Tag Archives: tips


Last weekend was exciting.  I talked my friend Trisha into taking a 16 hour road trip to Georgia with me to attend the Maiedae Mixer.  There were laughs, there were cracked windshields, there were up-all-night conversations, and there were cupcakes.  I couldn’t have asked for a better trip (well minus that whole windshield thing) and I learned so much.

I got so wrapped up in all the fun that I barely took any photos.  I have about fifteen on my memory card and every single one of them is a blurry mess of giggles and dancing.  So instead I am relying on the #hashtagged photos that other people posted, thanks for saving my hiney once again Instagram. output_CMUltX And thanks to these girls for taking awesome photos.  Hi Jenny!  Hi Savannah!  Hi Amber!  Hi Anna!  Hi Hillery!  Hi Jana!  Hi Stephanie!  Hi Meghan!  Hi Holly!  Hi Natalie!

On top of being a completely gorgeous event, the hosts won me over with adorable goodie bags. the goodies I couldn’t even tell you what I am most excited for because it would be too hard to pick a favorite, I love it all.

They also knew the way to my heart….with a photobooth. smilebooth photos group shot I just can’t get enough. throwin gang signs This little shindig wasn’t all about coffee, cupcakes, and conversation though.  I wanted to learn.  I wanted a crash course on blogger meetups and boy did I get one.

Here are the five things no one warned me about. eat dinner before you go Trisha and I planned on eating, I promise.  But it wasn’t until we arrived at the Mixer that we realized we hadn’t ate in 10 hours.  In all honesty, I am not sure I could have eaten anything that would have calmed those figgity butterflies down but at least I could have had a base coat for all the sugar I was about to ingest.  I ended up getting a little tummy ache after I came down from the sugar high, so maybe next time some Saltines will hang around in my purse just in case. or you will struggle You may notice that in the last Smilebooth photo up there, my hands were quite full…the hand not throwing the gang signs.  All night I seriously struggled to hold onto business cards, my phone, a camera, drinks, and my overall sanity.  Everyone says to bring along a business card holder, but I am warning you to bring a functional one.  I dropped mine on two different occasions, and opening it was a joke.  This could be the reason for my lack of photos as well.  Next time I am bringing pockets and a wristlet to tame all my important bidness. so talk to people It took me a good hour before I was ready to approach anyone new.  In my head everyone already knew each other and no one wanted to talk to little ole Missourian me.  I think everyone goes through this at some point, and I can usually tell myself “these people will never see you again” but in this context where it is very possible I will go home and stalk them….that mantra was useless.  After Meghan was brave enough to come up and chit chat, I realized that’s what we were there for.  To meet people, to connect, to step out of our comfort zone.  Next time, I hope to walk in with a better attitude. shine bright like a diamond Not much to say here, just wish I had those handy wipes that tame the whole “shine bright like a diamond” thing I had going on my face.  Never makes for cute pictures, and probably doesn’t make you any more approachable.  Should have brought gum too, one macaron in and I was paranoid-breath-checker-girl. practice your moves Not sure why this surprised me.  Bloggers have style, bloggers have grace….and bloggers can wobble.  Be prepared and practice your moves before hand so that you can hang with the Beyonces.  I did not, so I just snapped pictures like the paparazzi and called it a night.  Next time I will have the moves like Jagger.

Do you have any tips to add to my list?
Have you ever dropped a stack of business cards in a dress that’s too short?
Any recommendations for some no-shine goop?

Written by Christina and Tim

Bug Out...

Posted by Tim // 7 Replies

Don’t panic, there isn’t really a reason to Bug Out but we are going to talk about bugs today.  It’s inevitable that you will have to deal with pesky critters at some point in time.  As the temperature rises, so does the insect population.  I often feel like a warrior preparing for battle until I see that first mosquito or line of ants.   While insects do not scare me (unlike Christina) they can be quite bothersome.  We often have friends and family over to BBQ and hangout and cannot be surrounded by creepy crawlers all afternoon long.  I have put together a few tips to rid you and your home of these pests.

keep bugs away

This might be the most important one of them all.  Any food or water is an instant signal for insects to come and bother you.  If you are BBQing have foil on hand to cover any food items.  Spray off patios and decks and clean any tables or grills right after your guests leave.  Get a dog to scrounge up the crumbs (kidding, sort of) and try not to leave a sink full of dishes or cups of water hanging around.

I know you just got done partying like it was 1999 and the last thing you want to do is clean but it has to be done or you will wake up with insects taking over.

spray for bugs

Spray for bugs regularly.  There are some pretty inconspicuous insect repellents out there these days.  We use granular or spray treatments and have found both to be pretty effective.  Be sure to read all instructions especially for using products if you have kids or pets.  We like to spray inside and out a few times a year especially in the Spring.

bugs like leftovers

Pretty similar to the first one, but there are lots of things you can do to try and deter the insects.  Get a trashcan that seals in odors.  Keep counters wiped clean, foods sealed tightly, and the sink emptied of water. Clean and vacuum often and thoroughly.  If you have nothing inside your home that a bug will like then they won’t be there…it’s that simple.

keep the bugs out

Look for and identify any points of entry.  When we moved into our current home the previous owner had about 10 security cameras in place (paranoid much).  We removed every single one of them which left a nice hole in the siding.  We simply sealed them up with clear silicone…problem solved.  Look around doors, appliance entries, and windows especially.

I know most of these are common sense but a lot of folks don’t think about these things until it’s too late.  So what I am saying is bust the bug spray out this weekend and show those critters who is boss.

I hope these tips will help keep you insect free this summer!

Did you know Christina is terrified of worms?
How do you keep the bugs away?
Seriously, ask Christina about worms.

Written by Christina and Tim

Are you a Google Reader gangster?
Do you want to be? I have to openly admit that I was late to this party.
Only about a month ago did I take the plunge into GR addiction.

I am obviously not an expert, but it has changed my life and I feel like you should be in on this.  For the first time in my life I can call myself efficient.
I am a blog reading boss. Getting started is super easy, especially if you have a Google account.
GR is a browser based application, so there is no need to download software.
Just go to Google.com/reader and sign in using your Google account or you can create a new account.

Then you need to find some good reads.

If you are totally new to this scene then I want to take a second to warn you….blogs will become an addiction and will suck all of your time up like a vacuum.  I felt that I should at least give you fair warning, your welcome.

To find blogs to read you can click on “Browse for stuff” or even choose “Staff Picks” for a little taste of what you are in for.  You can also enter keywords into the search and browse field at the bottom of the page.  That is a really good way to find articles and posts that will be common to your interests.

If you are a veteran at this whole blog reading thing then you probably already have a few favorites.  I have found the simplest way to add them is to enter the name or URL into the “Add Subscription” field and usually the very first entry to come up is your bingo. You can also almost always find an “RSS feed” or subscribe button on blogs, it is super easy to click that button and have it added automatically to your feed after a few prompts. Now you are reading to get sucked in for hours upon hours….think of Google Reader as a big fat newspaper, and each blog as individual articles. It is just so easy…now you aren’t going to every blogs page and getting disappointed when they haven’t posted.  Even better, now your favorite bloggers can’t sneak a post past you.  You are like a spy.  Congratulations.

GR will also stalk your life and give you trends on your reading habits.  Kinda neat, until you realize how much time you have spent reading other people’s blogs instead of working on your own…panic attack ensues…yada yada yada.

You can also save, star, and share your articles so you aren’t searching the whole world wide web to try and find that article you once read on how to eat as much chocolate as you want without gaining any weight.  If you find that article, will you let me know….mmkay thanks.

You can also create folders to organize the blogs once you start amassing quite a collection.  You know….food blogs, gardening blogs, DIY blogs, fashion blogs and they all have their own little folder.

If you are pro-status then check out Extensions.  Genius. Now here is the real juicy good stuff you have been waiting for.

There are tons of hot keys…you can basically get around the whole dang place without a mouse.  Google is good like that.

You are now ready to rock it.

Since I am still a newbie here….fill me in on some more tips and tricks.

Written by Christina and Tim

The most common thing we heard before we left on our almost two week road trip was, “oh this will be the ultimate test”.

Of course there were variations like, “pack a big bag of patience” and “please try not to kill each other” and even “whoa nelly you two will be enemies by day three”.

Not very encouraging.

T and I have always traveled well together, but we are talking small weekend trips here kids.  We really started psyching ourselves up for 13 days of being in a two foot radius of one another. To our surprise, it was easy breezy fun.
Disclaimer: we do not have chittlins, I believe that to be extremely important information.

We of course had our moments of frazzled map reading, and insane traffic never made us giggly….but we did a good job of remembering that we were frustrated with the situation and not with each other.

Once we hit the downward slope, aka the drive home…we both got a little grumpy.  But there were never any blowouts, which I think we both fully expected.

All my life I have looked at traveling as very hectic.  Traveling meant arguing at least 32% of the trip, usually in the very beginning.  I’ve been on some trips where people fight the whole time…not fun y’all.

Feeling like we might be onto something….we put together a list for you all. roadtrips with spouse/boyfriend
We hope all of your travels are as happy as ours!

Written by Christina and Tim

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