Friday, February 26, 2010

i. want. CHOCOLATE!

When I made my 2010 New Year's resolution, I really felt like my true New Year's commitment was becoming a better person, inside and out.  I know I said that I would like to eat healthy and exercise, which in turn would help me lose weight, but there was a deeper commitment that I felt needed to be made.  Once I announce to the internet world my resolution/goal, it would be hard for me to go back on that.  The internet is my accountability partner....millions of accountability partners.

So the decision was made for my 2010 resolution.  And here we are almost 2 months into the new year and I am down 5.5 pounds.  A tiny mirable as I like to see it. 

Then I thought to myself...Leslie, maybe you should try to have better hygiene too.  I know that sounds gross and yes, I keep myself "up".  What I mean by that is actually flossing my teeth, using mouthwash, taking multi-vitamins, and using lotion on my dry hands.  I know it doesn't sound like a lot, but it is something that I haven't been doing a lot of in the past.  Just doing the simplest of tasks can really change your future.  I am happy to report that I am at least attempting to keep up with my new hygiene habits.

As if all of the above hasn't been enough for me to focus on, I have really challenged myself.  I have given up sweets for Lent.  I have personally never participated in the religious practice of Lent, but I felt this year I could/needed to do it.  So no candy, cookies, ice cream, cake, brownies....and NO chocolate!  Am I crazy?  sure.  possibly.  ummm, yes.  Can it be done?  You're darn tootin'! 

With every little thing I have challenged myself with in 2010, I have felt God's support.  I know that none of the above can be done without Him, and He is the only One who can change me for the better.  "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me."  Philippians 4:13  He gives me the motivation to push through and remember my commitments to myself.  Not only are they commitments to me, but they are commitments to Him.  He has given me this body on loan and it's my responsibilty to take care of it.  How can I do that if I don't maintain the daily routines?

I may have made a handful of outer resolutions, but I know that the greatest change in 2010 will be the one He makes within me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

2 month deadline?! are we nuts?

This past weekend Daniel and I were discussing our next at-home project.  When we moved into our house, we decided that the inside would take priority over the outside.  That was a smart move, because my OCD would have set in BIG time if we had been any slower in cleaning/organizing/packing away all of the inside stuff.  (Just between you and me:  the garage is still driving me bonkers.  But out of sight, out of mind, right?)

So up next...the outside!  I think our main focus will be the backyard as opposed to the front.  The front is in good condition and presentable to the neightborhood.  Daniel has a vision for the front yard, but it has been deeply surpressed by the back yard's need for care. 

Our vision is simple:  nice and relaxing with a splash of color.  So maybe I added in the color part, but what would the back yard be without color?  I mean this is part my back yard too even though Daniel has "final" say.  His vision is great!  I just know that it will take a lot of time and hard work before it will be complete.  And did I mention money too? 

I keep envisioning those makeover backyard HGTV shows.  Now it won't be near that professional looking but I am exicted to see what Daniel has in mind.  And our deadline?  yep, it's May.  We have decided to host (if she will still let us) Jane's retirement party. 

I am not supposed to give details about what we are planning on doing, but it will be drastic.  My number one concern is Tyson.  He has already uprooted a rose bush that Daniel planted after we had moved in.  You should have seen Tyson drag that bush from one side of the yard to the other.  Jackson just sat and watched him do it.  Guess he wasn't about to get in trouble for what Tyson had done.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

camera update

My camera is fixed!!!!
At least for now. back to the drawing board on "what to get Leslie for her 26th birthday".

Monday, February 15, 2010

weekend update

Since when do the weekends go from 2 days to one slightly extended day?  Seriously, I need more than just 2 days to rest after long weeks.  Or we just need to incorporate naptime during the work days.  I could easily go for a 3 hour nap...every day.

This past weekend was Valentine's Day weekend.  I plan on making a post just about our V-Day so I don't wan to give too much away now.  All I will say that it was 1000% more romantic and stress-free than last year's (you might remember this episode).

Sad news about my camera.  Yep, I need a new one.  I was going around last night making pictures of our V-Day gifts when something crazy happened.  The evil camera spirits invaded it!  It now won't take pictures witha  flash at all and all the pictures are SUPER dark.  So now it looks like my birthday request is changing from VB to a new camera.  All money will be happily accepted (not saying that it wasn't before).  Ugh, it just makes me so mad! 

In happier news, I am just so proud of Daniel.  He is taking an internet Algebra class this semester, and it's not the easiest class to take online.  He has had a couple of stuggles with learning the new material strictly from the book and leaning on what I can remember from over 10 to 12 years ago.  His first assignment of 59 problems was due last night at 10PM.  After nearly giving up on a stubborn little algebraic problem, he completed 100%!  I had given up on that last problem, but Daniel was determined to complete it.  And his perserverance paid off.  He got it right!  100%!  Boo-ya!  He is so smart.  I hope he realizes that with some perserverance (and his new prescription of adderall) that he can do anything he wants.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

less than 2 months until the crisis begins

It just wouldn't be right if I neglected to start the countdown at 2 months. 

Less than 2 months, people.  Actually 2 months yesterday.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, then you don't know me as well you might have thought.  Yep, it's a new year...and another birthday.  Since my 22nd birthday (Slutty Disney party was my ultimate birthday party.  check out fb for the pics), it has been harder and harder to get excited about the year's upcoming number.  This year's number I am dreading more than any other number so far:  26.  YIKES!  26 is the tail-end of mid-20s and the very beginning of late-20s.  not fun.

Am I going to have a mid to late-20s life crisis?  Probably.  You can bet on it.  I mean, geeze.  I have been gray since 19, and this past year I have started coloring my hair every 6 to 8 weeks.  Thanks to my Dad for carrying the Brindley premature gray hair gene.  You might say, "Leslie, you are just over-reacting.   You are not really gray-headed.  It might be blonde hair."  To those people, I say "You are sweet, but come a little closer.  You will find at least 30 gray hairs on my head at this very moment in time.  I can even point you in the right direction of where/how to find them." 

Lemme tell you a gray hair story:  This past Thanksgiving while at the beach, Sis and I had a very special sister bonding moment.  Not just any sister bonding moment, but a Brindley sister bonding moment.  It was well after midnight and we plucked each other's gray hairs.  Is that gross?  disturbing?  odd?  Well, yes.  We gasped at each other's head filled with lots of gray hair.  I think Sis did WAY more gasping than I did.  So guess who has more gray hair?

Enough about growing more gray everyday.  This was supposed to be about my birthday, but I know how to ruin a fun post.  So back to the fun...

Around this time every year, I begin to think about what presents I would like to be showered with given.  I think it's only appropriate that this year I continue my Vera Bradley obsession.  For gifts, I would like lots of money and or VB gift cards and or Vera Bradley products.  The safest gift is always money, but you knew that already.

Vera has come out with some cute spring patterns and even cuter purse styles.  I am not 100% set on one style or pattern yet (since I LOVE going to the VB store and looking at all of my options LIVE and in person), but I have been thinking a lot about this purse in Totally Turq:

And since I now have non-Target sunglasses (Prada to be exact), I need a new fancy case.  The plain black Prada case is nice, but I need something more stylish:

Let's say a hard sunglasses case in Cupcakes Pink.  Yep, that should do it.

Plus I was just thinking about how I need a "good" wedding picture album.  This would be PERFECT for our wedding pictures!  This pattern is called "Sittin in a Tree".  Super cute with little blue birds.  It's one of the new spring patterns.

And I am completely totally 100% definitely getting ahead of myself, but how DARLING is this babybook?  Vera, are you going to decorate my baby's nursery with your awesome-ness?
What a PRECIOUS babybook!  I am very tempted to buy it and just wait until the stork comes.

But this is about my birthday and not about my un-conceived child's birthday.  I am getting WAY ahead of myself.  First my 26th birthday.  Then my mid to late-20s crisis.  And then...well, thoughts of becoming responsible for someone with just 2 legs instead of 4.

I think that about covers it for this year's edition of "What to get Leslie without asking her and having her be surprised all at the same time".  I am glad you joined me. 

*pictures courtesy of  go there and be amazed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

why can't I have free time to be creative?

Since searching and buying a house, I have become highly interested in interior decorating.  The thing that has grabbed my attention the most is turning yard sale/thrift store finds into beautifully decorative items.  How do these people do it?  And where do they find the time to do it?

My conclusion:  they are stay-at-home wives/moms.  ::jealous::  How great would it be if I could go around town all day searching for trash to turn into my own personal treasure?  I am pretty sure we would need a bigger house within the first year of my new job. 

And speaking of a bigger/newer house...ummm, yeah.  I want one.  But more than anything, I want to be able to design my new and bigger house.  I have seen LOTS of HGTV shows and magazines and websites of the perfect kitchen, laundry room, bedroom, bathroom, mudroom, front porch, etc.  Yeah, I think for our next house I will have be extremely picky about the design, layout, and square footage.

Now do NOT get me wrong.  I LOVE our house.  I mean I LOVE it with a captial L-O-V-E.  It is so precious and a great first time home.  I love everything about it, but are there some things that I have learned that I would change or update for next time?  sure. 

I love going home to our grayish-blue living room.  It is so trendy right now that is almost scares me.  When I envisioned our living room I wasn't basing it off what the "in" colors were.  Not at all.  I was basing it on how different and yet classy it would look.  I am hoping that my original plan of different and classy doesn't fade with the trend. 

And then my green kitchen with navy blue countertops.  uh, yes, navy blue.  It definitely was one of the downfalls to buying the house.  But now...oh but really does add character to the kitchen.  I have used an Auburn platter (given to me by Sis) as the inspiration for the kitchen.  There are 2 dominate colors (green apple and navy blue), 2 primary colors (bright yellow and orange), and 2 highlight colors (brown and black).  I mean I can even live with gold cabinet knobs since everything ties in together so well. 

So I guess no new house is on the horizon and thank goodness! I have just found a spot for almost everything since we moved in at the end of last May.  I might like to stay put for a while.

If you are the "non-jealous of other people's houses and creativity" type, then check out some of the newly posted blogs to the right.  My guess is that you will not stay non-jealous for long.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

making the dream a reality

I guess you could call me a dreamer rather than a dream chaser.  I haven't been as proactive as I should be when it comes to chasing after my dreams.  Well, that's not completely true:
-In high school I had two dreams:  graduate with a 4.5 GPA and become apart of the CCHS Chamber Choir.  Results:  I graduated high school with a 4.375 GPA.  That's not exactly a 4.5, but it's still very good.  My senior year I became apart of the Chamber Choir after 3 rounds of auditions.
-When I was 4, I pictured myself being an Auburn Tiger Paw.  (That was my reason for wanting to go to Auburn as a little girl.)  Result:  I am not a very good dancer or athleticly inclined so no to the Tiger Paws.  I was (obviously) accepted to Auburn.

I guess it' hard to chase after dreams if I don't have very many.  I have always been realistic when it came to making dreams/goals for myself.  What is the point in dreaming big if it will more than likely never happen? 

On January 9, 2010 I began my journey to become a professional organizer.  My aunt, Jane, has so grciously opened her home to be my "model" home.  I wasn't expecting this job to be such hard work, but after spending 5 hours organizing, I was sore the next day.  5 is a lot.  And yes, it is.  5 hours of removing every last thing from all the cabinets.  Then sorting the junk, er, stuff into various piles (keep, trash, donation).  After that, comes the organization meaning putting everything back which makes the most sense in usefulness.  It's a lot harder than it sounds.  I have this science in my head, and it might only make sense to me. 

The below pictures are "Before" and "After" shots of Jane's kitchen.  Please remember this is my first job so I am working with a $0 budget.  Plus this room took me total 6 to 7 hours to transform (2 days).

first day on the job as a pro organizer with my assistant, Tyson.  :)


The "Before" is first followed by the "After"

pantry #1

pantry #2

medicine cabinet

cup cabinet

underneath storage

"under the sink" cleaning cabinet


Monday, February 1, 2010

one month down in oh-ten

One month down and eleven left to go in 2010.  So far I am keeping my resolution of eating better and exercising.  It hasn't been easy, but when there's no more junk food in the house, it seems to be easier.  That doesn't mean that I haven't found ways to junk up my eating.  Just last night I had the urge.  Y'know what urge I am talking about:  the one where all you want is something sweet.  So I ate a packet of 100 calorie cookies.  That doesn't sound bad at all, does it?  Well, I can't forget to add that I dipped each tiny cookie in a tub of vanilla whipped icing.  Yep, that did the trick. 

I don't cheat like that often, but I try to keep it to where I have some healthy mixed in.  Even if it totally negates the healthy vs the junk, I always feel less guilty about splurging. 

In my attempts to stay on track, I find that staying cyber-accountable will truly help.  If I start slacking, be sure to stay on top of me (that's what she said) about my resolution updates.  As of yesterday (1/31/10), I have lost 3 pounds.  go, me!  Losing 3/4 lbs over 4ish weeks really isn't that bad.  I am well underway for losing 10 pounds in 5 months.  My reward for meeting my goal is a new swimsuit. 

Let's not forget Daniel...
Daniel's resolution is progressing quite well.  He received his P90X in the mail last Thurday.  We watched the intro and part of the first workout session dvds.  Holy smokes!  This is SERIOUS business!  Daniel is SERIOUS business!  Friday night he did The Fit Test (which consisted of various exercise routines such as pull-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, vertical leap, and sit 'n reach) and I took a few pictures of him.  Gotta have the "before" shots.  I am sorry to say that I am not allowed to show you those pics at this time.  Maybe once he finished, he will want to show the world.

I thought about doing The Fit Test, but decided against it very quickly.  I have never been one to feel the urge to measure my heart rate about jumping jacks for 2 minutes straight.  I am doing The Biggest Loser and he is doing P90X.  Now that's not to say that I haven't joined him in his dvd workout. 

Saturday morning I woke up to find Daniel face down on the living room floor breathing heavily.  This is how intense it is, people!  Then, Sunday morning we decided to try out the next dvd.  Ummm, we made it about halfway through the dvd before we had to call it quits.  And today I am slow to walk.  Daniel seems to be making it just fine.

more to come...