Friday, November 20, 2009


Sorry I’ve been so bad at blogging lately. I’ve been busy copying and pasting things at work. Kidding, but we have been pretty busy at the Bracken house.

Aside from our new master bedroom and people making me mad at work (sorry if I tend to vent on this blog…it seems like a good place to blow off steam), I have a lot to update you on.

This year was our first Halloween with a house (and a puppy) so I was even more excited for one of my favorite holidays. We decided to throw a Halloween party on Halloween Eve just to celebrate. It was a total blast and I’m so grateful to all our friends that came up (dressed in costumes none the less) and had a good time with us. I didn’t take pictures because I suck at taking pictures when I’m trying to play hostess but I promise it was good times.

Because this was Dublin’s first Halloween I had the fun of picking and making him a costume. I decided to make him a shark costume since he’s already quite vicious and intimidating. We even took him with us to the ward’s trunk or treat on Halloween to practice being calm around children (his favorite!). He did pretty well and most people could actually tell what he was.

He also did really good with the doorbell on Halloween. I think Halloween should be once a month simply so our dog can practice the things he really struggles with. It would really help me out. Think about it and get back to me.

A couple weekends ago our Young Women’s got a new presidency (yay!). I’m really going to miss (some) of the old leaders, I was the only one that got to stay in my position. One of our teachers (one of my favorites) moved into a counselor roll but all the other leaders were gone. I’m super excited for the new ones. Already they appear to be much more organized and task oriented than the last bunch so I might not end up stabbing my paper to death during our planning meetings. The girls were pretty disappointed since they’ve had the same leaders FOREVER but it really is going to be good for them.

Last weekend was pretty normal for us. Friday night my family came up with my Grandma and Aunt so they could see our house (neither had seen it yet). It was really fun to get to see and talk with everyone. Saturday I went tutoring the went down and saw the wonderful Marci to get my hair done. Goodbye awkward blonde roots.

Saturday night was quite the adventure. Our neighbor (who I hadn’t met until she came over and invited us) was having a birthday party. We felt like we should go since we (really me) need to work on getting to know our neighbors better. We went, unfortunately we were the only ones that went so it was us, our neighbors and their parents. Good times.

In other news, tonight Ben and Jake are coming up to record vocals for our latest EP. I’m super excited to get it done. It’s going to me my new favorite, there are some really great songs that are going on it. I even like the song I wrote (I usually don’t really like my songs but the get put on the cds anyway) so look forward to that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's essential...

So I never knew until today that I was so special. I had no idea I was the only person in my office that can do something essential to day to day life at the plant. What is my special power you might ask? I can copy and paste. Seems like a pretty regular skill but the only logical conclusion I could make after a co-worker emailed me asking to update a poster file with the new graphs another co-worker had emailed us a week ago when I was on vacation. I mean the graphs were just as close to him in his email. I was on vacation when we received them and thus knew, if he wanted it done before this week, he should have just done it himself. So that’s how I learned today I’m the only one in the office that can copy and paste because if he had that power, he would have just done it himself, right?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Modern Oasis

So I know since Shad and I don't have kids yet, it seems kind of ridiculous to pick our master bedroom for an overhaul (didn't Shad just paint that builder white room orange and golden yellow a few short months ago?). We have an entire house to ourselves to escape to from the outside world but the long and short of it is that my once daring move to paint the walls orange and yellow turned out to be a huge mistake that I loathed everytime I entered our room. And I have to sleep in that room every night so it's kind of a big deal. With the method to my madness justified lets move on to a description.

Okay so I took interior design in high school from Dotty and I'll be the first one to admit the only thing I learned in that class was to not leave harsh corners and I can guarantee you, there are almost no harsh corners in our house. Other than that, most of the interior decorating ideas I get come from magazines and blogs. My latest blog obsession is . I'll just warn you. Don't click over unless you want to devote a good amount of time devouring their tutorials, before and afters and my favorite MOOD BOARDS. They are to die for.

So the mood boards that they post don't just happen, people request help for their design dilemas. They're ever so popular. They typically sell out minutes after they post new ones every week. A couple months ago I was one of the lucky ones to snag a board. You can see my custom mood board here.

I think I'm done rambling now...I'll just let the pictures speak the rest.



Monday, November 2, 2009

Looooong Beach

I have a lot to cover so forgive me for slacking last week.

I guess I’ll start with my trip to Long Beach. My company sent me to the Society of Women Engineers Conference this year and it was a total blast. I had been before a few times in college and I was super excited to see it from a professional perspective instead of the desperate college student please give me a job perspective. The professional side did not disappoint.

We opted to stay at the Queen Mary Hotel. This alone was an adventure. For those of you that don’t know, the Queen Mary is a luxury cruise liner built in the 1920’s and cruised around the world for a few decades. After being retired, the city of Long Beach, CA purchased the ship, made it into a hotel and permanently docked it at the Long Beach Port.

Okay now that we all know what we’re talking about, let’s think about what I just told you. A luxury cruise liner…from 1920. The luxuries of 1920 are nowhere near the luxuries of today. It was like staying at your grandma’s house. Sure it’s clean, but it still kind of smells funny because it’s old and nothing works quite right. Another wonderful feature was the colony of ants that lived in the bathroom. Every morning I battled with them. Several lost their lives. Neither one of us won. Another funny thing about the ship was that after talking to the other ladies staying there, none of our rooms were even remotely similar. Okay they all had a bed and scary extension cords for wiring (is that up to code?) but other than that, completely different. Bathrooms were in different spots, there were desks in weird places, some had sitting rooms, some nothing. I guess standardization wasn’t invented before 1920.

Now for my favorite part about the Queen Mary, it’s supposedly haunted and other than being a hotel, it’s kind of a tourist attraction. So what do you do with a haunted tourist attraction in the middle of October? That’s right, you turn it into a haunted house. And not just one haunted house, several haunted houses. That overtake half of the levels on the ship and allow people to scream at the top of their lungs outside your guests windows until 3 AM.

In summary, all of my previous observations about cruise ships were validated regardless of the decade the ship was manufactured in and whether you are actually sailing on said ship or just enjoying your time. I’m so glad this time around it was my company footing the bill because I would have seriously been mad if I was paying $300 a night to not sleep and get attacked by ants.

Other than the Queen Mary from Hell (Good name for next year’s haunted house?), Long Beach was fun. The conference was wonderful, I collected lots of great swag at the career fair, and learned a lot in our sessions, actually got to meet a few ladies from other locations (I even met one I talk on the phone with on a weekly basis but have never met because she’s in South Carolina. She’s a delight in person by the way J). I’m glad I only opted to go to a few of the networking opportunities though. It was fun playing Jenga in the Irish pub across the street with the other ladies and it was great to have lunch with the company big wigs that were in town but for the most part, I like exploring alone.

I found a Z Gallerie and picked up some great pieces for the master bedroom makeover I’m undertaking this week and I had some awesome meals (see giant pot pie picture below) while people watching the drinkers at the bar. I even got to meet up with my Sister and brother in-law to play at the lake and eat some delicious frozen yogurt. It was a fantastic week and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go.