Thursday, March 26, 2015

Careplane Package

So I am beyond excited about this little gift I pulled together last minute. J.O. is going to Germany for business and I have wanted to sneak something into his carry on for him to find. I have been stumped though about what to do. It can't take up too much room and I wanted it to be useful. Then it hit me... a care package with snacks and drinks for his very long plane ride. But of course it needed a clever name and since care rhymes with air...well you all get it.

This is really easy to put together. I gathered some of his favorite snacks (beef jerky, almonds, chips, reese's cups, and chocolate covered raisins) and repackaged them into sandwich bags. This isn't absolutely necessary but I wanted to package it all in a small box and they wouldn't fit in a their original packages.

I then packaged a selection of his favorite alcoholic beverages in a quart sized bag. This is very important because otherwise they won't be to bring the drinks through security. You should also take into account how many liquids they usually pack with them when they travel. J.O. doesn't usually bring anything so he should be fine, but if they tend to pack lots of bathroom stuff this might not be the best idea....

I added two cards, one with a personal note and another with some "common" German phrases for him to use. And when I say common, they tend to do with Beer drinking since he won't have that much time to actually sight see. Finally, I tied everything together with some ribbon and will sneak it into his bag. I think I might send him a text telling him to check his bag before he goes through security, just in case.

Raspberry Arnold Palmer

One of my all time favorite drinks is the Tazo Shaken Iced Passion Tea Lemonade. Wow! That is a mouth full. But I love them, especially in the summer. They are just so refreshing...and expensive. I could easily spend all of my coffee fund on this drink. Therefore, I decided to create my own at home.

6 Bags of Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Tea
One Can of Frozen Lemonade Concentrate
Fresh or Frozen Raspberries

Boil 1 liter of water.
Soak the tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes (I'm not positive on this time but I like to let my iced tea bags to soak for awhile. I like strong tea).

Add Lemonade Concentrate and stir until completely dissolved.
Fill Pitcher with water
Add Raspberries and ice. Enjoy.

This ended up being a little sweet for my taste. I might use only 1/2 or 3/4 of the can next time. But I cannot wait to try this with other flavors of tea. I have some peach and some mango ones that will probably be awesome!

Kool Kiwi Martini

Kool Kiwi Martini

3 oz Chopin Vodka
1 oz St. Germain
1/2 Lime Juiced
1 Peeled Kiwi
Splash of Simple Syrup

Muddle kiwi and lime juice in a cocktail shaker.
Add alcohol and simple syrup.
Add ice and shake vigorously (make sure the top is completely on or you will get a nice shower)
Strain into martini glass.

Originally Posted in

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Debt Free 2015

This year I had two major new years resolutions:

  1. To lose my post-college/desk job weight 
  2. Pay off a large portion of my debt. 
Surprisingly goal #2 has been much easier for me to make progress on.  Who'd have thought it would be easier to lose debt than lose weight?!?

Over the next several months I want to share with you all the progress I have been making and any tips/tricks or inspirations that seem to help. To help you understand here is my debt story.

I begin my debt life with the beginning of my adult life, I went to college. (Charles Dickens anyone?)

As soon as I start classes at CU I took out student loans to pay for them. My first semester of school I was able to live on money I had earned the previous summer but after that I worked between 25-35 hours a week. Each year I racked up more an more loans. With the exception of this I didn't have any debt. I paid off my credit cards each month and didn't have a car loan.

After graduating I decided to move to the San Francisco Area. I was able to save a fair amount of money but moving across country is expensive! To help supplement this cost and started charging things to my credit cards that I couldn't pay off. Once in the bay, I continued to buy things I really couldn't afford/need. But it was all going on my card so it didn't feel like real money. Pretty soon I had some substantial credit card debit.

The last piece of mess I have created is my car payment. A few months after moving out here, my car was totaled. I wasn't hurt but I had to buy a new car. Now I probably should have bought something cheap. Instead I had my heart set on a Mini Cooper Convertible. While it wasn't particularly expensive it might not have been the best decision I have ever made.

Sometimes, I ask myself do I regret the decisions I made that led me down this black hole? The answer is complicated.

No I don't regret going to school but I do regret not searching for more affordable ways (community college classes, scholarships).

I also don't regret moving to California. I just wish I would have done a few things differently. I bought lots of things I didn't need and made bad spending decisions about things I did.

Do I regret buy my sporty little car? Absolutely not. I spend a lot of time driving and this makes it a whole lot more fun. I had to buy a car so I might as well get something I love.

Even though I don't regret my decisions that got me here, doesn't mean am necessarily happy with the place I am at. Being this much in debt is hard. It's like a weight is pulling me down keeping me from living the life I really want. Therefore I have vowed to change it, while I know I can't pay everything off this year, here's to Debt Free 2015!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

House Cleanse: Day 1 Goodbye Extra Bedding

So I have a lot of stuff. As in a absurd amount, that takes up way to much room, and basically is stressing me out. I moved last month and that gave me a wakeup call that I don't need this much stuff. But you know what getting rid of it is really difficult. I am constantly thinking, what if I need it eventually? I don't want to buy something that I already have. This cleanse is an attempt get rid of that mentality and make life slightly simpler.

Day 1 consists of me getting  rid of all of the extra bedding I have. This means I am giving away the following:

Throw pillows (I did keep three, two for my bed and one for my reading chair).
European sized pillows that I needed for my old comforter set. (I have decided that even if I get a new comforter that has European Shams I am not going to use them. They just end up on the floor by my bed).
Several sets of full sized sheets (I have a queen bed why in the world am I keeping the wrong size sheets?)
My comforter set from my sophomore/junior year of college (I have since had two other comforters and was keeping it just in case).
Several blankets
Some blue sheer curtains that matched my old comforter.

All of this will be donated to my local non-profit thrift store.

So far I am feeling good about this. We shall see how the rest of it goes!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Dressember: Day 1

Dressember Day 1:

What I'm wearing: 

Black Maxi Dress from PacSun bought in 2009
"Love" Sweater by Modern Lux bought at Ross earlier this year
Thrifted Red Belt
Black Flats by Mad Love from Target

Sorry about the poor photo quality. My camera is out of commission for a few days so I was forced to take these with the webcam on my computer. Obviously not the best option.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wine Crate Bookshelves

So I haven't posted anything in almost three months. No I didn't die or give up on this blog. Much more exciting that that: I moved to California. So moving, finding a new job and then a new apartment has kind of been all consuming of my life. But I am back now with so much amazing stuff to share. I am working on a gazillion projects to get my apartment all in order and here is the first installation: Wine Crate Bookshelves.

I love these shelves from DesignedforUse on Etsy but at $275 a pop they were a little out of my price range.  Luckily I was able to find a man who had tons of old wine crates and was able to create my own. So here is how I made them:

Piece of wood to help sturdy the book shelf
Power Drill
Drill bits

Find some crates. Look on craigslist. Or buy some from the craft store.

Stain your crates. I used Ebony stain from Home Depot. I used the staining technique described in Young House Love (which might be my new favorite blog. Just saying) to make new wood look old.  Wear gloves or you'll end up with hands like mine.

Sand down any parts that are too dark.

Screw the crates together. Make sure you screws are long enough to go through both crates but don't go all the way through the second crate.

Take you piece of wood and attach to back of crates. Drill holes in the wood first to keep it from cracking.

Add a piece of nylon ribbon to the top. Use this to secure it to the wall. Mine were still a little wobbly and this definetly made me feel much better about them. Throw a few picture frames on top to hide that part.

A couple of things I noticed:

Make sure all your crates are pretty much the same dimensions. When I was picking mine out there were some that were as much as 1/2 inch deeper. That would make for a slightly wonky bookcase.

When I was screwing the crates together they didn't exactly lie flat against each other. This is ok as long as they are securely connected. When you add the stabilizing board it will help to keep them together as well.

There is a slight hight difference in my two shelves. It doesn't bother me but it did mean that one of the stabilizing boards is slightly too tall. I only measured one bookshelf and it happened to be the taller one. I might go back and cut off the extra but I doubt it. If this is something that would bother you make sure that you measure both shelves before getting your wood cut.

PS. I just had the guys at home depot cut the stabilizing boards for me