Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clothing Swap, etc.

Well after all of our hard work the 330-Swap & Shop was a big success last weekend! We had 4 rounds of about 20 people and were there from 8am – 6pm! Our first round started at noon and we had our vendors swap at 11am, so we were there as early as they would open the doors for us to set up and make sure we had everything ready to go. A Goodwill representative came at 6 to pick up the leftover clothes which was so helpful.

This is Jessica, Lyndsey and Jessie, the three girls I helped coordinate the event with. 

We had drinks, snacks, goodie bags and also an alterations specialist on site to take orders for adjustments on the swapped clothes. We also had girls selling jewelry, Vintage clothes and handmade soaps.

It was a great day and everyone seemed to enjoy it!

The swap was last Sunday and needless to say that weekend was pretty busy. This past long weekend was much needed and one of the best weekends we've had in awhile!

We went on a hike, many walks, a long bike-ride, breakfast dates and even went with Big Reed and Laura to our favorite Indian restaurant. They were so brave to try it with us!

Cooking for a group:

Last week, I hosted a meeting for a group I'm part of, OAFCS (Ohio Association of Family & Consumer Sciences) at our house. We usually meet at Panera but for this meeting I wanted to hold it at our house and I had the crazy idea that I wanted to make dinner for everyone. It wouldn't have been crazy except for the fact that RJ was out of town that day! So I was cleaning and preparing all by myself, which was actually a great learning experience. This may be obvious, but it's so true: do everything you can ahead of time! I made salad, whole wheat pasta with mixed sauteed veggies and toasted almonds, quinoa salad with mixed beans and veggies and fruit salad with whole wheat rolls. There were 6 of us all together, so I had a lot leftover! I figured better safe than sorry and I knew the leftovers wouldn't go to waste! (Now it's almost a week later, they didn't!)

It turned out great and those beautiful purple dahlias above were a gift from the group members. Many of the members are Family & Consumer Sciences teachers (they teach the home ec., child development, financial planning, lifeskills, etc. classes) and some of us are like myself, who have FCS degrees and use them in other ways. It's a great group of people!

Tonight I did an art project with the girls from South Akron Youth Mentorship, the group that my dad is very instrumental in coordinating and RJ volunteers with on Monday nights. We did a summer scratch-art project, they did a great job!

Tomorrow I am going into the RISE office. It is so nice to have RJ at home again! He only has two 5-day conference or tradeshows a year, and last week was one of them. This week he isn't traveling at all which is nice! He usually only has to go a night or two every other week, so we're not used to long trips! Thank goodness for cell phones.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Long & Overdue Update!

 It has been awhile since I've given you an update so I'm going to go back all the way to May 3rd when I turned the big 2-7!

RJ and I made sure to carve out a few hours in our schedules that day to go to Lowe's and get some hanging baskets and flowers.. something I've been wanting to do since we moved in! I really love flowers and plants and having fresh flowers around the house.

We got 4 hanging baskets and a bunch of pots to put on the front porch.. I love them! One of our favorite things to do is relax in our rocking chairs on the porch (I guess that's what happens when you get into your mid-late 20's), so having the plants and flowers makes it even nicer.

 That evening RJ accompanied me to a Humane Society Boutique Night I had been invited to attend. Proceeds from whatever was bought at the boutique that night went to the Akron Humane Society, so it was an important cause. I got those pretty rosette earrings for only $7! I've been wearing them almost everyday since.

After going to the Boutique night we went to our favorite Indian restaurant and had the best dinner. It was a great day!

On May 5th I got to go to a local fashion show for one of my favorite local boutiques called NOTO. Some of my other blogger friends and I had front row seats which was fabulous!

It was really fun to see a preview of what the store will have coming out this summer. The show also featured work from some local designers too which was really cool.

I've told some of you about a big clothing swap some other ladies and I are planning.. there are around 80 people coming! It was definitely a learning experience for the 4 of us planning an event for this many people. We collected all of the clothes before hand so we could "tag them" (kind of like pricing them) and tally people's points according to how much they gave. They will then use those points to "shop" with on swap day. We have a few vendors coming to sell jewelry, vintage clothes and locally  made soaps. We have a few sponsors on board which is really cool - there are multiple businesses that donated items for our "goodie bags" and donated snacks for the event. We have had a lot of fun planning it but as you can imagine it's been a lot of work! We (naively) didn't put a limit on how much people could donate, so we had some people giving up to 5 bags of clothes! We go through each item individually to give it a "price" and tag it.. then sorted them all into tag/size boxes.. it's been a lot of work but we've had fun with it. 

We did all the clothes sorting here at our house, since we have the most space. Luckily, since we just moved in we had a spare bedroom that wasn't being used for anything but storage yet. That room (and the attic) became the swap storage room. Here are all the sorted clothes: 

The attic is our "work space" and we have extra storage up there too. 

As you can see, it's a lot of stuff!

If we do the swap again next year we've already agreed we'll have to do things much differently. It's been fun but we all agreed it's just been too much time to spend when we all have lives and (multiple) jobs! The girls are great though and I've loved getting to hang out with them a lot over the last few weeks. 


RJ had a work conference this Wednesday in Chicago, so we figured it would be the perfect time to visit Drew for a few days. We brought Tina along with us, since Drew has a bigger place now (and even an outdoor space) and could use a little friend. 

She was so good in the car!

We got there late Saturday and picked Drew up from the restaurant. It was so nice to be able to stay at his place this time instead of at the motel this time around. He has a really comfortable couch and futon so it worked out perfectly. I think Tina will be happy there with him, she even has a patio to explore!

We ate a lot of delicious meals, including the nicest late lunch at Drew's restaurant while he was working. We went to the beach one night and I read my book in the sand while the guys threw the frisbee.

We loved hanging out with Drew - this was at a restaurant we tried called the Green Zebra, a vegetarian restaurant that was so good! Since they knew Drew was a special guest (they knew he's the sous chef at Province), they kept bringing out extra things for us to try on the house which was so cool! It's nice being connected with people in high places. One of the things the chef sent out was a dessert port to have with our dessert. I took one tiny sip and decided to stick with the wine - too strong for me! The food was so delicious though.

We got there late Saturday and I flew back to Ohio on Tuesday morning, so it was a quick trip for me. On Tuesday Trevor picked me up from the airport (thanks, buddy!) and I picked up Harvey from their house. I drove right home to drop off the dog and then went straight into the RISE office. We had a big event on Wednesday night I helped coordinate, part of the reason I left early. 

RJ had his conference there on Wednesday and left pretty early on Thursday to drive home. He's busy busy catching up today. I just have one meeting this afternoon but otherwise planned today to be pretty light since the rest of the week was so busy! 

Tomorrow is crunch time for the swap - we have to bring all of those clothes over the the hair salon/spa area where we are hosting the event on Sunday. More soon after the event, wish us luck!