Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Light

Well folks, I'm beginning to see my living room in a new light! Remember my post from a few weeks ago where I showed you how I re-purposed some glass continers? Well, while I was hunting down those containers in my grandparents' basement i came across these white ceramic lamps:

Now I know they don't look so pretty in this photo... but, I love the size and geometric pattern on them. So I went out and bought some rustoleum hammered silver spray paint from Lowe's and found some awesome lampshades on clearance for $4.99 apiece. The transformation was pretty amazing!

I wanted some larger lamps to frame some artwork that Brian and I purchased from a local "starving artists sale" back in February. Here is what the space looked like before I updated the lighting:

Sorry the photo quality is so poor but as you can see the single petite lamp does not hold up to the scale of our painting. Here is what our space looks like now:

I love the way this turned out and these are super nice quality lampshades! The damask is a silver raised velveteen feel material! This whole project cost me $6.97 for spray paint and $10.91 for the lamp shades! What an awesome update for less than $20!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Smoke Signal

Today was kind of a rough work day. I'm constantly trying to find my place in my workgroup. I want to make sure that the work i'm doing adds value and that it is something that only I can do well. Of course I try to make sure I can do a litle bit of everything acroos the tasks of our workgroup to show that i am versatile.

So, today I thought I had reached my breaking point of trying to find that fine balance between being an expert in one thing and being an extremely versatile employee... The underlying question in my head is... which employee will be most valued by my company... the one who is a subject matter expert in XYZ or the well-rounded employee who knows a little something within several areas... The survival of the fittest side of me says that the subject matter expert employee coud never be replaced so that's who I should strive to be... But I just want to learn a lot of things and be able to work in many groups and areas within my company..

I was really strugling with this today... I hadn't planned on bearing my burdens and concerns to my family.. until they called to check-in and my dad read me this short story which really helped me to stop worrying and know that I can handle whatever is put in front of me:

"The Shipwreck"

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.

Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions. But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling up to the sky.

The worst had happened; everything was lost. He was stunned with grief and anger. "God, how could you do this to me!" he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. "How did you know I was here?" asked the weary man of his rescuers. "We saw your smoke signal," they replied.

It is easy to get discouraged when things are going badly. But we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground--it just may be a smoke signal that summons The Grace of God.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I can't do it all

Every now and then I'm reminded that I just can't do it all... That happened to me twice this weekend...

1. I went running on Saturday a.m. I thought I had plenty of time to squeeze in a run before all of the activities of the day began... But I got to the Lake trails at herb parsons and there was a huge trail bike marathon going on... I decided to try and run even though the trails were now narrow and crowded. I wound up tripping over a tree root and falling face first on the ground. Sometimes things just don't work out and I have to let it go. I don't have to do it all. I was also reminded just how much I love where I live and how close I am to some pretty awesome places!

2. I always say I'm going to make radical changes in how I spend my money and that I'm going to save xxx amount of money per month... And I just haven't been able to do it! So this week I have given myself and Brian an allowance! Wish us luck!

I'm looking forward to this week and the beautiful weather! I'll keep you posted on our allowance and savings plan!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eat That Frog

So I got my MBA in December 2011 and started my first ever, real world, full-time 9-5 job. I was used to working 20-40 hours/week while going to school full-time with lots of homework, papers and projects to occupy my time. I was really concerned about my emotions post-graduation. I’m used to being busy. I like being busy. I find myself getting bored more often than not.
I started making a list of all the books I would now have time to read after graduate school was over. I sped through that list fairly quickly! Once I finished the list I began looking for other things to read. I felt like my mind wasn’t as sharp as it used to be since most of the reading I had been doing was certainly not for educational purposes. I stumped upon “eat that frog” and purchased it off amazon and dove right into it. This book seriously helped shape so many of my habits and so far I have achieved several goals that I set for myself.

Essentially the books tells you to rank your tasks whether they are daily, monthly, weekly or yearly tasks. They can also be personal or work related tasks. You rank them in priority and then again based on what should get done first. Eat the biggest, ugliest, most time-consuming frog (task) first. IN other words… tackle those things that you dread most first… then each subsequent task gets easier. IT sounds simple… and you probably already know this… but sometimes you really need a big push to get moving in the right direction.
Here are my 10 goals that I made for myself… I won’t’ show you too many specifics or how I ranked them but I will show you how many I have crossed off the list: (oh yeah and I’ll probably omit the names of my CCs and my goal weight)
10 Goals:
Weigh ___ amount (aka. The same as I weighed on our wedding day)
Pay off ___ CC
Pay off ___CC
Run 3 miles
Buy new Car
Continuous Education Opps.
Community Involvement
Take a vacation
Board/leadership Opp
Religious Fulfillment

As you can see, all but 2 items are crossed off the list. I have one more CC to pay off and the last one, “religious fulfillment” is going to be an ongoing exercise. I don’t think this will ever be crossed off my list. The reason this made my list is because I feel like I have lived pretty selfishly these past years and have not given enough thanks to God for all that I have whether they be experiences, relationships, or other life milestones. I set out to do more than have quiet time for prayer at night and am still working on the ins and outs to becoming a more religiously fulfilled individual.
This list has done so much more for me than I could have imagined. I weight what I want to weigh but also I’m healthy, I ran my first 5k and I’m currently training for a 10k. I have paid off one CC and am still working on the other and have started a monthly budget spending and savings plan. I have built in education opportunities that will help me excel at work through online learning. I took on a leadership role within my sorority alumnae group. The list goes on and on… Thankfully we still have 4 more months in this year for me to continue to fulfill my goals and make new ones along the way!
So go out and Eat That Frog!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Better with time

Isn't it funny how things come back in style??!!!

Well, I LOVE finding old things and trying to give them new life by using them as decor in our house! Every now and then I get the itch to go through som eof my grandparents' belongings to see what treasures I can find! My grandfather (my dad's father) passed away when I was a freshman in college and my grandmother continued to live in their house until about 2 and a half years ago. Once my grandmother was placed in a nursing home in 2010, her house was cleaned out so someone else could move in and some of the family went through and took items that they found sentimental or that they wanted most. My grandmother passed away in February and it took me a while to be able to go back through som eof her belongings now that she really isnt here anymore. I used to enjoy telling her how i made new life out of lamps and furniture of hers that i now have in our house. We furnished our entire house with hand me downs of my grandparents and parents furniture... we seriously only have 3 items that we purchased in our house.

I also, love to look in home decorating magazines as well as pinterest for new ideas and things to do in our home. I big thing I have seen lately are large colored glass vessels to place on open shelving or on your mantel... Well I had just the thing in mind and I knew there would be some in my grandparents' basement!

Ta Da! These are old green glass bottles that my grandfather collected to store his homemade wine in! They are the perfect color green to match the decor in my living room! My grandfather collected these color containers becasue he said that the dark glass was better for aging red wine... One of hte bottles was labeled "Black Muscadine December 1980". These bottles were in pretty rough shape as you can tell... So i emptied the contents of the bottles and soaked them in hot soapy water to get them good and clean...

Then i looked at the current decor on my mantle:

It was quite a hodge podge of leftover decorating items that I had lying around the house...
So i played around with a few ideas and arrangements and this is what I came up with... I plan to re-use some of the items i took down in the guest bedroom as well as some switching around that will be happening in the master bedroom ASAP!

Here is the new and improved mantel:

Here are some close-ups of those glass beauties!

The flowers were from my dear friend Ellen's rehearsal dinner this weekend... maybe my hubby can buy me flowers every week once these die because I think fresh flowers are always a nice touch on the mantel :)

My favorite things about this mini project are:
The cost... you can't beat an updated look for $0! I also love that I was able to recycle and use something in a beautiful way that belonged to my grandparents. I really am not a big fan of spending a lot of money on decorative meaningess elements... so this little switcheroo just really makes my day:)