Wednesday, July 29, 2009

No Air

Gads. We came home from a weekend away to find that our air conditioning was malfunctioning. To me, this is one of the worst things possible in the world. I do not do well in the heat. I have bad allergies and the heat just makes me crabby (this is why we don't do camping). I know that it's rather high maintenance of me to insist on air conditioning, but really, it's for the benefit of everyone. We had a repair guy out to the house on Mon. to give us a quote on how much to fix and yikes, was it expensive! Yesterday we had a guy out to quote how much it would be to replace the air conditioning and furnace unit all together. Also very expensive. But an expense that I am willing to pay - even if it means that we won't be able to afford a new car. And trust me, I would really like to replace Lance's car, but air conditioning for the house is 10x more important. We head off to visit Michigan tomorrow, so the air won't be fixed until sometime next week. Everyone better keep praying for cool weather. We have been blessed with friends who have offered to let us sleep at their houses' and if the weather is hot when we get back, I might just have to take them up on their offers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Just Say No

I need to remind myself that it is okay to say no. In fact it's biblical! (Okay, somewhat biblical. If I don't have time to keep my head on straight, I definitely don't have time for God - therefore, biblical)

For example: Vacation Bible School. Honestly, I have no time to volunteer this year. We are going to Michigan right before VBS starts, my ethics class ends the same week as VBS and I need to take my insurance exams for work. All things that trump VBS. And yet ... I still said yes. I felt pressured to say yes. Sometimes I think that people think that I should volunteer more because we don't have kids. But ... despite what you might think I am busy. Sometimes I feel like the busiest person I know. I have worked twenty 8 hour days straight. I am in graduate school. I help run a household. I am exhausted. So it probably wasn't smart of me to have friends over for supper tonight and have had hosted people Friday and Saturday night too. I think I am losing my mind.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Three Question Thursday

My favorite blog right now is Iowa Girl Eats because 1) She lives in Central Iowa 2) She works for the company that I would give my eye teeth to work at 3) She's cool and has very similar interests as myself. She does this great thing called "3 Question Thursday" that I thought I'd partake in today.
1. What’s your favorite part about summer? Spending time at the pool/lake/ocean? Amazing weather? Summer grill-outs?
2. Did you go to summer camp when you were a kid?
3. What’s your favorite summer vacation to date?

1. My favorite part of summer is the variety of fresh food available from my garden (I actually hate the heat and humidity of summer. And the bugs. I hate bugs. Things like roma tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, green peppers, sugar snap peas, etc. I need to post some produce pictures. My husband and I struggle with our garden, but this year - year three - is looking promising!

2. I did go to summer camp and I loved it! When I was younger I went to church music camp where we sang the entire week and then did a show at the end for our parents. It was fantastic and some of my favorite childhood memories. I actually went as a counselor for a week when I was in college and it brought back some great memories - just the grounds, the buildings and the traditions. I will definitely send my children away to summer camp when they are older (and of course when I have children)

3. My favorite summer vacation ... as a child it would probably be Florida, Orlando specifically. As an adult, well, Lance doesn't do vacation. He didn't grow up going on vacation and it's been a hard habit to break in our marriage. After going to Hawaii this spring, we'll be making a small trip to Michigan to see my BFF Mandy. We've talked about going to South Korea next year and I have to go out to Spokane for school, so next year there will definitely be a vacation on the calendar!

Workplace Appropriate

At my place of employment, the dress code is undefined. I do not like this because it leaves it open to the manager's interpretation. Currently, no flip flops/"beach" wear. I can deal with that. But what I do not like is the ban on shorts. I can understand that short-shorts are not workplace appropriate. But I do think that these shorts are fine - right?

While these are probably not okay ...

I'm not asking to wear something that does not look professional. I've seen others wear skirts that are as short as the bottom pair of shorts. I think that HR should really review clothing each year and make a cohesive decision as to what will be banned for the season. Blanket statements are never going to satisfy the masses!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget

Anyone who knows me, knows that that I'm a bargain hunter who likes nice stuff. How do I do it? Here are a few tips, but please note, I am no frugal lady by any means. I just want to make the most of my money.
  • I buy red-tape bananas from our local grocery store (this means that I purchase bananas that are a little riper and have a few brown spots - no big deal)
  • I buy big containers of strawberry yogurt instead of individual ones
  • I wait for the once a year liter sale at Beauty Brands to buy my Biolage Shampoo & Conditioner
  • I go to beauty schools for spa treatments like facials and massages. We're fortunate to have an Aveda Institute in Des Moines and I take full advantage of it! I did get a haircut there once, but it wasn't the greatest experience. I have really enjoyed my facials & pedicures though. During Mother's Day they ran a special an Elemental Nature Facial - Pedicure - Manicure all for $50. It was a savings of $35 off their regular prices!
  • Victoria's Secret runs a semi-annual sale in June & December. These are the only times when I get new underwear and bras
  • The same goes for Bath & Body Works
  • Gap jeans just went on sale for $15 each - I got two pairs in two different washes - $15 jeans doesn't happen every day!
  • Pandora radio - heaven sent - no satellite radio for me
  • And probably the thing that helps the most, menu planning. We try and plan all of our menus out on the weekend and then do the grocery shopping on Monday. I try and stay away from the grocery store ... and Target. I always end up walking away with something I hadn't planned on.