Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Becoming the CHO

Today is my last day of work as a full-time employee at my company. I'll be here with the same office, same desk, chair, phone, e-mail and everything again tomorrow, but it kind of feels like a new chapter for me. I'm taking a step back in my career to go part time for a while and become what I am calling the "CHO" or Chief House Officer. Yes, cheesy I know. I'm excited about it. I think part time will be an absolutely perfect family schedule for us. Just enough time for me to give to my daughter and my family, and just enough time for me to give to my job. It's the best of both worlds really - yoga pants and fingerpaints two days a week, suits and Starbucks the other three days a week (yes I'm being sarcastic here....).
But as excited as I am for this new schedule, I'm also nervous. I'm technically resigning from my company and becoming a contractor for them. This is new for me, I've been an employee of one company or another for 12 years now and I've never had to worry about recording the hours I spend on projects. Getting used to that will be interesting.
I'm nervous about sidelining a solid job and a career path. The recent recession was scary enough to make everyone a little more nervous about decisions like this. My job was a treasured possession during the recession, something I was and still am grateful for given how many people lost their jobs. I'm afraid to give it up for a less predictable contracting position.
I'm also nervous for the reduction in salary. Granted it's basically only one fifth of our total household salary that I'm giving up and I don't think I'll have a problem going back to budgeting. I'm more nervous about this because it means I'm becoming more dependent on my husband to support me and our family. Not that I question his ability or his desire to support us at all, I've just liked being independent. I like making my own money, having insurance in my name, being my own financial support system. Anyone who knew me back in the late 90's knows that it took me a while longer than the average person to gain financial independence from my family. I got into a little too much debt from having a crappy job in Chicago and enjoying shopping and night life a little too much. It took me a couple of extra years of dependence on my parents for a place to live and financial support to claw my way out of that mess. I fear being dependent on anyone because it took so long for me to become independent. But that's just my own irrational fear and I know there's no reason to think that by going part time I'll slide into financial instability and dependence again.
Anyways, going part time should be an amazing way to balance family and work life, a perfect combination of both worlds. I hope it works out for a long time and we can make it work as a family. And I hope that it gives Bean an example of how as a woman you can be successful enough in a career and still lead a great family life. There's not enough of that these days. I hope that part time is more commonplace when she enters the workforce so that she doesn't have to fight for it as much and won't have to take as much of a step back in her career in order to have some balance in her life. One can hope.
Cheers from the new CHO.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Ideas Tuesday - Made By Joel

I usually have links to several different sites on New Ideas Tuesday, but this week I found one site that I feel deserves its own post. I recently discovered this amazing website by artist Joel Henriques, The website is a very creative site that shares all kinds of great children's art activities and other ideas for kids for free. For FREE - that's what I love about it other than how awesome the artwork actually is - here is an incredible artist who has spent hours and hours creating such great artwork and activities, and he is totally open to sharing this with the world. What an amazingly selfless thing to do. I personally have already used several of the project ideas, free printable coloring sheets, and free printable paper cities with my daughter. They are the best and Bean loves them, and they are so easy to use with a little bit of cardstock and a printer.

Here's a few of my favorite posts. Definitely check out the Paper City series for several great scenes to print out. I love the Sydney Opera House and Luna Park set.
The latest is the Paris set and I totally love it:
The Duck and Goat coloring sheets are awesome too and so great for an easy toddler activity. There's several great ones in the Coloring Sheets set to check out.
We live near the ocean and we're always finding driftwood at the beach, so I liked this post on Driftwood Fish.
And this one, fleece play squares for babies is great, I'll be using this one for our next baby for sure. 
Definitely check out You'll love it and I haven't even scratched the surface for all the great ideas on the site.

Photo of the Day - Blue, Blue Sky

This photo is actually from yesterday on my way to the train in the afternoon, near the Edward Brooke courthouse. I've always loved walking through the pavillion over there, the contrast between the gray of the courthouse and the blue of the sky is always so pronounced. Yesterday was even more pronounced - the blue sky looked so beautiful after the misery from the storm the day before.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Growth Charts for Girls

A few of my favorite growth charts for girls.

My personal favorite Eiffel tower vinyl wall decal available in all different colors. I don't know if we can fit this one in Bean's room with our low ceilings but we will if we can!! Found on Etsy here.
Another favorite, the Brimfield canvas chart, found on Etsy here.
Vinyl wall decal available in several colors from Etsy here.
Personalized princess canvas from Etsy here.
Japanese Garden growth chart from Amazon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday at the Beach - The Calm Before the Storm

We spent today at Crane's beach with friends. It was beautiful. Definitely the calm before the storm with hurricane Irene heading our way tomorrow.

Featured Etsy Artist Friday - Big Ted Little Ted

I love these hand made pictures for kids by artist Big Ted Little Ted, found on Etsy.

Fall Style

I can't believe it's almost fall here already. It feels like summer just got started!! This will go down as the shortest summer I've ever experienced. And we're ending it with a nice earthquake and a hurricane just to top the short season off with. Well, if it's gonna be cold again, at least I can try and look good!!! Here's a few of my favorite styles for cooler weather:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Want This - Vintage Camper Birdfeeder

Sweet, I totally love this and want it for my backyard! I bet it would attract really awesome, super hip birds too. Ha. No but really, I dig it. You can find it from Etsy seller Strictly for the Birds.

Chalkboard Quote Wednesdays

Ok these quotes aren't really on a chalkboard, but they'll have to do.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Ideas Tuesday

A few of my favorites from this week:

Cardboard ideas - TONS of ideas for reusing cardboard for fun toys and games for kids. This will be GREAT for long winter days at home. From Pinterest, via Lil Magooli, via ikat bag
Easy and cheap candle display, which I'll have on my mantle this Christmas from here
Painted tin cans for storage, from here
Framed letter DIY project, and link to an Etsy seller who sells the letters and completed projects here

Bean's Big Girl Desk - In Progress

I've been working on painting Bean's desk for her big girl room-see this post for the original inspiration piece and the paint colors. I have so many projects that I want to do - it makes me happy when I actually have one in progress. So far I LOVE the color, Krylon's Blue Ocean Breeze. It's a great spray paint, it goes on evenly and dries smoothly. You can't tell at all that it's spray paint. I think I'll be using that brand again for other projects, it's so easy.

Here's the desk before:

And now here's some "in progress" pictures, with two coats of paint so far. I think it'll need two more coats, for a total of four. It's several coats and probably will end up being four cans of spray paint. But that's still less than $30 total and WAY easier than regular paint. I think each coat took about 10 minutes. After I'm done with the spray paint layers I'll be adding some glittery white details, and I think it'll be perfect.


Monday, August 22, 2011

What We Did This Weekend - Maine

A few of my favorite pictures from our weekend in Maine, Vacationland.

Started the weekend off right with a lobster lunch when we got there at the Muscungus Bay Lobster Company, complete with wine. Mmmmm, the best Maine meal ever!
Ok not so sure we like that stuff yet - mom and dad are ok with that, the $4 PB&J is just fine with us for a few more years!
Chillin at the house with Nunnie and Gragra
  Little miss
 We found lots of grasshoppers, including this big guy who Bean was really excited about.
More chillin, eating candy from the best penny candy store ever, Granite Hall.
Running up the field to the house.
 Playing airplane
 We visited the Pemaquid Point lighthouse, and hiked around the grounds. 
And then, for a final lunch for the weekend, a trip to the best pub ever in Damariscotta, King Eiders, where we discovered Baxter beer - my new favorite. You have to admire a pub with a ceiling full of beer mugs. Some day we will have one of those!!

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