4.28.2011

My new BFFs

I'm on a roll. The younsters are my new BFFs. I'm unstoppable. I just can't help but share.
But seriously, I commented on the most amazing birth story post I've ever read. Three weeks shy of their little one's first birthday, Sherry shared the story. I couldn't believe they'd kept it under wraps for so long. I think the jaws of their entire audience dropped yesterday. Lucky folks, I tell ya. Go read it, but take some tissues. I don't have kids and it gave me chills.

Clara's Birth Story over at YoungHouseLove.

4.26.2011

Rolla Coastaaa....of Jobs

Ok folks, I suppose I owe you an update on the job situation.

First, last week, "they" (whoever that is) revealed to our division which three people/positions would be retained by the budget proposal. Tuesday morning, I notice my boss was inviting a few people to meet with her in the conference room around 10:30. At the time, I was busy and I didn't really notice who all she had invited. I assumed she would be taking us in one by one all day to break the news that we'd no longer have our jobs soon.

She asked me to cover reception while they were in the meeting. It may seem odd that I couldn't tell that I was all alone, but our suite is made up of cubes and some times I can go almost a whole day without laying eyes on my co-workers even though they are 2 feet away from me. So I was blissfully clueless and just figured my time would come.

After the morning meeting, I went back to my co-worker and said, "What's the meeting about? Is this where she tells us we're all getting the ax?" And she replied, "No, it's when she tells us that the positions that were saved were hers (the directors), the investigator's and MINE."

WHAAAAAAAAAA?

I was kind of sickened. ME? I have been an examiner the least amount of time compared to my four other counterparts. I feel BAD. Really bad, and I still do. Me, who has been doing this since October? Just 6 little 'ole months? The other 4 have been here for several years, some have been instrumental in reorganizing the work flow up in this piece!

When it was my turn for a meeting, it was me and the other two retainees. Aside from being outright dissed for "not having seniority over the others and yet SHE gets to stay???", I realized my selection had nothing to do with ME. It was all about the numbers. I get paid the least out of all my counterparts. The receptionist gets the very least, but they don't need one of those when they move our division. So that's the trade-off I guess? Been there the least amount of time? Get paid less?

It's simple. I got saved because I'm cheap.

For now, this is all a big 'ole proposal. Nothing is set in stone until the final budget bill is signed into law. But still, we all wonder who is going to change things so drastically before July for our division? I think we all (including me) don't see that happening, but you never can tell.

On the flipside, I have an interview with a law firm next Wednesday. I'm excited about it, but not expecting anything. A rare entry-level paralegal position was advertised and I jumped on it. I got the posting the day we found out about our division being slashed. Entry-level paralegal positions don't come around often because firms and lawyers don't have time to train you. I'm hoping for the best, but trying not to get my hopes up. Of course, I will break the news here as soon I know anything.

4.19.2011

I Heart YHL & I'm Famous

Seriously, this just made my day. I heart YoungHouseLove!


Excuse Me, This is Fabulous

In an attempt to brighten my currently dark and depressed soul, I've made an executive decision to start a new post them called, "Excuse Me, This is Fabulous." Whenever you see this post title, be prepared for greatness.

I made this executive decision while browsing etsy for an iPad cover or sleeve and came across this made by EightSeasons:

It's leather and $78 and I can't afford it, but it's so adorable and fabulous I practically said so out loud when I saw it.

I browsed the rest of EightSeason's store and found this. And then I died.
It's $310. Ouch, but fabuous.

4.15.2011

Here We Go Again

While I have a few minutes before the morning mail hits my desk, I have some news to share. It's not the good kind of news, unfortunately, it's the bad kind of news.

Tuesday evening as we were watching our DVR'd shows, Seth was browsing on his iPhone per usual. I never know what he's looking at on there and he does it for long periods of time. I used to ask what he was looking at, now I don't ask as often. But suddenly he piped up and shared with me what he was looking at with the preface of, "I don't know if this is good or bad for you but..." and then proceeds to tell me he's looking at a committee document that proposes transferring three positions from my current division to another state agency and eliminating six positions from my current division. And then there was silence.

Do the math. 3+6 = 9. We actually have 8 employees in our division. The 9th person was actually promoted shortly after I started this job and while he still has a hand in our business, he's not full time with our division so he probably won't be affected by this change. However, again, going back to the math, it seems our division has been proposed to be completely demolished.

How did I get here? How did I get in the position of ANOTHER one of my jobs being eliminated? How can this be happening? All the while, my husband has been worrying about losing HIS job because of rumors of being outsourced?

For a while there, it seemed I was actually the safe one. Then overnight it's almost the opposite without question. I'm staring down the barrel of a gun whose sole purpose is to render me unemployed. Again? Maybe if I hadn't taken a job working with Satan for a supervisor the first time around, I wouldn't know what it was like to be let go from a job. But I know. I have only been re-employed for 14 months. I'm not ready to go through that ordeal again. I'm not ready for my husband to possibly lose his job.

It's kind of hurtful because when you have to tell people you lost your job, it's hard not to assume they are wondering what you did to get let go. In both situations, it hasn't been my fault. My first "letting go" was thanks to a snake of a supervisor who (in hindsight) was so jealous and threatened by me, she did all she could to mess with my life and my career. This time, it's purely the work of someone who doesn't even know us or know what this division does or what kind of people we have. This was done by someone outside of the entire department even. It sucks. People calling the shots about your life and work without a clue. Without a care. They just see dollars and they know they have to lessen the amount of them that goes out.

Needless to say we're kinda scared. We're definitely depressed. And we're for sure on an emotional roller coaster. One that's stopped at the top of the tallest, steepest hill, and all we can do is stare down the hill and wonder when the car is going to drop and we're going to plummet to the bottom.

4.08.2011

My Favorite IKEA Deals

I've got IKEA on the brain today. I've got a secret reason why, but I'm going to hold off telling you for now because so far my luck with sharing has gotten me nowhere but unhappyville since nothing has worked out yet! I'll tell you this little nugget - it has to do with our master bedroom. (shocker)

IKEA is fantastic. They definitely have some things that are too cheapy looking and feeling that I probably wouldn't buy, but they have a lot of nice, solid wood (maybe it's not mahogany, but it's solid wood) pieces that are sturdy, heavy, and classic. I have so enjoyed putting filler pieces from IKEA in my home. It's a nice feeling to buy needed pieces at SUCH reasonable and affordable prices.

To that end, I wanted to share some of my most favorite IKEA deals that keep me going back for more. I will also give you a clue that some of the items I am getting ready to show may or may not be part of my master bedroom excitement. You'll just have to wait and see on that one.

Again I should say, IKEA does not pay me to say this stuff, in fact, they've never heard of me. Although, IKEA in Charlotte is following me on Twitter. Anyway, this is unsolicited reviewing. I just love IKEA that much. MUWAH!

1. The Ringum Rug:This rug is a steal at $9.99 and it's REAL WOOL. They are the greatest and I think I own 8 of them (4 green, 2 red, 2 violet). They are an adorable circle - not too large, not too small, and not your average throw rug. I use them in my bathrooms and have used them at the end of a bed to create a design on the floor. The circle shape does wonders for adding interest to any room.


2. Duvet Sets:
This baby retails for $49 in a king-size and it comes with the duvet and 2 shams. (!!!) We actually own the one in the photo, although the photo does the bedding ABSOLUTELY no favors. It's really much cuter than this pic would lead you to believe. But believe ME. It's cute and it's soft and it's nice. We bought one when we had a queen bed in our MBR and we actually bought a second one when we upgraded to a king. Scroll down to see the real life cuteness.

Over the years, I've made a hobby out of collecting duvet sets from IKEA, but I'm quite selective about it. I own 4 duvet sets from IKEA. You have to be careful depending on how picky you are. Some of them are flimsier than others and lack features like a bottom closure. For me, that's kind of important. It's like not buttoning your fly - who does that on purpose?
I've passed on a few of their duvets for that reason - even if the pattern was super cute and begging to come home with me.

You really can't beat the price, though. If you're buying a F/Q you can get a 3 piece set for $20 on certain sets. It's awesome for bedding junkies like me.

3. Pillow Covers
The blue pillow cover in the foreground will set you back a whopping $4. And it's double-sided, that's 2 pillow covers for the price of one! My mom bought me my first set of pillow covers from IKEA (not to mention my first duvet from IKEA, too). She bought it in a rare moment of shopping out of town without me and she actually nailed my style.

The covers are generally fabulous and are made from a nice thick canvas-like cotton with zip closures. Sure, they have lesser covers, but these $4 babies are like Diet Mountain Dew. I can't pass them up. They also have other covers in a variety of price ranges including or without pillow covers can certainly change the price around, too. But they are all great and we own about 10 pillows and covers from IKEA. Love them all. They even have nice down pillow inserts. Watch those feathers, though!

4. Curtain Panels (sold in pairs)
$39.99 for the pair. Yes, FOR TWO AT A TIME.

IKEA has lots of curtains to chose from and most of them come in pairs. Sometimes you can get them for way less than $39.99, but again, I often opt for the mid-range priced item rather than the dirt cheap just for a little more substance.

I have one set of sheers that are currently hanging in my guest bedroom. They will be moved elsewhere to make way for my fab curtain idea. Scroll down for pics of the sheers in use at our last house (SIDE NOTE: I'm tired of referring to pictures from our last house. I'm in love with our CURRENT house and am going to make it a point to take all new pictures of our stuff in the NEW house. Sheesh.)

You can get curtain panels for a little as $4.99 a pair from IKEA. Just depends on your space and your needs. These cuties below will soon be coming home with me for just $12.99 for the pair. Gotta love it. And they all come with iron-on hemming tape so they are ready for your adjustments right out of the package. We'll soon be adding 6 IKEA panels to rooms in our house. As soon as I can get myself to an IKEA. No, they're not lined blackout panels made of dupioni silk, but sometimes you don't need all that jazz. Sometimes breezy cotton panels are just the thing you need.
Here's how I integrate IKEA looks at home. Our LAST home. There's much more IKEA in our new home and again, I'm on a mission to share that with you soon!
Our former master bedroom. IKEA plays nicely with our Restoration Hardware furniture, Pottery Barn lamps, and Target throw pillows.

Our former guest bedroom. IKEA plays nicely with my grandmother's antique bed (painted gloss black by moi), antique chenille bedspread (white), cheap (but soft) purple sheets from Target, and giant purple bolster and zebra throw pillows also from Target.

Our former loft. I picked up this large Ringum rug and have used it in a variety of locations. Here she is flirting with my antique bench.

This room is IKEA central. We had a bonus room in our last house and when our couch wouldn't fit through the door, we had to buy all new furniture. We went a little nuts. But it was an inexpensive way to fill a HUGE room and I miss that Karlstad sectional. Luckily, we sold it to my BIL so we could go visit if I REALLY wanted to.

Does anyone else love IKEA as much as I?

It seems that Three does. Homegirl knows how to work the duvets, pillows, sofa and blankets!
My and my snuggle bunny on the Karlstad with the warm IKEA blankie. You can also see another IKEA piece that matches the coffee table in the picture above. The TV console is one of my favorite pieces. Long and low - it's so wonderful.

My first duvet from IKEA. I loved it! I snapped this precious picture one morning. Three had been home just a few days after spending 3 in the doggie hospital recovering from an Addisonian episode so bad we almost lost her. Clearly, with my poor sheet/duvet pairing, I wasn't thinking about coordination during that time.

Pillow and sofa both IKEA. Dog by Scottish ancestry.

4.06.2011

Monogramming Revealed

Remember in this post how I teased you with a unique monogramming idea for the towels I ordered from Pottery Barn Kids? Well, they have arrived and I couldn't be more pleased.

This photo is pretty true to color (towel-wise anyway, my walls certainly do not glow so bright in person).

This photo makes the towels look purple. They are not. I took these pics with my iPhone last night and the color is off in this one.

The towels are so cute! They are this great punch of royal blue and I love it.

We just can't ever move since our house number is on the towels. That or only buy homes with a 415 address.

4.04.2011

Duvet Disappointment

Just a quick note...

I got my artichokes duvet on Friday and it's a no-go. Instead of being the nice apple green I thought it was going to be (based on the online photos), it's actually more like a neon green. I also thought it had a little bit of a yellowish outline, but it's just a white background with the neon artichokes. I didn't even take them out of the packages. Basically, I opened the box, saw the color and sealed the puppy back up.

Oh well.