Wednesday, April 14, 2010

daily trial

Spring has inspired some intense cleaning in the McCrowell apartment. When I get in my cleaning mode it's quite scary- I mean there is no cabinet too low to 409 or stain to tough to remove (seriously, I've mastered the removal of ink stains from our white couch- rubbing alcohol, who knew???).

Anyway, the ONE thing I can't seem to overcome is my volcanic hamper. No matter how many times I fold my clothes and put them away, they creep back into and around my hamper in a matter of days, sometimes hours! And I don't mean to imply that it is because I'm dirtying several outfits a day - this is serious - these are clean clothes crumpled into a ball or tossed onto the floor! Why? Who wants to throw their clean clothes onto their more-often-than-not dirty floor?

Not only is this a gross habit, but the resulting daily need to iron simple things like camisoles slows me down and irritates me. Even worse is the fact that I have to literally create a path to my hamper each morning. I'm not kidding, I have to shuffle clothes around to make enough space so that I can approach my hamper- pathetic.

If you identify with this struggle and or have a solution I would love to hear your sorrows and welcome any advice.

Below is a generic photo to represent my hamper on a good day. I say "good" because the clothes are piled high, but aren't falling onto the floor. This height is dangerous, I agree, but it gives the perception the room is cleaner than if things were sprawled across the floor. This is the look I go for if we're expecting company...or I just want to feel accomplished.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Swore I Would Never Do This...

...but my work has created a consumer promotion around pets and I thought some of you could enter. Here goes my shameless plug.

The winning pet will receive $1,500 cash and three finalists will receive a $400 gift card to a national pet supply store.

Main stuff you need to know:

  • photos should be emailed between April 12th - May 12th, 2010 to with the following info: Pet's name, location (city & state), breed, & a brief description of the image
  • you can submit up to 5 photos and can include more than one pet
  • enthusiasts and pet lovers will vote for the winner and the runner ups from May 14th - May 23rd, 2010; winners will be announced on May 24th

If you don't live in an apartment you can still enter. The idea is to show us in pictures how your pet lives...and if you can make it appear like its an apartment setting then that is even better! We're just after some creative and cute pictures of your four-legged family members, so send em on in!!!

Monday, April 12, 2010


This was my favorite day from this past weekend...seriously. I woke up early and moved from the bed to the couch to watch some tv, amazing. After some time being lazy, I went for a run. It wasn't anything remarkable, but it felt good to be productive.

Jake got home from cycling soon after me and we decided we wanted to go out and do something. Jake usually approaches every day with this intense motivation for activity, but this was newer for me. We ran some errands and randomly decided to go to Conte's to check out their used bike sale. I was thinking we might find a mountain bike for Jake or a beach cruiser for myself but we had no such luck. Jake sneakily told the sales associate we wanted information on a entry level cycle for me...umm, no thank you. I have definitely mentioned that I'd like to get into the sport, but not yet!!! We looked at a few bikes and I politely refrained from mounting/test riding any of them. Honestly, I can barely get on a regular bike without almost falling over (graceful, I know) so the thought of climbing onto the something supported by 1/2" wide tires is terrifying. To avoid this fear, I quickly turned the focus on to Jake, he is the one who is counting down til graduation so he could make this type of purchase anyway. A lot of questions were asked and answered and after everything was said and done he walked out a new bike owner! There is a lot more that went into than this, but since this only takes us to about 2:00pm I'm giving the abridged version. Main details, he goes to get "fitted" this week and should have the bike by Friday. As I'm sure you've already guessed, he has made plans to cycle Saturday, and I'm sure will add on a ride for Sunday too.

After this big purchase we celebrated by painting the kitchen! I won't go into detail but here are some before and after pictures.



Lastly, this past Saturday marked being married for 6 months! We're not typically celebrators of non-annual anniversaries but Jake is a fan of unexpected was proven this weekend. He told me in the morning he was going to take me to Croc's for dinner and I was genuinely excited. As we were getting in the car, he got a call from his clinical instructor, Alex, asking if we could jump his car. The story was that his wife was at work and he had tried a few other people before Jake but no one was answering. Supposedly, they had just made the connection on Friday that we lived close to each other- how convenient! Anyway, I was happy to help him out and proceeded to drive out to 89th St.

The following should have been dead giveaways that Jake was up to something:
  1. He suggested we bring our dinner.
  2. When we left our complex (before Alex's call) he asked if taking Shore Dr. would be quicker than the interstate- it isn't if you're going to Croc's, it is if you're going to the North End...let's say 89th St. Plus, I'm awful at directions and taking the shortest route; he of all people knows this about me!
  3. As we walked out, he went back to grab his jacket and asked if I wanted mine. I didn't think this was necessary...since we would be dining in.
  4. He was way too excited when Alex called and even put him on speakerphone...once he hung up, he instructed me to take Shore Dr. after all.
  5. When I got to 89th St. he told me to park on the street, even though I suggested it make more sense to call Alex and see where his car was.
  6. Upon parking, he said Alex was killing time on the beach and we could meet up with him down there and then follow him back to his car.
As we were walking down the path to the beach I knew something was up...the picnic blanket with flowers, a handmade poster (with our names and french bulldog cut outs created by Alex and sons), and wine confirmed. Jake had coordinated this whole thing with Alex on Friday, he even recruited him to set it all up while we were painting! His plan was to have a little appetizer and wine on the beach before our 7:30 reservation at Croc's- he timed everything perfectly, I was blown away. Hallmark holidays come and go and we don't do very much, but when I least expected it he pulled something off that required actual planning. It was awesome and thoughtful.

the view

Sunday, April 11, 2010


This weekend was insanely productive. To prove just how busy I was, I will be creating posts recapping each day. I had some high moments and some low moments, but all rank blogworthy...enjoy.

This past Friday I got off work early (a definite PLUS) and Jake finally agreed to go with me to pick out and purchase paint for the kitchen (another PLUS). After bouncing back and forth to decide between buying from Lowe's or Home Depot, we parked at Lowe's. We compared tons of colors before we settled on a marine inspired blue. When we asked the Lowe's team member to help us, we discovered the shade we had selected was a $30+ can of paint! Now, I don't consider myself as frugal as Jake but I definitely knew we could find a color we liked equally for less (remember, we're renting so I'm not trying to spend a fortune). The woman pointed us in the direction of our other options and explained how as you moved from left to right, the paint price increased. We carried ourselves and our first choice swatch to the furthest left hand rack and began trying to match the shade as best we could. Despite our efforts, we couldn't find anything comparable- this was frustrating considering how long it took us to agree the first time around. And so, a search for a runner up began....the winner was green grapes and our total came to $20!

Now, I'm sure you're thinking my night couldn't get any better than this, but it did! I was timing everything perfectly (including our Lowe's adventure) to pick the rents up from the airport at 9:30pm, but my mom's text t 9:00 that they were delayed until 10:40 threw things off. Being the flexible person that I am, I went back to their house, watched some tv with Jake, and played with Finn. Around 10:20 I left Jake behind and headed to Norfolk International Airport (you're not missing much if you've never flown in or out of here). I pulled in to curbside pick up at 10:35 and listened to my radio to pass the time. Come 11:00 I was curious whether there had been additional delays with their flight, but if you've ever been at curbside pick up you know that leaving your car unattended for even a split second is not a good idea, so I waited. At 11:08 the lights dimmed and the music cut off- my car battery died. AWESOME. At 11:15 a security officer came close enough that I could ask for parents arrived at my car at 11:17. PERFECT. We waited for the officer to come back and jump my car (time escaped me at this point) and finally arrived home at 11:56. Poor Jake was asleep on their couch, he had to be in Suffolk (about 45 minutes away) at 8:00am for a group cycle.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fancy Feet

My latest obsession (yes, for the moment I've moved on from Rob) is shoe clips. I was eating with my friend Sallie and she was talking about how she was having custom shoe clips made for her bridesmaids (plaid ones in case you were wondering) and it reminded me of when I was planning my wedding and considered them as well. Honestly, how cute are these?

What I love about shoe clips is that they are interchangeable! I can jazz up my black work pumps AND then some dress shoes...the possibilities are endless- well actually they end with how many shoe options you have, but still you get the point.

Let the record show I have not officially indulged this new interest but am seriously considering it. Too bad I didn't think about this sooner, something like the purple flower would have been an adorable addition to my Easter outfit (still TBD). I can't wait to explain to Jake exactly what these are and why I have to have at least two pairs before summer.

Here are a few more for your viewing pleasure...


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