March 26, 2009

Wednesday Wish List (on Thursday)

my Wednesday Wish List is extremely short this week. so short, in fact, that it contains only one little item. that one little item, however... could make all the difference in the world. so here it is... are you ready for it? are you sure? the only thing i'm wanting right now...

more time.


that's it. for right this second, i've got all the craft supplies i want... i've got all the fabric i need... i've got all the inspiration that comes from looking at amazing craft books. i just don't have the time to implement anything.

which would explain why i haven't updated since march 4th... 3 full weeks. this also explains why just two nights ago i finished my february craft challenge... almost a full month late, and ironically, a day after i finished my march craft challenge. it explains why my banner still claims that it's winter-time... when, in fact, it's been spring for the last 6 days. it also explains why this post doesn't have the completed pictures of my craft challenges... just the statement that they're done, and a few "in progress" shots of the now-finished (and amazing-looking if i do say so myself) shower curtain that is now hanging in our bathroom.

::edit:: nevermind... i don't even have in progress shots -- they haven't been loaded onto my computer yet. *sigh*

however, i do have to say that i found the time to finish up the cozy domesticity swap that i entered back in january... just barely, but i did! i'm excited to see what Bley thinks of the goodies i sent her... and equally excited to see what goodies will be in the box she's sending me! i do have pictures of my swap box, but i'll wait to hear that she's received it before posting them, so as to not spoil the surprise :)

to explain just a bit about why it's been so busy for me (well... us...) lately... let me show you a snapshot of our calendar:

and now add a few things on to that:
- all-day-long meetings wednesday (yesterday) & thursday (today) for me... plus a company dinner meeting tonight
- running around to get my passport paperwork in so we can be ready for our trip to see family (in Canada) in May
- trying to find tickets for a friend to fly out for a visit in the next two months
- long weekend bike rides in preparation for our 25-mile Tour de Cure bike ride the first weekend in May
- preparing for our May vacation (and trying to figure out what we're going to see, where we're going to stay, etc.)
- shopping for wedding presents & birthday presents & baby shower presents... and trying to stay within budget at the same time!
- finishing up taxes (no... they're still not done) and figuring out what the VitaFlex insurance refund will accept as "refundable"
- trying to figure out how i'm going to balance two days working at a conference in the city directly followed by a long solo drive to LA (going down on Friday & back up on Monday) and then jump back into the work environment on Tuesday
- reminding myself that if i even stand a chance of succeeding with any flowering plants this year on our small 2nd-story porch, i need to get them planted & growing well now... not in the summer (btw... anyone know of a good place to buy flower boxes? i'm considering trying those instead of just potted plants. also, if anyone knows of plants that flourish in full sun, pots, and lots of heat, let me know -- i seem to kill everything we try to grow out there!)

now do you believe me? :)

please accept my deepest apologies... and stay tuned for pictures to come of the shower curtain (i promise this time!!)

March 4, 2009

Wednesday Wish List: Places to Go

I've been in a traveling mood lately. Wait - let me rephrase that. More accurately, I've been in a "I need a mental health week from work" mood, which has led to a "If I had a mental health week from work, what would I do?" mood, which led to a "where do I want to travel?" mood. ahem. :)

So... here we are. My top 10 list of places to go (at this second) in no particular order:

10. Grand Canyon. Ryan's never been there (which automatically shoots it to the top 10 list) and although I've been there a few times, it's been a while. I'd love to take the hike down to the bottom of the canyon... see the waterfalls and the river. If I wimp out on that, then a nice alternative would be riding the mules down. We'll see :)

9. Portland, OR. Again, Ryan's never been... and I've only been once. There are so many more things I've heard about and seen pictures of since that time... and I'm really wanting to explore it a bit more.

8. London. I've been once, Ryan's been once (or is that twice?). I loved it, all two days that I was there. I'd love to go back and explore the city more, as well as explore the surrounding countryside. Stories of rolling hills (like here) and cute cottages (anyone seen The Holiday?) intrigue me, as do all of the famous sight-seeing expeditions through the city streets. (besides... I miss hearing the mysterious voice saying "mind the gap")

7. Vancouver, BC, Canada. Another one of those "I've been there, Ryan hasn't" places... but it's just so amazing from what I remember of it! I remember taking the ferry over to Victoria Island and the gorgeous gardens... it's a must-see in spring.

6. Boston. I'm intrigued by my sister's love for the city... she's not a city person and usually doesn't like the hustle & bustle... but both she & her husband enjoyed it. Besides, fall in the northeast? It can't get better than that :)

5. Colorado. Ryan's family has a gorgeous piece of property in the middle of the mountains... and we're both dying to see it one of these days. (correction: i'm dying to see it... ryan's dying to go back!).

4. Hawaii. We went for our honeymoon, but didn't see nearly enough in my opinion (although my opinion was quite different when we were there, since we didn't want to spend all of the sunny days in the car driving around the island). I want to see the waterfalls in the mini-rainforest, the volcanoes (although I might be able to do without the helicopters flying over the volcanoes - yikes!). I want to learn how to surf, and manage to bodysurf without tearing my back up against the one (ONE!) rock on the entire beach (go figure). Most of all, I want to experience the laid-back, nonchalant, relaxing spirit we felt there the first time. I could really go for some of that relaxing right now... :)

3. Alaska. I'm intrigued by it... and Ryan just wants to live there :) He did live there for three years and loved it... but then again he's always a good 15 degrees warmer than I am :)

2. Pacific Northwest by Rail. Admit it... it sounds like fun, right? Wait til you read the description from the NY Time's website:
Amtrak’s Empire Builder delivers a greatest hits of the American landscape. Beginning in Chicago, passing through the Great Plains and the other-worldly Glacier National Park and ending in Seattle or Portland, Ore., the roughly 48-hour ride is a throwback to the golden age of train travel. Old-fashioned dining cars serve freshly cooked meals (flat iron steak, roasted game hen) on tables decked out in white tablecloths. The panoramic sightseeing lounge and sleeping compartments have a certain “North by Northwest” charm. And rangers from the National Park service are periodically on board to provide narrative along the route as a part of a Trails and Rails program.
Amazing, right? :)

1. New York City. I believe I was born a city girl at heart. When I visited NYC a few years ago, I fell in love with it. A few months after, I had the privilege to go back to the city for three weeks of intense journalism classes. It was a dream come true for me. Not only was I learning about journalism and becoming a better writer, I had the ability to spend all of my free time exploring an amazing city. I loved the people, the opportunities for stories, the constant chatter and noise, the fact that no matter what time of day it was, you could find an open coffee shop to sit and relax at. oh, I miss it. And one of these days we'll be back. Odd how it became such a home to me so quickly.

So that's it... my list of 10 places I'd love to go to right now :)

And just how perfect would this carrying case be for a world traveler? You can add it to my wish list of things as well... ;-)

That's all for now... check back later for another update on the *ahem* February (yes, I know, it's March now) Craft Challenge!

March 2, 2009

February Craft Challenge, part 1

I admit it. I missed the February deadline for my monthly craft challenge. It kinda bums me out that I've already missed the goal and it's only the second month. :-/ Can I use the excuse that we haven't had a free weekend since... January? And that the past week & a half was filled with birthdays? The only free weekend we did have in February was spent biking 26 miles (in preparation of this) and then nursing a re-injured/strained knee as a result. ::sidenote:: please be praying that my knee heals in time for us to complete the 25 mile ride for the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure in May!

anyway, back on track. at least i started the project... as in, bought the fabric, planned it out, drew up measurements and made a list of steps... and took a preliminary picture. that counts, right? :) let me explain.

a few months ago i began participating in the sunday stash blogging ring, and posted this picture as a result. bookwormbethie was kind enough to start up a conversation via flickr comments, and suggested i use the fabric to make a shower curtain. when joann's had finally restocked their supply and i got a new 40% off coupon (aren't those wonderful things!) i bought a full 4 yards as well as a contrasting red dotted fabric and began the process of learning how to create a shower curtain.

luckily, thanks to the lovely Christina at Chronicle Books, i have the French General: Home Sewn book, which has the specifications for a shower curtain, among many other bathroom and home projects. (note: review coming soon...) using measurements from the book and going off of my own instincts as well, I've begun cutting pieces for the shower curtain.

sewing begins tomorrow night... stay tuned!

p.s. any suggestions on easy ways to sew button holes? it's the one thing about this project i'm terrified of... but i did tell myself i was going to take risks and learn new things! after all, it is the monthly craft challenge... right? :)