Tuesday, September 25, 2012

If you really knew.....

My cat. 

I wanted to do a "if you really knew me" post and because I'm a good crazy cat lady, I figured one about my awkward little bundle of fur would be more entertaining. At least for some of you. 

To be honest, I also need a post full of cuddly cat photos. It's been an emotionally draining last few days.. for no reason other than I work myself up over small things, and have a case of the crazies going on. I blame impending aunt flo (TMI?) and/or bar results coming up. 

anyway, moving on. 

If you really knew my kitty (TJ) 

You'd know that when he was a kitten he'd prefer to sit on shoulders, and the occasional head


You'd know that (while he's gotten a bit better) if you are in the living room with food, he's all up in your business, like a dog --except more aggressive-- trying to swipe bites. 

You'd know that his favorite treat to beg for is...wait for it... McDonald's french fries (just like his momma) - but he'll settle for a bagel if it's all that's around. 

You'd know that without a doubt his favorite place to nap is in your "nook" -- that little crook between your arm and body. He'll jump on the couch, stare at you till you left your arm, walk in a circle, and plop down. Paws stretched over your stomach. He'll let you put your arm back down around him,...and even lets you type on the computer whilst in the nook.. but don't you dare get too close to his pooch. 

You'd know that if you got too close to his pooch (the nickname I've given for the fuzzy patch of fur on his belly, down by his back legs) he'll lash out and bite you. He's very sensitive about his pooch. 
You'd know that if you have papers, wrapping paper, crafts, a computer, etc., on a hard surface, he'll lay down on top of it- without fail. He's not needy enough to demand attention all the time, but this is his passive aggressive ploy at getting some. 

You'd know that one of his other favorite places to lounge is in the bathroom sink. 
 It has to be dry, but he loves being in the middle of all the action when M and I get ready in the morning.

You'd also know that if you turn the faucet on, he'll try to bat at the water/drink it. (You'd think after dozens of times having done it.. he'd be better at it. He still manages to get it all over his face, without fail. 

You'd know that he acts as the house guard-cat. If there's not an open door or window that he can sit in, he's rotating between his favorite windows and peeking through the curtains.

If you really knew my kitty, you'd know he loves M and I unconditionally..and you'd know that I, as his momma, have 100% zero shame in how much I talk about him/think about him. I refuse to allow it to be "normal" and "healthy" to talk about dogs this much and "crazy" when I talk about my cat. 

He's more loyal, affectionate, and quirky then most dogs I've met anyway. 

And thus concludes this edition of, if you really knew my kitty.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Phresh Spa & Salon West End Grand Opening

Last night, my friend Leah invited me to attend the grand opening of Phresh Salon & Spa's West End location in St. Louis Park.

Phresh's original location is on Grand Avenue in St. Paul in an old victorian house (VERY cool vibe, and I highly recommend checking it out!)

I haven't been going to Phresh long, in fact I've only had 2 haircuts so far (one in St. Paul, one at West End), and started going because Leah talked them up so much. They have a great rewards program where you earn points as you buy services and you even get 25% off your first service if you're a new client!

Here's a (shameful?) female confession: I've never had ONE hair place that I went to without fail. When I want a haircut, I'd want one RIGHT THEN and call around until I found an opening for that very day. 

I decided recently that now that I'm settled in a house and know we're not moving any time soon, it was high time to get an official salon.

The thing that I love about Phresh, that I remember reading when I was there, is they prefer a team approach. Meaning, they won't make you feel like you have to be locked in to ONE stylist, it's about you and your schedule. 

This appeases the crazy "I need a haircut now" part of me.. since I know I can call up and get whomever is available! I KNOW this is an option at other places, but I would always feel super guilty showing up and worrying (if I did repeat at a salon) that the stylist I'd had before would think I was cheating on her, or something. haha. I like that Phresh PROMOTES bouncing around, and what works best for everyone.

Another thing I love about Phresh is the vibe- as I mentioned before. West End is obviously different than the St. Paul location, since the space is more modern. They managed to tie both locations together, however, with the light floors, brick walls, beautiful crystal chandeliers, mismatched classic mirrors, and cozy seating area.

It may seem strange or shallow even for me to say, in terms of my favorite places to hang out, eat, etc., ambiance is important. I don't think a salon is any different. I want to spend time in a beautiful space, that I can feel relaxed in, that delivers a great product.

The thing I enjoy about Phresh West End's ambiance is it LOOKS wwwwaaayyyy more expensive than it is. The price tag of services is definitely affordable for all, and they offer "levels" of prices depending on the level of the stylist. For this recent grad with tons of debt, it's perfect.

The open house was fun, and I felt very fancy and "it-girl" (which I so am not) while there. Champagne, wine, passed appetizers (by their beautiful stylists nonetheless) and goodie bags on the way out!

(behind the front desk:)

I'm excited to have an established salon close to home that I can call my own...because aside from Ridgedale, there aren't many nearby (that I can think of offhand, at least). - definitely not any as reputable as Phresh!

[Note: I wasn't paid to write this... I didn't pay for my "ticket" to the event, or alcohol.. but I don't think that counts. I'm just excited about Phresh!]


Thursday, September 20, 2012

MN Bloggers Happy Hour

 As most of you are well aware, Tuesday the MN Bloggers group hosted a happy hour at the Paint Pub in Maple Grove!

But first, Kelly, Sally, Becky and I met up for appetizers and drinks at Wild Bill's just down the street!

Sally and Kelly:

Becky and I:

 The Paint Pub is in Maple Grove, MN... and is an instructor lead art class with wine and food! You can view their online calendar to see what paintings they're doing what night OR- do what we did: organize your own private party and pick you own painting!

We were all seated at tables with easels and our instructor, Helga, walked us through shape by shape, stroke by stroke, how to paint our chosen painting (which was the stone arch bridge!) --- okay her name wasn't really Helga but for reasons unknown, that became her nickname. 

I know some ladies were a bit nervous to paint as they don't consider themselves artistic.. but honestly these classes are SO good and she goes so slow, and helps when needed, that it's practically idiot proof! All the paintings ended up looking GREAT. 

Here's the progress of my painting, throughout the night:

At the last HH, everyone signed the chalkboard wall at Psycho Suzies (except moi, because I bailed early to go cry into my pillow after the first day of the bar exam. woof. remember that? baha)

So, this time we signed the drop cloth on the table:

All the ladies! Stop by the MN Blogger's blog to check them all out! 
(Really, I'd tag you all, but it's a miracle I'm even getting this post put together right now.. tagging is just not in the realm of possibilities this late. -- by late I mean 9:45...)

 aannndd ta-da!

Overall a fantastically unique happy hour with a fantastically unique group of girls. I was a lot less apprehensive about the "people" aspect this time, since the last HH and getting to talk with people, AND following a few more of their blogs, it was sorta like getting together with old friends. :)

Wedding DIY: burlap flowers and rosette monogram

So, if you're a Minnesota Blogger you've seen a dozen or more recaps of our HH on Tuesday night at the paint pub! The super productive blogger Kelly got her recap up THAT NIGHT, despite how late we got done, ;-), and everybody else followed suit today.
This blogger?
She's too cracked out on her hot glue gun, burlap, and streamers to function, apparently.
I finished up these 2 crafts at 9:30 last night and instead of hammering out a post, I opted to watch a Dateline in bed with M. (One of our favorite things to do! -- plus he was giving me his 'sad eyes' ...) soooo forgive me.
AND, I am going to an open house shindig tonight for a salon right by my house, that I promised I'd do a little recap post for as well (my friend Leah wrangled me an invite on account I am 'pseudo influential' in the area-- all 47 of you suckers who read this may disagree-- but mostly, Leah rules and knows I love me some free cheesecake (Muddy Paws Cheesecake, SO GOOD) and salon goodies!). So, blogger HH may have to wait a teeny tiny bit more.
side note: Leah said maybe someday she wants to come meet ya'll, since she's following some of your blogs. :) PLUS, she and I met on the internet (long-ish story), and we both met our significant others on the internet. so clearly, we do our best work meeting internet strangers. ;-)
moving on! Leah sent me this pin yesterday at work, and it was an "I NEED TO DO THIS, NOW" moment:
ummm, burlap? flowers? hot glue gun? sign me up!
I knew exactly where I wanted to put these. I wanted to do a wine bottle and flowers next to the card box on the gift table. Instead of worrying about getting water and a few fresh flowers in the bottle (since I'm buying farmer's market flowers as our only "real" flowers), I figured some matching rustic faux flowers would look just as cute, and fit in with the theme!  (and be easier to set up quickly, which is what we need to be able to do at our venue)
...not to mention I still have, like 30 yards of burlap left. (best. purchase. EVER.)
So, I followed that tutorial closely using some straight floral wire I picked up at Michael's after work for $1.99, and ta-da!
I followed the tutorial so I figured yet another step by step wasn't entirely necessary.. unless of course you want one- let me know- because I'm sure I'm going to make a few more of these!
I was originally going to try to find a wooden ampersand symbol ("&") and then use the wooden letter "M" and "K" that we currently have in the house, as decor for the escort card table. Turns out the ampersand isn't something they stock at Michael's and online they were like $10. No thanks. I then decided to go with an "N" (my new last name begins with an N) to do a "mKn" vignette for the table. A big white "N" was $3.99 at Michael's.
Same process as my last post for the flower ball.
Here it is!
 I really like the way it turned out :)
Here are both of them together:
I think I might do one or 2 more flowers, and get a smaller wine bottle to put them in or something, to add some dimension.
TJ, once again, was an excellent assistant:
(Kitteh sits in burlap box.)
He was up in the window box earlier in the night, (which is at ground level, in our basement) when a "street cat" must have wandered by the window and smelled him. All of a sudden we hear a terrible meow/hiss/growl and they were going at it through the screen for a hot second. M jumped up,..and TJ jumped down and dove under the couch. Big baby. His tail was all poofy and he kept shooting dirty looks at the window the rest of the night.
In related craft news, my CHALK PAINT PENS came in the mail! Michael's only had one in white, and it was sold out anyway, so I ordered these off Ebay for $12.

They make a SUPER clean, smooth line. I have a piece of wood I need to paint with the chalkboard spray paint, and am going to make some signage for the wedding.
My name is Kelly, I'm addicted to DIY.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wedding DIY: Flower balls

[EDIT: I have pulled this post from the archives to link up with Katie for her "Saw it, Pinned it, Did it" series! Check out the button for a whole slew of great (non-weddingy) DIY's as well!]

This is easily my most favorite DIY to date. 

I was browsing Pinterest (surprise, surprise) the other night and saw this pin for a rosette flower ball tutorial: 

I LOVE the look of "flower balls" but since the only real flowers we're doing are the bouquets, I had forgot about the possibility of doing a faux one.

In addition, I knew I didn't want to do much, if anything, to the church in terms of decorations because it's so beautiful and ornate on its own. 

When I saw this pin, I had the perfect affordable decorations for the church, that could be moved to the ceremony (aaannnddd sold after the whole shabang ;-) )

I did it a little bit different than the tutorial, so here's how it went:

1. Cut about 1 1/2 to 2 feet of streamer and crumple it up.

2. Fold the streamer ENTIRELY in half (instead of 1/3 like the tutorial)

3. Start rolling up the rosette.  This is the part of these tutorials that used to make me angry at the author, because they say "just play with it until it looks right".. but really, that's all you do.

4. I started adding tiny dots of hot glue as I rolled to hold it together, about 1 ever 3 rolls or so, instead of just at the very end like the tutorial said. I found it kept its shape better, AND I could keep the rolls loser that way and fuller looking, without it falling apart. Just roll, and twist the streamer around as you roll

5. Add a spot of hot glue at the very end to hold the entire rosette together. 

6. (I actually never took a photo, but I took about 6 inches of ribbon, folded it in half, and glued it to the foam ball)
6.5. Start gluing the rosettes to the foam

7.  Add burlap bow (that I also made) to the top! (If ya'll are really that interested, I can post a tutorial on the bow too.

Mmmmmmmm I am SO in love with this. I used EXACTLY one roll of streamer for this ball (it's a 6 inch foam ball too, if I recall that correctly). 

I'm doing 4 of these for down the aisle. 2 on each side. aaannndd in the middle of each foam ball, I'm making "hanging frames". So, basically, imagine a picture frame where the flower ball is, and that's what the frames are. Bow, and ribbon on top, and all. I'm going to put some engagement photos in them then, too. 

Hope you like!

aaannnddd tonight is the 2nd MN Blogger HH! I'm pretty excited to get to hang out again, and not be in a bar-induced-scrubbed-out-daze, like last time. AND paint a pretty pretty painting of the stone arch, which will go perfectly in our "MN/MN sports/sports themed" basement!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Wenches (+ the Rembrandt exhibit coming later, because I HATE BLOGGER right now)

 Once upon a time, Blogger wouldn't let me format my post.. or see my cursor as I typed.. and every time I tried to hit "backspace" it deleted ALL the text I had written. Furthermore, Blogger wouldn't let me hit "enter" to create breaks in my paragraphs. This makes a control freak like myself homicidal. To preserve my sanity on this Sunday night.. I present to you: Blobs of text, and lots of photos... an end run around blogger. (Imagine a page break here) --- this weekend was low key, but peppered with some random experiences. Saturday I went to the renaissance festival with M's mom and sisters. We made Katie try on every strange hat we could find..and even got in on the action ourselves! Turkey legs were ate, giant turtles pulling carts were spotted (totally normal), we watched a glass blowing tutorial and a comedy routine by the name of "Puke and Snot." Overall, it was quite a good time.