Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For the Love of Muffins & Birthdays

Tuesday April 16
It's that time of the year where I celebrate me, Remanence on the happy years before and make plans for the year to come, but the day really really seemed like any other and was over as fast as it started.  The one thing I do look forward to for my birthday is attending D.C. for their Lindy Exchange (April 19-21);  a whole weekend dedicated to swing dancing (Lindy Hop and Blue's during the late nights).  Previous years I've gone down on Friday after work and drive back Monday afternoon once I've rested, but this year I headed down a day early to attend their weekly event, Back Room Blue's that I've been wanting to attend for a while now. 

Birthday Surprise

Well, anyways back to my present, which is so fantastically gorgeous and stunning!!!  Yes, I bought a dress, well  okay I didn't buy it, but my mom did for my birthday.  This will be the 2nd dress I bought in a month, which is not normal for me as I really don't like wearing dresses. However, after trying this dress on at TJMAXX by Ralph Lauren I was a total fan and really wanted it, but the price was steep at $60 and I wasn't really sure how often I would wear it so the price just wasn't practical at all for that uncertainty of wear.  Well, after showing the photo to my mom, along with some other things I hadn't bought that same day she surprised me with it.  I was super stoked.  Don't I look amazing!  

Those who know me would be proud that I have worn it already for an event.  I took it down to DC with me my birthday weekend and Wore it Thursday night for Back Room Blue's.  I had lots of people compliment me on how great I looked in it and one specific guy who made me blush by saying to me just before we began our dance that "You look amazing in that dress." Sigh.

Birthday Muffins
I came into work this morning w a platter of yummy looking blueberry & poppyseed muffins on my desk and secretly hoped they were for me & Indeed they were. Shortly after settling in my wonderful coworkers Ron, Sharon & Renee came over,lit a birthday candle on the center muffin & sang me happy birthday. It was pretty exciting and very thoughtful, especially since muffins are healthier then cake. I love that! And I especially love blueberry muffins

Closet Reorganize
I've also been pretty steady and proud that I've been adding more items to my postmark closet. Some things have sold, but not to many these last few weeks.  With that I also cleared out my closet on my birthday, on 04/16, clearing out quite a bit more items and then separated my apparel so it's easier to find the right outfit.  All my dancing and dressier tops are all located now on the top rod and all my work shirts are on the bottom rod.  It's been much easier this last week to find the right top to go with the specific outing. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Saying Goodbye is hard to do

In Loving Memory of Grandpa Jack
Also, on the 11th my grandfather Jack passed away, after a year of battling with lung cancer and chemo.  He had been bed ridden these past few months, and it's been very hard on my grandmother so it's a relief to know that he will be celebrating in heaven now and wont be stuck in bed all day.

Jack W. Uhl Sr.
April 13, 2013
Parkersburg News and Sentinel  Obituary

Jack W. Uhl Sr., 80, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., formerly of Parkersburg, died April 11, 2013, at the VA Center at Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation, Carlisle, Pa.

He was born April 24, 1932, in Lubeck, W.Va., a son of the late Frank W. and Euvana Powell Uhl. He was retired from Central Storage and Transfer Co. of Harrisburg, Pa., and Shaffer Trucking of New Kingstown, Pa. He also was a U.S. Army veteran serving in the Korean War. He enjoyed watching NASCAR racing and Philadelphia Eagles football.

Korea Vet hat that he was very proud of.  

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Ellen Uhl of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; one son, Clarence Uhl and his wife Susan of Enola, Pa.; two daughters, Sondra Kleiber and her husband Jeffrey of Cottage Grove, Minn., and Wanda King and her husband Alan of Carlisle, Pa.; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; brother, Neil Uhl of Williamstown, W.Va.; three step-sons, Kenney, Larry and Steve George; three step-grandchildren; and one step-great-grandchild. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one son, Jack W. Uhl Jr.; one brother, Vaughn Uhl; and one sister, Anna Montgomery.

Services will be 1 p.m. Monday at the Leavitt Funeral Home, Parkersburg, with Rev. Edward Gamble officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery South. Visitation will be noon-1 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. 


Sunday, the 14th I drove to my dad's place as the plan was to leave for Parkersburg, WV around 2am so we could arrive on time for the 11am viewing and funeral.

Up at 2:24am, showered and packed for the 5 hour trip to WV this morning w my dad, his wife Jani & her son for my grandfathers funeral. We made a pitt stop at Sheetz so my dad could get stronger coffee & I grabbed a fruit bowl & a muscle milk for breakfast. It's now 3:46am and were finally heading out.

We had the breakfast buffet at Shoney's once we arrived in Parkersburg then afterwards, my dad drove us around to show us his old stomping grounds.  One of our stops included a short visit to my uncle Larry's before heading over to my grandmother's sisters place to change.

There was a bit of drama in the beginning with my 2nd step mother showing up, but I was glad to see her pay her respects.  She was with my dad for 10 years and did spend time with my grandparents.  The casket was beautifully chosen, even though this wasn't the casket my grandmother had chosen originally.  The interior fabric was a lovely baby blue.

It was very hard to keep my composure, especially when is saw him in the casket.  It just wasn't him and it was hard not to cry.  I pretty much teared away all of my makeup.  

The service was a beautiful service and they had other veteran's there to do his sound-off before the folding of the flag.  My dad also gathered all the shells and handed them out to family as a momenta and two for my grandmother to keep in the flag. 

We were also able to capture my grandmother with all of her boys
From Right to Left: Uncle Kenny, Larry and my dad Steve.

Monday, April 15, 2013

{Weekend Organizer} Run Strong

As a designer I have so many ideas running though my head at one given time, so it's nice when I finally see something come to fruition and my running inspiration wall is one of them. When my bed was angled I had planned exactly where I was going to put whatever inspiration I needed up using, but since moving my bed I had a design relapse. It took me a few weeks to figure out how to create before an asymmetrical design while still being visible when I wake up and I'll I had to do was move my mirror down a few feet.  Though this was after my bedroom spruce up since the last bedroom design.  
I had a few ideas at first and wanted to use some crafty ideas, but ended up keeping it simple and I'm really glad how it turned out.  Here are some art ideas I had thought about adding to the wall 1) run 2) felt banner 2) run strong 

Finally when I did a spurce up in my bedroom on 26th of March my running inspiration wall finally happened and I have to say I'm pretty happy wiht the results.  It's simple, but says what I need.

Large Frame: IKEA ODBY

Art: Quote by Gossip Girl. 
Live: Marshall's 
Med. Frame: IKEA Ribba White 
Art: Liberate Your Inner Awesome - found online
R: Cardboard letter is from Micheal's and I spray painted it a high gloss white
Embroidery hoop I found at a thrifty store after seeing this DIY
Green Clock: I had this on hand and don't really remember where or when I bought it.

View from my bed

I knew I wanted the clock there so I could read it, but it just didn't look right until I added the embroidery hoop.  It really adds some symmetry and I love the over all. I plan to add a real bookcase where the rubbermaid laundry shelf currently is to hold my shoes and workout books.  I may even bring down all my magazine, but maybe not.  I just have a plain white cheap 3 shelf bookshelf that I plan to paint and fabric the back of the wall with some fabric I found at JoAnn's.  The fabric really helps to inspire, but still adds a feme-retro look.

What ways do you have to create inspiration to run or workout?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

{Weekend Organizer} What's Hiding under the House Part 1

It's always hard to throw things away or even to give them away, but sometimes it;s necessary to let go in order to maintain your sanity.  My home has been creating a lot of stress and strain for me.  Mostly, due to my mom living with me and having to deal with not only my mess, but her's as well.  She also comes with a lot of baggage - clutter - junk - things she doesn't want to part with and trying to magically find a place to put these items.  This mess seems never ending between her room and the basement, as outside of that the house is pretty empty.  My room I'm sure could be less of some items, but for now it works and I keep it neat 90% of the time.  Mostly, my items are clothes that need to be put away or items from my closet that I'm going to post on poshmark or items for my etsy shop.

Surprisingly, we worked well together and there was very little to no arguing happening.  We took time to sweep once an area was cleared and took some items upstairs to be discarded in the garbage.  

Stuff that is unused, yet kept, requires space and management.
And time.
Lots of time.
Moving it around. Cleaning it. Working around it. Moving it around.
Do I even need to mention the money I've wasted on buying "organizers"
to store this unneeded stuff?

Goodbye House, Hello Home

On the 6th my mom and I headed to the basement to attack the overflowing mounds of clutter.  We didn't by any means get nearly finished with the job, as this will take I believe a few months to actually tame, but we did mean to clear out most of the main floor clutter and set up the new pantry area and made room for the freezer so it can be removed from my backyard deck

I took a few before photos and they're pretty shameful, but here they are:
Here is the view when you come down the stairs and look to the left.  Before we moved a few things around it contained my workbench - it's the large cardboard box on the left - lots of empty boxes to be used for goodwill runs and at some point storing items.

At the back far right - not visible - is our electrical panel so it would be nice to be able to access that as well.  Down the center is a black garage rack that stores our household cleaners, bug sprays and emergency supplies.

Then behind this shelf is my actual storage.  Things like empty DVD cases, electronic empty boxes, summer/winter clothing storage and ice/roller skates and some Christmas storage.  All items I use, but some are more seasonal items.

Behind the AC is a table with kids toys that my mom just had to have thinking she could resell them for a profit, however, several yard sales and Craigslist ads and they are still sitting in my basement.  These NEED to go.  Seriously I have no kids and I'm not planning on it so I'm not sure why she insists on keeping them.

This is the view of that same area above after we made some adjustments.  The upclose can be found at the TOP RIGHT.  We have a few of these black wire shelves that we purchased at Walmart for around $30 and thought they would work well for storing items in the basement, but some of the storage uses just weren't very functional for me.  We had been using one to store our extra food items aka our pantry, but the food didn't sit well on it and some items fell frequently.  So we found another cabinet that I had in my dining room and moved it down there for the food pantry.  So far I like how it looks - shown below - and we took the shelf we were using back to the back wall and are now using it for car cleaning supplies and maintenance items.  

The black wire shelving on the right now stores our household cleaners and emergency supplies.  

I do like so far where the shelves are and they wont be in the way of my workbench when I set that up, plus, I like not having the car oils near the food.  This is a far as we got with this area, and the right side didn't even get touched or under the stairs.  I still plan to find basket organizers to better separate the the cleaners and car supplies so that way the anti-freeze, oil, and engine fluids are separated in labeled bins so it not only looks neater, but will be far easier to find.  I will most likely use dollar store bins for this or see if any of the bins we've emptied will work.    

 This area is actually where we started in our clean out today.   Definitional an improvement and you can now see the window wall to the front of the house :)

This was the straight on view when you walked down the stairs - YIKES I know.  I dreaded coming down to the basement because everything that had been organized was behind new clutter that my mom had brought down from her room. 

On the back wall we had empty household boxes like for comcast and humidifiers that were in use, dog toys, treats, a bin for baby shower gifts, the glass screens for the kitchen window and the back door.  To the right is where we had our pantry storage, but it's not visible due to the brown cabinet that is hiding it.  We used the brown cabinet to store our breakfast items and my moms mixed drink packets.  We had to hide these items from the mice when they were creating a home in our basement.  However, we had the holes sealed up and killed about 10 of them including their babies and since then haven't had any so I think were safe with taking the food out.  I'd rather store appliances and dishware in covered storage so we don't have to wash them every time we want to use the.

Here is the new home for our pantry and the wooden cabinet I had in my dining room.  It works far better to keep the food on, and the solid shelves keeps them from falling down.  The filing cabinet keeps my moms flaxseed in one drawer - yes the whole drawer contains flaxseed + 3 hard containers that are on the pantry shelf that I couldn't fit in there.  The top drawer contains dried fruits and nuts.  The 3 drawer Rubbermaid is filled with teas and tea mixes.  I decided to use the coolers for storage so the yellow one contains extra ziplocs and plastic wrap and the big blue one contains my vitamin waters that are not sealed in a large pack.  Those are just stacked on the floor next to the teas. 

The electical outlets are over here since I had originally planned on putting my workbench where the pantry cabinet is, but it will still workout since the freezer will be moved down here.  The plan is to move it to the right of the pantry since it's hinged on the right and it really shouldn't be next to our HVAC system.  Currently, my dining chairs are to the right of the pantry, but they will be moving to my dining room in the next two weeks once I get the table set back up.  

it's taken me a week or two to clear out the dining room so I could make room for the table as it's pretty big and my dining room is pretty small.   I look forward to the dinner parties I will be having once the table is set up and the kitchen gets better organized on my window wall. 

Now that all that mess is clear out you can finally see the wall that faces the street.  I know it's pretty ugly, but this summer we hope to make some improvement to that by 1) having a professional come in and repoint the brick foundation on the side walls so we can then 2) use Behr paint's version of drylock to seal up all the holes and create a moisture barrier and hopefully keep the basement from being so dusty.  Then once that's all done we plan to 3) vacuum ceiling so that we can then add insulation between the beams, which we hope will help to regular the temperature.  However, before we can do this we have to clear out some of the items we don't need or use so the professional has room to move around.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Pvbody shows it all

I'm so excited that my month 2 PVBody shipment has arrived!  Yippee.  Though I have to say I was a bit nervous about how they were going to fit, heck if they were even going to fit, especially after my disappointment on having to send back the Capri's in my January shipment.  I could feel how tight they were and it made me realize that PVBody is not meant for all body types.  So if your a bit on the plump side PV Body / Ellie is only going to leave you feeling discouraged. I find that my body type is on the borderline; some pieces fit okay, but most just make me feel really fat. 

pvbody/ellie Racer Back from February, paired with yoga pants & Lululemon brisk run headband.

I did keep the top from my January shipment, however, after trying it on the other day I realized that I had obviously gained some weight since the shipment, because it was pretty tight.   So after receiving this months shipment I was glad to see that everything for the most part fit.  At the moment I wouldn't wear them together, but would pair them with other items.  The top I actually wore for my run the other day, under a Lululemon running jacket.  The pants I would wear with a loose fitting top, but I've just gained to much weight around my hips and waist to have the confidence to wear it outside the house.


Friday, April 5
37:33 Walk / 2.11 miles / 190 calories

Booty Firm Up by Bodyrock
20:20 intervals
Round 1
Explosive Star 12/5/6 + Plank to Pike Jump 4/4/4
Round 2
Pendulum 28/18/20 + Seated Bicycle 16/16/20
Round 3
Modified Push-Ups 7/11/9 + Flying Scissors 11/14/14

Sunday, April 7
39:05 Run / 3.60 miles / 420 calories
+ Power 90 Ab Ripper 100

18:41 Doggy Walk / 0.57 miles / 57 calories

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

{Weekend Organizer} Martha and Endive

It's been a whole months since I painted the kitchen, so I apologize for taking this long with the Martha Saves the day Series.  I've just been distracted and I know how many photos I took that day, and I think I've just been avoiding the whole post. Though If you've been following me on instagram, then you've already seen these photos. 

The day was long and hard and it'snot a day I want to go back and redue.  Though I am very happy with the outcome and do look forward to actually finishing the kitchen.  It makes me excited to begin working on the rest of my living space colors so that everything will flow together.  Though looking at everything that I will be painting over is a bit overwhelming and currently I've decided to take a break from any major expenses to the house, including painting until I can sell more items.  We've been at a major stand still with our craigslist sales so it's been hard to bring in any extra money to justify spending on more paint.

My kitchen before. Today the plan is to clear this wall, remove all hardware, seal up the holes, blue tape & add a coat of kilz primer. Godbye California blue your time has come to an end.

Top Left + Right: my walls look like they have the chicken pox,lol. The Hardware has been removed & the entire wall has been sanded. I even used my putty knife to scrap some imperfections like dried paint drips & bubbling before I added the spackle. It was a lot more work, but it will be worth it when I start to paint.

Bottom Left:   Wall spackle finally dried & now I'm wiping down the walls & trim to clean up all the dust. The rag cloth was yellow & almost all blue & I'm only halfway done. I think the rag will be completely blue once I finish. Then once the walls dry I'll begin taping then yes, finally begin painting.

Bottom Middle: Spackle dustings all swept up.

Bottom Left: Kilz primer. Say bye bye California Surfer Blue (embellished blue by Behr)

The walls were wiped down, taped, & ready for primer.   It took 2 costs of Kilz Primer around the trim & the corners to cover the blue & now my hand is sore, but now for the super fun part using the roller w the extender stick for a smooth easy application.

Looks like I'll be up until midnight at least to complete the priming process. The Kilz didn't quite kill The California Surfer blue from hell. So another coat is required to give Endive by Martha Stewart complete freedom to shine in its glorious beauty. So next a Netflix movie to allow time for the primer to dry & a much needed rest.

After a movie break & about 30 minutes to get me off the couch the 2nd coat of primer is finished. Now to bed & tomorrow I'll paint the actual color.  The time 2am.  It took from 2pm to 2am just to get this far. 

Here is my wonky wall view with 2 coats of primer.  

I'm so looking forward to seeing Endive (color on left) on the wall tomorrow.  It really stands out against the primer.

The 2nd coat of primer looks better in the morning, now that its dry.

Let the painting begin!

Painted around the trim complete. Now for the roller.

Kitchen view wonky wall after. It's so pretty, & feels light & airy. It opens up the space so much.

Kitchen after deck view. Loving the color.  This is a more accurate view of the color. 

Once everything was finished I decided to move my formica  table form the dining room into the kitchen.  Figured it would help to determine if I wanted an island there for prepping.  So far it's a much lovelier view and I'm very happy with the outcome. 

The kitchen has yet to be completed as I still need to install wall shelves above the able and paint the whole other side of the kitchen.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

2013-04-01 FM cough, blow, sweat

I'm a day late with this post, but this past week has been miserable and I'm surprised I've even gotten any workouts in at all with how I've been feeling.  I'm not sure how I was passed the nastiest of colds, but I have it and the doctor was of no help.  She basically told me to keep taking the OTC meds I had been taking and then prescribed some $20 flonase which really was of no help. 

I've had this cold for the past two weeks, and it wont shake off.  I feel as awful today as I did the first few days.   It starts out with the worst sore throat that will hurt every time you cough, but luckily this will only last a day or two until it moves into congestion and mucus build up and a dry cough.  It will stay here for a while and then it will build up into your ear canal and there it will linger.  I pray that you miss this spell of a cold.

I had started taking liquid Dayquil and NyQuil which helped tame the cough, but now it doesn't seem to phase the congestion so I switched to DayQuil gel caps.  Now I think it's time for the big guns...Musinex, the mucus killer.  I hope this works, as this cold has killed so many of my nights out this last week and is making my mornings miserable with a dry nasal cavity and a coughing fit.  

Here are what workouts I managed to get in.  

Thursday, March 28
30min Tone it Up Self D10
Morning Run
Minutes: 30.07
Miles: 2.66
Calories: 302

Work it Off Wednesday #7
20 deep squats
05 burpees
20 tricep dips
1 min plank

Friday, March 29
Light Cardio
Minutes: 15:19
Strides: 2200
Calories: 169
Resistance: 5
Incline: 8

Mini Ab Circuit
3 rounds w 30 sec rests between rounds
10 Russian twists
08 mod push ups
15 crunches

Lunch: Work for it
30/20/20 Mountain Climbers
20/20/20 Standing Russian Twist

Saturday, March 30
30min Tone it Up Self D10
Morning Run
Minutes: 37:45
Miles: 3.54
Calories: 414