Sunday, November 20, 2016

Writing about hedging foreign investments is boring

Good morning!  It's cloudy and rainy this weekend here, how is it where you are?  The weather here is so weird - it's really hot and dry in the summer, so everything dies, and then it all springs to life in the winter.  Our  yard is ridiculously green right now (All weeds), I just can't believe it.  Then my friends post pictures of 8 inches of fresh show, and talk about the first big accidents of the year that coincide with the first big snow of the year, and I remember why we were so happy about a move to California:  easy access to snow without having to live in the snow.

I really don't have much to say today.  I'm avoiding a paper that I'm working on about the documentation a company must have when they elect to hedge a foreign transaction.  Yes, it is exactly as boring as it sounds.  You know what isn't boring though?  The fact that if I just buckle down and work, I will be done with my Bachelor's degree in December 2017!  There is light at the end of this tunnel!

Also, we have wild turkeys that live all over the suburbs out here.  This is across the street from a school and a shopping center.  Totally unrelated to anything, but funny, right?  They all mysteriously made themselves scarce about 2 weeks ago - I'm thinking they started fearing that they would end up on someone's table, and headed for higher ground.

In other random news, I have been craving the steak salad from Costa Vida so hard lately.  In fact, I had one for lunch Friday, and another one yesterday.  They were both magnificent.  The baby is doing this really fun thing lately where he/she makes everything sound revolting except for one food.  Generally at lunchtime.  If I try to convince myself to think about eating something else, I get nauseous and start gagging.  So instead of fighting it, I roll with it.  Please don't judge me.

And speaking of baby, we're already bumpin' a little bit around here.  I'm almost 14 weeks now, but this was taken a few days ago.  It's hand to believe that in such a short time my stomach went from being mostly flat to looking like I've been eating Thanksgiving every day.  I'm curious to see how much more pronounced it is at Christmas, when I'll be about 19 weeks.  I'm already transitioning into maternity, and haven't been able to wear pants that weren't leggings for almost 3 weeks now. 

Anyway, that's it.  I should get back to foreign currency financial instruments, because this baby is not going to bring its own money with it.  Unless he/she is ridiculously adorable, and becomes the next Gerber baby or something...  We can all have hopes and dreams, I guess.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Guest Bedroom reveal

Guys, we did it!  We finished our guest bedroom quite a while back, and it's already had visitors in it TWICE.  Granted, it was my parents the first time and just my mom the second, but it counts, right?  I've literally had this post in my drafts since June, so I thought it was time to show off what we did.

Before:  Vertical blinds, builder beige, and stains galore.  Out of all of the spaces in this house, we knew it would be a big win for us to get this done, and an easy place to start, if a bit time consuming. Carpet is staying for now, so it was a matter of sprucing up the walls and getting rid of the ugly blinds.

After:  I mean... Wow.  We impressed ourselves on this one.  I wanted to create a homey space, that almost anyone would feel welcome in.  I realize that lovers of ultra-modern would probably loathe to spend the night, but luckily, we don't have any super-hip ultra-modern friends or family.

First up, I spent 4 hours scrubbing the heck out of the walls.  It was brutal, but paid off in huge dividends.  There was so much stuff on the walls, that it would have been a  nightmare to try to cover.  This is that same corner shown above.  Look Ma, the black stains are mostly gone!

Next up, I painted the ceiling and we primed the walls.  Ceiling painting is my FAVORITE thing, guys.  I don't know why, but I really, really like doing it.  Plus, who doesn't love being covered head to toe in paint spatter when you're done?  We ended up doing 2 coats of primer - the walls soaked up a ton of primer, and we were also covering over paint samples, which took some extra attention.

We were amazed just how much brighter everything looked once the beige was gone!  Also, pro tip:  just go ahead and buy your Kilz (primer) in 5 gallon buckets.  If you're doing more than one room, you will definitely use it, and it applies really thick, so it doesn't go as far as a gallon of paint does.

We also did 2 coats of paint.  It's a pretty standard sized room that holds a queen, and we used about a gallon of paint for both coats. The color is a super soft, pale blue by Glidden called Blue Frost.  Yep, like the gatorade flavor.  But the paint color is soooooooo much prettier than the beverage color.  Trust me.

From there, everything else was pretty simple.  We found the headboard on Wayfair, and added in furniture we already had:  The nighstands were our old ones that Ammon made to match our old bed.  We found the rocking chair and the dresser at our favorite thrift store back in CO.  There's still some small details missing, like a mirror to go over the dresser, and something for the top of the dresser.  But really, this room is ready for any guest who wants to come visit.

If you want to come next summer, though, you might need to get in line - apparently the new baby is quite the draw with our close family and friends.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Becoming "that" blogger

You know that blogger who used to blog all the time, and then life got boring, so they stopped.  And then!  Out of nowhere that same once boring blogger starts blogging again because BAM they're pregnant?


I pulled the ultimate blogger stunt and convinced my husband to take an ultimate blogger picture with me, with my favorite blog-friend turned real life friend behind the lens.  All so that if I decided to suddenly be a preggo/mommy blogger, I was prepared.

Side note - getting a pregnant woman onto a tree branch 6+ feet in the air isn't super hard, but getting her back down is.  That was probably unwise.

I guess now is where I tell you all how blessed we feel and how overjoyed we are.  Yes, all of that.  Mostly Ammon really, because he's the wonderful, caring, and romantic one in this relationship.  I'm over here just feeling fat, nauseous, and exhausted, and asking the OBGYN every time we go in if it's actually a real baby in there.  Suffice it to say that while I'm thrilled by the idea that we will have a kid in the near future, it really hasn't hit me with quite the same force that morning sickness and general malaise have.
But thank goodness for this guy, who has totally stepped it up lately.  He's remodeling our half bathroom for me, doesn't let me carry groceries, and insists on indulging my food whims and wants.  It's a little embarrassing how much I've let him spoil me.  He's even suffered through the dreaded pregnancy hanger which is infinitely worse than regular hanger.  I had no idea.

That's a great book idea, in fact:  "Pregnancy... I had no idea".  It could literally fill volumes.

Oh, and if you're wondering, we're due May 23rd.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Right things

Oh snap, it's been a minute.  I bet you thought I forgot my password for blogger or something.  No, none of us are quite that lucky (yet).  But anyway, how are you?  I hope you're doing well, wherever you are right now.  I can honestly say that here, things have been better recently.  So much better.  We've started trying to work out again.  I'm trying to make some friends.  We're settling into this new life that we spent the last year shaping, and I have to tell you - it is starting to feel right.

Right like handmade lemon custard ice cream from the best ice cream shop in the Sacramento valley.  Oh my word guys, if nothing else I post convinces you to come visit me, let this be what does it.  I almost wept it was so good.

Right like buying the watermelon socks that the bike shop had on sale Saturday morning between the two group bike rides, and putting them on immediately, because they are everything.

Right like the CUTEST tiny little purple bell pepper there ever was, and super sweet yellow pear tomatoes from our backyard.

And right like this sneak peak of our MOSTLY finished guest bedroom, just hours before my parents used it a few weeks ago.  We haven't gotten around to hanging the artwork yet, but really, it's so close to done that it counts around here anymore.

Tell me what's going right for you these days... I want to know!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Catching up, and air mattresses

Oh hey!  How are you guys?  I'm just over here, vegging out and being super lazy.  Extraordinarily lazy for me, in fact.  Like, at this point I've been so lazy that Ammon and I might be sleeping on an air mattress when my parents come to visit in a few weeks, because I haven't gotten around to picking out/buying our new mattress set yet.


In my defense, a lot has been going on lately, and it's taken my mind off of home stuff.  Which is good and bad.  Good, because the amount of money we spend when our minds are on house stuff is staggering, and we get a little obsessive over each detail.  Bad, because we can't live in our guest bedroom forever... Or can we?  No, Kristen, you can't sleep in the guest room forever, even though it's turned out to be stupidly adorable, and you have no idea how you are going to decorate your master bedroom.  That would be silly.

 Just a little sneak peak of that cute as heck guest room.  There's actually a bed, nightstands, and a rocking chair in there now, but I'm trying to hold off on taking any more pictures until it's 100% finished.  But it feels very antique and bed and breakfast-y.  Not the vintage look that is so cute and Joanna Gaines has single-handedly brought to the front of everyone's attention.  More of things that look like your grandparents or great grandparents might have had in their old farmhouse.  Comfortable.  Homey.

Anyway.  The stuff I've actually been doing.  Yes.  On to that stuff.

The term is finally over.  Finally.  That was a rough one.  Not because the class was hard.  In fact, the opposite was true.  I had Finance this term, which I had already taken as part of my Associate's degree.  I tried to petition to have it counted, but they refused.  Which was silly, really, because the class I just finished was leaps and bounds easier than the one I took for my Associate's degree.  Except for the final, that is.  For my first class, our final was an online multiple choice and short answer test.  For this class, it was a major Financial Analysis project.  Barf.

I spent 2 weeks straight doing very little other than working or working on that project.  It was my hill to die on, and boy, did I almost die on it multiple times.  But in the end, I pulled out a 10-page boring as all get out financial analysis that I am stupidly proud of, and my professor remarked was one of the best in the class.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief last night when I got my final grade.  Even though I was done on Saturday night, it never feels like you're 100% done until the final grades are posted.

And then right as I was finishing up the term, Ammon was sick for a few days, and I started a cleanse, which gave me the "detox flu" for a few days.  Guys, seriously pity Ammon.  I'm on a crazy-restricted diet right now, plus I'm not drinking coffee.  AND I was sick for the first 3 days of the cleanse, because my body was overwhelmed by the detox.  I've been trying to not complain and take it in stride, but it left me not feeling like myself, and unable to do much of anything.  I ended up sleeping on the couch one night, because I was in so much pain I couldn't get comfortable in bed and I was keeping Ammon up.  It was bad news bears, guys.  Bad news.  Short lived though, because I'm now on day 6, and feeling mostly normal.  I still get some crazy headaches a few times a day, but nothing nearly like those first three days.

Oh, and then last night, it was girl's night.  I met up with the girls I met at the winery a while back, plus 2 girls I hadn't met before.  We had a lot of fun.  If I' being honest, this was probably a good use of my time - getting out of the house and making new friends is becoming a bigger priority for me, as we're finally feeling settled into our lives here.

It was declared that I'm the Charlotte of the group, which I'm entirely all for.  Whenever I watch Sex and The City, she's the character I identify with and root for.  Like, when she went off on Big and it sent her into labor?  I was cheering for her all the way!

And then tonight, I decided that we needed to have burrito bowls, since it's Cinco de Mayo and all, and Ammon decided that he didn't want to eat gluten-free, soy-free, refined-sugar-free limited grain vegan with me at home (I told you it was ridiculously restrictive), we should go to Free Birds.  And oh man, that burrito bowl was like heaven in my mouth.  Obviously, this meant that I couldn't possibly work on the house, because once you've had dinner, the night is practically over, right?

So, yeah.  Maybe I'll work on house stuff tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll find another excuse to put it off.  Air mattresses aren't the end of the world, I guess...

What SATC character did you always identify with?

What's your favorite strategy for putting off housework?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Stream of Consciousness

Ammon's downstairs right now blaring some awesome crooner style jazz and doing the dishes.  And all I can think about is how jealous I am, because I'm sitting in our office where I'm supposed to be working on my final project for my Finance class.  Spoiler alert:  It isn't going well at all.  I thought it would be a good idea to analyze his company, since part of his compensation package is vested stock options.  Instead, I find myself very concerned over our financial future.  The stock market can be such a Debbie Downer.

Speaking of downer's, these "scones" were a huge disappointment.  I had really high hopes for them, but when they literally fell flat in the oven, so did all of my dreams.  It's probably good though, because I've had some decent baking successes lately, and I was probably getting overly confident in my skills.  Nothing like flat scones to remind you it's all a work in progress, I suppose.

 This, my dears, is a loaf of Sourough I made that was decidedly NOT a failure.  Ammon, who professes to hate sourdough, seemed to enjoy it.  How I'm able to win with wild yeast, but fail with baking powder is completely beyond me.

Speaking of things made more delicious with yeast, wine.  Oh, wine.  And beer.  And cider.  You're all delicious, but I'm planning on quitting you.  I've got a 2 week liver-cleanse program coming that I'm super excited about, but in order to do any good, the tasty beverages have gotta go buh-bye.  Glad that Girl's Night at the winery was this last weekend and not this weekend, because I would be sad indeed.  I'm planning on starting the program as soon as it gets here, so any day now.  I'll keep you posted on how that goes.  

Oh, and did I mention I'm planning on going off coffee for those two weeks too?  Feel sad for my husband and co-workers.  And perhaps pray for them.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why can't we be friends?

 I've been struggling a lot with making friends here.  Oof.  That was a hard start to this blog post, but it is true, and I don't know any other way to start this off.  It hasn't been a small struggle, it's been a huge struggle.  I knew it would be hard, but I didn't expect it to be this hard.

When I was 18, I moved over 1,000 miles away to go to college, and I knew nobody.  It was easy to meet new people, because when you're in college, you have to go out and interact with the rest of the world.  There are classes, on-campus jobs, clubs, activities, parties, dorms, and more that are all pushing you to meet new people and make friends.  Back then, meeting people was easy, but making friends was harder.  I ended up making some amazing friends, people I still adore to this day.  But it wasn't without its challenges.

Then I moved back home after college, after meeting some of the greatest people a girl could ever be blessed to meet.  And it was hard-ish to meet new friends, but not impossible.  After all, I had grown up there - I still had friends, and those people had new friends that I became friends with.  It's how I met one of my favorite best friends on the planet, in fact.

And I also started working at a furniture store that changed my life forever by bringing love and friendship with it.

And naturally, I continued to build on friendships as Ammon's and my relationship grew, as we changed jobs, started school, etc.  We built a great network of people, and as I look back on it, it was remarkably easy.  We were surrounded by some the genuinely best people I have ever met.

When we moved here, I expected that the same thing would happen, and for Ammon at least, it kind of did.  He has 2 fantastic co-workers.  They're awesome, and we love to hang out with them.  But I haven't been nearly as lucky.  I've really struggled with friends.  I've struggled with myself.  I've struggled with being ready to put down roots here, because when I do, it means that this isn't just an extended vacation, it's our lives, and they're now being lived out in CA.  Far away from those fantastic people who I have relied on so much over the years to bring me out of my introversion, and far away from the fun.

So where does that leave me?  Well, I joined a website that helps you make friends.  So basically, it's online friend-dating.  I mean, I think we're all pretty clear that finding love and friends online works... Blogging has brought me several friendships, and so many people I know met the loves of their lives online.  So maybe. just maybe, I can use this tool to find some friends out here too, not just all of you incredible people from all over the world.  Last night I got to meet up with 2 ladies who use the same website that I'm currently on.  We went to a winery that was doing a concert, and it was pretty fun.  There was definitely some awkwardness, and it was hard to talk too much over the music, but it was a good first start.

Am I convinced yet that this is going o find me the friends of my dreams?  No, it probably won't.  Honestly, at this point it's just about getting me out and engaged in society again.  Trying something new, and getting (far) outside of my comfort zone.  But I wouldn't hate it if I found a new friend or two in the process.

Where do you meet friends?

Is it easy for you to make friends?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

A little house tour maybe?

Happy weekend, everyone!  Weekends around here lately have been a flurry of trips to Home Depot, homework, and home repair projects.  AKA, it's pretty much like living our dreams right now, because I don't try to put limits on what we do and don't need at "the Depot".  Inevitably, if we don't get something, we're going back in a day or so for it anyway, so I might as well just bite the bullet and stick it in the cart now, right?  
But anyway, I figured I should show you what the house looked like before we started doing anything, so that when we start showing you what it looks like after renovations, you all can fully appreciate our toils.  And also, it's fun to look at houses... at least, we think it is.

This is us with the outside of the house.  It's a 2 story 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a 2 car garage.  It's got Stucco siding, and was built in 1994.  We really didn't want a Stucco house, or a house that was younger than us, but it was a really great deal, so we decided to overlook these deficiencies.

When you first walk in, it's like a choose your adventure story.  You can go straight into the living room, or you can make a hard left, and there's a hallway with the half bath, a storage closet, the laundry room, and the kitchen.

The family room opens up onto the dining room, which has access to the yard.  The light fixture screams early 90's to me - I think my parents  may have the exact same one in their dining room (their house was built in 1991).

Californians in the 90's were obsessed with tile countertops in kitchens, almost every house we looked at had tile counters.  I hate them with a burning passion.  I do not hate my butcherblock island, though.  That I adore almost as much as I adore kittens.  We need to sand it down and re-seal it, and the top isn't actually affixed to the base, but no matter.  It's still great.  On the far side of the kitchen is a breakfast nook, which we're using for storage and housing the dog right now.

 Laundry room that also has a door to the garage.

 Half-bath.  The home-builders loved extended counter-tops and oversized mirrors in this house, as you will see.

At the top of the stairs is a great loft area.  We lived in the loft for the last month while we got the guest room ready.  

 Upstairs hall bathroom.  More counters.  More mirrors.
 The guest bedroom.  We planned on moving into it right away, but after we washed the walls and they were still all gross, we decided to make fixing it up our top priority.  Friday night was our first night sleeping in there.

The other upstairs bedroom.  It's our office right now, and as we speak I'm sitting at my desk under that window.  Eventually we hope it'll become a nursery, but probably not for a while yet.

 Our Master Bedroom.  It's HUGE!  We are getting a new bed, because a Queen sized bed would look silly in this room.  This is also the only room I am planning on getting professional help with decorating.  I'm entirely at a loss as to what our space should look like.
 The Master bath.  More countertops, and more mirrors.  There's another vanity section with another sink not shown in this picture.  My entire sorority pledge class could look at themselves in this mirror with no problem.

I told our realtor that I wanted to buy this house as I was laying on the floor making carpet angels in our master bedroom closet.  Really, it's a true story.  Ammon has some big plans for tricking this closet out and making it super functional.

So there you have it!  One month into home ownership, and we wouldn't trade any of this for the world.  Once we start having some finished projects, I'll start sharing the results!