Saturday, January 22, 2011

{ Pursey }

Why, hello there, good-lookin'!
How are you today?
Excuse me, but where did someone as lovely as you come from?
TJ Maxx? Really? For $25?
But you look like you're leather! Nice, fashionably distressed leather!
And you have studs {I have a stud too, his name is Mike} and decorative tassesls and buckles and belt-y things!
And you have pockets!
So many pockets!
Cute pockets! Pockets with zippers for small essentials...

...bigger pockets for things like cell phones and keys...

Be still, my heart! You have inside pockets too! Three separate compartments, so everything isn't smashed together in a big mushy mess at your bottom! I can actually find what I'm looking for when I unsnap you! And look--there's another zipper pocket inside!
I get really excited about generously-sized purses that have dividers inside. Huge bags with no dividers act as a giant black hole that sucks in your life {and your keys, and your wallet, and your list, and your lip gloss, and anything else you could possibly ever want} with no hope of return. Such a poor design--it's one of my pet peeves.
This bag by Sparrow True is exactly what I was looking for this winter. I'm really into faux distressed leather for some reason. I'm sure if I had the money I'd be into real distressed leather, too. ;-) It's just perfectly slouchy and casually dressed up; perfect for work and for date night.
I like you, pursey!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

{ Date Night }

Following our Epic New Year Health-And-Hot-Water-Heater Fiasco a few weeks ago, Mr. Husband decided it was high time for us to go on a real, honest to goodness date. We'd been so busy with work and holiday events that we hadn't gone on a date in quite a while. Like, over a month. {For those of you who are married with kids and just snorted when I called over a month "quite a while," please let me enjoy my blissful ignorance of just how long we may or may not go without a real date once we are parents. Please.}

Mike insisted that we go to Target first so he could buy me a new iron. Isn't that a great way to begin a date?! I'm serious! The one we got for our wedding has officially died. It turns itself off whenever it wants and randomly leaks water. I think every iron my parents ever owned eventually did that, too. I certainly hope the rest of my life isn't full of irons with ridiculously short lifespans. Maybe I'm ironing incorrectly...

Then we went to The Macaroni Grill. Love!! Especially the fresh rosemary bread they give you while you browse the's not Pizza Factory breadsticks good, but it is soooo yummy!

Now, I'm embarrassed to admit this, but Mr. Husband and I have been married for 18 months and two days. And I had no idea that he possessed significant artistic ability. Producing this when all you have to work with is a butcher paper tablecloth and four crayons is pretty impressive, isn't it?

I know, right?! It's the two of us--why I appear to be taller than him, though I have no legs, is due to artistic license. I am definitely shorter than my husband. By about seven inches.

I added the caption below his drawing. It created quite a ruckus on Facebook. People thought we were surreptitiously announcing that I was pregnant with quintuplets through in vitro fertilization. Silly people!
P.S. I'm not pregnant with any number of babies. Seems kind of silly to state that way, but I don't want to start any rumors!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

{ There's No Place Like Home }

This week, I've been craving:
breadsticks from The Pizza Factory
pizza from Chatterbox
Oh, those breadsticks!! I can eat an entire order of them by myself {and I have!}.
I've never tasted breadsticks like those anywhere else.
What kind of pizza would I get?
The White Rooster?
The Hula Hog?
The Happy Hunter?
It's funny that, surrounded by probably hundreds of eateries within a five-mile radius, I crave food from two restaurants hundreds of miles away, literally in the boondocks, where my family lives. Hopefully next time we make a trip to Idaho, I can introduce Mike to Pizza Factory breadsticks. The Pizza Factory brings back so many memories: birthday parties, extended family gatherings, dates with girlfriends, late-night dinner "in town" {a really big deal when we were kids}--it's even the spot where I first met a few of my cousins' babies {obviously it's a popular eatery in my family!}. And we can take my family out to lunch at the Chatterbox and add our signatures to the corrugated metal wall. I wonder if I can find my signature from a few years back, before I was married?

Friday, January 7, 2011

{ Sweet Finds }

I've been wanting a new purse lately. Is it just me, or are handbags crazy expensive?! The two winter-y ones I have are both 5+ years old; the one I've been using is feeling increasingly...dated. It was perfect for me for so many years, and now it's not. Yesterday I was at TJ Maxx looking for a curtain rod, and lo and behold, they have a HUGE selection of handbags. I found my new buddy: a lovely, slightly slouchy, slightly distressed, deliciously detailed shoulder bag with the sweetest faintly feminine accents and pockets while still being a little "tough" and lived-in. I'm embarrassed to say this, but it made me think of a bag the Pioneer Woman would have, and I liked it all the more as soon as I thought that. I don't think you'll have much luck finding information on Sparrow True {the brand name and my first sweet find} online--I've had none!--but they make great handbags, for only $25!

Today I was browsing Etsy, and stumbled across a shop with dozens of gorgeous earrings, each of which costs only $2. The shop is called Buck'N'Ear--get it? A buck an ear? Look at these examples of loveliness:

You could buy all three pairs and only be out $6 plus shipping + handling! What a sweet find!

So there you have it, my two sweet finds this week: Sparrow True handbags, and Buck'N'Ear's shop on Etsy. It's so fun to find pretty, affordable things to spend money on. I'm sure my husband would wholeheartedly agree with that statement {cough, cough}.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

{ Crafty Christmas recap }

One of my goals this Christmas was to make some of the gifts we gave. I've always loved the idea of handmade Christmas gifts; one year I knitted scarves for all the women I gave gifts to, but that has been the extent of my holiday craftiness. This year, I made little fabric flower pins as stocking stuffers for all the girls, via this tutorial. I also made smaller flower magnets for a few gifts. Super cute, super easy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

{ The End of 2010 }

Let me tell you about the last 36.5 hours of 2010.

They. Were. Epic.

I got home from work on Thursday evening about 5:30. I found wet carpet in the hallway. In front of the hot water heater closet. Really, really wet carpet. A 2' x 2' area. I called Mike, who sounded like death. He had emailed me earlier in the day saying that he was getting sick again and felt awful. Well, he sounded awful too. Nonetheless, he came home ASAP and called a plumber while I soaked up as much water with towels as possible. It's after 6pm on December 30th, I thought. This is definitely not getting fixed tonight...and tomorrow may be a stretch, too!

We found a plumber who could come between 11am and 1pm the next day. Mike turned off the hot water heater...and my scalp started to itch. I'd woken up late that morning and didn't have time to wash my hair, so I'd just taken a 30-second shower and pulled my hair into a ponytail. Visions of me welcoming the new year, crusty from two days of showerlessness, began waltzing through my head.

I should probably mention that we've been going through a cold snap in these parts. Several days of below-freezing temperatures have kept a nice skiff of snow and ice on the ground, and as soon as the hot water heater was off, we had nothing but ice water coming out of the tap. Try washing your hands in ice water. It's not pleasant, is it?

Mike was clearly and utterly miserable. This is a man who does not complain and who vehemently denies illness in any way, shape, or form. I could tell this was serious when he actually said he was really sick. He was literally shaking, he was so cold--in spite of wearing a shirt, sweater, and hooded sweatshirt and being underneath a blanket. When the thermometer said his temperature was 101.8 degrees, I loaded him up with Theraflu. I knew he was really, really sick when my night owl said he was going to be at 8:10pm. He was asleep within two minutes.

It was a fitful night, with a painfully-hot-to-the-touch Mike flailing about in our double bed, but somehow we both managed to be presentable before 11am, the earliest the plumber said he'd arrive. Mike was still miserable, though better than the night before, and I was keeping my {greasy} hair firmly ensconced under a stocking cap. I sent out a plea on Facebook for space heaters to dry the still-sopping carpet. A friend, who happens to live in the same condo complex, came over a few minutes later with one. I headed to WinCo in spite of my unkempt state, picking up another space heater from a friend on the way. I called Mike to make sure he was alive. He said the plumber had called and would be there at 1:30.

I got home at 2:30 and found Mike on the couch, swaddled in blankets, watching "The Office."

Nikki: "Did the plumber come?"
Mike: "No. He called again and said he'd be here at 2:30...ish."
Nikki: "Aaaaahhhh!"

Thankfully, the plumber did show up before 3pm. Even more thankfully, it wasn't the whole hot water heater that was shot; there were just two leaking flex pipes. The "pan" underneath the unit also had a large crack in it, which is why the water had so quickly accumulated on the floor. Everything was fixed and the hot water heater was on within a half hour. Praise the Lord!!

Our plan for New Year's Eve had been to go bowling with our church from 6pm to 9pm, then head to a party {complete with a white elephant gift exchange} at a friend's house. Mike was feeling progressively crummier, though, so we ended up not going to either. As a matter of fact, he once again fell asleep shortly after 8pm, and I joined him in bed at 9:15. I didn't even bother taking a shower, even though we finally had hot water again. After all, I was just going to spend another night next to my sweaty husband...may as well consolidate and just take one in the morning! As we were lying there, both trying to fall asleep since I'd wakened him, Mike snuffled blearily, "Just think of this as practice, babe. This is how we're going to be ringing in the New Year when we're 70."

And that, my friends, is how we spent the last 36.5 hours of 2010!

P.S. Mike went to the walk-in clinic on Saturday because he was still feeling pretty sick, and after determining that he doesn't have an infection or the flu, they sent him home with instructions to keep taking Tylenol and Theraflu. He's better now, but golly! That was exciting!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

{ Boxing Day }

Mike does not remember ever being up the Space Needle.
Hard to believe, I know--especially when you consider that he has lived within 30 miles of the Space Needle his entire life.
We had stopped at Starbucks on the way to church one Sunday in December, and they were handing out buy-one-get-one-free passes to go up the Space Needle. Being a big fan of fun, new experiences and cheap dates, I picked one up.
The day after Christmas, we had to go to Seattle for a dinner. It was a clear day, so we took advantage of our proximity to the Space Needle and hopped in line.

Did I mention it was windy?
It was really, really windy all weekend.
We could feel the elevator swaying slightly as we went up and down. One of the elevator attendants even said the motion was freaking her out a little!

The wind on the west side was piercing, and it was really cold--so we didn't stay on the outside observation deck for very long. I like to think that since my hair is curly, when I wear it down the wind can't disrupt it too already looks messy. Right??

Thank you for a fun, fun excursion, Mr. Husband! I love you!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

{ Christmas Day }

the day began with a huge {and i do mean huge} breakfast at mike's parents' house.
in contrast to my family, with hordes of aunts and uncles and cousins and cousins' spouses and cousins' children living nearby and all taking part in family festivities at christmastime, all mike's relatives can still fit around the kitchen table.
there are his parents, his sister amaryah, his aunt marian, his cousin stephanie, stephanie's husband scott, and their three girls: bethany, destiny, and estella.
however, should amaryah bring home a boyfriend for any holiday or birthday dinners, there will not be room for him.
sorry, amaryah.
mike was pleased as punch about christmas breakfast--it's his favorite meal of the year--as well as starbucks christmas blend--it's his favorite roast of coffee--and the very manly coffee mug i gave him.
amaryah loves to cuddle baby estella. at 20 months, estella doesn't like to stay still for long; this is one of only two semi-decent shots i got of them!

i actually managed to take a posed shot of cousin stephanie's family! from left to right, here are estella, stephanie, scott, destiny, and bethany.
the photo below cracks me up!
diesel, amaryah's dog, was 100% focused on the chance that mandy might, just might, let her have a taste of all the wonderful-smelling food we were eating. the back half of diesel's body was hanging off of mandy's leg, but that did not deter diesel in the least. she just kept her nose pointed at whatever mandy was eating and wagged her tail as fast as she could.

i am not a big fan of monty python, but the menfolk are. i think i'm missing some sort of cultural context that makes him funny to people who are familiar with that context. or maybe i'm just missing a vital humor gene. anyhow, dan's slippers were a christmas gift last year...something about killer bunnies from monty python and the search for the holy grail. he wore them all day.

in spite of mike and i sniffling and blowing our noses all day, it was a really good christmas. it's nice to be able to spend extended time with family without it being full of things to do. we spent a lot of time cooking and washing dishes, but there was also time to browse new books, play with estella, and nap. mike and i also went bowling with scott and destiny in the afternoon {scott is really big into bowling}.

what were your christmas highlights?