Monday, March 3, 2014
About a year ago I decided to treat myself to an expensive purse. I had lots of trendy cheap colorful purses but I never took care of them very well because in my mind I knew they were cheap so subconsciously I viewed them as "disposable." It didn't matter if the inside was full of old receipts and crumbs or the exterior got stained and ripped because I could just buy a new one for $20 whenever I got tired of it. I guess you could say I am maturing because I decided to get rid of all my old cheap purses and treat myself to one really expensive purse. I decided to buy a black leather Coach purse. Black because it will go with everything and leather because it is more resistant to occasional spills and stains than say, suede. I bought it on sale for about a third of the price I would have bought it brand new because I love a bargain and I figure a black leather Coach purse will hold it's value if I ever decide to sell it or will last me forever if I decide to keep it and take care of it. Yes, I was going for practicality and sustainability over pretty shiny things. I'm feeling old as I type this. What happened to me? Irresponsible and careless Adrienne? I'm scared. Hold me.
Anyways, I wanted to give my little black purse a little freshening up and didn't really know how to clean the leather. I didn't want to pay for leather cleaner and I knew there was a way to make it myself. After a little Google-ing I came up with this DIY recipe.
1 part olive oil
1 part vinegar
1-2 drops of essential oil (because I didn't want my purse to stink like homemade salad dressing!)
Shake everything up in a little bottle and dip a microfiber cloth into the mixture. A little goes a long way. Gently buff the leather in small circles. It will have a nice renewed sheen.
Note: Always do a test patch. I don't want you to accidentally ruin your beautiful leather purse/shoes/furniture. Test in an inconspicuous spot before you go dumping oil and vinegar all over your expensive leather goods. I am not an expert. I'm just a girl with a blog testing these things out for myself. Proceed at your own risk...
How do you care for your leather goods?
|Dusty Rose Earrings|
Okay, first things first. I need to announce the winner of the Valentines Day Giveaway.
Big thank you to everyone who entered the contest. Unfortunately there can only be one winner and that person is....
Congrats. I have sent you an email with the details about claiming your prize.
I will have another giveaway this month so make sure you keep checking back on the blog.
Second order of business, The Big Leap Contest. Unfortunately I did not win 6 months salary from Go Daddy to quit my job and pursue my entrepreneurial dreams. Congrats go out to Jamie "The Bear" Mc Donald who took home the prize. He will be quitting his career as a professional eater to focus on his restaurant Bear's Smokehouse BBQ. I just want to thank everyone who took the time to vote for me and supported me for these past two months during the competition. A HUGE thank you goes out to Go Daddy for the opportunity of a lifetime and of course Danica Patrick for taking me on the ride of my life!
I'm not giving up on my dreams yet. Go Daddy is still going to help me get me my new website set up and is giving me access to a ton of resources and support! So stay tuned...lots of excited changes coming up here on the blog and in my Crafty Little Gnome shop!
And as a thank you to everyone I am offering a 30% discount on everything in my shop use code THIRTYOFF at checkout this week!
Now we will resume back to our normal programming. Lots of DIY, crafts, recipes and fun stuff you guys visit me here for coming up this week!
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Earlier this month I committed to doing the Labrada Lean Body Fitness Challenge. I am documenting my journey here once a week. If you missed my post last week you can check it out by clicking here.
The following is what happened this week:
Well I completed week one of the challenge and am currently on week 2. Week one was actually really easy, which is good because I know the hard stuff is coming up later. I hate cardio and this part of the program is less cardio and more weight lifting so it’s a good fit for me. When we get to month 3 which is pretty intense workouts I may feel differently.
I followed the workout plan and nutrition pretty damn perfect. The key to making sure I did not slip up and pig out on a giant plate of nachos was meal prep. I planned out my grocery list to include lots of lean protein like chicken and turkey and cooked it all in advance. I also cooked my veggies and rice in advance. I portioned them out into Tupperware containers and put them in the freezer so I could just grab one to take with me to work and heat it up in the microwave at dinner time. Breakfast and lunch were both simple as well. For breakfast I eat a hardboiled egg and a ½ cup of oatmeal everyday with a mug of coffee with low fat milk and stevia. I’m too tired in the morning to make an elaborate breakfast so when I wake up I grab a harboiled egg from the fridge and eat it right away while I make my coffee, then after Chloe wakes up and is fed I make myself the oatmeal and get my water bottle filled to start drinking water.
For lunch I grab a frozen turkey burger patty and cook it on our George Foreman grill. I eat it with a side salad and veggies and sometimes a slice of whole wheat bread.
Snacks are easy. Cottage cheese, almonds, protein shake with half a banana or a hardboiled egg. I snack on whatever I am in the mood for.
This is a lot more protein than I am used to eating. I am a carb girl and I loooove my carbs especially bread and fruit. I have never eaten much meat. Surprisingly the extra protein combined with all the water I drink is keeping me fuller longer.
The interesting thing I realized this week about why I have failed at maintaining clean eating for longer than a couple weeks is that in the past I have not been eating enough calories. There is a great blog postabout 1200 calorie myth. In the past I was always trying to eat 1200 calories and was always starving by the end of the day. I need more food. For this challenge I recalculated it to 1600 calories and it’s actually be difficult to eat that much food. I usually end up eating 1300-1400. I just listen to my body and if I am hungry I eat an extra snack and if I don’t feel hungry I don’t eat just for the sake of eating. I am using an app on my phone called My Fitness Pal and it is great for keeping track of your calories.
I have been working out 6 days a week and I usually do as much as I can at home. I can sit baby Chloe in her exersaucer and do my weights in the living room and then after work I stop by the gym to do the excercises that require machines and cardio. I’m not sure if splitting it up like that is going to give the same results as doing just one longer workout but it’s the best I can do with a baby and a part time job going on.
I made my husband hide the scale so I won’t be tempted to weigh myself every day. After week two is complete I will do a weigh in and measure myself. I am fully expecting to not see any changes in my weight because I am building muscle right now so that’s ok. I can feel myself getting stronger so I am excited about that.
I know I can do week 2 because it is the same as week 1 and I completed that no problem. I am feeling great and have a ton of energy so I know I can do this!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Several weeks ago I started my pre- spring cleaning. If you missed that post check it out here. It all started with a deep desire within me to get rid of practically everything we own and simplify my life. Getting rid of all our possesions may not be practical (or appreciated by my husband) so I am at least trying to get rid of a lot of stuff that is lying around and hope that I can get a grip on the chaos I am surrounded by.
I started by going choosing different categories of things to go through. A different one for everyday of the week. Clothes, media, kitchen, bathroom, craft supplies. Overall it went well and I did get rid of a lot of stuff. Several more bags of clothes, a whole bunch of old magazines and dvds, some useless kitchen tupperware. I even managed to make progress on my taxes and get an idea of the system I would like to keep in place for organizing our bills. I failed miserably at organizing the craft room and the bathrooms. Oh well. Eventually these will get done.
The next phase is the room by room assessment. Everyday I will choose one room. Remove everything from that room, clean all those hard to reach places (behind the cabinets etc.) as I put everything back in the room I will be able to more clearly distinguish what I really want to keep and what works in the room and what is just junk taking up space.
I am starting at the back of the house and working my way to the front, Monday through Friday.
Day 1) Master bedroom and bathroom
Day 2) Other bathroom and Chloe's room
Day 3) Hallway and laundry room
Day 4) Kitchen
Day 5) Living room and dining room
As I do each room I will take notes on the things in each room that need to be fixed, repaired or painted. Things like burnt out lightbulbs, storage baskets, loose door handles etc.
I will let you know how it goes and we will continue on the next phase of pre-spring cleaning in a few weeks.
Check out my other cleaning tips on my Pinterest Cleaning Board
Posted by Adrienne Audrey at 9:00 AM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
|We snuck some photos in the media room at the Speedway|
At the end of January we had the exciting opportunity to travel to North Carolina when I participated in Go Daddy's Big Leap Contest. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you are probably sick and tired of me talking about the contest but if you haven't checked out the video of me pitching my business to Danica Patrick at 125 MPH and voted for me you should go do that now!
|Winners Circle at the Speedway|
Anyways, we traveled to Charlotte North Carolina for the contest. Neither Rob or I had been there before so we were really excited to visit the South. We ended up spending the entire weekend in Concord N.C. because it was close to the Charlotte Motor Speedway where we filming the contest. We arrived on Saturday and were scheduled to head home on Tuesday morning. When we arrived at the airport on Tuesday we were informed that our flight was cancelled do to the terrible weather on the East coast. We were supposed to be flying from Charlotte to New Jersey and then to Seattle but Winter Storm Janus was in full effect so were were stranded in Charlotte for an extra night until we could hop on a flight to Houston and then land in Seattle. We decided to see this as a positive and a chance to explore Charlotte a little bit for the next 24 hours.
We rented a car and booked a hotel in Charlotte and headed into the city. Everyone told us that Charlotte is beautiful and it is. It's a very nice clean city and reminded me a little bit of Gastown in Vancouver or the more historic parts of Seattle. It was smaller than I expected and there are a lot of banks there. If Seattle is Microsoft and Starbucks then Charlotte is Nascar and banks. Haha. We decided that since Charlotte is so close to the South Carolina state border we would drive into South Carolina a little bit and see what was there.
I wish it had been summertime when we visited because I am sure South Carolina beautiful as well. I would have loved to see the trees and flowers in bloom. We randomly drove around and let me just say this about South Carolina: The air smells like BBQ! Oh my goodness. If I lived there I would gain a ton of weight that is for sure. From what I noticed in the areas we traveled to all the restaurants were chicken and waffles, Texas style steak houses or other barbeque restaurants. It was all Bojangles Chicken n' Waffles, Chick Fil-A and a bunch of of fast food places like that. We don't really have any of those places up North. Normally, I don't like any of these types of foods so I was worried I wouldn't be able to find anything to eat. We ended up going to Hooters in Charlotte that night for dinner. We don't have any Hooters restaurants near us in Washington as far as I know so as far as we were concerned it was just part of the Southern experience. Plus they had club sandwiches on the menu so it was something I could actually eat.
On our drive around S.C. we found a historic Plantation House and farm tourist site. We were able to check out the historic plantation houses on the property as well as the original slave cabins and the cotton gin. It was really interesting and I am glad we were able to check it out.
On Wednesday morning we got up at 3am and headed to the airport. We had our stop over in Houston and then finally we were back home in Seattle by 1pm. Unfortunately I had to work that night at 5pm so that was pretty brutal. All in all it was a great trip and I really hope I get a chance to visit the South again. The people were so friendly. It really lived up to it's reputation!
Posted by Adrienne Audrey at 11:46 AM
Saturday, February 22, 2014
I also could have titles this post: Why Every Man in the World (and some women) are insanely jealous of me
Yes, you read that title correctly. I have been up to some super secret stuff lately and have been absolutely dying to tell you about it.
First things first. I am currently a finalist in a contest with Go Daddy where if I am the winner I will get paid 6 months salary to quit my day job and persue my dream of designing and selling my jewelry full time. Please help me be the winner and quit my boring job and focus on my Crafty Little Gnome jewelry and blog. Go here now!
Okay okay. Now for the details of one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. Just before Thanksgiving I got a random email from a casting company. They were looking a female entrepreneur with a side business to cast in a national paid television commercial. I filled out the form in the email and sent it off. Then I took my dogs for a walk. By the time I got back I had already missed a call from the casting company. They wanted to do a Skype interview with me.
We Skyped later that week and they asked me questions about my jewelry business, my blog, my day job and my family life. They said they would be in touch in a couple weeks. I didn’t hear anything from them before Christmas so I just wrote it off as a fun thing that happened and didn’t think much of it.
In the first week of January I got an email titled “Go Daddy Contest” It was from a director named Kenny Jackson and it was another form to fill out for some kind of contest sponsored by Go Daddy. The winner of the contest would get 6 months salary to quit their job and persue their dream.
Kenny and I had another Skype interview the next week. If I ended up being a finalist in the contest I would be travelling to the East coast in two weeks to pitch my small business to the executives at Go Daddy. It was all very hush-hush top secret stuff. Kenny and I talked about the same sort of stuff I discussed in my first interview. I was told I would hear if I was a finalist by the end of the week.
On Thursday night I was checking my email right before bed and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email title. “You Are A Finalist” I looked at my husband and said “oh my God I am going to have a heart attack and die!!!” He was concerned and thought something bad had happened. I said,
“I am a finalist. We are going to the East Coast!!!!” I called my mom and dad and woke them up to tell them the good news.
I had a week to prepare and get ready to pitch my business to the executives at Go Daddy. I am not going to lie. I have never in my life felt so stressed out and full of anxiety. I kept telling my family that I was going to have a nervous breakdown. They wouldn’t tell us much about the contest at all. I didn’t even know where we were going until about 3 days before we left.
I will fully admit, I am super shy. I don’t like talking to strangers about myself (yes I know I have a blog where I do that every day but in person it is different. I swear, the internet was created by introverts for introverts) In real life being forced into a room full of strangers and talking about myself is my absolute worst nightmare and now I had to do it, and it would be shown if front of potentially millions of people!
I got an email 3 days before we left telling us that we would be travelling to Charlotte North Carolina. We were told to bring business casual wardrobe and lots of visual aids to give our small business pitch to the Go Daddy executives. That’s pretty much all I was told. Everything was still hush hush.
On Saturday morning at 2am my husband Rob and I drove to Seattle, hopped on a plane to Chicago and then finally arrived in Charlotte at about 5pm. A car picked us up at the airport and drove us to the Courtyard Marriott in Concord NC. Our driver (who didn’t know why we were there) told us if we had time we should check out the Charlotte Motor Speedway down the street. This got the idea in my head that we were going to be doing something a little bit more exciting than just pitching our business idea in a boardroom setting.
We settled in Saturday night and on Sunday we had our one on one on camera interviews. I was a nervous wreck. It was so awful I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and had serious jet lag. Luckily the interviews only lasted about an hour and then we were meeting with all the other contestants for dinner. We went to a funky Italian restaurant and finally got to meet everyone! What we would be doing the next day for our business pitch was still top secret but I was pleased that everyone was so nice. I was afraid that everyone involved in the contest would be mean to me for some reason. But seriously, everybody was so nice and sweet and it was a huge relief.
Okay, now onto the part you are actually interested in that took me forever to get to. Monday morning Rob and I were sent to the make up room in the hotel to make sure we were looking fab for the camera. We were told to go downstairs to the lobby and wait to get picked up to be driven to where the business pitch would take place. The other contestants were there waiting and one by one we got in a van, drove off and never returned! Sounds really creepy but it was exciting.
I was contestant #2. We got in the van with all our gear for the presentation- weren’t told where we were going and then driver brought us to the Charlotte Motor Speedway! We go out of the van and there was Kate, our host for the event and cameras filming us.
Kate told us that we would be giving our pitch at the speedway and then we were ushered inside to the Media room to wait.
One by one the other contestants showed up and we had to wait again for our turn for the pitch. I was set up with a microphone attached to my clothes and finally we were told to grab our bags and get on a golf cart. It was time!
The golf cart brought us to the edge of the racetrack. Kate was there with the camera crew waiting for us. There was a table set up and Kate said. “Ok you have two minutes to set up for your pitch!” “GO!”
We scrambled to get everything out of the bags and set up. Here is the funny thing though. Kate told us afterwards that the two minute thing was actually BS. She didn’t have a timer! After the “two minutes” were up Kate says “Ok, are you ready to see who will be judging the contest?” and then, I am kidding you not: A Go Daddy racecar rips around the corner right in front of us and out pops Danica Patrick! HA!
Kate tells us that I have three laps around the track to pitch my business to Danica. They gave me a fire suit to put on, told me to grab everything I could and get my ass in the car.
As I was getting into the car Danica says OK, once your seatbelt is clicked in we are off and your time starts.
So we ripped around the track going 125 MPH and I had to pitch my jewelry business to Danica. Looking back it was hiliarious. We are speeding around the race track and I’m sitting there talking about my jewelry
“Soo.. this is a necklace I made… I work from my home in Everson Washington… I make little necklaces with messages inside… blah blah blah” I tried to hold my stuff up to the cameras inside the car. It was pretty funny.
The ride was FUN. Normally I don’t like rollercoasters of things of that nature but being in the passenger seat was a blast. When you are going around the corners the G-force hits you and it feels like your stomach in in your throat but other than that it was great.
We got out of the car after three laps, had a short photo op and I got a little signed race car from Danica. Let me just say this about Danica: She seemed so super rad. Really sweet, but a total badass. She is tiny. I am only 5’2” and when I was in my barefeet I felt like I was towering over her. I think she was probably half my weight as well. She is extremely beautiful in person and apparently she said that I did really well thank you very much. I could go on all day about how awesome all that was. So amazing.
After the pitch was over I could finally relax for the first time in two weeks. The rest of the trip was great. We had dinner with the other contestants and got to celebrate the whole experience together. We made some new friends from all around the country and I hope we get to see them again one day. Our flight got cancelled because of weather so we got to spend an extra day in Charlotte. We even took a quick road trip to South Carolina. I’ll tell you about that next week.
But for now VOTE FOR ME!!! Head on over to thebigleap.com and vote for Crafty Little Gnome!