Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Decorations 2010!

I was nervous this Christmas decorating season...a whole house to decorate...and my puny lil pile of Christmas decorations leftover from my apartment ::gulp::

Have no fear, Black Friday is here! I scored some great more-than-half-price-off decorations and a great Christmas tree. Along with some creativity (fishing line, hooks, 1/2 price fabric, and festively wrapped cardboard boxes), I think I achieved the festive, yet-non-Griswoldesque look I was going for. The outside of the house leaves much to be desired, only a few poinsettas and a wreath, but next year folks, next year there will lights.

So here you go, Christmas Decorations 2010 in all their holiday beautifulness :)

Snowflake mobile over my couch! (fishing line, screw-in hooks and glittery snowflakes)


Breakfast nook

Christmas tree!

Festive wall vases

Behind the kitchen sink

Presents on top of the cabinets

I love my new elf candle holders from CB2!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Vet

I loathe traveling anywhere with my cats. I really really do.

Why? Short answer (some of you have heard the full tales):

Bacon pooping in his carrier and prompting an immediate pull-over-at-nearest-gas-station-and-try-not-to-breathe-until-you-get-there response

Eggs screaming (yes) so much that I let her out of her carrier and she then proceeds to crawl from the backseat, over the drivers seat and my shoulder, down my front, trying her best to wedge herself between the gas and brake pedals.

Bacon ripping a cardboard carrier (stupid idea) airhole enough to push his head through, and then toppling face first from the seat to the car floor.

So, I was not looking forward to traveling the 15 minutes to the vet with both of them in my car. The reason for the vet? Nothing serious- just been awhile since they had shots and they are both fat and I need help getting them to lose some weight.

Claire attempted to help me get them in their carriers on Wednesday, but it was an epic fail when Bacon rocketed out of his carrier before she could slam the door shut and hid under my bed. The vet graciously rescheduled me for Friday.

Yesterday, I pulled out the big guns and had my friend, Moose, come help me. She's great with cats.

The cats ended up in the carrier, but not before Moose almost got her hand amputated by Bacon's flailing front legs and the mattress and boxspring on my bed were removed to actually get Bacon out from under the bed. When I closed the door on the last carrier, Moose looked at me and said "Wow. I have NEVER seen cats struggle so much. That was pretty bad". Finally, the reason for my loathing-traveling-with-my-animals has been recognized by somone other than me.

I drive the 15 stressful, ear-drum splitting minutes (my cats scream, they really do) to the vet. At which, my cats proceed to demonstrate that they are not really domestic house cats but sabertooth tigers that were undiscovered, spitting, growling, cowering in the most inaccesible corner in the office, etc. The only way to get the blood, give the vaccines, shave Eggs, etc was to sedate them. Both of them. Seriously, who has cats that need sedated for a CHECKUP!? ::raises hand:: So I leave them for a few hours in the very capable hands of the vet...who has been laughing through the Eggs and Bacon Show, whilst I am practically in tears and horribly embarrassed by their uncharacteristic behavior.

3 hours later and my holiday money now spent at the vets, I bring home two yowling and seriously ticked off cats who, even though it's almost 24 hours later, are still hissing at me whenever I walk past them, but it's okay if they bite me, because they've been vaccinated.

I just can't wait to see how they handle this diet food. I'm afraid I'll wake up one morning missing a big toe because Sabertooth Bacon (or Eggs) has nibbled it off...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gotta love dreams

I had a dream last night that I was competing in a triathlon...after I ran a half-marathon. Apparently, I am an over-achiever even in my dream state.

'Course, I didn't end up doing the triathlon, 'cause I hadn't finished packing my transition bag the night before and my bike tires weren't pumped up since it had been sitting in the garage for the last 5 months...and I was stressing out about being able to get out of the transition area before they closed it and was freaking out to my running/training buddy Lisa about it...this is the second triathlon dream I have had since being sidelined and the location of the tri was the same...some random lake in the middle of the's quite a pretty locale with a smooth-as-glass lake that looks fun to swim...

This is what happens when you cheer on a friend who is running a half-marathon with your running buddy earlier in the day and then talk about marathons with friends over dinner...and you are currently experiencing a moratorium on tri-ing/running. ::chuckle::

Least I can run/tri in my dreams, right? :)

Just call me Harry...

Yes, minus the electric blue spandex running pants that "Harry" sports in a speed-walking scene in the movie "When Harry Met Sally", that's me....bent elbows and everything...although I do hope my hips don't rock as much as his did because that CAN'T be good for anyone's back... (I know that's random, but I remember thinking how...well...dorky he looked speedwalking...oh how the proud must fall :) )

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I've recently started reading through Psalm 27 and I am breaking it down verse by verse and spending time thinking about, praying about, and writing about what each verse means. It's been incredibly fruitful and I love what God is teaching me (or reminding me of!). I'm not going to share my thoughts on each verse, but will trying to give you a sampling. I'm using the ESV Bible.

"The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"- Psalm 27:2

From Merriam Webster: "A stronghold is 1) a fortified place, 2) a place of survival or security, and 3) a place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic

Where to start....

A fortified place is a place that has been added to, built up to provide extra protection. Everything around me can fall apart (by the way, I'll write more about this with my thoughts on verse 3...) but if I stick near to God, the stronghold, the fortified place, I will not be shaken, or rather, the important stuff won't be shaken (i.e. the fact that I belong to Him) because face it, we're human and stuff does shake us up. Praise God that He doesn't move.

A place of survival or security- for me, the thought of trying to draw one breath without God is, mind-boggling. I know I "did it" at one point- before He, in His grace and mercy showed me my need of Him, but I could not imagine going through every day life, let alone hardships, without Him. It points back to the "fortified" part- He is stable. This world is not. I can mercifully seek Someone who is stable and I know He is there and that my hope lies with Him. Eternally.

A place dominated by a particular group or marked by a particular characteristic- I want to be marked as a woman who loves the Lord (that's the particular characteristic)- that every action, word, and thought is saturated with Him, that people see Him through my actions and words. I fall very short of this mark, but it's a process, and I pray that my desire to honor Him in everything will only increase through the years.


I signed up for a race.

The Reindeer Run/Walk 5k. The first race I ever did three years ago. This year, I'm going to walk it with my running buddy, Lisa, who is awesome.

I'm just a bit excited to sign up for a race again. Just a bit.

::imagine 50 million ginormous grins right here::

See told ya, just a bit.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Small touches

Just a few small things I've been doing around the house:

1) White spray paint is awesome

A $3 can of spray paint goes a long way. I painted these frames to better fit in with my color scheme. And "Harriet" got a white coat as well. My roommate, Claire, bought one of these wire blackbirds from CB2 (his name is Horatio) and I liked it so much that I bought one too (Harriet)

White frames

Harriet and Horatio

Harriet's perch

2) Light fixtures!

Irma's husband, Jonathan, came over today and spent 2.5 hours hanging several light fixtures that I had purchased. Amazing what a difference it makes!

Perfectly nice Tuscan style, but not me.

Hehe, much more me :)

Again, nice Tuscan style, but not the look I am going for

Sleek, modern pendant (sorry for the different angle). Ah, now for a dining table!

From bare bulb in the closet-turned-office to funky flower fixture :)

Workouts this week!

Oh yeah, that's right, I am posting about my WORKOUTS THIS WEEK!!!!! ::happy dancing::

Monday- had PT and my chiropractor said not to come back this week. Yup, you read correctly, I'm trying only ONE PT session per week. Thank you Lord!

Did a two mile walk Monday evening and it hurt. A lot. I stepped off of a curb too hard and jarred my back so strongly that I exclaimed outloud and grabbed my back. But after some ice, it felt back to its usually "hi, I'm Melissa's back and I like to make my presence known but I'm getting less stubborn about it" feel.

Wednesday- 4 miles on the recumbent stationary bike and a 1 mile walk. Felt pretty good.

Thursday- 2o minutes on the elliptical (first time I have done that! The back didn't hurt AT ALL) and a 1 mile walk...felt the walk, had to slow the pace.

I plan to aquajog today.

And all of this with only ONE PT session this week. Considering I've been doing 2 sessions a week for the past 3 months, this is a HUGE deal. So thankful to be moving in the right direction, ha, just thankful to actually be moving! :)

Cleaning supplies?

This is a pretty random post. I've been trying to stick with "green" cleaning supplies as much as possible. I started with the Greenworks brand when I first got my house- but it turns out I am not a fan because it leaves a sticky residue (sticky floors are not fun).

I recently switch to using Meyer's products (cleaners and laundry detergent). I LOVE this brand. They smell SOOOO good.

Basil scent for laundry, floors, and bathroom. Lemon verbena scent for kitchen

The laundry detergent is a great deal too. I thought at first "this is going to be pricier" but when I looked at the numbers- nope. Most all natural laundry detergents that are good for H.E (high efficiency) machines are expensive (usually around $9-11 for ~26 loads). Meyer's (purchased at Walmart): $7.98 for 32 loads. Not a huge price difference, but it still counts!!

If you're using natural cleaning supplies as well, what do you recommend? And yes, I know that you can mix vinegar and stuff like that, but 1) I'm lazy and 2) it doesn't smell as pretty :)...still, Id be interested to hear suggestions.