My HGTV Crush

I have only been married for 1 month and I already have a new man in my life… David Bromstad.

After spending an entire day with him last week during a “Color Splash” marathon, I must confess… I am in love with David. Not only is he super cute and has an addictive personality, but he is talented as well. The rooms that he transforms on his tv show are amazing. I love everything he does! He inspires me to step outside my Crate and Barrel comfort zone and take risks.

Now, not only can you see David on his tv show “Color Splash” but on Monday nights, he appears on the HGTV reality show “Design Star.” This is the show that launch his career forward after he won to design contest. This year, David will be serving as the mentor to this year’s contestants, offer advice and a friendly smile.

Matt and I just re-signed our lease for another year in our current apartment. With all the wedding planning, we didn’t have enough time to really look and see what else is out there. And while I really do like where we live, I am getting a little tired of it. I want to start fresh, with a new blank canvass to decorate. So now, I will dedicate the next 12 months to finding that perfect place. Let’s just hope it comes with two bedrooms, some outdoor space and an inexpensive monthly rent! And when I find it, I am going to invite my new BFF David over to help me get started!

Hey, a girl can dream, right?

Chalk It Up

In the house where I grew up, we had an unfinished basement that Abby and I turned into our play “zone.” We would roller skate around on the cement floors, do karaoke performances on the “stage” for our parents and jump on the homemade trampoline that we created (two old couches pushed together). However, one of my favorite things was that our parents let us write on the walls. I am not exactly sure that they approved of this idea before it actually happened, but they didn’t freak out when it did.

Because the basement wasn’t finished, our walls were a cool grey cement that was a perfect canvass for chalk. We practiced out signature, drew smily faces and supported our swim team with things like “GO SUNFISH!” scribbles around the room. When friends came over to play, they were immediately intrigued by this “wall art” that we were allowed to do.

When Abby and I were in high school, our parents decided to “finish” the basement. Walls went up, carpet went down and new furniture came in. We put a tv in the basement and a dart board. We went from having our very own roller skating rink, to having a youth center. It was the setting for many swim team parties and I shamefully sat downstairs with a few dates, making them watch Disney movies… Matt was the only boy who lasted through The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, AND Toy Story.

While the new space was certainly nicer than the unfinished basement that we had grown up with, Abby and I missed having the ability to write on the walls. My parents tried to make up for this by hanging a giant whiteboard on one wall, but it was just not the same.

A few weeks ago, I decided I would get back the ability to write on my walls by painting a wall in our apartment with chalk board paint. Matt wasn’t terribly excited about this but he also knew I wasn’t going to back down. So we bought some paint and he sat quietly on the coach as I covered a small wall with black paint. The painted worked wonderfully – now all I needed was something to write/draw…

Weeks went by and the chalkboard wall remained blank. I had to wait for the right inspiration. Thankfully, that inspiration came when Matt and I decided to host a small Super Bowl party last night.

Thanks to everyone who came by! It was a lot of fun; and surprisingly, we didn’t have too much food left over! Thank goodness for “binge days.”

Cyber Monday

After the turkey has been carved, the parade has passed Macy’s on 34th street and the relatives return home we come back to work on Monday, a little rounder around the belly. While we have enjoyed time away from the office, many people will return to work exhausted from the holiday festivities. And this is only the beginning. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we can focus on the remainder of the holiday season. For many of us, this means stringing lights, hanging ornaments and breaking out the Christmas music. It is the most wonderful time of the year and sometimes the most tiring. However, I for one, think it is entirely worth it.

After Thanksgiving, my mom sister and I participated in the craziness that is Black Friday. While my mom and Abby stocked up on Christmas presents for nearly everyone on their list, I concentrated on myself (talk about holiday spirit). As they walked around the store finding things for cousins, aunts, grandparents and friends, I walked around the stores picking up things for myself. This year, I am having a hard time coming up with good ideas for presents, and since I know what I want, it was simply easier to shop for myself. And clearly, I was trying to make the most out of the great sales! Unfortunately, when we returned and looked at our purchases, I realized that I was no closer to being complete with holiday shopping.

So now I am sitting at work, scanning the websites of stores. Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”. In 2009, it was reported that consumers spent $887M online on Cyber Monday (excluding travel), the second highest spending day of 2009. Data has shown that Cyber Monday online sales have always been driven by considerable buying activity from work locations. That pattern hasn’t changed. After returning from the long Thanksgiving weekend with a lot of holiday shopping still ahead of them, many consumers tend to continue their holiday shopping from work. Whether to take advantage of the extensive Cyber Monday deals offered by retailers or to buy gifts away from the prying eyes of family members, this day has become an annual ritual for America’s online holiday shoppers.

So for anyone else who is sitting at work scanning the sales, here are some of the top deals going on right this very instant. So make yourself some hot chocolate, set your Pandora to Christmas music and let the festivities begin! (Please note that the first three sites are all part of my registry – what a strange coincidence!)

Crate And Barrel 

The Deal: Stemware, barware, dinnerware

Houseware giant Crate & Barrel is offering 25% off on all kinds of items, across the store, from martini glasses to starter dining sets.

Macy’s

The Deal: The better question is, what isn’t on sale?

The magic of Macy’s includes clothing, jewelry, home goods and kitchen tools. Just enter the code “CYBER” into the coupon code before checking out.

REI

The Deal: Up to 30% off winter gear, clothing and camping supplies!

Great gifts for all of those outdoorsy relatives. Check out the steep discounts on Padagonia jackets and Smart Wool socks. Just in time for winter!

Kohls

The Deal: Pillows, mattresses, watches, outerwear

Retail giant Kohl’s slashes prices on its site 35% to 60%, on everything from watches and jewelry to outerwear and home goods.

Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft

The Deal: 40% off EVERY THING plus free shipping

For the fashionista on your list. Use code “ENJOY” at checkout.

Victorias Secret

The Deal: Dresses, jackets, shoes

Victoria Secret is offering up to 70% off select bras, underwear and sleepwear. Shoppers who buy sleepwear will receive a free pair of slippers if they use the code VS10SLEEP at checkout–and anyone can receive free shipping on their order if they enter the code SHIPVS1. Get your holiday jammies before it is too late!

Check out these sites for other great deals:

Handmade gifts

Photo gifts

Sports gifts

Unique gifts

DIY Bulletin Board

So I recently moved into a new role at work… and with a new role often comes a new office! I have switched over from the Lower School into the Middle and High School. A lot of people have asked me whether this is a positive change. I am still figuring that out. All I know is that I certainly needed a change from the work I was doing, so hopefully this proves to be a change for the better. So in addition to learning a new curriculum, meeting new students and finding my way around a new (and HUGE) building, I also moved into a new office.

While the office is very nice, it was seriously lacking in the furniture department. I spent the first week in my new role scouring the building for furniture that I could claim for my office. I ended up stealing an unused bookshelf from the library, a filing cabinet from an area intended for administrative office that is currently empty, chairs and a side table from the Admissions waiting area that is the floor above my office (don’t even get me started on  that one) and a bulletin board from who knows where. My 10 x 10 foot space is certainly starting to come together.

 The bulletin board is a very nice size, but I have a problem. I wanted to snaz it up a bit (either by covering it with fabric or ribbons) but it was drilled into my wall before I had a change to get my hands on it. So now, I have a large bulletin board that is hung on my wall and I am not sure how to “martha-ize” it.

         

Anyone have any good suggestions as to how I can achieve something similar to these without taking the whole bulletin board down? The best idea I could come up with was to paint the entire thing and then mod-podge some fabric onto it (e.g. cut out flowers or a design from the fabric). Anyone have anything else???

DIY: Garland

Sometimes I run out of PMA (positive mental attitude). I am not sure if I use it all up, or if so many frustrating things occur that they take away from my ability to be positive. Whatever the case, today was one of those days.

Starting off a Monday tired is never a good thing. Even after a weekend of relaxation away from the city, the stresses of the past few weeks are taking a toll. I trudged through the day and some how made it to 4pm. I was scared that I wasn’t going to have something positive to blog about today, but when I got home I decided to take matters into my own hands.

My normal defense against NMA (negative mental attitude) is to work out. Unfortunately, things were so bad that I had zero motivation to go for a run, even though it was extremely nice outside. Sitting on the couch, I saw my craft corner beckoning me to sit at it, and make something. I was inspired by my Grandma and Aunt this weekend with their own craft areas. I decided that the only thing that was going to pull me out of my funk was some creative crafting!

I decided to brainstorm and practice ideas for my next trip to the hospital for “Sewtastic with Molly.” I still have vellum paper remaining from my last project and decided to create something similar to the mobiles since they were such a big hit. Instead of hanging the cut out paper in a vertical line, I made a garland, which hangs the paper horizontally. I cut out various shapes (I used a cookie cutter for the stars) and then sewed them together  with white thread. The result was a 4th of July themed garland.

While my bad mood isn’t entirely gone, the act of creating something fun from paper and thread helps. It also doesn’t hurt that I was the lucky recipient of a dinner visit from my sister :) I am certainly going to miss our weekly visits when she moves. But I am thankfully for the time we did live in the same city. And now I have an excuse to get out of the city for weekend visits to see her!