Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thrifting Tips!

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE thrifting? I love the fact that you never know what you're going to find and there are always different things when you go thrifting. I know heading to the closest store is often way easier but it's also more expensive and way less exciting.
I've been able to find some great deals while shopping a the thrift stores but I agree, sometimes it's not always the easiest and most convenient way to shop.
Here are some tips I've learned over the years. Thrifting is fun, environmentally friendly and CHEAP! I hope that if you're not a thrifter this blog post will inspire you to give it a try!

1. Make a list!! Start a list of items you don't need now but need eventually. Right now my list reads something like this....white tiles (for craft project), shower curtain (must be new!!), yarn, note cards, muffin tin in a cool shape (for craft project), craft paper.

2. Go often! Things are constantly changing at thrift stores so be sure to go as often as you can. I try to go on Saturday mornings.

3. Know when they're having a sale. Our local Salvation Army has a 5 dollar bag sale most Saturdays. You can fill a shopping bag full of clothes and shoes for only 5 dollars. What a deal!

4. If it won't work for you-consign it! You might find something fabulous that's not your size or style but you  know that there's no way you can pass it up.  If you have a local consignment  shop then don't hesitate to buy the item and consign it. Use the extra money to do more thrifting ;-)

5. Take your time. There are so many random things in a thrift store that it might be overwhelming at first. Go when you have plenty of time and can peruse the aisles and search for all your treasures. (granted, if you have kids you might just have to scratch this one).

I've found a ton of great stuff over the years. Lots of fun clothes, WINE GLASSES (I refuse to allow any new wine glasses into my house. They always end up breaking!), books, organizing gadgets, furniture, baskets and lots more.
This is a mug from Sea Mart that I found. I dug up an old picture of my brother and I with the Sea Mart man and sent it to him for his birthday!

Oh, and the last tip...know when to say no!

Happy Thrifting!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Beat the Odds 5K & other rainy day adventures

It's been a wet couple of weeks here in Juneau. You'd think we'd be used to it after living in Ketchikan for so long but Adam and I are desperate for a sunny day! We've been making the most of this wet weather with indoor AND OUTDOOR adventures.
We've had LOTS of Rosco training sessions. He has mastered closing the door behind him after he comes in from outside and is learning how to fetch (this one has taken us years! He's great at running after the ball but forgets to bring it back to us!).
Dinner at Twisted Fish! What was supposed to be a double date with our friend Paul turned into 3 boys and myself. The night was still a success and we enjoyed great food and good conversation.
Rainy day walks on Douglas. Sometimes it's nice to just walk in the rain, breath in the misty air and surrender to the fact that you are going to get wet...perhaps even soaked.
Marathon Pit Boss watching sessions. Adam and I have been sucked into Animal Planet's show Pit Boss. I think we watched the entire first season yesterday...oops ;-)
We've both spent lots of time out at the school orgainizing, lesson planning and trying to stay caught up now that the kids are back!
The annual Beat the Odds 5K! I started running this 5K about 4 years ago after my friend Stephenie invited me to run it with her. It was my first 5K since my highschool cross country days and I was a little nervous. She ran with me the whole time and I was so happy to have actually finished it! We've tried to make it a tradition to run it every year and it's always fun to see so many Juneau women come out and support this great cause. This year we finished in UNDER 30 minutes!

MaryAnne, Me, Stephenie & Kris after the run. A little wet but full of smiles!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Spud and Spice Cake

I"ve been wanting to try this Spud and Spice cake recipe for a long time but NEVER have enough leftover mashed potatoes! We finally had a few left overs and I decided to give it a whirl for Wine Wednesday. The recipe calls for a cup of left over mashed potatoes and the rest is pretty much like a spice cake. After the spd and spice cake cools you're supposed to drizzle caramel over the top. I found an interesting caramel recipe on pinterest that I just had to try.
I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out but luckily, it was a success! Here's what you do.....
1. Fill your crock pot with water, turn in to low and drop a can of condensed milk in there.
2. Let it sit on low for 8 hours (rotate occassionally).
3. Let it cool and ENJOY!

Careful opening it! I had caramel all over my fridge and photos...

This is one recipe I will DEFINITELY make again!

Back to school!

Let the new school year begin! Here in Juneau teachers headed back to school yesterday and the kiddos will come on Tuesday. We've been enjoying our summer so much that it's hard to get motivated to go back to work. BUT, if we HAVE to work teaching is definitely the best job ever.
Once I got back into the school and started arranging my classroom I began to get excited about the year. Yes, there's always drama....drama with the kids...drama with the staff.... BUT, I know that overall, this will be a great year. Adam's excited about his incoming 5th graders (they're a BIG class but a really sweet bunch) and I'm excited about having an intern for the school year.
I hope all my teacher friends are ready to greet their little muchkins and help them explore the fascinating world of learning. Remember, whatever you have planned will NOT go as planned so just smile and pretend it's on the lesson plan ;-)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tip -Just say no!

Chapter 3 in Elisabeth Wilson's book Stress Proof Your Life discusses the need to SAY NO!!! Too much of our time is spent doing things we don't want to do but just can't say no to the person asking. Her tip, say "let me think about that and get back to you" whenever someone asks you to do something. That will give you time to think about whether or not you really want to/have time to do it. This is one tip I'm still working on!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running in the rain...

August has been WET, WET, WET! Growing up in Ketchikan has made me pretty oblivious to a few showers but this weather is putting Ketchikan to shame. Even the nastiest weather wouldn't stop Stephenie and I from enjoying our early morning Monday run. We decided to check out the treadwell trail over on Douglas. It was pretty steep at the beginning but then leveled off into a really nice running trail.
View of downtown Juneau

Saturday, August 13, 2011

barefoot in the park

The sun came out on Saturday and Juneauites came out to play. I headed down to Cope Park to enjoy some live music and friend time. This August has been especially rainy so people were itching to get outside and see some sunshine!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Let the crafting begin!

After a long hiatus from the crafting world I'm finally starting to get back to it. I've unpacked all my crafting supplies and have been spending these rainy afternoons making jewelry and other goodies.
My latest project was a cork board made out of used wine corks. I was almost finished with it and then realized I wouldn't have enough corks! Luckily, my Stephie friend saved the day with her two giant gallon sized bags of corks! I finished the board last night and found some old photos, a few stickers we've collected from our travels and a couple love notes that just had to go up on the board.
I have a few cork projects that I want to do for the Christmas craft fair and a bath mat tutorial that I want to try for my bathroom (this one takes LOTS of corks so it might be a while!).
I miss the sun but sometimes it's nice to stay indoors and play!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tip - Find an hour a day to play!

I've been reading a book titled Stress Proof your Life (52 Brilliant Ideas) by Elisabeth Wilson. Here is brilliant idea number duo!

Chapter Two - Find an hour a day to play
Wilson asks the reader to imagine you had an hour a day to do anything you want. What would you do? She points out that most things will break down into two categories.
1- The things you want to do because they're fun or enjoyable
2- The things you know you should do because the benefits are good for you.
It really is important to take time out for yourself. So often we make other people's needs a priority before our own. It might seem impossible to find an hour to do something you enjoy doing but it's sooooo necessary for both your emotional and physical health. If you truely can't find an hour to dedicate to yourself then Wilson suggests you make a list of EVERYTHING you're expected to do in the next week then identify the things that can be delegated to someone else. All too often we think we're the only ones who can do these tasks when in reality they can be done by someone else.

"People who spend at least a bit of their time doing the stuff that they want to do tend to feel that they're in control, and that's majorly de-stressing."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Danielle's super-fun-but-way-too-quick weekend visit

My friend Danielle came to visit this weekend and we had a great time. I love showing my beautiful town to visitors (this was her 3rd time to Juneau but still....). The weather decided to cooperate with us this weekend and the rain held off and the sun even came out on Sunday. It was beautiful.
Saturday I took her downtown and we played tourists for the day. We got coffee at my favorite downtown coffee shop, Paradise Cafe, went to my favorite downtown store, Trove and admired the artwork in all the cute little art galleries.
Later that day I took her out to Auke Bay and we walked the docks and picked out our dream boats, I mean Yachts ;-)
 No Juneau trip would be complete without a trip to the Island Pub for pizza and salmon spread and of course, a walk on Sandy beach. Danielle's trip was way too quick but lots of fun!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It's gonna be a good weekend!

As I was drinking my coffee and checking the news (ok, and facebook too) this morning my phone chimed with a new text. It was from my sweet friend Danielle whose wedding I officiated exactly two years ago tomorrow. Her text made my morning and I've been walking around with a smile on my face all day! 

It's pouring down rain here but I know we'll still have a great time. I have lots of fun stuff planned for us and you know I'll be sure to blog it all so I can have a virtual memory of our weekend. Stay tuned ;-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday's Tip -Let's get positive!

So, I've had my nose stuck in my Kindle for the last few days and have downloaded a ton of free books. One of the books I downloaded is titled Stress proof your life (52 brilliant ideas) by Elizabeth Wilson. Though I have to say my life is rarely as stressful as some people's I figured this would be a good book to take a peek at. After all, who can't use a little stress-proofing now and then??
I thought it would be fun to do a weekly blog post about one of the "brilliant ideas" from Wilson's book. My goal is that each week I'll read a chapter and blog about it.

Chapter one- Let's get positive!
What a great way to start this book! Wilson asks the reader to look at stress in a different light. Some stress is good! It keeps you motivated and ready to take action. She also asks the reader to look at the things that are causing stress and think about what life would be like if you couldn't do them. Stressed because you have to take your kids to their weekly soccer games? Soon they'll be old enough to drive themselves and might not even want you there. Don't look at it as a chore but rather as something you GET to do. Obviously, not all stress can be erradicated with a simple attitude change but I think it's a great start!

"Nothing in your life will change unless you take action"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Douglas Island Half Marathon

Last weekend I checked off another "must do" from my bucket list - Running a half-marathon. I have been running a lot this summer but haven't really followed any "training" techniques so I was a little worried about how I'd do on race day. I knew I could finish. Heck, if nothing else I could walk the 13 miles (I just walked a  full marathon a few months ago so this would be nothing!) but I really wanted to run it.
Luckily, I had two great running partners who kept me entertained, encouraged and motivated for the entire run.
Here are our before and after pictures ;-) I have to say, we look waaaayyy more excited afterwards!

Our time was 2 hours and 20 minutes and we still have smiles on our face. I'd say it was a success!