Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday

Today, I'm going with a little different format and doing my first Five on Friday.  There are a lot of quick-list linkups out there in blogland and I'm feeling this one for today.  Sometimes I get a little too in depth and serious around here, so let's lighten it up a bit!


I have been married for 1000 DAYS!  A few months ago, I randomly decided to look up the date and added it to my calendar.  It popped up today and instantly brightened my morning.  I absolutely love being married and I am lucky to have the best guy as my spouse.  We have an amazing time whether we are watching kid movies in bed or out adventuring in the trees.  And honestly, I still feel like we're on our honeymoon almost three years later.  Love!

This is our relationship :)

I am freaking cold.  These thirty-some degree morning are getting a bit old.  Call me a complainer, but I moved to Texas to avoid this.  February is supposedly the worst for weather here, and basically the whole country is suffering, so I guess I'll just suck it up.  At least it's not negative thirty {I'm looking at you, Minnesota}.  One more reason to stay cuddled under lots of blankets! 


I've recently had a big change to my work responsibilities.  I won't go in to gory details but I was given a clerking job for a different major client and lost some of my other miscellaneous work due to that.  I have come to really love the variety of my job here, but I am adjusting alright to the new flow of things.  I am working with an excellent paralegal and learning a lot of new things in the process.  This is a lesson in staying positive, as I am generally a person who despises change! 


I'm done being weird about not having a hobby.  It's been settled.  My hobbies are coffee and beer.  Seriously.  I absolutely love checking out new coffee shops, seeing what their specialties are, and hopefully indulging on a pastry or two.  And going to brewery taproom openings has got to be one of the most fun things ever.  We tried one out last weekend, and luckily were the second people in line.  We got a spot at the bar and got to watch all the craziness ensue.  With great beer, great local music, and my guy - I'm happy. 


I'm almost due for a new book.  Word to the wise:  do not waste your time on Middlesex.  Although it has fantastic reviews and Oprah loved it, I've been struggling through it for over a month.  It took until page 400 to get interesting.  Not kidding.  I am a pretty fast reader.  THEREFORE - I am in need of a fun, light, quick read.  What are your suggestions?!

So there we are!  How was your week?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Have You Checked In With Your Husband Lately?

After more than seven years of knowing each other, almost 7 dating, and over 2.5 years of marriage, we are pretty set in our ways.  Do we still have a lot to learn?  Certainly.  Do we have a healthy relationship?  I like to think so.  Am I absolutely thrilled to have found, lived with, and married my guy so early in life?  Definitely. 

All in all, I think we are pretty great, and I think most people can see that pretty quickly.  Is this sounding really snobby?  YEP!  Stick with me...

The reason I started that way is because this post is about arguments.  Fighting, as some would say.  But that is such a harsh word.  We could also settle on "disagreements".  The point is, everyone fights.  And it's pretty annoying when people say they don't.  Do we throw things?  No.  But does it drive me crazy when he leaves the light on in the closet and sometimes knows exactly which of my buttons to push?  Yepper.  And he can push my buttons.

I don't remember the exact trajectory of the situation I'm thinking of, but it revolved around me cleaning all the countertops the night before and there being a mess all over them the next day.  Frustrating, right?!  I should reveal right away that I am a clean freak, I like things in their places, and that I'm pretty sure I have some form of compulsion (mild-like OCD).  {I just hate saying that because I have a friend who actually has OCD and I think the term is overused in general lingo.}

In our house, the "chores" are pretty set:  He cooks, I clean, I do laundry, he does all the handyman stuff, and we share things like garbage and cleaning the litter box (yes, our rabbit is litter box trained). 

SO ANYWAY...I had cleaned, there was a mess, and I was frustrated that my hard work didn't last very long and that it always gets messed up.  And then I did the good ol' snowball of why can't the toothpaste go in the toothpaste holder, and why can't the socks go in the hamper, and onward. 

Seems like a silly reason for an "argument", right?  TOTALLY.  But it pulled us back to reality and forced us to check in with each other. 

Mike explained that it's hard to keep up with the way I like things to be.  That he tries to get things in their places and be conscious of it, but that he can't always get it right.  And then I realized that we don't share a brain.  So in his mind, it's not an atrocity that the pizza cutter is in the wrong drawer. Or that the cereal box didn't make it back to the pantry.  Whereas for me, it's like "use it, put it away, easy as pie".  But it's not like that for everyone, because some {normal} people are okay with a little leeway. 

And I needed to be reminded of that.  All I could see during that situation was what made me unhappy and what was inconvenient for me.  But it never crossed my mind that my whole manner is a little inconvenient for a guy that's okay with a few crumbs on the counter after he finishes cooking a fabulous meal.  And who am I do complain about dirty countertops after devouring a restaurant-grade meal in my own home?

I.AM.LUCKY.  Massively lucky.  Eh-hem...

And our little tiff reminded me of that.  It doesn't take a disagreement to get this conversation going. Take a half hour this week to really talk with your significant other on where you and your relationship stand.  Get those miniscule things out in the open so they don't keep eating you up. 

Make a deal, make a pact on what to work on.  I vowed to not be so spastic about the countertops and be much more grateful for the meals I am able to enjoy each night.  Speak up that you despise being the one to take the dog out at 6 every single morning.  Let the other person know it's hurtful when they do something that bothers you.  CHECK IN with each other.  You need to know where the other is standing, even when it might come to which hole your toothbrush goes in. 

I love being in a young, committed relationship.  You may think that I am completely oblivious to the life ahead of me, but I'm telling you, if we can be on the right page now, I'm ready for what's to come.  And I'm so grateful to have my amazing partner by my side through it all!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Creative Side Jewelry - Making My Own Rings!

Christmas was hard this year.  I had no idea what to get anyone.  After the fact {of course}, I settled on the "Four Gifts of Christmas" idea.  How convenient.  But I also didn't know what I wanted.  So Mike and my parents were struggling, too.  I did come up with a bike bell for my new cruiser...but that didn't happen (eh-hem). 

What I did get was a unique gift from my husband.  He got me a ring making class at a jewelry academy.  It's called Creative Side and located in South Austin.  Check them out here:  Creative Side Jewelry Academy.  I finally got around to signing up for the class and attended earlier this week.

It was a four hour class starting at 6:00 pm.  So after work, I downed a quick dinner and barely made it in time due to lovely Austin traffic.  When I arrived, I bought a sterling silver upgrade packet and picked out my "bench" work space.  Everything was set up for us beforehand and we quickly got started. 

Our rings all started as flat pieces of metal.  The instructor started by showing us how to get started all together up in front of the classroom.  After she demonstrated each stage of the process, we would return to our benches to try it out for ourselves.  Once everyone had done a bit on their own, we would all learn the next step and then return to our benches again. 

The instructor and assistant were constantly walking around to help with questions and check work.  They were very helpful and kind.  Some of the processes were intimidating, but they were always there to show you tricks or talk you through it.  I may have used a torch and a power tool...

After soldering, but before forming/sanding/finishing

The process took over four hours for me to finish six rings.  By the time I left, it was after 10 pm.  My hand was cramped, and my left arm felt dead.  I couldn't even use it to drive home!  In fact, it's still a little wobbly two days later.  I definitely have a bigger appreciation for handmade jewelry goods.  It is HARD work.  It takes a lot of time, practice, and attention. 

But how cool is it that I can wear rings that I MADE?  This was definitely an experience I would recommend.  It would be a fun thing to do with friends, your mom, as a birthday/bachelorette party, etc.  It is something a little out of the ordinary that will give you fun new memories and jewelry. I love that if anyone asks about my rings, I can say "Thanks!  I made it!". 

So here are my finished products.  I textured four out of six pieces and left two of them smooth.  They fit well and are comfortable to wear.  What do you think of them? 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Parents Visit Austin, Texas

Make sure to go like my Facebook page - Being Mrs. Olson Blog.  We will be doing a fun giveaway when we reach 250 likes!

Going back to work after vacation is horrible. Last week, we were lucky enough to have my parents come visit us in Austin for four lovely days!

Blessed with 80 degree weather and lots of sunshine, my parents forgot all about the single-digit temperatures in Minnesota and we showed them around our new stomping grounds.  The day they went back to Minnesota was one year to the day from when we LEFT Minnesota.  And we only saw my parents once in between.  Seeing your parents once/twice a year is hard!  So we made the most of it. 

After getting up at 3 AM, my parents arrived just in time for lunch.  We showed them my office building in downtown Austin, which has excellent views of the river.  We then went on a little walk to get some sandwiches from Short Bus Subs.  They're a quick and easy food truck with toasted sandwiches that fill you up.  We enjoyed eating outside and watching all of the people and dogs out and about.  It was a great time to catch up and get all of the happy jitters out of the way. 

The days followed with breakfasts made at home, daily adventures and outings, and lots of great food.  Austin's food scene is impossible to take in in a few days.  We made sure to get in some American food (dad is a little less adventurous), my parents both tried sushi for the first time {and chopsticks!}, some homegrown BBQ, and of course some yummy drinks along the way. 


A highlight of their visit was a day at Top Golf.  It is a driving range that is more like a game.  Think bowling alley - combined with a driving range.  I haven't golfed in about 15 years, I've done it one time, and it involved multiple crying sessions and several lost balls {I was like 10}.  I had no intentions of enjoying this golf outing and was content with eating and drinking while the guys golfed.  But we had a great time!!  My mom and I golfed the whole time, while sipping on fresh strawberry sangria.  With delicious burgers, tots, and a dessert of DIY injectable donut holes, it was a smashing SUCCESS!  We all loved it and couldn't stop talking about it the rest of the trip. 


Our nights were filled with childhood stories, family gossip, casual TV watching, snacks, and a few riotous games of Farkle.  One thing I am so grateful for is the fact that Mike and me - and my parents - get along like friends.  We used to spend New Year's Eve together, we've gone on vacation together, we have a great time and it always goes too fast. 

My parents have been married almost 35 years.  What better example can you ask for?  What a fantastic way to be inspired in your marriage - spend time with a lively example!  Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making more memories with us and showing us a fun time!

This trip was memorable.  Back in 2010, my mom and grandma visited me in Oslo, Norway, and we always talk about the memories we made there.  THIS visit was definitely on par with that.  I will always remember having an awesome time with my parents in a different state and trying new things.  This is part of the reason we moved here in the first place.  We wanted to make memories and add another chapter to our book. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mug Swap 2014 - Holiday Happiness

Don't forget to:  Go like my Facebook page - Being Mrs. Olson Blog.  We will be doing a fun giveaway when we reach 250 likes!
If you wander blogland at all, you will likely come across a "swap" of some sort.  These are ranging from treats to jewelry to handmade gifts.  So I decided to host my own for my non-bloggy friends right before Christmas. 
As you all know, I love getting mail.  And packages are twice as exciting.  Especially gift packages from a surprise gifter!  I created a Facebook event and invited about 50 people. I ended up with 20 participants from 8 different states!!  It was so nice to connect with friends from all over and know that cheer was being sent to many different places. 
So how did we do it? 
A "YES" RSVP meant that you would send and receive a mug plus some goodies.  Once you RSVP'd, you posted on the page a few things you like so that your gifter had some shopping ideas. 
I said that I loved purple, owls, Minnesota, lace, fuzzy things, and chocolate covered nuts.  It was so interesting to see what people say when you actually have to write down what you "like".  It was sort of hard to think of things!
Then, I drew names randomly and sent the corresponding address to each gifter.  They could then look on the wall and see what their person liked and get creative.  Some people worked hard and even ordered from Amazon to get the perfect mug! 
I made a few things, bought a few things, and included some sweet treats.  It was so fun shopping around for cute little things to ship off to Minnesota.  I got excellent feedback from everyone and they said they would love to do it again.  I cannot wait to give it another whirl for Mug Swap 2015...coming to you November 2015!
Have you done a swap?  What would you suggest or send? 

Texas to Minnesota
Texas to Minnesota

Minnesota to North Dakota

Texas to South Dakota

Minnesota - Minnesota
South Dakota to North Dakota

Colorado to Minnesota

Minnesota to Colorado

North Dakota to Minnesota

Idaho to Minnesota

Alabama to North Dakota

Minnesota to Missouri
South Dakota to Texas - I got an extra treat because one gifter was feeling extra generous and sent me a hostess box!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

App Alert - Offer Up

I came across a sponsored ad on my Facebook a week ago Sunday.  You know, those annoying ones that are in your news feed for no good reason.  I actually scroll through them sometimes, because you never know what you'll find. 
For some reason, I downloaded this app called OfferUp.  Just to check it out.  We have a few things in our house that we've been wanting to get rid of, such as extra furniture.  So I decided to put a few things for sale.  In a week and two days, I've made over $200 by selling things that we no longer need!
It has been a quick and easy experience and all good so far.  You simply post one picture, a small description, your price, and general location.  From there, your item is "offered up" to the homepage that is shown below.  You can select categories to search or just scroll endlessly until something catches your eye.
When you find something you like, you message the person in the app and offer them a price.  From there, you make plans where/when to meet and exchange.  It is so nice not having to give out your phone number or deal with the giant mess of Craigslist.  For me, it has been a lot easier and much more successful.
I haven't bought anything from the app and likely won't, but if you are looking for something in particular, or something for a good deal, it's definitely worth checking out!  I have been really lucky that my things have been catching people's eyes.  Now, our house is starting to look a bit bare in some places!  Mike even had to pull an old table to use as a bedside table.  Oops!

Check out this app and let me know what you think!  PS- I was not in any way compensated for this review, I have just had good luck and wanted to share :)