Monthly Archives: August 2012

08.17.12

Making bonds.....

Posted by Christina // 5 Replies

Not the “get out of jail” kind of bonds.

The kind of bonds you make with family, friends, co-workers, people standing next to you on the metro.  The heart-string bonds.

I got to thinking about bonds because my sister is about to make a whole lot of them by living in the dorms away at school.  I remember the girls I lived with.

Yes this is a shameless attempt to remember my skinnier days.

I have bonds with those girls that I could never have with other girls.  Because we lived together.  They saw me not take showers for days at a time, eat a whole carton of ice cream because a Spongebob marathon was on, they even saw the ugly cry when my favorite shirt got attacked by a dryer.  And the crazy thing is, they remained my friend.  Sure a lot of us aren’t BFF like forever and ever anymore.  But we will always have great memories and funny stories and a bond.

But before you ever knew about girlfriend bonds, you had your family.  Growing up “family bonding” was where it was at, mainly because it meant there was ice cream involved.

Most people, emphasis on most, have strong family bonds.  You live with em, they generally are forced to like you or at least tolerate you.  These bonds are deep and lasting.

I call those my “easy bonds” because although we don’t HAVE to like each other….we always love each other.

But what about the bonds that don’t come easy, the bonds you have to work at.

That’s where I come in.

Not saying everyone likes me…but this is what I have learned observing the most liked people that I have worked with, sororitied with, and lived with.

I will try not to be cliché and give you advice you have heard a million times, because things like eye contact and smiling should be elementary my dahling.

1.  Make eye contact and smile.  For those of you just list reading and skipping my storytelling.

2.  Do not cut people off.  Listen to what they have to say, even if your point is way better.  Definitely do not talk over them, it makes them feel unimportant.  Make them feel like you care about everything they say, which means they are important.

3.  Give them compliments, flattery will get you everywhere.  Kidding, if they aren’t genuine don’t give them.  But odds are, you can think of one genuine compliment.  Make them feel special, even if you just like their burrito they brought for lunch.

4.  Use your manners, if you don’t have them learn them.  Say please and thank you…and mean it.

5.  Say hello, to everyone.  I don’t know when it became custom to look at the floor when you are walking past someone, but stop it for the love of bacon.  You never know who you will make an impression on.

6.  Ask questions, be interested in people and their stories.  You can learn something from every single person you meet.  Steer clear of questions like, “so are you a serial killer” and “how do you get so much lint on your pants” because you might get some info you didn’t want to know.

7.  Go out of your way for people.  Hold doors open, bake treats, help them with projects, do favors often.  Remember the girl that everyone loved because she brought in salted caramel brownies…be that girl.  No time to make a Santa sleigh made out of candy canes, just buy doughnuts.  Hi Ruth, I still loved those salted caramel brownies.

8.  Touch them.  Don’t be a creep okay, but lightly touch their arm or shoulder to make them comfortable.  Don’t blame me if they place harassment charges.

9.  Dress cute.  Sad to say that this matters but boy does it.  You do not need to go and drop your whole salary on clothing.  Find a style and stay true to it.  And brush your hair.  And don’t smell like a foot because no one likes a foot.

10.  Don’t be a hater.  Don’t criticize or put people down.  No one likes the bully, truth.  Don’t gossip unless you fully expect the girl you said “gained 5 pounds” to find out you called her a smelly fat cow with halitosis.  Don’t be mean, easy peasy.

11.  Be happy.  Your attitude is everything, and while the peppy cheerleader can be super annoying…she’s got nothing on Daria the downer.  Normal human beings don’t like being around people who are going to complain all the time.  So check your last 5 facebook statuses, if they are all negative then you better check yo’self before you wreck yo’self.

12.  Find a balance between your confidence and humility.  You are awesome, so keep any insecurities you have at bay…and tell yourself that you are awesome.  Don’t tell yourself you are as awesome as Chuck Norris or some jazz, you gotta keep your feet on planet Earth.  It’s a hard balance to find, and you will always be working on it.  But you know the girl that always needs reassurance, or the girl who thinks she knows everything, or the one who is too shy to talk, or the one who brags non-stop….do you like any of them?  That’s what I thought.

13.  Channel your Jerry Seinfeld.  If you can make them laugh then you will have them in the palm of your hand.  Why?  Revert back to number 11.  Everyone likes to laugh, even really serious people.  Bonus points if you get a belly laugh or snort.  Take pictures if they blow milk out of their nose.  It helps if you don’t take yourself seriously, because you are eventually going to do something dumb….and when you do it is crucial that you laugh it off.

14. Tell the truth yo…be honest with people and keep your promises.  If someone calls you, call them back.  If they ask you out for fried chicken, go.  Keep an open mind, some of the most fun you will have will be in the most unexpected places.  Also, people don’t like liars.  Trust me on that one!

15.  You do not want people to like a phony version of you, because then you will always be putting on a show.  So be yourself, because you are the bomb diggity anyways.  This is the most important tip, because there are some people that you don’t need a bond with….the people you have to change for.  They aren’t worth it so drop them like that 50 pound weight you accidentally picked up at the gym.  Yea, that happened.

Yup, it is that easy.

Now I am really craving some salted caramel brownies…..Ruth are you listening?

Written by Christina and Tim
08.16.12

Tim works…..a lot.

We both have full-time jobs to support our saltwater addiction, and you know the whole roof over our heads thing.  Details.

The difference is, most nights he comes home and works instead of watching TV with me or snuggling.  He actually forced me to start blogging so that I could keep him company in the office.  Ok, that last part is a lie, but he does enjoy me not constantly begging him to come snuggle the extra company.

He works in real estate, foreclosures to be all literal.  In order to make money in that dog-eat-dog world, you have to put in some extra hours.  Which includes late nights and even get this….weekends.

He has a lot on his plate, and even more on his mind.  Which would explain why he can never sleep.

I have a hard time falling asleep, you know with all of my compulsive list making.  But Tim can’t fall asleep OR stay asleep.  Poor thing.

And it has nothing to do with this…

Still sorry honey.

Recently, one of our friends told us about a miracle.  Hi Nikki!

We had never heard of Melatonin, but she told us it is all natural and it actually works.  As opposed to most things you read and then try and then wonder who thought it was a good idea in the first place.

I’m the skeptic, so Tim took it about a week before I gave into the peer pressure.  I was jealous, he was sleeping so soundly that now I was the one that had to get up to let the dogs out.

I needed in on that.

I don’t want to jinx us like I did our Dori.  So I am just going to say we give it two thumbs way up in the air.  We have been giving it out like candy….to dogs, family, even the kids across the street.

Original photo found here.

Please don’t take that literally, we do not condone drug dealing.  Even if it is all natural.

If you look around here you can tell we are clearly not endorsed or perked for saying nice things.  But we like to share things that we like.

And we like Melatonin.

Most nights we take it about a half an hour before we climb into bed, so it can work it’s relaxing magic.  Then when our heads hit the pillow, we are out.  I usually have to get up at least once to go potty, but Timbo is now sleeping through the night.

I’m not saying it’s a miracle…but that’s only because last time I bragged about something, it died.

Are there any other miracles out there that we don’t know about yet?

Written by Christina and Tim
08.15.12

Every month, smack dab in the middle…T & I will do a round-up of our favorite things.

Say hello to August.

1.  On a trip to Lowes recently, Christina and I saw an end cap for the Nest Thermostat.  We came home that night and started a “Nest” egg, and I am sorry I just subjected you to that lame pun.  I am a little bit of a techie, so I love all the features that add a little interest to an ordinarily boring and overlooked part of your house.  It is touch-screen, you can set it from your smart phone, and it actually learns your temperature schedules and self adjusts.  Beyond that it just looks cool, so I want one.

2.  My wonderful girlfriend wanted to start landscaping our backyard.  This meant, “buy cute pots and then plant pretty flowers” which really meant, “let me pick out cute stuff, then you make it happen and take care of it”.  She did really good though and picked out the Tropical Water Canna, which is a really colorful leafy plant.  I have made it my personal mission to grow these bad boys at least eight feet tall.  Next year I want them to cover the whole back wall of our fencing, then I’ll just say, “I thought we were landscaping”.  She will love it because they occasionally bloom these bright orange flowers.  Everyone is happy.

3.  These are at the top of my favorite things list.  The new AI Vega lights just released early this month, and are an upgrade from the AI Sols that we currently have.  While I would love to replace our lights with these as soon as possible, they are pretty pricey.  Maybe I can talk the lady into a new, bigger tank.  Hey, a guy can dream.  These lights have a new digital controller as opposed to the old analog controller and a new light spectrum.  They are sure to make the colors in your tank pop and aid in pumping up your corals.

4.  I am sure most of you realize that the Olympics were going on the last couple weeks.  I had the games on at all times, even if it was just the “clean and jerk” on at two in the morning.  Now that they are over I really don’t know what I am going to do with myself for the next four years.  I guess I’ll just sit down and watch Honey Boo Boo with Christina, but I won’t like it.  Or maybe I will really make myself useful and start training for the 2016 Olympics in Speed Walking.

5.  I actually got a Coral Magazine subscription for Christmas from Christina.  It arrives every other month and I gotta admit that I am pretty much waiting by the door when I know it is coming.  It is chock full of great photos, new information, and plenty of advertisements to make sure I buy all the latest and greatest gadgets.  It is one of the few pieces of literature that I read front to back.  Maybe Santa will remember how much I like this magazine.

1.  My boytoy actually got me this Fossil watch earlier this year.  I have never been able to wear watches because I inevitably take a shower with them on, or they pinch my arm hairs and I smash them.  This watch is different, most importantly it is water-resistant.  I made sure of that in Kansas City earlier this year by throwing my hand into a tank to hold a starfish.  It’s also comfortable, and even though it is the big “boyfriend style” watch it’s not too bulky.  I’m in love and it is standing the test of time.  Too much?

2.  Say hello to the best pen ever.  We bought the new Paper Mate Inkjoy pens on a whim at our local office supply store and we now fight over them almost every day.  It’s one of those, “Hey I had my pen sitting right here and I know you took it now give it back or I will put Icy Hot on your toilet seat” kind of things.  They write so smoothly and you never have to press too hard so you avoid all the hand cramps.  Wish they would have made these when I was in school writing 20 pages papers for all of my friends.  Hey a girls gotta make a living!

3.  In case you missed my post earlier this week, I am so excited for Shark Week on Discovery Channel.  Not only is it Shark Week, it is their 25th anniversary.  This is going to be huge.  One day, when I am not so afraid of my ears popping, I am going to get scuba certified and go swim with sharks.  It’s on my leap list.

4.   I’m a sucker for cute packaging.  So naturally when I saw this cute tube at Walgreens I had to beg Tim to add it to our little plastic basket.  Then I worried it would “fall through the holes” of said plastic basket so I grabbed it back and carried it through the whole store.  I bought Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Honeysuckle.  It is really the perfect amount of color and shimmer.  I am not a lipstick type of gal, so this keeps my lips looking kissable.  Rawr.

5.  I may be a little late to this party, but now that I have arrived I see what all the fuss is about.  Birch Box is a monthly delivery of life and beauty samples.  They can be samples of high-end products that I could never afford, or of up-and-coming brands that I would have never known about.  I am not sure if it’s trying all the good stuff, making friends when you give them the stuff you don’t want, or getting something in the mail that isn’t a bill…but I adore this product.  Best of all, it’s only $10 a month…until you fall in love with the cheek stain they sent.

6.  Hi, my name is Christina and I am a hair-product-aholic.  I first learned about the “dry shampoo” spray from Katie Bower, who at the time had long locks like yours truly.  When you have a mane that takes a good hour to wash, dry, and make look presentable you have to find detours.  Enter Salon Grafix Dry Spray Shampoo.  You just spray it in at your greasy roots and then smooth it in a little.  Voila, clean (looking) hair.  Okay don’t get crazy though, it only looks good the first four days.

So there they are….our August favorite finds.

Any new things you’re digging on lately?

Written by Christina and Tim
08.13.12

My baby sister is abandoning me on Thursday.

She is leaving me forever to go off to college, and who knows what kind of trouble she is going to get into.  Everyone knows I am way overprotective, or you should after reading this…so I am a worried mess.

If it was up to me she’d be chained in a library at a dry campus all-girls school, with surveillance from nuns.  Scratch that, because it sounds like the opening scene of some “brown-chicken-brown-cow” flick.

I have tried my best to prepare her for college, being an older sister and all.

Please don’t hate me for that Leika.

But how on earth will she ever survive without me, and my “guidance”

I don’t know either.

So I have made her a little “take care” package.  My way of saying, “please don’t go but if you absolutely have to then you need to be prepared and I can help with that”.

The going-away gift contains all of the things that I never thought about buying but apparently needed once I was on my own.

I also gave her two worded advice, to help her survive.

The best way to make friends is to smell good….truth.

Having snacks is vital.  You make friends by being a junk food dealer, and never go off the deep end out of hunger.

Try not to get sick…..a red, raw nose is never attractive.  Streaming snot will make people avoid you at all costs.

This is more for my sanity.  The girl needs good grades and solid morals, since I had neither.

I also packed a lot of personal surprises in there for her, she loves flamingos.  So I included a flamingo kite, blow up flamingo, and a cookie.  There’s a back scratcher, a cute planner, lots of post-its, and second-hand kitchen utensils.

The best part of this basket….her reactions.

Enjoy.

She was a very happy sister.

“When will I fly a kite Christina?”

“Oh my gosh, it’s an edible flamingo!  I can’t eat that!”

“Oh yea, that hits the spot”

“I haven’t had these since summer camp circa 1997”

“Oh man, I love trash liners”

“Now I can be as organized as you”

“We must be a fish family”

Who is excited for kitchen utensils….this girl is.

“Seriously, did dad make you put this in here?”

“Did you steal this from a hotel you cheapo”

*once I told her it was from my Birch Box, I got the reaction above.  Hmmmm. 

“Ummmmm, this is used.  Did you really give me a burnt spatula?”

“A blow up flamingo, where do you find this crap?”

“It’s fine, I’m grateful for all the used and stained stuff.  Except your sheets, that’s not ok”

“Don’t be cheap next time”

“So what are you trying to say with all the smell good stuff”

I’m not trying to say anything Leika….except that’s what they had at the Dollar Store.  I’m sorry about the lint roller, but Scotch tape works just as well.

Even though she made fun of almost everything in the basket, she was very happy to get a bunch of stuff that she hadn’t even thought about.

I think she is ready.

However, I don’t think I am ready for her to be ready.

Can’t I just keep her like this forever….

Best of luck my little Leika.

Written by Christina and Tim

08.13.12

It's "fin"ally here.....

Posted by Christina // 4 Replies

 Oh you betcha, Shark Week is huge in this house.

We have been counting down the days since….well yesterday when we saw the ad.  We don’t watch much television mmkay.

But it is here, and we must celebrate.

I looked all over the internet for Shark inspiration to help everyone get excited….this is what I found.

The best shark party I have ever seen….seriously how cute are those shark fins.  Chris over at Celebrations at Home is a party planning genius.  I’m just in love with all of her little details.

Speaking of party details, I am going to try really hard to make this.

It will probably just turn into watermelon mush though, and I’ll tell Tim I was trying to make a “shark attack” melon.  Smart girlfriend award right here.  Thanks.

And really what is a Shark Week party without ice cube fins?  Of course they are in my Amazon cart.

And yes, I will sing “Dun dun, dun dun. dun dun”  When I take a drank.  Mom, I meant to type “drank”….it’s a gangster thang.  “Thang” is too.  Ok, I promise I’ll use proper grammar from here on out.

I really want to eat one of these shark cupcakes, like right this second.

Freaking adorable cupcakes.  Once again, mine would just look like a tidal wave.

Okay, enough food or I might have to get up and gain five pounds!  How about these koozies?  Do I have any friends that crochet?

If I do…then I want one of these for Labor Day.  That’s the next holiday right?  I mean after Shark Week, because that is a holiday in my book.

If you are having a Shark Week party, you should really invite me.  Make cute invites, put “Beware of Sharks” signs in your yard, and then make these bad boys.

I will rock those shark hats.  Fo’ sho.  Opps, sorry mom.  Gone gangster again.

Timbo wants to rock this shirt while I rock my shark hat.

I think I will buy it for him, with my fin cubes.  He’d look like a rockstar.

Speaking of rockstar, check out this girls nails then check out her pants.  Holy awesome.

I will not even attempt that.  I do not have the patience.

I will attempt…after my watermelon shark….this plate.

 There are a lot of tutorials for making plates and glasses and such.  I think you draw on it and then bake it or something.  If it doesn’t work out, then I will just die of ink poisoning.  Then I’ll suck it up and buy that one.

How adorable is this necklace?  Who knew sharks were so sexy.

And last but certainly not least….my kids are so doomed.

Till then…..my dog is so doomed.

Can I just dress everything that is defenseless up in shark costumes?

To top off all of our excitement for Shark Week, the boys from Tanked just finished a shark tank for Tracy Morgan.  Soooo now we need our own shark tank, so that every day can be shark day.

Hope everyone is as excited as we are.  If you aren’t then reread this post.

Written by Christina and Tim
08.10.12

All of my friendlies are having babies.

But you knew that, because I told you here.  I do not have kids on the agenda, which I told you here.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t be inspired by all the baby making going on.  Don’t get any ideas boytoy.

I’m just saying that I do enjoy looking at all of your pin boards chock full of nursery goodness.

   

I’m so inspired that I am going to create a nursery mood board for our fictional twins.  Because in a perfect world you would knock a boy AND girl out in one try.

So while I am probably giving both of our mothers heart palpitations right now, I present our baby rooms.  And no, we are not expecting.  Double negatives means I’m serious.

So get off the “you’re next” bus y’all, I don’t drink the kool-aid.

Okay…you can call me predictable on this one.  Gray will be the last name so the color is a given, and hello look around…we are kind of obsessed with all things that live in saltwater.

I feel like a lot of this you could DIY…specifically buying a used crib and painting it navy.  Making a cute fishie mobile and if you are really brave, I bet you could make that boat.

The awesome crib is so different from your typical white or brown.  I love it, and it’s so nautical, so I’m lusting.

The paint….Gray of course is Benjamin Moore’s, Graytint.

I think the mobile is such a sweet take on something that can be totally tacky.  I would love to paint it a bright glossy red and let my baby dream of sweet whales singing to him all night long.  Maybe I will put on whale songs.

The gorgeous jute rug is a really good way to bring in texture and curves.  Who knew a rug could be so spicy.

The bedding is my favorite.  It’s patriotic and ocean-esque but still classic and best of all it doesn’t have ducks on it.

The clock and rocking boat are fun ways to incorporate a theme into the room and make it feel cohesive and fun.  I woulda killed for one of those boats to cruise around in.

Overall, I would say our non-existent baby boy will be quite a catch.  Ok that was cheesy, but as long as he doesn’t think having a sailor room means he can talk like one….I’ll be a happy mama.

Not what you expected eh?  Who does blue and green in a girls room you say…..we do.  Little miss will inevitably love mermaids, so call me a psychic when I say her colors are sea foam green, coral, and oyster pearl blue.

My favorite thing in the whole room is the Ombre Curtains.  I know it’s a big fad right now, but the ruffles make it so girly and they really do remind me of the ocean.

Like the post before, a plain ol’ crib is not going to cut it.  So I went with this freaking adorable coral crib.

The picture frame is made of seashells and of course this imaginary kids room will be full of photo shoot memories.  I also love the print that says, “The World is Your Oyster”.  It is indeed little merbaby.

And isn’t the light fixture incredible?  I am really putting it on my Christmas list.  I’m a planner you know!

The paint is none other than Behr’s, Seafoam Pearl.

Talk about some stylin and profilin kiddos.  Can I just remind you that I am not pregnant and this was just for fun, mmkay thanks!

Written by Christina and Tim