Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Our weekend started on Friday celebrating our 4th Wedding Anniversary. We headed to Bugaboo for dinner, and then to Home Depot to get some items for our weekend garden projects.
Then it was back home for dessert. Chris had ordered us the same kind of cake that we had for our reception; well, almost. The website said all of the cakes came with raspberry filling. As you can see, it didn't. (I wonder if they meant they were all available with raspberry filling?)

I had decided that Saturday was garden day, so we woke up early to try to get some work done before the heat of the day.

The first pictures here are of our garden when we moved in last June and then the work that we did at that time. Not too much in the way of major changes this year, but what we did do made a huge difference, at least in my mind.

You can't really tell in the pictures, but there had been a stump and a bush in the upper section. We removed the bush and part of the stump so that we could finish up that retaining wall. Then, since we couldn't completely remove the stump, Chris built a box for me that sits on top of the stump, but still allows me to garden in that space.
Chris also added another retaining wall in the lowe section, dividing it in two. And then the final improvement was enlarging a walkway that we had to make it a small patio. Our oil tank gets filled on the edge of our garden, so last year we had put in the path for the oil guy. Now we extended it by another 2 feet so that it fits a small table and two chairs.

So Saturday Chris worked on removing the stump, but since it was a hot day he called it quits after that. No problem; swinging an axe is tiring! Sunday was when the walls and paths were completed, and while he did that, I weeded and planted my seedlings- and got a sun burn. Ouch.

Today, Monday, was my scrapping day. I got 4 cards done. Now all that's left for June are Father's Day Cards, and then I'm set until August! Hopefully by next weekend I'll be finishing up my Christmas album, and maybe my 2006 album as well. Then it will be time to focus on 2007. Luckily I don't have too many layouts to do for this year, but I think we'll have a busy summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Great phone call

So I just got a call from my dad.

Dad: The stock market is doing really well, so I'm going to give you some money. Would you like me to write a check to you or to your credit card?

Woo hoo! I have no idea how much it's going to be, but I just gave him my account number and he'll be going to the bank in the near future to transfer money to me. We decided to do it that way since he has to go to the bank to transfer money to my brother anyway. He knows that Chris and I are working to get out of debt, so this will be a nice bonus to that. When we started our debt reduction plan last March we estimated 3 years to get out of debt. Ugh. It just seems to go on forever. However, when I look at home much we've payed off already I am really impressed. I think we need to re-evaluate things again though. I know I have a very difficult time sticking to a budget. I am very much an impulse shopper, as you can see from the previous post.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shopping at the Creating Keepsakes Convention

On Saturday I went to work at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Manchester, NH. And I think that this first picture truly sums it up.

I saw this at a booth and had to buy it. It's a vinyl wall cling. I love it.

As I mentioned, I went to the convention to work. I was working at the Dollar scrapbooking booth from 8:30-1. That place was crazy! Not difficult work, but it kept me busy. I was pretty much just going back and forth between the registers and the end of the line handing out shopping baskets. The line was so long that it pretty much took 30 minutes to get through the booth! When not handing out baskets I was helping to restock items, but this was a challenge because you had to squeeze between people to get to the boxes under the tables, etc. The picture here on the left are just some of the goodies that I got at the booth. We could get paid $10 an hour of $20 of items an hour, so this pile of loot (plus a few things I forgot to include) was only $24 of my pay (purchase price would have been $48).

Here are some pictures of other purchases.

And it finally happened- I bought a duplicate Quickutz. Anyone interested in purchasing the Topiary die? It's retired, and I'll sell it to you for $10 plus shipping. Otherwise I'll probably put it up on eBay.

And as if I hadn't gotten enough shopping, I stopped at the mall on my way home and went to Pottery Barn where I got the cute little colander and bucket. Now I just need to find a space on my shelves to put them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hmmm…. What happened to me? I used to be much better about updating my blog. I’ve been meaning to post an update since I got back from Vegas- just haven’t gotten to it.

So, first of all- yesterday a crazy hair brained idea popped into my head. Not sure if it will actually happen or not. I was looking at my paycheck and saw how much vacation time I have accrued and Chris has a couple of weeks coming up in August, and I thought, “hmmm, maybe we can take a trip to visit Andrew on the trail.” So, who knows, maybe we’ll be driving to Idaho or Montana in August. That’s a lot of driving- about 39 hours or so! If we do this, part of me wants to surprise Andrew, but I know that really isn’t practical. We would have to time it too perfectly to be able to do that.

I’ve also been spending my time knitting cupcakes, but I think most of you have already seen those over at TallyScrapper.

Spring seems to finally be here. I’m busy planning out what I’ll be putting in my garden. At the beginning of April I started a bunch of seeds, but now I’m trying to figure out what I’ll plant where as well as planning some other things to buy. And we’ll also be trying to remove an old stump and a bush from the existing area.

Anyway- back to Vegas. This was a work trip for our annual customer conference. The hotel we stayed at was fabulous! It was about 20-30 minutes from the strip but that’s ok since we hardly had any free time anyway. The property was fantast- lots of gorgeous landscaping, water features, etc. And the weather was perfect. Not too hot, so great for walking around and admiring it all.

And my room! Wow! I was truly spoiled. It was a 2 bedroom suite that I shared with one of the other admins. I arrived a day before her, so I claimed the “nicer” room, although, truth be told, I would have been perfectly content with the smaller room. The whole suite was almost 2,000 square feet- that’s bigger than my house! The bedrooms were both very large- and the bathrooms. Oh my. Giant room with a Jacuzzi tub and the shower had a rain showerhead. Separate room with the toilet and bidet, and yet another room which I deemed my “makeup room” with sink and bench to sit on.

The living area had a wet bar, 2 separate sitting areas (1 facing the TV and 1 for sitting and talking) as well as a dining table for 6 and a very comfy chaise lounge chair. And outside all of this was a humungous balcony with views of the mountains (I had no idea the mountains were so close! You don’t see them on CSI.) I even could see a little bit of the Strip out in the distance.

We had a discounted rate for the conference for the hotel so I inquired what the regular rate was for this room- over $900. Yikes! That’s a bit out of my price range. But from what I heard even the regular rooms at this hotel were fantastic.

Most of my time there (5 days) was spent working, but there was one evening where I went to the Strip. We saw the fountain at the Bellagio, walked through Caesar’s and the Venetian, and took in some of the sights. And can you believe it- no gambling at all for me!? I had wanted to play the slots a bit, but really no time. And I was overwhelmed. There are so many different slot machines. How do you decide which one to play? When I landed I had seen a Star Wars slot machine at the airport, but I was with someone else at that time and didn’t want to have to make him wait. Besides, it was very late and we were about to go stand in an hour long line for a cab. Yikes!

Anyway, there’s the very quick summary. Hopefully I’ll start to get back in the habit of more frequent updates.