Sunday, January 11, 2015

Helloooo 2015!

It was a wet and chilly start to 2015. The work week was thankfully slow given people were still out enjoying their break. Since we spent our break doing a little house cleaning, it has been nice coming home to a relatively cleaner living space.

Speaking of cleaning, these articles popped up on my media feeds last week and while I have my own methods, I thought they were pretty great:
     1) Stop organizing and just have less stuff and 2) Kissing your socks goodbye
We basically doubled our space from our tiny apartment with this house, haven't added anything new and yet we have loads of "stuff". We've been purging boxes upon boxes from the pre "us" era. I do like the idea of only keeping things that bring you joy (from the second article) and plan on using that idea as we continue to purge the remaining containers. The plan is to be done in a few weeks so we can move on to more exciting activities. Like painting!

We also took a trip to the paint store to look at some colors that would go well with the builder selected tiles and cabinets. We are starting small by tackling the master bath first. So far, it's looking more amazing than I imagined with these colors (they're really much brighter in person):

Oh and you know what else is amazing? I turned 40 today. And didn't freak out. Ha! Birthday bonus: I got a painted water closet! Here's hoping everyone else had a great Hieuday, too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


::our 2015 harvest of kumquats::

All 75 iddy bitty mini oranges from our tiny Charlie Brown-ish Christmas Tree sized kumquat tree finally turned bright orange with our last freeze and were ready to pick. We didn't know what to do with the harvest we had last year, so we were pretty sure we had to do something this year. Then Nicholas came home with this:

::glorious kitchen gadgets!::

We have a canning kit and lots of small mason jars! We figured out really quick we were limited by the size of our largest water boiling vessel. But it turned out really nice and we learned a few lessons like: 1) small batches are better 2) you probably shouldn't multiply up and make a larger batch 3) less sugar because kumquats are crazy sweet.

::kumquat & cara cara oranges & ginger marmalade!::

They made tasty presents for family and friends.

Monday, December 22, 2014

New (tiny) Aquarium

I've grown up with fish tanks and had one throughout college as well. Lately, we've kept up a small tank, but were hoping to expand back to our large 55 gallon when we came across this bio filter aquarium setup through Kickstarter. The most annoying maintenance for a fish tank is the filter. Most professional setups have an elaborate filtration system. The EcoQube system uses plants to filter out the waste products. It also has a UV sterilization system to help keep the system clean. We've had ours up and running for a few weeks now and added our first fish. He still doesn't have a name. So far, it appears to be working well but we're still having to clean up some algae that's started to grow. Not as bad as our other tank, though! So I still have hope! If It works well, I will look into investing in these filters for my larger tank.

White Beta in his EcoQube
::Beta in his EcoQube::

White Beta in his EcoQube
::He has pretty fins::

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Zoo Lights

Zoo Lights Glowing Balls
::zoo lights::

We did a tour of the Houston Zoo Lights again this year! A little earlier this time on a much warmer evening. There were over 2 millions lights this year and surprisingly quite a lot of people for the middle of the week.

Tiny Town with Trains
::miniature train town::

I think this was my favorite display. I don't remember seeing it last year. There were trains zooming around and kids were naming them all. (I didn't know trains had names!) And then there was this lovely little house on the outskirts...

Outskirts of the Tiny Town

And we spent some time warming up in the reptile building checking out some of the colorful residents there...

Reptiles at the Zoo

Reptiles at the Zoo

Reptiles at the Zoo

Check out the rest of our photos!

Friday, December 12, 2014


My new notebooks came in and I've been carrying them around until I can find a spare moment to write in them!

They're from May Design. The top one is my new address book. My current one is oh, six years old? And so out of date. Even my address is wrong in that one. The unicorn one is my new scribble book. There are no lines in this one. And the plaid one is my 2015 agenda.

I really like that you can customize the covers and the interior pages. But more importantly (at least to me) the pages feel nice. Ink pens don't bleed through easily and they look like they'll hold up after being tossed in my bag pretty well. Follow them on the bookFace for occasional random coupon codes to get some good deals.

By the way, did you know Google can help you collect up to date addresses for your holiday cards? Like most people, my collection of addresses live partially in emails, ancient spreadsheets and on my phone. You can create a survey in Google docs where you can customize your questions and tell the fill boxes what to expect. There's also the option of making certain responses "required" with that all important red * to let them know you mean business. Google will then take the responses and populate a spreadsheet for you! Neat huh? You can also customize the response received message. Mine said to allow 6-8 weeks for processing. It confused some people. I was trying to be funny. Choose your messages wisely.