Sunday, February 26, 2012


Happy Third House-aversary, house!

(This is our house in 2005, when the owners kept the hedges trimmed, before there was an oak in the front yard and back when the windows were drafty)

Hard to believe that last year at this time, poor Hubs and I were eating our weight in Jimmy John's and cursing the invention of drywall mudding while we fixed up the once finished, then wet, then gutted basement. And here we stand today, with a finished basement, nicely painted walls in all but two rooms, a snuggly insulated attic and of course - the deck and patio of our dreams.

It's been a busy three years.

In our third year together, house, we have some baby-step style projects:

  • Fix the slanted front walk (ok, rip it up completely and replace it with a curved paver walk to match the patio out back)
    • Anticipated project date: May-June 2012 (as in, we don't know when we will start - not as in, we expect this to take two months)
    • Anticipated cost: $750 or less
  • Finally! De-linoleum-ize your poor kitchen floor. That one has been a long time coming. Get ready for some fancy pants new ceramic tile (ok, fancy-pants is a relative term. We're looking to do the whole floor gig for under $500, so it will be the cheapest Menard's has to offer, but still better than 30 year old lino).
    • Anticipated project date: November 2012 - got to get ready to host our very first Christmas in this humble home!
    • Anticipated cost: $500, plus Jimmy Johns
  • Smack some style into the bathroom. Oh, how this room has been neglected. Ugly tile everywhere, bad paint, a sorry excuse for a vanity, and an original toilet. Again, this project is one we're shooting to keep cheap cheap cheap (and fast fast fast since it's our only bathroom!).
    • Anticipated project date: December 2012. Yep, as soon as the family is out the door after the holidays, the remainder of our week off will be spent fixin' up the head and showering at the gym. Yee haw.
    • Anticipated cost: $1,000-$2,000 I think, maybe? Barring any unforeseen plumbing issues (which, let's be honest, there are probably totally unforeseen plumbing issues), of course.
Admittedly, this list is pretty weak. But, we just finished paying off the last of the basement bills (Amen!) and we're kinda digging not sweating, hauling and cussing in all of our spare time. In fact, it's really really lovely. Actually enjoying our house - who knew?

Here's to another great year - sans major unexpected disasters!

Love you, House.

Love, Alexson

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Looking forward

Oh, February. You're an especially busy month for this worker bee and as we round the final lap, I'm already dreaming of days that are not part of you. Specifically: days that are part of summer.

A list of my demands for those days:

  • Lemonade in a sweating glass, with a fancy straw, on the deck, umbrella up, bare feet up too
  • Loose and wild air-dried pool hair thrown into a bun, big sunglasses
  • Brunches on patios, mimosas, big sunglasses
  • Usage of the nearly record number of PTO days I have not taken from work yet
  • Many, many rum drinks on floaties in my redneck oasis
  • Swaying to harmonica-heavy music while chopping Farmer's Market veggies, windows open
  • Running in the morning, every morning, in shorts, fear of jiggly thighs banished by my hard work all winter (true story)
  • Late-night, jammie-covered trips to DQ, with car windows down
  • A quick and painless removal of our current front walk with a flat (!) one made of paver bricks, hilarity to ensue
  • Long, long bike rides, tan lines from athletic activity acquired
  • Cutting the grass, which always sounds fun during times like this, but in reality is one of my all-time least favorite activities because I'm afraid of the riding mower, so while Hubs does that, I'm left grunting and cussing at our old push mower. But the smells, I do like the smells associated here.
So, there it is: my third annual "I wish it wasn't February in Iowa" post.

Of course, there's lots of good in winter, too. I just hate blow-drying my hair.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Heart Month, world!

Even though I've worked for the American Heart Association for a year and a half, I'm still shocked by this statistic:

Only 1 in 6 women recognize that heart disease is her biggest health threat. 

This is even scarier because a lot of our heart problems can be prevented - 80% of heart attacks in women could have been prevented. But, if you don't know you may be at risk, you might not be as apt to do the things that may save your life - moving more, eating better, and knowing your numbers (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol). The sooner you can start with healthy habits, the better off you'll be.

Fun fact: Every hour you spend exercising adds two hours to your life expectancy. 

Extra fun fact: I plan on using at least half of all those extra hours I'm racking up getting pedicures, shopping for size 6 dresses (holla!) and watching Midnight in Paris until my DVD cracks - I earned it, right? 

So! Help a sister out by spreading the word. Here's how:

In Central Iowa?
Dude, we have SO. MUCH. going on this month, it's ridic. Do you want to meet the Governor? Hob nob at the fanciest event this side of I235? Zumba with dozens of your closest pals? Get a free ticket to an Iowa Energy game? We've got you covered. Check out everything that's going on at

Anywhere in Iowa?
Be sure to upload a photo of how you Go Red to one of our fantabulous Facebook pages. The winner will get their mug posted on a billboard! Don't be shy, now.
Quad Cities
And, ok. If you don't LIVE in Iowa but have always had the crazy dream of being famous in Iowa (and who hasn't?), upload your picture, too! The more the merrier.

On Twitter?
Donate your tweet this Friday (also Wear Red Day!) Just use the hashtag #TweetGoneRedFor and let the world know whose heart you Go Red for. Plus, follow us at @AHAIowa.

Just bored?
Watch this video and pass it along. It's good stuff.

Are you doing anything for Heart Month? What cause/charity gets your heart a-flutter? What would you do with your extra hours?
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