Friday, January 30, 2015

31 Day Blog Challenge - Introduction

So I have been doing some research on how to manage, engage readers, and overall ... make a great blog.  I hope to implement some of the great ideas I find each month, one thing I did come across was a fun 31 Day Blog Challenge.  

I figured if I did it everyday it would become a little much with all the talk about myself, so I am going to do the challenge every Friday.  Today is introduction. 

Hello, I'm Jessica ... if you didn't already know ... I live in sunny Sarasota FL but my home will always be Buffalo, NY.  My career is in Marketing ... I love to create and organize things .. not sure why it took me till 25 to figure out that Marketing involves both those things and to make it my life's work ... better late then never! I am recently {if April 2014 is recent} engaged to my love, Mike.  You'll hear about him quite a bit throughout this blog.  While most of my extended family lives in Buffalo I have my mom, dad and two brothers here with me in Florida and have a core group of really good friends that I can count on for anything.  I have self-proclaimed OCD - I'm a huge Buffalo Bills fan - I'm more comfortable in jeans than anything else - and I'm mildly obsessed with Hot Tamales. Oh, and I can't forget one of the most important things that are a part of me ... Wamp.

Isn't she just the cutest?!?

I'll explain more behind her name ... on challenge day #3 - as that is the name of this blog and my Etsy Shop

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DIY Necklace Organizer

I've been meaning to do this project for a while ... a long while.  Every time I go to put on some of my jewelry I say to myself ... "Ugh, I need to make that necklace organizer" and then I go on about my day and forget to implement it.  

Well over the weekend I decided to start attacking my to-do list head on and this project was at the top of my list.  After all, if you look at this everyday {below} it would be at the top of your list too!

This is a small shelf {that's part of a series of shelves} in my closet ... and by no means is my closet ready to make its debut on the internet so ... you just get this little tid-bit.  Its hard to tell but there is a pile of necklaces there ... just a pile.

I'm not a huge jewelry fanatic, I don't own all of those fancy statement necklaces or big earrings and this Christmas was when I acquired my first {and probably only} Michael Kors Watch.  I like simple stud earrings and dainty gold necklaces.  So I saw this pin on Pinterest {below} and thought it was just what I needed!  If you follow the link though, its on Etsy for $48 ... now if that sounds like a deal to you by all means go {HERE} and purchase it :)  For me though ... I thought ... "Well I can make that!"

So I gathered the materials ... I thought I would paint mine instead of staining it just because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of trying to match my jewelry box. 

I purchased the square wooden dowel {$3.50} and three six packs of 1/2" gold hooks {$0.85 / each} from Home Depot.  I had the paint in my craft box.

First I  started screwing the hooks into the wooden dowel ... if you want to measure this out your more than welcome, I just kind of eyeballed them.  Just make sure you leave enough room in between the hooks to screw in the other ones.

Once all the screws are in it should look something like this 

Then I painted it ... now if you want, you can paint it before you start screwing the hooks in.  I didn't really have a reason as to the order I did mine.

I am a HUGE fan of Command Strips ... so I used the picture hanging ones that are basically like super velcro to hang this in my jewelry nook.

The end result: 

I used a little crystal tray I purchased at a garage sale to place all my earrings.  

I also like the idea from the Etsy shop of making a few of these and placing them on a wall if you have more necklaces to organize. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Well this weekend was pleasantly uneventful which was great because I was able to catch up on my ever growing to-do list.  It was also nice because I think we have plans every weekend from here until May!

On Friday night we rented Gone Girl ... I've listed my thoughts below

{side note: don't read my thoughts if you haven't seen it, I don't want to ruin it for ya}

- It was a REALLY long movie
- It may give crazy girls ... ideas
- The whole excitement over Ben Afleck being fully nude - wasn't even needed in the movie.
- Overall a great movie but the ending makes it almost not worth watching

Saturday we slept in ... ahhh yes, slept in.  Of course for me that's all of about 9 am.  I spent the day doing chores and running errands.  I am on the lookout for some candelabras for wedding decor so I decided to head to our local Good Will, my mom said there was some great stuff. I didn't find any candelabras but I did get some fabulous finds!  

Cream Clutch - $4.99!!

Wine Colored Cute Heals - $4.99
I know these are a little unusual but they spoke to me :)

Cute Tank - $2.99!!

Everyday Shirt {Banana Republic} - $3.99!!

Shallow Basket - $2.99!!! 
I've already put this to use :)

This wasn't my first trip to the Good Will but for some reason I noticed a lot more this time around.

If you want to test the durability of any item in the store, just give it a little nudge with your foot

My Good Will had a "boutique" section where they put all the fancy, name brand clothes.  Good Will does not qualify Banana Republic or Ann Taylor Loft boutique worthy, however Mossimo and Charlotte Russe are.

Tupperware and Portable Toilets go in the same aisle. 

Saturday night we went out to dinner at a local restaurant, Hurricane Grill, we had not tried it yet and over all it was ok.  Nothing to write home about but it wasn't too bad.  Then we went to see American Sniper. With the movie making like 100 Million dollars the first weekend, I think it created even more buzz because the line was loooooooong! We  managed to get seats in the 6th row from the front.  It was worth it though.

It was by far one of the best movies I have seen in a long time.  I HIGHLY recommend going to see it and I also HIGHLY recommend you don't get caught up in all the "controversy" talk about it.

Sunday I caught up on a lot of work, went grocery shopping, did more chores, and watched the Pro Bowl and the SAG Awards.

What did you guys do this weekend?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

Another week has come and gone and it was a whirlwind!  Sometimes I feel like I just watched the newest episode of the Bachelor (Monday Nights) and then its already Friday.  

Mike went to Orlando this weekend to have a "Boys Weekend" one of his friends flew in from Michigan and another lives in Orlando so I had the weekend to myself. I figured if he got to be with his boys I wanted to be with my girls so I went out with my friends Marie and Chelsea.

First we did dinner downtown at this place called Patrick's - one thing about these girls is that no matter what the situation we always have fun together and at least have one of those laughs where you almost pee your pants over the stupidest things ... that night was the Salmonella candle.  The food was ok, the waiter was weird (have you ever had a waiter refuse to take your picture) but the drinks were good and that's all that matters.

From Left to Right: Chelsea, Marie, and Me.

You should make note of these ladies because if you do follow my blog, 
and I hope you do,  you'll hear about them a lot.

You'll also hear a lot about:

Katie (Kitten Kat)

Pictures to come of them in future posts - All these ladies are the good, quality, amazing friends that you know you can count on. I've learned at the ripe old age of 29 that these kinds of girls are few and far between.  They are also all of my bridesmaids :) 

This was my "Chicken Pot Pie" it looks ok ... but I wasn't impressed.
Mike and I are big on taking pictures of our food when we eat new things 
You'll see a lot of food posts, especially on vacations.

After dinner Marie told us about this place, and now I cannot remember the name, that was like a Speakeasy.  It was hidden but we didn't need a password to get in.  We did however need our walking shoes because when it was all said and done we walked blocks to find this place.  Come to find out we passed it twice.  Once we got in they had some pretty amazing drinks to choose from and they considered their drinks, art.  Since art takes time they actually gave us sipping drinks while we waited.  Marie got some sort of Chai Drink, Chelsea got some sort of really strong whiskey drink and I got some sort of Gin Martini ... Chelsea and I ended up trading :)

Saturday my mom invited me to go with her, my grandma, my aunt and my cousin Courtney (as mentioned above) to go to New Port Richey and meet my cousin Tori's new baby Piper.  Since Tori and her husband live in Jacksonville I figured this would probably be one of the few times I'll see little Piper ... well, little.  The five of us piled in to my mom's car and Courtney, Grandma Barb and I got the back seat.  By the way 4 out of the 5 of us usually suffer from car sickness .... 

Then we got to meet this beautiful little girl

Sweet little Piper ... and Grandma Barb's first Great Grandchild

Left to Right: Grandma Barb, Tori & Piper, Aunt Kathy, my Mom, Aunt Suzanne, Me, and Courtney

Then on the way home we went to IKEA! I love that place, I could spend days in there redecorating my house over and over.  We did a little speed through so we could get Gram home but I was able to get a few little things for the house.  And sadly, they are all still in my trunk.  I'll get to them ... eventually.

Saturday night and Sunday I did chores and work ... I know its not fun but sometimes it just has to be done.  Mike came home Sunday afternoon and we did watch the AFC and NFC Championship games.  I've decided I'm cheering for the Patriots ... just staying in my division.  Did I mention I'm a Bills Fan?

Oh, I will share one more thing that happened over the weekend.  Wamp, my cat - whom this blog and my Etsy Shop are named after, is an indoor cat.  Actually, she is a precious little princess.  She has a friend, a black cat that is always at our doors and windows and they meow at each other all the time.  On Sunday Wamp went out on our front lanai and the cat was out there.

So I decided, let just see if they get along ...

That lasted about 15 seconds and they pounced at each other.  At least now I know that their play dates will have to remain though the windows and screens.

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What Day Is It?

As you can see in my short little bio (to the right) I am an OBSESSIVE Organizer and List Maker.  I probably organize a little too much but it makes me feel better so I will just continue on with it.  

I will say that sometimes it a little much.  Lets say I write a list of things I need to do this weekend in my list notepad (yea I have a note pad for lists ... doesn't everyone?) and if I'm about half way through or even almost all the way finished and I have made too many mistakes or used too much white out (yes ... I use whiteout ... it has to look nice) I will scrap the list and re-write it.  It has to be useful AND pretty. 

Cue my blog post for the day.  My pretty useful printable calendars.  (see what I did there)

Mike and I have our own schedules that we maintain but things that we both have to do or that we want to make sure the other person knows about, or Wedding Stuff we put in a central calendar that we keep on our refrigerator.

We used to use whatever little calendar we received through work or the mail ... which did the job but it didn't look very nice and most of the time the calendar was already filled whatever promotional things the company that made the calendar had going on.  So this year I decided to create my own.  Not only are they pretty but ... if we mess something up on them you can just print a new one.  (I know I know .. I might have a problem)

You can see all the printable calendars I have created HERE on my Etsy Shop AND they are all instant downloads ... how convenient!  I'll be uploading more today as well.

You can use them on your fridge or put them in a 8 x 10 picture frame and use a dry erase marker on the glass.  There are also 5 x 7 card calendars for quick referencing ... because we all know opening our phones to look at the calendar is just too much work.

I hope this post serves you well in scheduling your new year! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Weekend Wrap Up

You know I set out this year with the hopes of doing my blog posts on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Mainly because I have self proclaimed OCD and that is a schedule, I like schedules.  I have quickly noticed that in the last two weeks I have blogged on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   So much for my schedule.  Oh well.

I want to do a little weekend wrap up each Monday ... or Tuesday I suppose, since I know I won't be regimented enough to blog on weekend days just yet.

Friday, Mike and I had a movie night.  Mike's brother has a vast DVD collection and we have slowly been working our way through the eight that we borrowed months ago.  We decided with The Beach with little itty bitty Leonardo DiCaprio.  It was pretty good. 

One thing you should know about me is if I start a movie any later than say ... 9:00 pm, heck maybe even 8:30 pm and it is not interesting enough, I will fall asleep for sure.  I can't tell you how many movies I've only seen the beginning of.  So with that rating system ... I stayed up through the whole thing.

Saturday is my cleaning day, I basically go through the whole house and do laundry, floors, bathrooms, etc.  I really don't like to spend my weekday nights cleaning anything other than the kitchen.  Saturday night we had our End Of Season Fantasy Football Party.  I run a fantasy football league each year, I started it so that my brother's could really understand how to play it.  Most people will not let you in their Fantasy Football League if you don't know how to play, if they let you in at all.  Its some serious stuff.  Mike thinks my end of the year party is "silly" because no other league does it.  However, in my league not everyone sees each other, in fact I think they only see each other all together on draft day, so its nice to get together, talk about the season, look at the draft board and see your mistakes.  We also give out the trophy and the money and eat pizza.  

Sunday I spent a lot of time shopping with my mom.  She has a new obsession with the Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Home Goods trifecta and when I say obsession, I mean obsession.  We learned that these stores get shipments every day except for two days a week and those two days are always different.  I think she goes, every other day.  I hadn't spent some time with her in a while and needed some accessories for my new desk.  I found a great little acrylic lipstick holder at TJ Maxx that held my Young Living Essential Oils perfectly. Later that day I went grocery shopping and my sister-in-law to be, Nichole came with me.  I do my grocery shopping at Target so it makes it more fun.  Check out my new kicks for only $13! Love them! You can find them here, but for some reason they aren't on sale on line ... check the store.

Hope you all had great weekends too! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lets Do Nothing

If you know Mike and I (by the way Mike is my fiance) you know that we are constantly on the go, never a dull moment. We usually have about two to three vacations a year and that doesn't count when we go back home (Detroit and Buffalo) for visits or events.  We also live in the Sunshine State and a lot of our friends and family live in Michigan or New York we have quite a few visits to our guest bedroom throughout the year.  Neither of us have normal 9 - 5 jobs so work can consume us from time to time.  Along with wanting to have a social life with friends and family we have here.  

One of the things we often say to each other is ... "Wouldn't it be nice if we could just stay in bed all day?"  We dream about it for about 2 minutes and then get up and get on with the day.  

Well over the New Years week we decided to finally put that plan into action.  We decided to take our first road trip (over 3 hours) as a couple to Asheville, North Carolina and lock ourselves in a little cabin on the river and ... stay in bed all day.  We thought it would be a great way to start the new year, with some much needed rest.

The drive really wasn't all that bad to be honest, we LOVE Diners Drive-Ins and Dives and always look for a place no matter where we go.  Sadly this trip had no good places on the way or in the area so we were left to our own devices food wise.  

We really wanted to get there so we opted for fast food during the drive, in Georgia neither of us had ever had Krystal Burger so we'd thought we'd try.  GROSS. I literally wanted to throw up the rest of the way.  

We made it in 11 hours and our cabin was the cutest little thing I have ever seen.

Our Cabin was right on the French Broad River

Cute little kitchen and a table to the left.

This was the bedroom, although we spent no time in here ... There was no TV 

We spent the whole time here ... right in the living room, next to the fire place, on the couch bed.

It was in the 30's the whole time so the fire was perfect to warm up right away.

The first night there we went to Asheville Pizza and Brewery - It was a really cool place, however Mike wasn't impressed with the pizza

I'm not lying when I say we went there to stay in bed the whole time ... so that's what we did for the next long while.

The next day was New Years Eve and also Mike's Birthday!
We slept in, walked around the cabin property, Mike attempted some fishing and I watched cause it was COLD! We were given a suggestion for a dinner place but they weren't open on Wednesdays so we decided to go to PF Changs.  Usually we like to eat at places that we can't eat at back home but without a reservation we didn't have much to choose from.  It actually was quite delicious and was the best server we had the whole trip.

Morning View

Signature Selfie

Mike scoping out his fishing spot

Me ... Cold.

The River.

Another selfie while we are waiting for our table

We opted for a bunch of appetizers and sharing one entree .. we like variety :)
Oh what is that in the bottom right?

The Birthday Boy's Birthday Treat :)
They wouldn't sing though :/

We stayed one more day and as you can guess ... DID NOTHING ... I have proof, apparently Mike often takes pictures of me when I don't know it 

We drove home on Friday, Saturday we unpacked, finished Mike's office reorganization, I worked and that night we had to attend a dinner for Mike's work. Sunday we took down all the Christmas decorations, prepared for the work week and watch what seem like the most important game to Mike all season the Cowboys vs. Detroit Playoff game.  Football is big in our house.  Needless to say we got right back into the swing of things .. busy, busy, busy. 

I do highly recommend taking time out to do nothing if you ever get the chance.