Because who doesn't like free mall gift cards?

Some people may say that I'm frugal.  I say that I'm fiscally responsible.  We're in medical school.  For those of you who are unaware, medical school is really really REALLY expensive.  Basically, I've always liked a good deal.  Now, I look for good deals to counteract the impending and never-ending tuition bill payments.

This is a really sweet deal though, and you should check it out (even if your hubby isn't in med school!)

Christmas is coming - who wouldn't like to get a $10 mall gift card - depending on when your birthday is - to spend on Christmas gifts?

Check out this site to see if your local mall is part owned by GGP and participating in this.  I signed up just over a month ago (I just signed up using the hubby's information to make sure it would still work...he'll be thrilled at the emails, I'm sure!).  After I signed myself up, I received an email offering a $10 mall gift card.  Print out the email, spend $75 at the mall in one day, take your receipts to the Customer Service desk, and get a $10 gift card.  Sweet deal, right? (The hubby hasn't received this email yet, so I don't know if they're still sending those out).  

But I'm sure they're still doing this (as of a week or so ago!):   Got an email just the other day from GGP wishing me a happy birthday, printed it out and took it in to the mall and got a $10 gift card, no receipts necessary, no strings attached!

The gift cards don't expire for years, and you can use them on basically anything in the mall.

On a semi-related note, I also got a birthday gift card mailed to me from Express worth $15.  So thanks, mall and store, for the $35!


Random Rant

I'm back from Colorado and I can't wait to share all of my beautiful photos with you.  I also can't wait to show you some nifty projects I've been doing.  I also can't wait to tell you about how medical school is treating the hubby and me.

I need to rant!

I really don't mail packages that often.  Maybe once every other month or so.  But when I do mail them, naturally, I expect them to get where they are supposed to be going.  A couple of months ago, I mailed a wedding gift out to some great friends who live in New Jersey.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, I learned they never received it.  Great!  And....failure to get a tracking number, which I have never in my life done, results in the wedding gift being declared dead and gone.  Sweet.  $50+ down the drain...plus the expense of buying and mailing another gift!

Last week, I started thinking about how we never got our wedding print order from our photographer.  Now our photographer is super busy, doing at least two weddings, maybe three, each week during the busy season.  Add in the engagement sessions, family sessions, senior sessions...you get the drift.  She's one busy lady.  So I think that maybe somehow she forgot to send in our order to the printer.  NOPE.  She did.  They printed it.  They mailed it.  It got returned to them.  (Yes, she did have my old, pre-married address.  But she said she almost always sends it to the bride's "wrong" address...then it always gets forwarded.  And I get forwarded mail all the time from my old address. But apparently not THIS rather important piece of mail!).  

To top it off: I mailed out a package of thank you goodies to my hostess-with-the-mostess out in Colorado.  This time, I was smart; I got a tracking number.  It was kind of fun, watching it go west across the country.  I was happy to see that it got to Denver, and told her to expect it that day or the next.  She never got it...never got it...four days later, I see on the website that it is now happily en route to be delivered.  EXCEPT.  It's now in PENNSYLVANIA.  


How does that even happen?  From being 2.5 hours away from the proper mailbox to being on the wrong side of the country!?!  I called the USPS line and they were pretty surprised by it too, and didn't have an answer in the least.  I'm supposed to hear back about this latest MIP (missing important parcel) within two business days.  So, we shall see.

Safe to say, I'm Fed Ex'ing from now on.

(happier posts to follow!)


The "Are You Ready for Fall?" Quiz

I saw this on another blog and thought it was super cute.  Now that I've put off doing it for long enough, I might pass the quiz!  (Since I'm grading it, I'm guessing I'll probably pass!)  Ready?  Set....Go!

1.  Do you have pumpkins (real or fake) in your house as decor? 

My dining room centerpiece has five pumpkins in it.  That means five points, right?  :)  Kidding.  Point.

2.  Do you have candy in a dish?

Okay.  So it's not in a dish.  But it is candy!  And it's in orange wrappers.  I give myself 1/2 a point.  Because I'm doing the scoring!

3.  Do you have a mum at your home?

No.  But I have officially killed my basil plant.  Green thumb, I have not.  No point.

4.  Do you have apples or peaches in your kitchen?

Score!  Two left.  The hubby doesn't eat them unless his doting wife someone peels them for him, so I'm the sole apple eater in our home.  Point!

5. Are your fall boots ready to go?

They so are.  I'm absolutely in love with my fall boots.  I wear them all the time.  Even though they are a little bit not quite the right size so my toes fall asleep.  :)  Point!

6. Have you grilled something lately?
Yes.  We have.  I don't have a photo of all the chicken we grilled this past week.  And I didn't want to take a picture of our grill, because it's hibernating in its cover.  Point!

7. Have you watched at least two football games?
I have watched parts of at least two football games.   I loathe watching football on TV.  I loathe watching almost anything on TV.  But I do it to spend time doing something the hubby enjoys.  Half point. 

8. Do you have a fall wreath or doormat on your front door?
Neither.  But we've never hung a wreath or put a mat out at this apartment, so I don't feel too bad.  No point. 

So five points out of eight....a 62.5%.  I think that's a conditional pass :)  

In other fun news, I'm guzzling water today like it's my job.  Why, you ask?  Because I'm heading to higher elevation tomorrow....Colorado here I come!  Visiting a girlfriend out there for our annual mountainous reunion.  Please please PLEASE don't snow again this year!  Hiking and biking and mountains and canyons, here I come!


The Desk!

Well, after many weeks of hard work, the infamous "dinosaur desk" has finally been finished and has been moved from the garage into the office!  My hubby is very happy to finally be able to park in his garage again :)  

In case you don't remember the "before" of my $15 Craig's List desk, here's a quick reminder.  

This fine piece of...umm...craftsmanship... is originally from a college dorm room (you know, the kind that comes furnished?).  And you can see on the far left side that the lovely laminate covering has been peeled off (probably by whoever chose the primary colored dinosaurs!).

I ventured on to Craig's List again to find a wooden chair to go with the desk.  Here's the find!  $15 for this too.  The people selling it said it was an old teacher's chair. 

After sanding the desk and filling in the gaping holes with spackle, I primed it with Zinser Bullseye Primer and let it "cure" for the allotted seven days.  I sanded it down really well with 80-grit sandpaper and painted on the first coat of glossy black paint.   Sanded with 200-grit paper, re-painted, sanded with 320-grit sand paper, and repainted one last time.   The chair had the same basic method, but I didn't prime it.  Because I was feeling rather impatient and was sick of being in the garage!

Oh, to gross you out: 

That is not paint.  That is the dirt that I cleaned off of the desk chair.  That rag definitely bit the dust!  (pun completely intended)

I decided to add some knobs to the drawer fronts to give it a little character.  My heart was set on old-fashioned glass/acrylic knobs.  But after realizing that they were about $5.50 a pop, I refused to spend more on the knobs than the desk and chair combined!  We found some GREAT ones for .99 cents each...love it!

So here it is, long at last....The Dinosaur Desk!  (sorry in advance for the terrible photos.  I took them really quickly and in poor lighting!  I'll give some better ones once I get my area decorated).

And the perfect knobs:

And finally, the chair...which I will be finding a cushion for, because my bony butt can't sit on bare wood all day!

Tah-dah!   That's it...what do you think?  The hubby and I are both completely shocked rather pleased with how well it turned out, given the initial state of both pieces. 

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Meyer May House

As promised...the photos from the Meyer May House tour from my birthday. These are just a sampling! Such a beautiful house, with architecture well before its time.

Sign outside the house.  On an average street, next door to other people's houses.

View of the outside of the house.  Love the architectural details!

My favorite thing of F.L.Wright architecture?  The windows!

Not too shabby of an office, eh?

Mural by dining room.  When the house was restored, layers upon layers of paint were removed from when previous owners had painted over this.  What a shame!

So that's that.  My birthday is officially over.

Medical school, however, is not :)  The hubby has been at his desk ALL DAY. He skipped didn't attend his lectures this morning, and has been studying for his two exams that he has tomorrow since sunrise.  And he now the sun has gone down.  There he still sits!

I seriously think that some people don't understand literally HOW MUCH time medical students have to spend studying.  On the other hand, I have to remember how lucky we are.  Compared to some of my hubby's classmates, who stay on campus until 11:30 studying, go home and cram for a few more hours, and get up early to start again, we have it relatively easy.  It would sicken them to know what time we go to bed (normally in the 10:00 range...old married people!).  But I really don't understand how people's minds can function on such little sleep!  The amount that I would retain from 10.00pm - 2:00am would be shockingly little!


Happy Birthday to me!

Guess who's a year older and a year wiser????  

That would be me!  I celebrated my birthday last week...there is no denying that I'm now officially in my "mid-twenties."  (Boo hiss - I'm getting old!)  Actually I couldn't care less.  Age is just a number right?  Like our height...or our weight...!

The hubby took off a little bit of studying time to celebrate.  It just so happened that I had a "birth-week" celebration.  There was a night with my in-laws, dinner with one of our "best couple" friends (whom the hubby conveniently introduced!), my folks and sister coming up on my actual birthday, and celebrating with the hubby's brother and his family. 

My birth-DAY fell on a Sunday.  We started with church, and then my Mr. made me breakfast.  Which was great.  (Because honestly, 98% of cooking responsibilities fall to me).  
Heart-shaped walnut pancakes...top with peanut butter, honey and banana!  Basically dessert for breakfast!

 After he cleaned the kitchen (hallelujah!), we went downtown to tour a little bit more of Art Prize (the super sweet art competition in our town.  Winner gets a prize of $250,000!).  We've strolled through some of it before, but here are a few we saw on my birthday.  

Eagle made of silverware

Steam-Pig Experiment...look at the size compared to the vehicles!


Lions made of nails

Shattered-mirror faces

(It probably goes without saying that those are not the names of the pieces!  Just a little of what they were).

After Art Prize we went to tour a Frank Lloyd Wright house (read: super cool, turn-of-the-century architect).  Photos to come in a later post!


New B.S.

(An acronym for Bible Study.  Interesting...) 

A couple of weeks ago, I joined a new bible study group.  I've only been in one bible study before this, and it was leaps and bounds different from my new/current one.  In the previous one, I was the only American (adopted by a random group of Australians), and we were a bunch of super relaxed young people who sat around on the floor on Tuesday nights, drinking tea, talking and sharing, singing along with a guitar, and taking impromptu communion with whatever supplies we had (champagne instead of wine, for instance).
Previous bible study group (read: very different than new b.s. group).  A crazy/unique group.
This new bible study, however, is very different.  I am the youngest by about seven years (my rough guess).   We are all women, and a third of them are pregnant.  All of them either have adult children older than me, or babies and toddlers running around their feet (literally - I am the only one without children).  We meet on Wednesday mornings and have a set schedule of discussions, with a book and study guide. 

Oh. And they are all doctor's wives.  

I got hooked up with the group through the Christian Medical and Dental Association, which my hubby is a part of.  We went to a CMDA picnic, and one of the women there invited me to come join their bible study group, Side by Side.  These Side by Side groups spring up all over the place, and are intended to be for wives of anyone in the medical field, including the wives of students.  I agreed to come, as I know medical wives have stresses that are completely unique to the medical field.  It will be very helpful to have these women as mentors as the hubby and I trek through this crazy adventure.  

That being said, I am the ONLY medical-school wife in their group (as mentioned before, it's a brand new campus, so there have never been any student wives here before).  There are only four other married med students out of the 100 at our campus, so I'll probably remain the only student-wife for this year at least.  I'm definitely at a different place in life than anyone else there, but they have all stood where we are currently standing. 

Hopefully I'll soon start to feel a little more relaxed with the other ladies and am able to open up and enjoy the time spent with them.  The study we're doing is called "The Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  

A couple of the ladies have already read the book with other study groups, and said that it can lead to some pretty heated discussions.  So we will see how this group takes it!  It looks like it will be an interesting time all around.