Tagged: shopping

Dec 16

The State, Not the Lube

I spent the weekend in Kentucky visiting my homegirl, Dawn. It was such a great trip, I can’t even begin to describe it adequately, but I’ll give it a go.

Friday: Around 11, my 2 chaperones, Andrew & Zach, and I hit the road. Zach created a great playlist of mostly holiday music that I thoroughly enjoyed. We made a pitstop in Indianapolis. Andrew really impressed Zach & I with both his knowledge of the beer industry and his persuasion skills in dealing with his business associate at an Indy brewery. This guy is so gregarious! We had a quick snack and some beers there, plus got a super low key quickie brewery tour, too (thanks to Andrew!).  I scored some brewery stickers, too, so this was a fun little stop. We didn’t dilly dally, though, because we had places to be. We arrived at Dawn’s around 7:30, had a quick beer, and then went to a pizza joint called BoomBozz. Killer pizza, really good local beers, and amazing conversation. We met some friends of Dawn’s – Drew & Garrett. I fell a little bit in love with both of them.

After pizza, we went to a joint called the Highlands Taproom for karaoke. Zach rocked the house, as he does. We met more of Dawn’s friends, and even a friend of Andrew’s, who we will refer to as Mike. Mike was a GREAT guy, I enjoyed meeting him very much. More beers, singing, cab rides, dancing, ditching friends, flirting with old ladies, laughing until crying, hysterical misunderstandings. THE END.

Saturday: Low key morning as people retrieved vehicles and reunited with friends. The 4 of us (Dawn, Zach, Andrew & I) had a really fun lunch at Against the Grain brewing. I had my favorite beer of the trip there – a peppermint milk stout called Santa Came Early. I also had my favorite meal of the trip – Nachos made with homemade kettle chips, topped with BBQ pulled pork, pickled jalapenos, and cheese. Incredible. Great lunch with AMAZING friends. Pictures from Against the Grain:

Against the Grain Brewing

Wall Mural at Against the Grain

After lunch we hit a flea market, which I really enjoyed. I found a dude with a big box of really old photos and I got several cool ones, and some negatives even, for a buck. They will work great with my Yearbook Journal I think, so I’m excited to play with them. Dawn, Andrew & I also got mini Tarot card readings. Mine was spot on with her telling me that I made the right decision to change jobs and my new job will work out great, so that was fun and really awesome. Next, we found a pub called the River City Drafthouse and copped a squat to watch the UK basketball game. JEN ARRIVED, which made me very happy! The Cats lost, which made me very sad, but I think I masked my utter disappointment and nobody really noticed. I didn’t want to bring everyone down. John also joined our little gaggle at this point. Here’s the gang at River City:

The Gang

Time for dinner – we all hit a place called The Irish Rover and Mike appeared again! After dinner, we decided to check out Sergio’s World Beers. It’s one of the top 5 beer bars in the world! The selection was insane. I’ve never seen so many different beers in one place. I got to meet THE Sergio, which was such a pleasure. We all shared a bottle of beer called Black fist, which wasn’t my bag (liquorbeer), but I still love to try new things. Sergio’s was GREAT, we had a blast there. Here’s all of us drinking the Black Fist:

 Sharing a bottle of Black Fist!

We moved on to a dive called The Back Door, which had both matchbooks and people dressed as elves, so I was pretty pleased right off the bat. However, I was exhausted, so we only stayed an hour or so and then hit the road for home.

Sunday: We all met up for brunch at a place with really good coffee and great food, but I can’t remember how to spell the name of it, so use your imagination. Sad goodbyes. 🙁 Then the 3 of us hit the road again. Travel was great until about an hour or so from home, then it started to suck. I was in the backseat and I tried as hard as possible not to have a complete breakdown. My terror was totally unfounded because Zach is a rockstar driver and we made it home totally safe and sound. I had a BLAST, but I sure did miss Mikey & my kitty cats, so I was happy to be home. 🙂

Today, I am still recovering and I think I’m even losing my voice! But it’s all so worth it. Great trip, great friends, great times. 🙂


Nov 06

A Bunion Ain’t One

One year ago today, I had surgery on my foot to correct a bunion. Of course, I drew pictures of my experience. 🙂

 Surgery Day

Surgery Day! Damn, I made that gown look good.

 Crazy Driver

I went to Target and rocked a Smart Cart with Mike & Clovis.

 Foot Jail

I had to keep my foot elevated at night, which I HATED because I’m a side sleeper. I called it foot jail. Buffy usually sleeps by my feet, but with foot jail all up in her bidness, she started sleeping on my torso.

All in all, the foot surgery was a great experience. My foot still hurts on occasion, but it’s really mild. The trade off is that I can wear normal shoes without pain every single day. My feet are still flat so I do have 99 problems, but a bunion ain’t one.


Oct 24

The Ocho

Volume 8

Volume 8 of my daily journal is complete as of today. Yesterday was the last day I captured, but I put the finishing touches on today. This book is the RENDR 8.5 x 5.5 sketchbook by Crescent. I bought it the last time I was at Dick Blick, and I was excited by it because it claims to be “no show thru” paper. The paper isn’t super heavy, so I was intrigued. I like to use all sorts of media in my journal, but I typically can’t use certain types of markers or inks because they bleed through. Well I’m here to tell you, they are not playing around. I’m not sure how they do it, but nothing I used in this book bled through. I used acrylic paint, Sharpies, and so much more. I even used nail polish on the paper and it didn’t bleed! The ONLY complaint I have is that I’m not crazy about the way watercolor paints and other really wet media look on the paper once they dry, but overall, that seems worth the trade to me. It was pricy – I think around $15, but worth it for such quality paper. I’m hoping to make it to a Dick Blick this weekend, and another one of these books is on my list. I think I’d like to try the spiral bound 8×8.

Volume 9 starts today, and I honestly haven’t decided what book to use! I’m even considering going loose leaf and then using a 3 hole punch and a binder. This would give me the flexibility to use all kinds of found papers and such, which could be fun, but I also really like filling up a book, so I’m not 100% sure that’s the way to go. I have several other options, too. One thing is for sure, I will have to make a decision soon. 🙂


Mar 05

Making Things Up

I recently heard about the BB cream craze. I was way behind because I’m not that hip to the girly ways. Plus, I’ve been using the exact same make-up for about 1000 years. Ok, more like 10, but still.

If you’re as bad as me, and don’t know about BB, it stands for beauty balm, and is supposed to be a one step skincare & make-up miracle. Basically, you wash your face, put on BB cream, and you have moisturized, sunscreened, concealered and foundationed in one step. Pretty freaking amazing, right?? That’s why I needed to investigate a little more.

I decided to hit Walgreens and check out the BB sitch. There are several brands there. I ended up buying the Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light. It was around $8. There were cheaper (Rimmel was $6) and more expensive (L’oreal $10, Garnier $12) brands, but I had read good things about the Dream Fresh so I went with it.

I like this product, but it didn’t blow me away. It’s important that you know that I’ve used Bare Minerals EXCLUSIVELY for at least a decade. Because of that, the fact that this is a liquid/cream product sort of skeeved me right away. This product makes my skin look pretty good. As good as when I use my Bare Minerals? No. Better than bare faced? YES. So there is certainly a niche here – if I was in a rush I would use this in a second. It’s brilliant for those mornings when you wake up and want to hit the gym and then run some errands, but don’t want to make a big production of make-up. There is definitely a place for this product, and I can absolutely see keeping a tube on hand. Is it a miracle product that I would use daily? No.

I’m far more enamored with an impulse buy – I decided to try L’oreal Magic Lumi, which is a small pump bottle of silvery shimmery liquid that you use for highlighting. It’s AMAZING. I used a tiny drop on all the areas of my face I wanted highlighted and it works light a charm. It doesn’t look shimmery, just dewy and flawless, and it blends so beautifully. For $12, this was a great buy. There was another Lumi dealy there too, but it was like a stick or something. I didn’t investigate too closely. I’m super happy with the liquid, though. It works so well just below the eyebrow. Try it, I think you’ll be pleased.

I don’t usually write about make-up (or let’s face it – think about make-up), but I really wanted to sort this BB thing out. I hope someone finds this helpful!


May 01

Boba Freaking Fett

Yesterday, I needed to go to the grocery store, and I wasn’t really feeling it. First of all, it was raining. Getting groceries in the rain SUCKS. Plus, I just didn’t feel like it. Rainy days make me want to curl up and read, not get drenched trying to load a ton of crap into the back of my car. Anyway, I tried to convince Mike to go instead of me. He wasn’t buying it. So I put on the full court press – I told him it was Boba Fett Day at the grocery store, and if he didn’t go, he miss out on the chance to finally meet Boba Fett! He was skeptical, so I really laid it on the line and told him that Boba was giving rides in Slave 1, too. He STILL would not go to the store – I actually think he might not have believed me.

So I braved the rains all by myself to get the food that we needed. Boy, did Mike miss out!!

Me & Boba FettHere’s me and Boba Fett. I did take a ride on Slave 1, which was amazing, but Boba doesn’t allow photos of the inside of the ship. This picture will have to do. I texted it to Mike from the grocery store after meeting Boba, and believe it or not, he was still skeptical!! As if I would doctor a photo or something. He even asked me why there was kind of a haze around my hair (you mean my halo??) but I explained to him that they used one of those soft focus lenses to make me look dreamy and romantic.

Anyway, I hope Mike learned his lesson. Especially since next week is Optimus Prime Day.


Dec 19

Holiday Madness

Things have been so crazy lately. Things are always crazy, but we are spilling over into insane this last week!

I was in New Jersey at my company’s headquarters for most of last week. It was a stellar trip – I honestly believe that I have the best boss on the planet. I didn’t make it into NYC to see the tree at Rockefeller Center, so I’m a little bummed. My extremely generous boss told me that he couldn’t get away to take me, but he offered to hire a driver to take me to the city for the afternoon. While that was a very sweet offer, I didn’t want to go alone. I’m sure I’ll see it next year, though.

I got home on Friday, and I was exhausted from the trip, but there was no time to waste – my niece’s wedding was the very next day, and Christmas was a little more than a week away. Where had the time gone? Was I finished with my shopping? NO. Mike’s entire family is planning on spending Christmas Day at my house, and did I have any idea what we would eat, where we would all sit, etc? NO. Do I still have 2 handknit holiday gifts languishing on the needles? YES. Since I’ve been home I’ve been scrambling to get all these little details figured out.

Oh, and the wedding! It turned out very nice. My niece is too young to get married – I still see her as the tiny little girl she used to be. She seemed very happy, though, and she looked beautiful. I wish these 2 the very best.

 Alexis & Joshua

Also, here’s our holiday card for this year. I drew a family portrait, and then had them printed on postcards. The drawing is ink and colored pencil, and the background and text was added digitally. I also sent 8 of these out via Postcrossing to people around the world. Most of them have already been delivered and I got some really sweet notes in return. Anyway, if you don’t hear from me again before Christmas (which is likely since I’m swamped!!), I hope your holiday is extra joyous and merry. The very best to you and yours this holiday and in the new year. Kisses!!

 Holiday Card 2011


Dec 07

Licking & Baby Kittens

On Friday night, Mike & I finally saw The Muppets with Clovis & Rachel. I have to say, I’m not a huge Muppet fan – for some reason, I didn’t really watch the show as a kid. As an adult, I appreciate it, and I love Miss Piggy. I did see Muppets in Space, and I thought it was alright. This new movie, however, was excellent. I really enjoyed it! Jason Segel is a genius, he did such a great job. It was funny, touching, and filled with amazing songs. I especially loved 80’s Robot! I totally want my own 80’s robot for Christmas.

While we were at the theatre, I forced Mike to take photobooth pictures with me. He was skeptical, but he ended up loving it. See:

Photobooth CutePhotobooth Lick

I don’t know why he always has to lick me. And everyone else for that matter. What can I say? He’s a weirdo. Anyway, aside from being crappy photobooth pics, I thought these turned out pretty nice. We even inspired Clovis & Rachel to have their own photos taken, and they looked so AWESOME in the preview. We waited and waited, but the stupid booth never printed their pics!! So they got robbed. Very sad.

Baby Kitten

In other news, I was at Aldi last night getting groceries, and I found this kid’s drawing book called Funky Things to Draw. It’s totally a little girl book – It has sections for fairies, princesses, and even baby animals. So I busted it out last night and decided to give it a try. I drew a princess and she turned out a little wonky, but I’m quite proud of this kitten. Thanks, funky new drawing book! I think the fact that it’s a kid’s book is perfect for me. Adult drawing books just don’t have instructions for drawing unicorns, you know? Anyway, I kind of love the book, and as a bonus, it was only $5.

In other news, my super busy December continues. We had a wedding this past weekend, and next week I am headed to New Jersey for work for a few days. I am pretty sure I’ll get to NYC for at least a day, and I can’t wait to see the big tree at Rockefeller Center! I’ll take lots of pictures, promise. I return on Friday and then Saturday we have another wedding. I also got tickets for Mike & I to go to Texas at the end of January and visit my family there. I’m pretty excited because it’s been several years since we’ve been there. So, yay!!

So I hope you’re having an amazing week. XOXO


Nov 28

Turkey and So Much More

It’s been forever – I know, I know, I’m a rotten blogger. I’ve seriously been so busy I haven’t even had the time to breathe, let alone chronicle my adventures. So this is sort of catch up and it might get long-winded.

Ok, we’ve been working on getting the loft area redecorated for what feels like a decade, but it is finally DONE. There are a few tiny little things I still want to add, but they are just filler stuff. My art table is back in the loft, the flooring is fancy and new, and I got a new stool for my art table, as well as new bookshelves and a new chair for a little reading nook. It’s pretty freaking sweet. Sadly, we got it all finished last week and I have only had time to go up there once for about an hour since then! I am loving the new brown and orange tree chair. It’s very comfy, plus it’s a recliner!!! Very nice for relaxing with a book. Maybe someday soon I’ll actually be able to spend some time up there. 🙂

Loft 332Reading Nook

My friend Rachel & I decided to see Breaking Dawn Part 1 on Wednesday last week. Neither of us had to cook anything that night, so we figured it was a good opportunity to finally catch it. I was pretty excited! Eclipse was quite a good movie, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, it was pretty terrible. I was really disappointed. I though Twilight was a better movie than this one, and that is saying something, dude. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it yet, save yourself a couple of bucks and wait for the DVD. Before the movie, though, we went to Gallagher’s to grab a bite and get a beer. It’s been so long since we went there! We had the whole gang (well, the whole gang that still lives in Michigan anyway) there, and it was awesome to hang out with everyone for a couple of hours. Plus, I had beer! It feels like I never drink beer anymore.

The next day was Thanksgiving, so Mike & I hit the road early for his sister’s house in Grand Rapids. It was a great time, crowded with tons of friends and family, great food & music. I even got to spend some time with the wee little boys coloring, which we all enjoyed a great deal. Plus, Jesse made us an adorable foam turkey to bring home, and some pictures for our fridge too. We left there in the afternoon and headed to Galesburg for dinner with my family. It was really fun! After dinner, my nephew and I watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which I loved. Plus my sister made a fantastical spread. Great food and fun times! After all that travelling (and eating) we were beat! As soon as I got home I hit the sack. 

Friday’s goal was to get the tree up. As is quickly becoming the norm around here, putting up the tree turned into a major undertaking. It was a huge ordeal because we decided to remove all of the lights from the pre-lit tree we have because most of them don’t work. It sounded brilliant, but ended up taking us all day to get done, culminating with a 2 AM trip to Meijer to buy new lights. We decided to spring for the LED’s since they last longer and are more eco-friendly. The next morning, we got up and started back on the tree – we strung up the new lights. I’ve got to say, the LEDs are weird. They are SUPER bright for one thing, it’s actually kind of hard to look at them for too long. Also, they are a strange white blue color, not the warm orangey glow you get from traditional lights. They will take some getting used to. Anyway, by Saturday afternoon, the holiday decorating was finally done! And not a moment too soon, because the Peaches were in town and heading over to our place in the late afternoon!

The Peaches arrived, and we drank some beers and caught up on the haps here and over there in Wisconsin as well. Pit & Fuzz seem to be doing really well, and I’m so happy for them. I wish they could have found super cool jobs and been happy here, but at least they are within driving distance and have stayed in touch. They haven’t changed much – Pit is still kind of an arrogant jerk (in the best possible way, of course) and Fuzz is still quiet and sweet. Man, I miss those kids. They left for a couple of hours to catch up with some other peeps, but then we met them later at Gallagher’s (I know – twice in the same week!! Crazy!!) and had more beers and chatted with them some more before they finally had to hit the road. I miss them already.

So that brings us to Sunday – I got up bright and early to make guacamole because I had a bridal shower to go to in Grand Rapids for my neice, Alexis. It turned out very nice, and she got some great gifts. After the shower, Alexis came back to Kalamazoo with me and her hubby to be, Joshua, met us at my house so that Mike & I could take them to dinner. Alexis told me she wanted to eat at Mike & I’s favorite place, so we took them to Shawarma King. We had a very nice dinner, and it was so nice to be able to get to know Joshua a little better. We don;t get to spend too much time with Alexis either, so it was pretty awesome all around. The only bummer was that we didn’t have a ton of time since the shower was longer than we thought, and they had a marriage counseling appointment after. But it was still nice, and I’m so glad we got to do it.

So now you are all caught up. I promise to try to not be such a crappy blogger going forward. I hope that your Thanksgiving was awesome and that you spent time with your loved ones. Peace out.


Sep 26

Sands of Time

Ok, I had some time yesterday so I decided to get started on my dresser project. I had been to Lowe’s, the people there in the paint/stain area were zero help. I was disappointed because I thought they would know exactly what I needed to do and hold my little hand through the whole project. Yeah, not so much. But I did find some new knobs for the drawers at Lowe’s that I really liked, and they were on clearance which was an added bonus.

I got up yesterday and decided to try Sherwin Williams. It’s right down the street, but I’ve never been there. I met a guy there who was exactly what I was looking for – a super nice, friendly, knowledgable, hand-holder. This guy told me what I needed to do every step of the way, identified the wood for me (pine), and even sanded a bit of the drawer I brought in to show me the technique and what I should be looking for. He even told me to wear a mask in case there was any lead paint or other scary toxic substances. The Lowe’s guy was like “These are the wood stains we carry. See ya.” Mr. Sherwin Williams is now my hero.

Anyway, I came home and got started by taking all of the old knobs off. I couldn’t budge a few of them so I left those for Mike to see what he can do with. I got to work sanding the top of the dresser. Man oh man, it’s a LOT more work than I anticipated. I sanded that top for about 3 hours, and there is still only a few spots where the bare wood is showing! I am definitely thinking I might need to get my paws on a palm sander of some sort. Hopefully I can find someone to loan me one. I don’t want to buy one because I’m not sure I’ll use it ever again. Anyway, here’s a pic of where it’s at now.

Sand 268/365


Sep 02


I love watercolors, but I haven’t ever used real watercolor paper. I typically just use a heavy stock, which works, but you have to be careful how much water you use or the paper starts to break down and bits of paper kind of flake off and mess your art. Last week, Hobby Lobby was having a sale on artist pads, so I got a real watercolor book. It has amazing handmade watercolor paper in it. It’s SO much fun to use. It’s incredibly thirsty – you can dump a whole cup of water on it and it and it can totally handle it.

So, anyway, I’ve been playing with my new watercolor book this week, and this is one of the paintings I did. It’s just some flowers, but I think it turned out really pretty. I used watercolor paint, watercolor pencils, and ink. I hope you like it!

Watercolor Flowers

We have a busy holiday weekend planned. Tonight I have a ton of errands I need to run and I am hoping to squeeze in a workout too. Tomorrow I am helping my mom with some chores and some errands that she needs to run. Sunday hopefully I can relax and not have to do too much. Monday, a BBQ at a friend’s house. Busy Busy Busy. I hope your weekend is awesome!