Saturday, January 10, 2015

DIY Medal Rack

full medal rack hanging on the wallShortly into my running career--way faster than I would have imagined!--I had amassed a pile of bibs and medals and wasn't sure what to do with them. For a long time the medals collected on my thermostat, but I wanted a more purposeful way to keep them on display without looking cluttered. I like the idea of detaching the ribbons and using the medals as Christmas tree ornaments eventually, but (a) I don't always have a tree and (b) I still like the daily reminder of what I've accomplished!

I saw a lot of options on etsy, but none of them were quite right. So I started trying to picture what would be just right! And finally, today I have the finished product hanging on my wall, just a couple weeks ahead of my 2yr running anniversary.

I found the base in the unfinished wood section at Michael's craft store. Using what I had left over from another project, I started by painting the whole thing yellow, then used painters tape to make an abstract pattern, and painted alternating blocks in blues.

yellow block with blue painter's tapeblock all painted with painters tapepainted block, tape removed

I am pretty pleased with how it came out! 
Added a sawtooth hanger to the back, and L-hooks to the front, and it's done! 

completed medal rack hanging on the wall

Runners, what do you do with all of your bibs and medals?

Friday, April 25, 2014

My second Stitch Fix!

I had so much fun the first time, I had to go another round. Without further ado, here's my second Stitch Fix!
I know, the picture quality isn't great. Should've waited for natural light. 

The Fix:

-Kensie Jeans (again) - $88
They claim these were "light pink" but I'd say "ace bandage" is more accurate. Way too close to my skin tone. And too fitted for my taste. You can see my knee caps through 'em. Weird. Nope.

In the feedback, I asked for no more skinny jeans. The one pair I have is plenty. I know they're all the rage and part of the goal is to get things I wouldn't have picked out myself, but they're really not my style.
-Elora Princess Seam Sheath Dress - $98
Paired with the cardigan, I was almost swayed...but stretchy fabric is really not my thing. If I were to eat a big lunch, people would start asking when I'm due. I need either more structure or more flow. Nope!

 -Cathleen Split-Neck Tulip-Sleeve Blouse - $68
Cute little details on the sleeves, great fabric and great colo--oh wait, exactly the same color as the top I kept from the first Fix! I'm trying to expand my selection here, people! Returned--but I did really like it.

But don't despair, internet! The other two items have found a lovely place in my closet!

-Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse - $58
At first I thought, "ugh white, boring" but there are great details that make this top exactly the kind of unique stuff I was hoping for from Stitch Fix! The sleeve cuff has a cute little angle to it so that it puffs a bit at the elbows (these are technical fashion terms, don't worry if you can't keep up), and the bottom hem is doubled so it's a little heavier and hangs nicely. With a white camisole it can be office attire, and with a patterned cami it can be more fun. Keep!

Inspired in part by the necklace in my first fix, I just ordered a few bright "statement" necklaces that'll be a fun pop of color with this. Also clearly, I think my best look is hand on hip/in pocket, head turned to my right. And the lighting around my mirror leaves a lot to be desired. 

And finally, the one piece I knew I liked immediately:

-Hanneli Polka Dot Swing Skirt - $54
Fun pattern! Flattering cut! Good quality fabric, lined, great length! Will go with all kinds of tops! Keep!

The note from my stylist specifically mentioned she looked at my Pinterest board, and I'm more convinced than ever that plays the biggest role in the selections. She also mentioned they didn't have any blazers in the right size at the moment, which was something I asked for in the feedback from my first Fix. Honestly it's for the best that I didn't like everything--who could afford it! I was lucky enough to have a friend referral credit again to help defray the cost. I scheduled my third Fix, but as popular as Stitch Fix has become lately, the soonest date wasn't until June, ahhh!! 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

My first Stitch Fix!

(Wow. I know I hadn't written here in a while, but since I was posting over at Lou Goes West while in Boulder, I skipped 2013 here entirely! Oops!)

Back in February, I signed up for my first Stitch Fix delivery. Basically you fill out a style profile, set your desired price range, put together a Pinterest board (optional but really helpful, I think), and a stylist assembles a box of 5 items you'll love! When it arrives you try everything on, buy the things you want to keep, and send back the pieces you don't want. I posted about it on Facebook and was surprised to see how many of my friends were already using the service!

A couple weeks ago, my first delivery arrived! I had peeked on the site ahead of time, so I had a general idea of what was coming. A dress, two shirts, a pair of jeans, and a statement necklace.

First of all, they nailed it with the colors. The dress was a little tight, but everything else fit surprisingly well. I gave my mom a fashion show via skype, and it happened that I had friends staying with me the day it arrived. It was super-fun and helpful to get more opinions on everything.

The Fix:
-Harli belted fit & flare dress - $58
a little tight, the fabric was kind of thin. overall not flattering on me.

-Bay to Baubles statement necklace - $38
really cute, and looked great under the split neckline of the teal blouse.

-Kensie Jeans - $88
great fit! but in the end, too similar to the skinny jeans I already have for $30 from Old Navy.

-Cicely mixed-striped top - $68
looked way more flattering once it was on than I expected, but not special enough for the price.

-Colibri solid tab sleeve blouse - $48
Love! high quality fabric, the perfect color, good balance of trendy and business-y

Though I hemmed and hawed about the necklace and jeans, in the end, this blouse is the only thing I kept from the first round. I wore it last week and got several compliments on it. I had a $25 credit from my friend referral link, so it was only $23--even better! For ALL of the items, you give feedback on fit, style, price, etc so that each time their selections get better and better.

Overall the experience was pretty fun--the anticipation, playing mix & match with pieces I already have, etc. I already scheduled a second Fix, which will arrive later this month. I've also overhauled my Pinterest board, making sure to focus on things I want, and getting rid of things I already have.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pumpkin Cookies for all!

Tonight I had the urge to bake. I started with a variation on these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and followed it up with a little something for RogerDog. In season, and tummy-soothing!

Pumpkin Pie Dog Biscuits 
from the You Bake 'Em Dog Biscuits Cookbook
Combine all dry ingredients. Blend together wet ingredients. Mix together (I always skip the separate bowls, and mix everything together from the start). Roll out and cut with cookie cutters. Line baking sheet with tin foil, bake at 350F for 30-40min.

-1.5c whole wheat flour
-2c white flour
-1/2c rolled oats
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2c chicken broth (I just used water)
-3/4c canned pumpkin
-1 Tbsp oil
-1 Tbsp maple syrup
-1 egg

Roger stayed in the living room the whole time I was making these, but as soon as they came out of the oven he magically appeared at my side to taste test. Based on his reaction, these won't be around for long!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

What makes it Home?

In just a few short weeks, Roger and I will be jumping in the car and trekking out west to start our year-long adventure of living in Boulder, CO. I've been pondering for the last few months what, exactly, I would be bringing with us. I've made lists and sub-lists of what will be stored, sold, donated, tossed, and finally, brought along. It was easy at first--dishes, naturally, and pots & pans, and clothing, and bedding. And skis. And work folders. Oh, and craft supplies. And what about baking stuff? And on, and on.

I started wondering about my $15 coffee maker. Does it make sense to schlep that across the country? Well, not really. But I don't like the idea of repurchasing everything once I get there, both for financial reasons and environmental. What would happen to it at the end of my year? But I also want to have the things I need and enjoy, and not feel like I'm camping the whole time!

Then, my sister Meg took a lot of that pressure off. She has graciously offered to start checking her thrift store in Breck for the things like a coffee maker, toaster, blender, cookie sheets and muffin tins. She already has enough dishes, glasses, and cooking utensils to outfit me. Both of our linen closets are stocked with LLBean sheets, so in a sense, her sheets basically ARE my sheets! AND she even emailed her close friends a list of what I'll need, to see what furniture they might be able to loan me for the year! Within two days, I had offers for a desk, stuffed chair, coffee table, dresser, TV stand, and TWO kitchen tables!

Now instead of worrying about the bare necessities, I get to bring the things that will make our condo feel like home. I've already started a list (of course!) of what that might include:
-set of 5 mixing bowls
-flour & sugar canisters I painted
-good knives
-dish towels (all in Ithaca colors, naturally!)
-a couple of my favorite mugs and pint glasses
-sewing machine & craft supplies

What are the things in your home that make it yours? I know it will all come down to what can fit in our lovely little Subaru, but I am optimistic that I'll bring the right things, and fill in the gaps with loaned/thrifted stuff. What else would you add to this list?

And what kind of marketing professional would I be if I didn't take this opportunity to plug tomorrow's moving sale! 
This is a combination of my stuff and another friend who's moving. Spread the word!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mason Jar Smoothies

Friends, I have exciting news. Did you know that the blades of most standard blenders will fit on mason jars?! I saw it on Pinterest over a month ago, and finally tested the theory this week. 

I love smoothies, but considering the mess I usually make, it was never a practical option to make one for breakfast during the week. This is a game changer. Now not only is there no pitcher to wash, the smoothie is already in the perfect to-go cup! 

In an attempt to jumpstart Spring in Vermont, I've been treating myself to a different fruit smoothie variety every morning this week!  

The possibilities are endless. Strawberry-watermelon-spinach smoothie, anyone? 
Breakfast is served!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birthday Treats: Deep Dish Cookies Pies

Had a lovely dinner with Erin and her family to celebrate her birthday! We finished the evening with these amazing creations, Deep Dish Cookie Pies.

The original recipe calls for homemade cookie dough, but trust me, the pre-made dough from the grocery is just as good when it's all gooey-melty-delicious with ice cream on top! The trick is to pull them out when they're still a little under-baked. When Meg & I made them for my birthday, we left them in a little too long and lost the soft, gooey quality that makes these so fantastic. 

Deep Dish Cookie Pies: Smoosh cookie dough into ramekins, bake at 375F for about 15min. Top with ice cream, and dig in!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Scenes

We got a dusting of snow Friday night, so first thing Saturday morning we headed to the pier to play before it all blew away. The rest of the weekend has been filled with laundry, taxes, paying bills, writing valentines, and trying to sort the clutter that has accumulated over the last month.  

Valentine Tree! (That's a thing, right?) 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roger is Awesome.

So, I adopted Roger when he was a year and a half. He had been in Vermont for 6mo, transferred up from a shelter in Florida. Other than a couple vaccination records I was able to hunt down, I knew pretty much nothing about his life up to that point. He was sort of a nervous fella, but we took to each other right away and the rest is history.

Recently, we've become mayor of our vet's office trying to figure out why Roger needs to pee 10x a night. Urine tests, blood tests, and this morning: x-rays. We still don't know why he's peeing so much. But we do know a little bit more about his life B.V. (before Vermont).

The vet brought me back to see the x-rays. That's a lot of kidney stones, I thought to myself. "Where did you get Roger?" he asked. "Humane Society of Chittenden County," I responded. "Uh huh. Well, it appears that he's been shot, at least twice, at some point in his past." And then I realized what the x-rays were showing. That constellation of glowing dots on the left hip x-ray was bird shot! And a BB lodged directly under his spine!

To say my jaw dropped would be the only accurate description for my reaction. I stood there staring back and forth from one x-ray to the other to Roger to Dr Eustis and back. Someone shot my dog? Some asshole SHOT a PUPPY?? TWICE?!?! Well I guess that explains why he used to be a nervous dog!!

He went on to explain that since they weren't causing Roger any problems, we would just leave them in there. If the BB had been to one side or the other, it might be what's causing his current problems, but right in the middle it's just lodged in muscle.

I don't really have a good way to sum this up, other than to say hug your dog.