High maintenance.

We have big plans for the weekend of July 4th to head up to New Hampshire to Brian's aunt and uncle's condo on Lake Winnisquam and spend a couple of days with his cousins and their girlfriends/boyfriends/spouses while indulging in lots of beverages, boat time and a concert on the night of the fifth which I am nerdily excited for... nerdily excited to the point that I almost don't want to tell you who's performing.  But I've reached the age of "I have no shame," so i'll share-- it's Phillip Phillips and OAR.  

I'm telling myself this will be a good combo, because I love Mr. Phillips and his Dave Matthews-esque stomping and dancing around the stage (plus "Home" makes me at least tear up every single time I hear it), and I think Brian's having a big ole flashback to yesteryear with OAR.  We've been debating what kind of crowds these two acts will attract, and we've settled on a combination of the following: a fair share of teeny boppers with "Marry Me Phillip!!" signs, frat-tastic bros, hippies (we're in backwoods NH after all), and the ever-present group of girls dressed in sundresses and Jacks and guys in polos and boat shoes in their mid to late 20s (in case you're wondering that's where we fall).  I think it will be a fun night, although it definitely freaks me out a little that we're now attending shows of bands that we liked when they were new and at their peak, they went away for awhile, and now they're back for a comeback tour (so, we're getting old).

The one negative of the weekend is that we'll be staying in a hotel instead of at the condo with everyone else.  That's not actually a negative for me because I love staying in hotels, but long story short, it would be saving a lot of buckaroos because the rooms weren't exactly cheap near a hugely popular lake the weekend of July 4th, and while Brian suggested a tent and I think he was half-kidding, I laid down the "I would rather not go than sleep on the ground outside in July" law.  The hotel ended up being our only option because while the condo is the perfect size for his aunt, uncle and their kids (and significant others), but once additional people start adding on, it gets a little cramped.  Plus there's only one bathroom and no air conditioning, and as bratty and first world problem as it may sound... I need the air conditioning.  This need is a source for many pointless arguments between myself and B, but I will argue for cool air probably until the day that I die.  This has earned me the honor of being called high maintenance, and I'm totally fine with that.

I blame it on being a born and raised Texan-- as soon as the temps hit the high 70s, the air conditioning came on, because although the heat may not have been bad yet, you could guarantee that the humidity would be stifling.  In the summer, you race from the house to the car, crack the windows and crank the AC to get the heat out before you get in, drive to your destination, and then sprint into the air-conditioned building.  I am not made for heat-- my hair loses its curl, I get angry and irritated REAL fast, and I will potentially sweat to death.  High maintenance.

When I first decided to move to Boston and began the apartment search, I was laughed off the phone by real estate agent after real estate agent when I said that I'd like a unit with air conditioning.  Needless to say, that was not in my budget.  But you can bet that the day after I moved in, I took the train to Best Buy, bought myself a window unit, carried it home in my arms on the train, and set it up myself.  It may have meant I spent the majority of the summer locked in my room with a towel shoved under the door so the cold air couldn't seep out, but I was nice and cool.  High maintenance.

When Brian and I first started looking for our first apartment together, I knew that central air would, once again, be a necessity.  If you're wondering, yes, we found it, and yes, aside from in-unit washer and dryer, it's the best decision we've made.  While central AC is becoming more and more common around here, there are still plenty of apartments and homes that just... don't have it.  Growing up, Brian's house had zero AC, and then when his parents remodeled once he was in high school, they took the jump and added it on.  So, he grew up with open windows 24/7.  There have been times that we nearly came to blows over the fact that we have central AC, I'm absolutely burning up, and he's covered up under a blanket, but he insists the windows are open.  We've come to a semi-compromise that if it's cool enough outside and the humidity isn't terrible, that we'll leave the windows open until bed, and then turn on the AC so I don't have to be hot during the night.  High maintenance.

And now we're house hunting.  Our budget is pretty fair for the average late-20s couple in our area (or so I'd like to think), so it is, shall I say... sort of limited?  We've been on the hunt for several months now and we've found maybe three houses that had "Our First Home" potential, and we lost them all.  I may or may not be complicating the process by refusing to look at any home that either does not already have central AC, or does not have the duct work already done to easily install central AC (a mere $1000, which I would gladly pay myself and YES, I have looked into it), and I refuse to feel guilty for that.  I want to be cool and comfortable in my own home, and there is nothing cool and comfortable about immediately beginning to sweat when you get out of the shower.  High maintenance.

At least I come by it honestly.  My mom, aunt, and two of my bridesmaids are planning my shower at home in Texas (which is next weekend, whoop whoop!) and when they went to look at the venue where it's being held, they had two options of rooms to decide between-- a loft space which was tight to fit everyone but had full access to the open deck, or a larger open room with plenty of space to spread out but no open patio.  My mom told me later that when the coordinator kept pushing for the smaller room with patio access, my mom finally told her "Look ma'am, it will be mid-June, and we do not like to be hot.  We would like the room with all of the air conditioning PLEASE."  High maintenance-- I got it from my mama.

Now, I'm not a completely ridiculous person.  I do love a good summer day like anyone else.  Being outside when I'm dressed and prepared for the heat?  Totally fine.  I love a good run outside on a hot and humid summer morning-- there's nothing more cleansing than spending an hour sweating all of the junk out of your body.  Going on a hike, sitting at the beach or on the boat, doing outside things... all fantastic, because I can prepare myself.  I can not do my hair, put on just a little makeup, and wear clothes that are going to make me the least hot.  But when I get full-blown ready and end up sweating my makeup off and trying to make my hair work in a topknot, things are going to get ugly.  So let's try to keep things nice and cool and I won't lose mine.

Wedding Wednesday: DIY Ribbon Drink Stirrers

When we first started planning this wedding, I knew that there were a lot of details that I wanted to include in the big day, but also knew that we were on a budget, and that I'd much rather put money towards great food and music versus... drink flags.  On a good day, I'm pretty crafty, and I like the idea of having a personal touch added to the extras, rather than just bulk ordering everything offline (no shame in that game though, because there are also things that would require more patience than I possess to make with my own two hands, so certain websites are already bookmarked to check THOSE items off of my list), so I thought I would venture out and tackle a project that was small enough to be completed and tucked away in our teensy little apartment until November.  

Enter the ribbon drink stirrers.  I've had this cute little idea pinned for a loooong time and went back and forth with different options, knowing I wanted fun little accents for the drinks but not realizing how many potential things you could stick into a cocktail glass.  

Cute except I couldn't get past waving a white flag and surrendering. 

A fun monogram AND a "Cheers!"  Yes, please!

These were top of my list until B said "No, just... no." 

Again with the cute saying and the initials.

The color of the drink!  The polka dot straw!  The glass!  The mint!  Swoonworthy.

With (mostly) helpful input from Brian, we went with simple ribbon flags.  I opted to use this tutorial in an attempt to keep the ribbon simple, relating to our colors, and not take me hours upon hours to do when there are bigger wedding fish to fry than individually writing a message on a drink flag that people are going to throw away (thanks for the reality check, B).  
The image from the tutorial was a good starting point...

... but I quickly realized that I was going to have to fine-tune this project to be my own.

When I set out last Saturday afternoon to gather the materials for this little project, I thought I would just find a pack of stirrer straws, the cutest gray and white striped ribbon in the world, and I'd be on my way home.  THREE stores later, I was empty handed and standing in the ribbon aisle at Michael's about to lose my mind.  There was nothing close to a stirrer stick, and at one point I had a package of sticks used for cake pops in my hand and had to call Brian to ask if he could Google what they're made of and if they'd work for drinks (for the record, they're made of paper and no, they do not work for drinks).  Nearing my limits, I finally texted Brian this picture and asked him to pick two:

Of course I headed home with all three and found a package of wooden sticks that seemed suitable.  Once home, I set up a little work station on the floor, and started cutting ribbon.  And cutting, and cutting... and cutting.  At one point I must have heavy-sighed because Brian said "I think I'll have a drink-- want a glass of wine?  You look like you might be there awhile..."  Why yes please, kind sir!  And I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that last part.  Armed with my glass of red and "Horrible Bosses" on TV, I just kept measuring and cutting through the spools.  

Honestly, if you're considering this project for yourself, this was the most time consuming part, cutting the ribbon.  The first few were super short but I thought they looked fun and kind of kicky until B put one in my wine glass and demonstrated that it was perfect length to poke in your nose and he was sure he knew some of our guests who would find that fantastically funny.  That stick went in the trash, and I started measuring longer, right at 7 inches for each piece of ribbon.

All of the pieces were cut and I paused to eat dinner and then set up shop in the bedroom to watch a movie while Brian watched a game to start actually tying them on to the sticks.  After my first glass of wine, another with dinner, and a third accompanying me post-dinner, my eyes started to get a little heavy, but I kept on trucking, thinking that I really wanted it done.  Loop the ribbon, pull through, knot, tighten the pieces, tighten the knot.  Repeat times two hundred.  I thought I was doing awesome, but my hand got a cramp so I figured I'd wait a few minutes and pick back up.  

... and then my eyes opened, three hours later.  To the sound of Brian hysterically laughing as he woke me up.  I apparently had fallen asleep with all of my gray and gold ribbon pieces scattered around me on the bed, which he of course took a picture of and which I will not be sharing with you today.  

Sunday morning I picked back up where I left off and finished these babies off!  The final product?

A total of 200 fun little ribbon stirrers.  I ended up not using the gold because it was a little too light with the light wood stick, so gray and gold were the way to go!  It took longer than it should have because I remeasured a few times, but once I got going, the process flew by.

My first wedding DIY project is in the books!

Monday -3, Katie- ZERO

Good grief, today is such a Monday and 5 o'clock cannot get here soon enough, am I right?  

My morning started off just peachy-- I got Brian all packed up and off to work, and took my time getting ready, picking my outfit for the day... no rushing.  After flipping through every single shirt in my closet, I decided today was going to be a "You win some, you lose some" fashion day, and accepted the loss as a "You just aren't going to look fancy today, my dear" while pulling on a boring pair of black pants and a top.  

Brian's summer softball league starts tonight, so on his way out the door he left the credit card that he likes to use for gas and asked if I could fill the car up today (because we wasted an obscene amount driving around yesterday looking at open houses which was a big fat FAIL), and I said of course.  As I grabbed my lunch, stuck the card in my purse, and headed out the door, I was even the tiniest bit giddy because I was a few minutes EARLY (rare, very rare for me).  

The jinx started there because I hit every red light between our apartment and my parking lot, so by the time I parked and headed inside I was running a few minutes late (Monday -1, Katie -0).  Up the elevator I went, plopped my stuff down at my desk, and I went to flip on my laptop when... oh mother of *&*#@!* my laptop is sitting all packed up and pretty on our living room couch.  Friday afternoon I had worked from home and completely forgot to grab the darn thing this morning, so back to the apartment I drove (thankfully we only live a few minutes away, but still, Monday -2, Katie -0).  I figured I was already running late and would be staying late, so why not just get the gas now rather than fight traffic after work?  So I start digging around in my purse, looking immediately in the pocket where I knew I'd put it and... no card.  "Okay, Katie, don't panic... you must have missed the pocket and stuck it in the pocket in front of the zipper."  I park back at work and thoroughly look through my purse, also checking cup holders, the seat crevices (gag), the floor... NOTHING.  "SHIT.  Okay, now you may start to panic." 

I tore my desk apart, my purse and my gym bag, my lunch bag, my laptop bag... the mothereffing card is nowhere to be found.  And I didn't go anywhere in between the apartment, work, back to the apartment and then work!  I'm really really hoping that I picked it up at home and put it down somewhere and thought that I put it in my purse, but I really don't think so.  Thinking Brian would be uber pro-active and cancel his card, I let him know what happened and he told me to relax and just check again after work at home when I have time to really look-- thank goodness for an understanding fiance.  So, that's my plan after work-- go home and turn the apartment upside down looking for the darn tiny little plastic card.  I did fill the car up (both with gas and my own guilt) at lunch, so that's done, but the kicker is, Brian is ALWAYS telling me "Make sure you put my card in your wallet so you don't lose it!" and of course, I did not.  Monday -3, Katie -0.

And with that, I wave my white flag to today.  Thank goodness I keep Monday as my flex day for the gym, so if I go, then it's like bonus points, but if I don't, then I don't beat myself up over it because I never actively plan anything (like a class or a legs/arms day) on a Monday.  Remember, I have the apartment to myself for three entire hours (AT LEAST!!) tonight, so I totally plan to take a good ole bath while reading a book and donning a face mask, and then relax on the couch with my Real Housewives of _____ friends (I don't really care where they're from tonight, I just need to laugh at their nonsense).  

Could there be a better remedy for the Monday from hell?  I think not.