. I am sure many of you are thinking MBA? Really? Well, I think Justin would be the best person to explain why he choose to get his MBA. Take it away Justin.


Why the heck not?

No seriously, that's almost my real answer. But not really though. The real answer goes a little something like this: As an undergrad, my major was originally Management Information Systems. My sophomore year I started taking some business classes - economics and business law, to be specific. I hated them. I dropped economics, drudged through business law and changed my major to Information Technology.

Since entering the working world, however, I've actually developed an interest in business. I can see how business topics actually apply and why they matter. I'm interested in learning and I feel it would benefit me down the road.


Well, that should clear up any wondering questions as to why a computer guy is getting his MBA. We are both very excited about this and know that it will be a great thing for us. Please be praying for us as Justin goes back to school and I get use to living with a husband who is taking classes.

P.S. Hope you all enjoy some of my favorite pictures of Justin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The completion of a much needed update

As many of you know, Justin and I have been updating our kitchen by painting the cabinets, walls, and adding some new accessories to make it more us and less 1980's. If you are just joining us on this journey you can read about what our kitchen looked like before we started here and here.

I have to admit that this project has taken us much, much longer than either of us thought it would take. Alas, after almost 5 months, we are finally done (minus a few little things like window treatments and some other accessories to complete the look)! Let me refresh your memory with what our kitchen looked like when we closed on our house in 2008.

I can't believe we actually bought this house with a kitchen that looked like that. I suppose we were able to see past the dated-ness of it and see the potential it would have after a little love. Fortunately for us, we did not have to move into the house with the kitchen looking like that. We negotiated with the seller to include money to update the appliances. Justin was so sweet and picked out all of them himself and had them all installed before I moved in (he lived in the house for about a month while I was still in Georgia). I do have to give him a shout out for installing both the dishwasher and microwave on his own! This is what our kitchen looked like for the past two years. Still in need of some love but a lot better than what it looked like when we first saw the house.

Just changing out the appliances made a big difference. I am so glad that we were able to make that change before moving in.

Now back to the updating that has taken us almost six months to complete. I am not sure if given the choice if we would take on another project like this. The time and effort was much more than I thought, but in the end we are happy with the turn out and are excited that we were able to do it ourselves. We didn't get any quotes from painters so I am not sure how much it would have cost if we would have had someone else come in a do this. However, if we ever find ourselves in this situation again, we both have said that we will call in the professionals.

I know this is a weird view but I wanted to share it because its the view from the entry way. This is what people see when they first come into our house and look to the right. The blue wall still needs something, I am still thinking about what I want to put there.

I wanted to give you a close up view of the knobs that we chose. We both really like the brushed nickel finish and the simple detail.
This was definitely a learning experience and now that it is all said and done we can say that we did this ourselves...well Justin can say that he did it himself. We are very happy with how everything turned out. We have a few more decorating things to complete before we can say that the kitchen is finished. This should be soon (that is what we are both hoping for at least). I am just glad that we are finally done with the painting. We love our new kitchen and can't wait to have everything in its place and start entertaining again. Stay tune for more updates in our kitchen.