Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giveaway for a cause!

Or giveaway for the cure!  Actually, a raffle for the cure, but giveaway got your attention more quickly, right? :-)

For the next week you have a chance to contribute to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure and maybe get a little something back!

What will you get?  Well, I'm glad you asked!  There three exciting giveaways.

Opportunity #1- A custom-made item made by me!  This could be a crocheted scarf, hat, baby set, pillow, or dishcloth set or a custom-designed wreath or that Pinterest idea that you just haven't quite gotten around to making yet.  We'll work together to come up with the perfect project!

Opportunity #2 - Another custom-made item made by me!  Maybe the opportunity to request that perfect Christmas gift...for yourself?

Opportunity #3 - This is the big one!  A photo session with the fabulous Carrie of Richardson Fry Photography!  The photo session is valued at $175 and includes 40 minute shoot with 20-25 high resolution digital images.  Carrie took the picture to the right over there, the one where we are jumping for joy, as well as the ones below (and all the amazing photos on her website, of course).  Carrie will schedule photo sessions in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina or in Tulsa, Oklahoma later this fall.  What if you don't live in these areas?  You can exchange your photo session for $175 worth of fine art prints!

How to enter
First, donate at least $5 to Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure by clicking on the link or the widget to the right on this blog page.  How does that get me an entry?

$5 - 1 entry
$10 - 2 entries
$15 - 3 entries...are you starting to get the idea?  Until...
$50 -  12 entries (2 bonus entries for every $50!)

Bonus entries!  After donating at least $5, you can get extra entries four different ways!
  • Donate* and tweet about the raffle (1 entry)
  • Donate and like Richardson Fry Photography on Facebook (1 entry)
  • Donate and blog about this raffle (1 entry)
  • Donate and post about the raffle on Facebook (1 entry)
    Leave a comment for each "extra" telling me "Donated and (tweeted, Facebooked, blogged, liked)!

    *Only one donation is necessary, you can use that one donation to piggyback all four extra entries!  But feel free to be's for a good cause. :-) See sample tweet and Facebook status at the end of this post! 

    Raffle closes at midnight on Friday, September 2nd!

    Thank you for supporting breast cancer research and my 3-day for the Cure journey!

    Each entry will be listed in the order it comes in via the email sent directly from the 3-Day site for each donation and your comments.   Winners will be selected via Random Number Generator.

    Sample Tweet
    Giveaway to benefit Komen Foundation at -awesome goodies and a photoshoot from #the3day @care42

    Sample Facebook Status
    Check out this great giveaway to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation at - awesome goodies and a photoshoot from @Richardson Fry Photography!

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Under Construction

    If you really squint, back there, behind that barrier, you can see my life.  It's tiny, but it's there.  It's undergoing some major renovations.

    A year ago I was busy applying to PhD programs at three schools.  Busy, busy, busy.  Making my dream come true!  Fast forward several months and I was licking my wounds after being rejected by all three schools.  Ouch!

    I fully intended to apply to schools again for next fall.  I have an spreadsheet all laid out with schools all over the world to compare and contrast.  A few weeks ago I took the brand spankin' new GRE - just four days after it was released!  What?  That doesn't sound exciting?  Like going to the opening weekend of Harry Potter all decked out in your wizard gear?

    But then I started thinking about my life and what I want it to look like with lots of specifics.  I want a lot of freedom.  I want to be surrounded by creativity.  I want to see my yet-to-be-born kids and S everyday but I also want projects that help bring people together.  I want to use my skills.  I want to LOVE where I live.  I want to get up every morning excited to meet the day.  And cue the music...and the idealism...

    Okay, that's a lot to ask.  And I thought be a professor would get me as close as I was going to get to my dream.  But then I had visions, like Miss Cleo type visions.  I saw myself in school, working my rear off, while also trying to start a family, and staying up all night trying to finish papers and a dissertation and regretting that I couldn't give enough attention to my work or my family.  Then seven years down the line, I have a completed book, a degree in hand, and I am Dr. B!  And I still can't find a job because you have to fight tooth and nail for a tenure-track position and then, even if I find a position, it might be somewhere we hate and never wanted to live in the first place.

    AHHHHHHHH!!!!  That sounds horrible!  And it might not end up that way at all, but you know what?  I am not willing to risk it.  And then I had a revelation.  In the shower, of course.

    To get the life I want, I have to CREATE the life I want.

    Duh.  But seriously, I'm not going to find my dream job because my dream job is just that, something I dreamed up, and if I am waiting for someone else to give me that job then I have a whole lotta waiting ahead of me.  During the next few days, in quick succession, I was inspired.

    I was inspired by this
    Camp Wandawega as featured on The Lettered Cottage
    and this
    and this 

     After another shower, I opened a new document on our desktop title "THE DREAM -a working document to chart a joyful life" and started putting to paper what I imagined for our life.  When S got home that night I said, "uh, I have something to show you, let me know what you think."  Luckily, he thought it was great and then his Libra mind started planning out a step by step process to make THE DREAM happen while my little Pisces heart was still carrying the idea around to see how it "feels."

    It's in the early stages so I'm not read to make any announcements or anything.  We've given ourselves a five year plan to get things started and I've decided to not apply to PhD programs right now.  Instead I'm looking at great schools that have Master of Arts Administration (or Management) degrees 100% online (there are exactly three).

    Whenever it does all come together, we'll let you know and hopefully in a few years you'll be able to join us!  We should have plenty of room.

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    Mirror, mirror...made out of toilet paper rolls

    In my new home, aka my parent's house, we have two rooms: our blue bedroom and our yellow living room/the guest bedroom that no longer houses a bed.  Our little yellow living room is crammed with our love seat, a chair, a few bookshelves, Buddy's crate, and our TV.  It's cozy.  We painted it yellow about three weeks ago and I've been trying to figure out how to make it homey without too much effort or special projects since everything is temporary and we didn't unpack most of our belongings.  When it's all finished I'll share more pictures but for now, here's a taste of my current inspiration from Pinterest.

    I'm slightly obsessed with that mirror and really wanted it to go over our couch.  I love that it's a) a little bit gaudy, b) red, and c) oval, since most of our yellow room is boxy with lots of 90-degree angles.

    So I looked and looked and looked for a mirror that would cost me $10 and look like this.  You might be surprised to learn that I did not find it.  Shocking.  But I did remember something that I pinned a few weeks back.

    You know what?  I was right.  It does make an awesome frame for a mirror.  The original tutorial is found here but I'll show you my spin on it.

    First, living with five adults and three bathrooms, it only took about 5 hours to accumulate enough toilet paper rolls for the project.  I may have dug through a few trash cans.  I don't remember how many rolls I used, I just kept cutting until I had enough circles.

    First, you cut each toilet paper roll into small circles of varying sizes, they don't have to be the same width.  The cardboard gets a bit squished but it's okay, you just smoosh it back into shape.

    I got a mirror from Hobby Lobby in the candle/centerpiece section.  It was originally $7.99 but at 50% off I got it for about $4.  Yay!  I started by laying out the toilet paper roll circles around the mirror to get and idea if this was going to work (and it did, whew).  Then a little bit of hot glue between each circle holds the thing together.

    Around and around and around until I had three layers.

    I fully intended to include the little curly cues like my inspiration wreath but I kind of liked the cleaner look and figured I can add them later if I want to.  Plus, I was out of toilet paper rolls.

    Then I just lifted the whole thing off (it wasn't attached to the mirror yet!) and took it outside to spray paint it "Colonial Red."

    After it looked like something horrible had happened in the backyard or like Dexter had shown up and the first side was dry, I turned the whole thing over and spray painted the other side.  Toilet paper rolls really suck up spray paint!

    To hang the mirror I used 3M picture hangers, the kind of the clicking plastic things.  I thought I took a picture but....I can't seem to find it.  I stuck three on the back of the mirror and followed the instructions to hang.

    After everything dried, I used a little bit of hot glue at a few points around the new frame to attach to the mirror and then *CLICK* attached it to the wall.

    Ta-da!  It's a bit smaller than I thought it would be and since the toilet paper rolls are really only chunky from the side it doesn't have the red showpiece effect that I was hoping for but it was only $4 + $3.77 for spray paint so if I do find that awesome oval mirror, no biggie.  In the meantime, it's adding some curve appeal (harhar) to our tiny yellow living room.

    I have more things to spray paint for our yellow space but today it's raining so I guess it'll have to wait.

    Now that I am fully aware of the abundance of toilet paper rolls, any other suggestions for how these little tubes might enhance our home?

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Happy (Belated) Anniversary to us!

    Our 3-year anniversary was July 19th, right in the middle of the moving madness.  Instead of trying to sneak in a alone time celebration, we postponed it until this last weekend. 

    It's no secret that this has been a rough year for us with lots of challenges in our individual lives and our marriage.  My dream was to take a tropical romantic vacation and renew our vows, just the two of us.  However, budgets prevailed and instead we stayed in OKC.  But I think we did it right with an afternoon at the art museum, a room at the Skirvin Hotel where we spent our wedding night, and an amazing dinner at our favorite OKC restaurant, Deep Fork.

    We did include a little vow renewal on the steps of the church where we got married.  I want to share the gift that I got S but I don't have a picture so I'll tell you about it later!

    And the cherry on the sundae?  We had a coupon for dinner and because of a yapping dog who apparently had lots of opinions and needed to bark for three hours straight, our hotel room was comped.  Anniversary score!  The barking dog not so much, but the accommodating hotel staff, yes!

    Year three was a doozy but we're ready for year four.  Bring it on, life!

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    You can cure cancer!

    Last year I walked 60 miles for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in Atlanta.  It was amazing!  I wrote about it here.  I had really bad blisters but I walked all 60 miles with my friend Leanne.  Then I told my whole family about it.  And they signed up to walk in Dallas in 2011.


    Except now we all have to raise $2300 - each.  That's $13,800 total.  Eek!

    And life got in the way for several of us.  Big time.

    So now we're three months from the event and way behind on our fundraising.  We're in serious need of donations but we're also in serious need of fundraising ideas!  Do you have any tried and true ideas?  Anything that might help us raise $13,800 for cancer research including the research that's being done on our family (yes, my family is the subject of a cancer study)?

    We're also behind on our training.  I blame it on the 110 degrees and the fact that we all moved within the past month.  So, it's time to get going!  We have three months to make it happen! 

    If you're interested in donating, you can do that here.  Or send the link to your friends!

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    Blu-ue room, you saw me standing alone...

    Or, The Moody Blues.

    Last week if you were walking down the hall to our bedroom, you would see a plain room with plain (pink) walls.

    Before that you would have seen an empty room with blue carpet and then you would have seen the demo.

    But now you see a beautiful dark blue room with moody blue walls.

    I am obsessed with my cozy blue room.  I told S that is feels like a hug.  Who would have thought it would be so comforting to wake up in a dark room?

    The small room feels bigger with the rich color and the white curtains and linens look so crisp!

    And, bonus, a look back at the pink bathroom.

    Eek!  This was right after we moved in.  After adding a black and white rug that my parents brought with them, our white shower curtain, some white towels, and a little bit of art, it looks a bit more glamorous.

    We're going to paint the cabinets a glossy lacquered black and add silver hardware to spruce it up until the time comes for my parents to demo that bathroom and make it what they want.  In the meantime, the pink is really growing on me!