Friday, June 25, 2010

And Small Guest Bedroom Before/After

And the smaller guest bedroom (I guess the one that would be, errrr... a nursery if we ever got nuts and decided to have kids):
Before (it's obviously dark in this photo -- so I'll tell you that the paint was a cream color with a slightly lighter shade of cream/off-white for the trim). Floors were carpet.

After. Most everything from Ross, TJ Maxx and Home Goods. Thanks to the stepmom for the gratis curtain panels, which match perfectly.

I'll upload new photos of the master and second guest bedrooms after I go through the adventure of making curtains for them...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Built-ins: Before and After

I realized I forgot to post "before and after" photos of our built-ins and living room:

After (just kidding!)

See info about our painters and paint colors here and here. I forgot to mention that the white is high gloss white interior paint.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Katy's Soapbox: Networking

I try to keep my blog light. However, every now and again I feel compelled to jump on my soap box and share something that irks me.

Today's topic: networking.

I still keep in touch several professional contacts I respect very much. I had mentioned to one of my contacts a few months ago that I "owe him" for all the good feedback and recommendations he's given me over the years. Since he's a busy guy, I encouraged him to send me any young, hungry marketing or communications professionals or students who want to network or get some good advice.

Earlier this month, I agreed to meet up with a recent grad (Marketing) to discuss her career. After all, I am eternally grateful for the many professionals who met with me when I was a college student -- many of which I'm still in touch with today. I feel inclined to spend some time with young professionals and recent grads because I remember how tough it was to meet people and find jobs.

So the recent grad was perfectly nice, albeit a little clueless about what one does at an informational interview. Of course an informational interview means that there's not a job opening -- but it's a chance for a job seeker to make a good impression on a working professional. Informational interviews are a great way to add people to your network who may have job openings in the future or fantastic other connections to introduce you to. It's also an opportunity to explain your strengths, talents, interests, aspirations and more.

So based on how that convo went, I've compiled a list of informational interview "musts..."

People, for informational interviews, please, I beg of you:
  • Bring your resume to the conversation (for both discussion and for critique)
  • Bring your portfolio (even if you don't have professional writing, project management or design experience, your classwork is still a good read on your style and work quality)
  • Spend more time asking questions of the person who agreed to meet you versus talking about yourself (you'll get more leverage out of these conversations if you seem interested in the person you're meeting's career; in other words, flattery goes a long way)
  • Write some interview questions out before you meet ("What's your career path been up to this point?" "What do you enjoy most about your job?" "What suggestions would you offer a recent grad?")
  • Know what you're looking for in your next job
  • Take notes during your conversation (If I tell you the name of some companies to look up or resources to check out, act like you care and plan to research them)
  • WRITE THE PROFESSIONAL WHO TOOK TIME TO MEET UP WITH YOU A FREAKING THANK YOU NOTE (preferably handwritten, but e-mail is better than nothing... I'm still waiting on mine)

Follow these tips and you'll keep from looking like a total goober. Who knows? Maybe you'll impress someone.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

House Progress: Blah Blah Blah

We finally had a 'lil open house of sorts at our "new" (old) house. Like I said in the evite, if we waited until we finished renovating, it might be 15 years before we had a housewarming party!

We used the little gathering as reason to get a few more things done around the house. Dan trimmed many bushes and shrubs, cut the grass, laid some mulch, dusted off the house's exterior, installed light switches and electrical outlet covers, cleaned the grill, replaced three old light fixtures with more modern ones and hung about 15 picture frames. I'm sure I've missed about five things.

I did what I do best: not much that was especially useful. As I mentioned two weeks ago, I've been pining to fill our built-ins with interesting and personal items. So I bought stuff for the built-ins and ordered photos to put in picture frames.

My other contribution was grocery shopping for the party. We bought hotdogs, hamburgers and baked beans but also made a few homemade items. The coleslaw was especially a hit (see below for recipe).

Wall of photos in the hallway — frames ranging $7 to $22 from Target, Ross and Home Goods. Thank you, Chiara for the Home Goods gift card! It's been put to good use.

Wedding photos - finally! We never put up any at our old house because we knew we would be selling (didn't want to put holes in the wall — and we wanted to keep our photos on the wall rather impersonal for potential buyers). Wedding photography by Cariad Photography.

Small guest bedroom. This room needed the most work a month ago. We've since bought a bedspread (TJ Maxx - $40), throw pillows (Ross), pillow cases (Ross), a framed picture ($40 - Home Goods). I also hung some curtains that my stepmom didn't need — they worked perfectly!

Left side of built-ins. That's Dan's mom in the photo on the bottom shelf. We already had the little lamp — and the candle and candle holder are both from Home Goods (about $8 for the stand, $4 for the candle).

Left side of the built-ins. Perfect time for a photo.

Left side (again). You see that I won the globe!

One of many fam photos. Frame from Ross ($7). Love the frames at Ross but I hate the sticky residue each price tag leaves behind. Note to readers: Home Goods' stickers come off MUCH more easily.

Distressed painted frame from Pier One ($11). Purchased it with a gift card from our wedding (thanks, Sarah and Will!).

Handcarved wood vase (gift from my friend Lauren's dad maybe two years ago); filled with peacock and ostrich features from Hobby Lobby ($4.50)

Gilded looking frame from Home Goods. Gah, I could do so much damage in that freaking store ($7).

Another Pier One frame ($11).

Oversized vase - $15 at Target. Individual globes (wicker, acrylic, etc.) were between $2 and $5 at Pier One.

Bronze mouse bookends were a gift from my Uncle Harry years ago. Love them. :)

Signed platter made by That Pottery Place for our wedding (used in lieu of a guest book). pocket watch clock was a wedding gift that we didn't register for but I love very much (Pottery Barn).

Some of the fam. Not sure where Ben (brother) and Becca (brother's gf) were when we snapped this one.

You can't tell too easily from this photo - but there's a wall in between the built-ins. It's a hollow/thin wall, meaning we can't trust it to hold our TV. Eventually we'll get the wall recessed and framed out so we can hang the TV there.

Combine in a large bowl or aluminum roasting pan:
  • 2 bags pre-shredded cabbage for coleslaw (with the pre-cut salad bags)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh squeezed is best but not required)
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup light mayo
  • 1 jar mandarin oranges (drained)
  • 2 packages ramen noodles, crumbled into small pieces (no need for the seasoning packet)
  • Fresh cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

(Thank you to Anna and Lauren for helping prep for the party, too! Also, even though no one should have - we received some very nice housewarming gifts Saturday. It was great to see friends and family!)

I know what you're thinking. What happened to when Katy used to occasionally write funny blog posts?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Back to High School

I forgot to mention something to you guys.

I've decided to bite the bullet... and plan my high school class' 10-year reunion.

Our class president will still be involved, but it would be tough for him to plan the whole weekend from California and with a new baby. I've created a facebook group, a blog and an e-mail address.

Now it's on to an itinerary, booking venues and deciding on ticket prices. It will be a good chunk of work... but I'm honestly looking forward to it. I enjoyed my high school years and have so many great friends I look forward to seeing.

If anyone has suggestions from their own high school reunion experiences, I want to hear! What did you enjoy? What was stupid and lame? What would you change if you had been in charge?

Thanks, y'all!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Filling the Built-ins: Worldly Touch

Around the same time I saw Hiking in Stiletto's post about being obsessed with maps, I started thinking about what we're going to do with our living room built-ins. 

We've never had built-ins before so I've been perplexed about how to handle them. I don't want the built-ins to be junky or cluttered but I want their contents to be interesting and appealing.

In the last two days, I've been hell bent on finding a globe to put in the built ins. 

I'm also hunting neat picture frames to space out on the shelves. Lastly, I may have to find a spot for Dan's grandfather's cuckoo clock. I think the vintage clock will look more endearing on the shelves versus on the wall.

I'll take pictures when I'm done!

Here's the antique 8-inch globe I'm bidding on ($9 plus $9 shipping on eBay). I hope I win!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vote for My Aunt Vera

My very talented and very spunky Aunt Vera (of Very Vera fame) is auditioning for the Your Own Show contest sponsored by Oprah.

Remember when I worked with her for her Costco Road Show a few months back? Vera has a highly successful mail order cake business out of Augusta, Georgia, and she's on the fast track to even more success with her southern style casseroles and other tasty treats. She's been featured on Oprah's favorite things and graced the pages of Veranda, Southern Living and many others.

If chosen, Vera's show would be about classic cooking, impressing your family and friends with elegance/style and staying fit and active. She's calling her show "The School of Good Taste."

Go give her a little love!

Vote here.