Posts tagged ‘life’

December 14, 2011

Wordless Week – Day 3: Darn Good Coffee

by Cait

Tags: ,
December 13, 2011

Wordless Week – Day 2: Letters to Santa

by Cait

Tags: ,
December 7, 2011

Things You Can’t Tell Just From Reading My Blog

by Cait

Or, Why Most People Can’t Live With Me For More Than a Year.

seen here

1. If it’s under 70F I’m probably freezing. I steal the covers, I take really hot showers and use all the hot water.
2. I bake, but I don’t eat the finished product.
3. I clean when I’m mad (but not when I’m sad).
4. I’m not a morning person. At all. I set too many alarms & hardly move when they go off. If there’s coffee I probably won’t snap at you.
5. Carbs are my weakness. Pasta, potato chips, Publix cookies, sourdough bread, these are the things I eat when I’m upset. (I’m trying to eat more vegetables though, Jenn!)
6. I love chocolate milk but pretty much only drink it out of a mug straight from the freezer.
7. I don’t cry often. Sure, I tear up at sappy movies, I weep at funerals, but I generally only let myself cry in the shower or around people I trust with my life.


“I’m lonely. Why do you think I had to learn to act so independent? I also get mad too quickly, and I hog the covers, and my second toe is longer than my big one. My hair has it’s own zip code. Plus, I get certifiably crazy when I’ve got PMS. You don’t love someone because they’re perfect. You love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”
― Jodi PicoultMy Sister’s Keeper

December 5, 2011

Always Look Again

by Cait

from here

For the past two years the holidays have sent me into a tailspin thinking about the loved ones who aren’t with us. Both the ones who’ve passed away, and those who are right across town, who we don’t talk to for reasons ranging from the petty to the-lawyer-to-us-not-to. For me it’s the latter that is harder to handle. Yes, decorating the tree with ornaments from someone who passed always is difficult, and Christmas morning or Christmas dinner is rough with place settings missing, but at least that also brings some happy memories.

found here

The other only brings bad memories, especially after the anger fades and you let yourself feel it. Especially when you remember they’re just on the other side of town, celebrating without you, probably not giving you a moment’s thought. One of life’s little secrets, the things people don’t tell you about having close friends is this: the pain that you think you’ll never have to go through after you get married? That’s exactly what you go through when you stop talking to a close friend.

It’s always heartbreaking when someone who was such a big part of your life suddenly isn’t there anymore. When that person is alive & well in the same city it’s heartbreaking over and over and over again. You avoid Facebook or places around town to keep from seeing pictures of them laughing & smiling or running into them. Then when they pop up in unexpected places it makes you sick to your stomach and the pain you thought you had gotten past comes back all over. Your mind might reenact the scene from Sex and the City where Carrie wants to get back together with Aidan and he yells “you broke my heart!” at her. You feel like the 16-year-old version of yourself, the one who saw her exboyfriend at a Starbucks on her side of town and wanted to yell “this is my side of town, go back to your side and let me drink my coffee in peace!” but instead quite literally ran away. True story. Sometimes you don’t even have to see them for it to happen. A song, a movie, or an entire tv series will do the trick. You long for a color coded map of the city with all the safe places clearly marked. You long for there not to be a legal reason forcing you to be in the same room with them. You long for there not to be a legal reason keeping you from running to them, apologizing, and hoping they want to be friends again, too. You’d like to think that it’s the kind of “break up” where you can call crying and they come running over as soon as they hear the message, but it’s probably more the type where they take their boat out of your garage without saying anything.

from here

It’s cyclical, these things. You’re angry, which is why you stop talking, then you cool off and there’s nothing but sadness. The sadness makes you want to apologize, but the stubbornness and the knowledge that you always the one to apologize makes you angry. The anger fades to sadness over the fact that they probably won’t apologize. The sadness spirals into anger that they were in the same room as you and didn’t say anything. And on and on. Aside from the anger and the sadness, there is also a tiny bubble of hope, “when this is all over things will be better”, which bobs to the surface now and then, but also slowly erodes over time. Until you’re sure they won’t make the first move, and that if you make the first move they won’t reciprocate. It’s enough to send you reaching for the Toblerone, the chocolate milk, the Publix cookies, the vodka. Pick your pleasure.

from here

When the tiny bubble makes its way to the surface you think “they know I’m here for them if they need me”, but when it begins to sink down again you think “when have they ever come to me in the past?” You wonder why you’re clinging to the memory of a friendship when it’s brings you so much pain. And you start to doubt the friendship you had, wondering if you’re looking back at it with rose-colored glasses. And you think “if it was what I thought it was, and they miss it to, how do we get back to where we were?”

from here

from here

from here

October 12, 2011

Let’s Be Honest

by Cait

It would seem that fall is a terrible time of year for us when it comes to working on the house. Robert and I are both working so much overtime that we haven’t done a project in weeks. Or rather, we haven’t completed a project in weeks. We have several small half-finished things going on, approximately 50,000 pictures on the memory card to go through (why are boys camera-happy during tree removal? I guess it must have been the crane. and the bobcat.), and several things we completed in months past that I never blogged about. I did also add more links to the sidebar (and updated the graphics on a few pages they lead to). On certain monitors the grays don’t match. I’ll fix them when I fix them. Don’t judge me. (Yes, I did want to put a hash tag in front of that, thankyouverymuch.) Ooh and ahh over them anyway, won’t you?

With the weather recently (rainy, cloudy, and generally gross), all I’ve wanted to do after work is collapse on the couch to watch How I Met Your Mother and Criminal Minds. Football is not exactly dead to me right now, but we won’t speak of how all the Florida teams are losing (ok, the Gators can lose all they want, I bleed garnet & gold). Although when I’m not feeling like that I want to gut our kitchen or repaint the entire house. I’m completely drained and antsy at the same time. It’s terrible.

Aside from that, I mustered the energy to order a few things on eBay (like the thermostat below, which I picked up for half the retail price). I’ll never understand why I can bring myself to buy a thermostat on eBay but not the faucet & tub spout on Overstock that we need for the guest bath. Or drywall. Oh well. One step at a time, right?

In other news, I’m coming at you live from the Blueberry Office. And if you couldn’t tell from the lovely moniker (and the paint chips), I’m having a love-hate relationship with the Closet Office. And its wire spaghetti. Right now it’s mostly hate, but when I took the pictures it was mostly love (minus the wires). My shirt that day was the exact same shade of blue (see my arm?), so that may have skewed my opinion.

I might like it better when we add shelves and replace the chair with this.

Which started out life (with us) like this.

But I’m not holding my breath.

I may feel better about doing projects once my car doesn’t look like this anymore. (Though technically I don’t have to see it, seeing as it’s at the body shop. We’ll be reunited once some insurance red tape is taken care of.)

I really want to tackle a carport soon, but we just haven’t had time (or sunny weather). I’m thinking about something like this (yes, I realize that’s a pergola) off this site that Britt recommended a few posts ago.

Please tell me I’m not the only one feeling like this?

I’m sure it’s nothing a latte, my new $6 rugby stripe scarf (some cold weather- I’m looking at you, North Florida), and a weekend off won’t cure. And it wouldn’t hurt if a certain team could beat the pants off our former division rival.

September 26, 2011

When It Rains It….

by Cait

File this under “The Joys of Being a Homeowner”, “My Insurance Company Loves Me”, My Savings Account is Crying”, and also “When it Rains it Pours”.

Being a homeowner is super glamorous, y’all.

Happy Monday! </sarcasm>

Tags: , ,
September 8, 2011

Budget Cuts

by Cait

Generally speaking I try to shy away from talking about budgeting here. The last time I wrote at length on the subject was March, shortly after Robert switched companies. It’s not so much that I’m uncomfortable talking about money (although I kind of am sometimes; I always feel like my comments come off as judging other people on how they spend their money). It’s hard to keep in mind that everyone spends their money differently when talking about budget. The “simple” ways that a lot of people cut back in order to make up for a loss of income just don’t work for us. We can’t just go “Well, I guess I’ll stop getting my biweekly mani/pedi & give up my cup-a-day Starbucks habit, you can give up your gym membership, and together we’ll stop going out to dinner & a movie weekly and skip our vacation” because we don’t really do any of those things to start with.

Robert and I often find ourselves reminded of the fact that we may not be like most couples. We don’t go out to dinner very often, we haven’t seen a movie since a spontaneous decision to see The Men Who Stare at Goats (when it came to a small theatre that sells pizza and beer in 2009). Robert doesn’t go to the gym, I have never gotten a manicure in my life, and when I buy coffee it’s $1.12 mug refill at Einstein’s. Of course that doesn’t mean we are hoarding our money, it just means we choose to spend our money in different ways. We love our house (working on it & buying things for it), we love food, and occasionally I go a little retail crazy. (Especially when the seasons change and new cuter stuff comes out. Though to be honest, when I say “retail crazy” I mean I shop sales at places like Target & Old Navy and I spend about $100 total. Last year I bought the sweaters I mentioned in this post and the boots I mentioned here.)

Over Labor Day weekend I “splurged” on a pair of gray pants from American Eagle. They were 40% off with free shipping. Unfortunately a lot of women my size had the same idea, because when I checked on my order yesterday I saw it had been cancelled (without so much as an email to tell me “sorry, we ran out of your size even though we said they were in stock when you ordered”).  I tweeted (did you know I am on The Twitter?) to vent my anger/disappointment and had a brief conversation with Kim at NewlyWoodwards.

Then earlier today I tweeted to say I was planning to go buy a sweater at Target after work.

After a long Twitter conversation with several other bloggers about boots, I started making a list of things that make me happy this fall. Which somehow morphed into a list of things I wanted to buy this fall (with the exception of my boots from last Black Friday). And honestly I was ok with that at first. Then I saw Amanda at Our Humble A{Bowe}d’s post about their kitchen plans, which made me think about our guest bath and everything left to buy for that. At that point I stopped thinking about fall clothes (mostly) and tweeted this:

While standing in Target clutching the sweater I wanted I came to the conclusion that I need to chill out with spending for a while. Even $1.12 for coffee or a couple of $20 sweaters can add up. Maybe I will rediscover all the fun things I bought for fall last year, and we have plenty of smaller projects we can work on while saving up for the bathroom. (I really, really would like to use our new tub soon.)  I dejectedly put the sweater back and came up with a few goals for this fall.

Oh and I made one more small change.

I change the dry-erase label on this jar pretty frequently.

How do y’all encourage yourselves to save up for big projects?

Tags: ,
August 31, 2011

Hip to be Square

by Cait

I don’t know how many of you work in a cubicle every day, but for me 40+ hours a week in at a drab desk with standard-issue tan cube walls makes me just a little bit crazy. It also makes me a little bit jealous of all of those full-time bloggers, freelancers, business owners and telecommuters. I had to stop reading Apartment Therapy because I couldn’t take seeing one more pretty office. My little cube just couldn’t compete.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to dress the place up a bit. I added fun accessories to my desk, changed my computer background to something cheerful, considered getting a plant for my desk (and then a faux plant, after I killed all the real plants in our house). It worked for a while, but then one day when they were working on the front office building at work I walked out of my window-less cube in the back of the warehouse to see this:

did someone order a pallet o’ West Elm?

Yes, that is a pallet of West Elm Parsons Desks. There was also a smaller stack of tables. It might have been the most beautiful thing I had ever seen if I wasn’t so busy being jealous and enraged.

I tried to forget about it. I tried to focus on working, and spend my time away from work making our house into the kind of inspiring space you see splashed across decorating magazines and blog house tours. I tried to tell myself I didn’t even want a Parsons desk (“Where would I even put things? There’s hardly any drawer space!”) That worked for a while, too. Work was work, a place where I put on blinders and tried to pretend I didn’t spend almost every waking second thinking about paint colors, fabric swatches, furniture and design boards. A coworker and I dubbed the recently completed front office building Swankyville, and I vowed never to go there. Even after hearing the rumors about coffee that wasn’t 40 cents a cup . And especially after learning that my ID badge won’t even open the door to Swankyville!

Finally one day I had a reason to go over to Swankyville. After having my coworker use his badge to let me in, I sat waiting for my interview. I allowed myself to look around at the warehouse-chic breakroom, with its matte black ceiling, dark furniture, and stainless appliances. Just for a second I imagined myself working in the surrounding offices and far nicer cubicles. I even snapped a terrible iPhone picture (which it came out horribly blurry, thanks to the glare from the freaking atrium with picnic tables and the idea of being caught being that girl who takes pictures of the breakroom).

I spy with my little eye, a lot of West Elm furniture.

Since the photo came out so poorly, I threw together a quick design board with the furniture (and vases, which are not pictured) they used.


West Elm Overlapping Squares Bar Stool; West Elm Scoop-back Bar Stool; West Elm Klismos Dining ChairWest Elm Round Dining Table with Cutout LegsWest Elm Hive Vase

Back over in… whatever the opposite of Swankyville is, I looked around my cube. Maybe I don’t have West Elm furniture, maybe I won’t be working in Swankyville, and security sure as heck won’t let me in the building with much else to spruce the place up with (they give my paper bag the stink eye daily), but I can probably at least pull off CB2 chic. Even if I am on more of an Ikea, Target and Amazon kind of budget.

Aladdin To-Go Tumbler Clear; Ceramic Greek Coffee Cup; Black & Decker 5 Cup Coffee Maker; Tape Dispenser; Red Swingline; San Fran Tumbler

I have tried to deck my desk out with fun pops of color to keep me sane during the work week. A few of them have been on my desk since I started this job over two years ago, like the ceramic Greek coffee cup, my red Swingline, and my cassette tape dispenser. I added a plastic tumbler (similar to the San Fran one, though mine actually has leaves on it) as a  pen cup. My mom gave me a heart-shaped box made from recycled magazines, and I thought it would be a cheerful reminder of home, so I use it as paper clip holder. Up until a recent company email preventing us from having coffee makers I had this Black & Decker 5 cup on my desk, which got me through a lot of overtime last year. Since I have to bring (or buy) coffee now, I thought an Aladdin tumbler like this one would be nice for the tail end of summer and iced coffee (I haven’t actually decided which one I want yet, I might just buy whatever I find at HomeGoods).

Other than the things pictured, I just try to pick up things I think are cute (and usually cheap). I have a little Florida license plate with my name on it, the VW that popped out of one of my car’s center caps a few years ago, some pins with funny sayings, a small yellow desk fan.

What do you keep on your desk (at home, or the office)? Anything other than basic office supplies?

PS- I’m sure this post sounds like I hate my job. That isn’t true. I’m thankful to have a steady income, and a job where I get to use some of the skills I went to school for. Is this the job I want to work the rest of my life? No. But I do feel fortunate to have a job, even if it’s one that makes me want to strive for more.

August 26, 2011

Preparing For a Big Storm: Part 1

by Cait

Growing up in Florida, Hurricanes are not uncommon. Sometimes as Floridians we even downplay the seriousness of the situation, saying things like “We’ll get some wind and rain, maybe lose power, and move on”. Recently I heard the quote “There is no such thing as a minor hurricane”, and I have to say I agree.

 My personal viewpoint on hurricanes has fluctuated over the years. Fortunately I have never experienced a full-force hurricane, but I grew up hearing stories about Hurricane Dora, which hit the area in 1964. My dad’s family moved to Florida right around that time, and my mom grew up here. When I was in middle school we had a close call from Hurricane Floyd. We were expected to get a direct hit, so we packed up and began to evacuate. After several hours of sitting in traffic on our way through Georgia the storm was reported to be turning, so we went back. I remember being terrified, and my parents and sister had to reason with me to calm me down. Even though we did not get the full force of that storm we still lost power for over a day. Also, the family photos that my mom packed into a plastic box and put them in the center of the house may or may not have stayed that way for some time. 

After that my attitude towards hurricanes became somewhat cocky. This may also have to do with the fact that I was entering my teenage years. I would still watch the forecasts like a hawk, but they always seemed to turn at the last minute. People in the area believe we are protected by the Gulf Stream, and though I never fully bought into that, I did get a bit more relaxed about the idea of hurricanes.

Then when I was just starting college at Florida State the forecast for Katrina said the storm was headed straight for us. As a category 4 or 5. Even then I was cocky. “Oh it won’t be that bad, we’ll get some rain, maybe some downed trees and lose power. We’ll be fine.” I remember even being a little flippant after the storm hit. “Florida gets hit by hurricanes all the time, what’s the big deal?” Finally, after seeing some of the pictures and hearing some of the stories, the magnitude of what had happened hit home. Ever since then, I watch the radar like a hawk, stock up on supplies, and try to prepare the best that I can.

This morning Hurricane Irene, which was initially predicted to be heading straight for us, passed by our city about 240 miles off the coast. Even with the storm that far away area beaches experienced sustained winds over 20mph with gusts into the 50s. 

I’m sure anyone who is not in the path of Irene is sick of hearing about it, and maybe those of you who are in the path are sick of it too, but I personally believe that you can never be told enough. In the case of hurricanes it’s always best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

image from The Weather Channel

At a minimum, The Weather Channel suggests you have these essentials on hand:

Essential Items

During a hurricane, and possibly for days or even weeks afterward, electricity and other utilities might not be available. Debris and/or water might block the roads, preventing vehicles from getting in our out of your neighborhood. Help might not reach you for days after the hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period.

Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:

  • At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines
  • Toiletries
  • Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
  • Battery-powered radios and flashlights
  • Plenty of batteries
  • Extra cash
  • Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)

If you are a pet owner you will need to take precautions for your pets as well. This is a list from the National Hurricane Center on how to perpare your pets. And this is a list from The Weather Channel on preparing your home. 7th House on the Left also had a great post on being prepared for the unexpected.

And a few more of my personal thoughts (which may be slightly “duh” things):

  • If you are in the path of a hurricane, especially if you are in a low-lying area- get out! Prepare your house/apartment the best you can, and leave town. Take your pets with you if possible, they stand a better chance if they are with you.
  • Mandatory evacuations are not to be ignored. There is a reason they are telling anyone who ignores the evacuations to put their ID in their left shoe, and yes it is partially to scare you so that you will leave!
  • Do not drive through flood waters. Just don’t do it. Especially if there is any risk of a downed, live power line.
  • Even after the rain has stopped, there is danger from high winds and downed power lines.
  • If you are going to board your windows, use screws not nails – they are stronger.
  • Houses, cars, boats, etc can all be replaced, your life cannot. Please don’t take any chances!

We’ll be back later with another post about the things we did around the house in preparation for Irene, even after the likelihood of a direct hit had passed.

July 19, 2011

Take Two

by Cait

Remember my Summer List? With summer half over I decided to check in on how we were doing. I’m sorry to say it’s not looking very good. We’re about 2 for 18 (Frozen yogurt, and Friends&Family).  Things are looking pretty bleak for the CJ-7 and a lot of unexpected circumstances (like getting sick, working Sundays, and The Two Big Things I Don’t Want to Talk About Yet Annoyingly Allude To) have made the rest of the list pretty much impossible.

In order to feel less like a failure (and because lists make me feel better), I’ve decided to make a second Summer List. I figure it’s not cheating as long as I don’t put everyday things we do anyway on it. That way I still have some little things to work towards.

seen on Pinterest

  • Date nights.
  • Go bowling.
  • Trip to Ikea.
  • Take pictures.
  • Eat watermelon.
  • Make a new recipe.
  • Walk on the beach.
  • Rent concrete saw.
  • Go to St Augustine.
  • Work on closet desk.
  • Work on front porch.
  • Enjoy the little things.
  • New light for Art Room.
  • Splurge on string lights.
  • Tub spout for guest bath.
  • Pick exterior paint color(s).
  • Console table for entryway.

Of course there are other summery things that weren’t on my original list that we did so far this summer. We went to an outdoor concert by one of our favorite musicians. We had a great Father’s Day hanging out with my dad, and swimming at Robert’s parents’ house. Robert went out on his dad’s boat 4th of July weekend and they had a great time. Our friend Jason introduced us to an awesome speakeasy, which I’m sure it will be even better when it opens in its new location.

Sometimes I just feel like the year is flying by and I haven’t enjoyed it to the full extent.