a new look

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In honor of my upcoming move to a new city & embarking on a new career... I gave the blog a fresh new look! I updated my "little miss holls" header on the sidebar, as well as the sidebar titles. It's not much, just a sprucing up that fits me better :)

Hope you all are enjoying a 3-day weekend & wherever you are, the sun is shining bright! :)

DIY painted wall calendar

Friday, May 27, 2011

When I came across this project a while ago, I immediately bookmarked it for future reference. One day when I'm all grown up & have a house all my own, I'm going to re-create this painted chalkboard wall calendar. I have a few ideas tucked away to please my aesthetics (maybe more decorative edges, maybe piece a decorative frame around the calendar, come up with a more creative way to label the days, etc...). I look forward to making this project my own someday. Lets all cross our fingers that it happens sooner than later... ;)

Tools and Materials
Black chalkboard paint
White chalkboard paint
Measuring Tape
Painters' Tape
Make Custom Color Chalkboard Paint.

Here's how mine could turn out! I created this one super fast in photoshop. I think it would be fun to add some wall decal borders from this website or this one, or some other decorative touches to give it a more personalized look. 
What do you think? 
Would you ever try this project in your home?

I've got some exciting news to share with you all!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I really & truly believe that if you want something to happen, you've got to do it yourself. I believe that if you want a change, you have to be the one to make it. I am a firm believer in persistence & hard work. You just have to posses the motivation and drive to accomplish it.

Lately, I have felt like I needed to make a change in my life, most specifically with my career. My job is fun & there are a lot of perks (which people seem to comment on, have their own opinion about, & remind me of daily), but it was getting to the point where I was outgrowing my position & there isn't any room for growth within my company. I had to make a decision; do I stick around doing the same thing over & over & run the risk of getting stuck in a rut, or do I make a career change & try to move on to something more challenging? For me, the choice was an obvious one. Although I knew I would miss my life in sports, I knew that I needed to make a change. Don't get me wrong, I loved my job, there was nothing wrong with it, I just needed a change.

When I first started working in sports (almost 6 years ago now) I thought I would stay in the industry forever. Working in sports in college & into my late twenties has been such an amazing experience. But I got to the point when I was ready for a change.  Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss this environment; I've had some amazing opportunities & experiences. It's a part of my work history that I definitely wont ever forget. 

Here is the change that I made...

I am happy to announce that I was offered a new position with a company that is far from the professional sports industry. Squeal! I am beyond ecstatic about this new opportunity & new chapter in my life! (I don't think I mentioned yet, but the position is located 3 hours south of me, in Portland!) Double squeal! I've worked really hard for this, I'm super happy & can't wait to share more as I get more acquainted in my new role.

While I am super excited, I also feel a great deal of sadness. I thought when I got a new job offer I wouldn't be anything less than ecstatic.  (And while I am ecstatic...) I am also overcome with emotion when I realize that I wont get to see all of my co-workers everyday that have become my family over the past three years. Three years ago when I moved to Seattle, I started a whole new job in a whole new city & I did it all by myself. It has been a very successful three years, both personally & professionally. I am going to miss what I worked so hard to build,  what contributed to my strong sense of independence.

On the flip side, it's comforting to know that I have a great future ahead of me. I'm going to have a new career in my favorite part of my favorite city. Luke & I will no longer be in a long distance relationship & we can finally work towards doing all the things that we've dreamed of for the past two years (which in itself, is another huge factor in accepting this new position). I can't wait for all the changes, challenges & happiness that lie ahead :)

Weekend in the South: Part Two

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Here is the final recap of our trip. I somehow managed to take 563 photos down to about 30 or so after these last two posts. Go me!

We woke up on Monday morning at the grammys house (on Kentucky Lake), said goodbye to his parents & his grammy & then started our two hour drive to Nashville. We saw a lot of flooding & then... a lot of nothing. We couldn't believe that the trip went by as fast as it did. We were sad to be heading to our final destination, but also super excited that the destination was going to be Nashville! :)

After a few hours in the country music car, we arrive in Nashville! Sadly, we only had three hours to spend in Nashville, so naturally we hit up as many bars as we could. We met up with Jenni's friend Tommy, who works works for Phil Vassar & had as many beers & shots of Jack that we could fit into those three short hours. 

After three hours in Nashville (at the bars, mind you) I was convinced that we needed to move there. It's a decent sized city & the country music was blasting out of every door you walk by! Why wouldn't I love that?! Seriously, Nashville was a fun city; we're planning a trip back soon & staying much longer! See, I even let the facebook world know:

NashVegas, I miss you already!

 p.s. I also knocked another item off of my 30 before 30 list! "Visit a new city each year"!

Weekend in the South: Part One

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I know I am a little late to post these, but you try sifting through 563+ photos... :) It's gonna take a couple of blog posts to show you all, so keep checking back here! :) Here are some photos documenting the first part of our trip (from Nashville to Missouri). I hope you enjoy them:

Jenni & I met up at the Chicago airport & hopped on the same plane down to Nashville.  After a few hours on planes and a quick layover, we arrived in Nashville an hour later than we had planned. We got our rental car & ventured on over to Sikeston, MO; 4 hours later. (I'm glad that she was there with me, because otherwise it would've been a long & boring drive by myself.)

We had beers awaiting our arrival at a mini family reunion & after a long night we had to wake up early to set up for the wedding the next day....

I know that it's really hard to tell from the reception decorations, but it was in a dive bar (only in Sikeston, MO...). Luke, Jenni, myself & their parents tried as hard as we all could to transform that place! I think we can add something like "wedding reception design" to our resumes now... I only wish I would've taken a picture of the place before; total night and day. 

I still have more pictures to post from Kentucky & Nashville. Stay tuned and those should be up soon.  

I hope you enjoyed these, we all certainly had a lot of fun in all of them :)

Guest Post: Yoko from Lucy&Larry (& a Giveaway!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I lent my blog to Yoko, & she is taking it over & sharing some fun baseball themed travel stories. I especially love this post from Yoko because we are both trying to complete the same goal (you'll find out what it is when you read her post!). Oh & she is doing something a little special for you all at the end of her post... :)

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Hi there, friends of Little Miss Holls! I am honored to be writing my very first guest blog post.  My name is Yoko and I am behind Lucy & Larry.  Like Holly, I also live in the Seattle area (we work together!).  My two passions are baseball and making jewelry and I am super excited to bring a little bit of both to you all today.

My college BFF Anna and I made a pact our senior year to visit at least one new ballpark together every summer.  I thought this was a brilliant idea, not only because we are both big baseball fans, but also it gave us a great excuse to make sure that we make time to see each other every year (she lives in Chicago).

Sidenote- sadly I am missing my photos from 2006. They were victims of a computer hard drive crash.  Public service announcement: back up your files!!!

April 29, 2006 – Jacobs Progressive Field – Cleveland
May 3, 2006 – US Cellular Field – Chicago
May 13, 2006 – Miller Park – Milwaukee
May 14, 2006 – Wrigley Field – Chicago
We got off to a hot start at the end of our senior year, hitting up four ballparks in a span of about two weeks.  Cleveland was about a four hour road trip for us from Notre Dame, but I insisted we had to go to this game.  Why?  I’ll sum it up in three words: Grady. Sizemore. Bobblehead.  I had to have one.  I still see him on a daily basis as he sits on my desk at home.  I didn’t make it to the nearby Rock & Roll Hall of Fame + Museum, which I regret.  Texas Rangers 7, Cleveland Indians 5.

The two Chicago parks were a no-brainer, and let’s be honest, we went to several games during our four years of college, this was just the first time we went after making our pact.  The White Sox played my Mariners this evening, with former Mariners pitcher (and one of my former faves) Freddy Garcia starting for the Sox.  Sorry White Sox fans- this ballpark is the least exciting of all the ones mentioned in this post.  Seattle Mariners 5, Chicago White Sox 6 (11 innings).

We had a great time at Miller Park too, and added another bobblehead to the collection.  It was Derrick Turnbow “REAL” HAIR bobblehead night.  How cool is this!?  I really like Miller Park- of course the sausage race is a highlight and I also get a kick out of the big slide their mascot goes down following Brewers home runs.  They also tailgate!  Sadly, Derrick Turnbow took the loss on his own bobblehead night.  New York Mets 9, Milwaukee Brewers 8.

Wrigley Field is always a blast. Sure, there are nicer ballparks, but what a FUN place to watch a game! I never sat anywhere besides the bleachers.  The whole neighborhood is great.  GO WHEN YOU CAN!  San Diego Padres 9, Chicago Cubs 0.

August 7, 2007 – Busch Stadium – St. Louis
August 9, 2007 – Kauffman Stadium – Kansas City
In 2007, I went out to visit Anna who was living in St. Louis at the time.  Mostly what I remember from this trip is being hot- like, HOT- and feeling permanently sweaty and praying for air conditioning.  It was 96 degrees at game time on August 7.  Game time was 7:10pm.  And it was still 96 degrees.  I thought I was going to die.  I do not do well in this kind of weather!  But hey, the ballpark is amazing, wonderful view and great fans.  Also to do in St. Louis: Budweiser headquarters!  I just love the Clydesdales.  The beer’s not so bad either.  San Diego Padres 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0.

We hopped a bus to Kansas City.  The best part about that is that the ride was air-conditioned!  We had some time to kill once we arrived in Kansas City so we went into a drugstore and bought some poster boards and markers to make a sign describing how we felt about the day.  The game time temperature was only 91 degrees this time.  We also visited the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum which I would say is a must-see!  Minnesota Twins 0, Kansas City Royals 1.

June 9, 2008 – Yankee Stadium, New York
June 10, 2008 – Shea Stadium, New York
For the second year in a row, we had to go somewhere that was experiencing their hottest most humid days of the summer.  I repeat: I do not do well in this kind of weather!!  I am glad, however, that I was able to get to see these two ballparks in their final seasons.  The Yankees game was in the afternoon with a game time temperature of 94 degrees.  We were in the bleachers and there was not a cloud in the sky.  The ESPN recap I just revisited about this game states the weather as “partly cloudy” but I wholeheartedly disagree with this- I remember because when a solitary cloud came over us at one point, everybody actually cheered and applauded for this kind cloud that gave us a taste of relief from the scorching heat.  I mean, they were giving out free water!  If a ballpark handing out FREE water isn’t a sign of relentless heat, I don’t know what is.  Kansas City Royals 3, New York Yankees 2.

The next day was a slightly different story, and I’m sad to say it’s one game we didn’t make through till the end- but not because I passed out from heat exhaustion, surprisingly enough (game time temperature was still 90 degrees).  We were interrupted by a major wind/lightning/thunderstorm after the sixth inning.  You can see the debris already covering the field in this quick photo I snapped before we ran for cover.  Arizona Diamondbacks 9, New York Mets 5.

May 15, 2009 – Safeco Field – Seattle
Hands down the greatest ballpark in baseball and I’m definitely not just saying that because I’m biased.  What?  Seriously though, just look at this gorgeous view.  I made Anna come to me this time after suffering through the heat the previous two summers.  It worked out because the Red Sox are Anna’s favorite team (take it easy on her, she’s a New Hampshire native so she can’t help it) and she doesn’t get to see them very often these days. I love any chance I can get to show off my beautiful city and ballpark, and fortunately the weather cooperated (65 degrees, thank you very much)! Bonus: Ichiro hit two home runs.  Boston Red Sox 4, Seattle Mariners 5.

May 21, 2010 – PNC Park - Pittsburgh
We were able to check out the Pirates last year en route to a wedding outside of Pittsburgh.  Minor frustrations before the game while I waited in line at three different will call windows before I was finally able to pick up our tickets, and then naturally I found a seating host who couldn’t tell me where our seats were (this would never happen at Safeco Field!).  Once we settled in though, I realized that PNC Park is actually kind of beautiful.  I love how they have “Pirates” cut into the hedges in the outfield and the sight of the Roberto Clemente Bridge is just awesome. Atlanta Braves 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 0.

There’s where Anna and I are so far on our Great American Ballpark Tour- 10 parks down, 22 to go (due to the two new NY parks, we’ll have to go back!).  Where summer 2011 will take us is still up in the air and I will happily take suggestions in the comments below.   

What ballparks have you visited?  Which is your favorite?

And as an extra special treat for my readers, Yoko has graciously offered to give away a baseball-themed bracelet from her Etsy Shop. Not only is Yoko a super awesome co-worker of mine (Go Mariners!) but she is also the creater of some pretty stinkin' beautiful jewelry over at Lucy & Larry.


I made it back

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm back to Seattle, back to work & back to reality. We had a super fun time roadtripping through the south. We have many, many, many stories that I'm sure we're gonna be laughing about for a long time.

The wedding was good, the country music car rides made the time on the road pass by a little faster, all the family stories (from Luke & Jenni's relatives) were hilarious, the food probably made me gain a few pounds & the beers were flowing like water.

I took over 400+ pictures that I need to try & filter though in the next few days. I'm going to make cd's for all the family! Here are just a few that I took from my phone throughout the weekend:
me and Jenni on the plane to Nashville from Chicago... 

the wedding reception at the local dive bar. we did our best to transform that place...

the bartender handed us a newborn kitten? only in Sikeston. Mo...

Luke & I, sad we have to leave Nashville...

Listening to live music & drinking beers before our flight...

Nashville bar for lunch...

a frog from the Cracker Barrel...

Tootsies in Nashville... 

PS. Did you check out all of my guest posts from this past weekend? Thanks to Jillian, Alisha & Ashley for taking over while I was gone. One guest post is missing though... When Blogger went down for a day, so did my first guest post... I will have to make sure & put it up tomorrow! :)

Guest Post: Ashley from That is All

Monday, May 16, 2011

Polka Dots

Hi, everyone! I am Ashley That is All. If you visit my blog you will discover a few things – I’m a redhead, I have a nail polish obsession, and I love the area where I live.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I know that one day I may move, but I really can’t imagine living someplace else. I have everything I could possibly want right at my fingertips (museums, historic sites, great restaurants, shopping). I even have an series on my blog dedicated to fun things you can do in D.C. and the surrounding areas in Virginia and Maryland.

Now, maybe you are thinking, “It’s easy for her to find cool places because she lives right next to the Nation’s Capital!” You can too, no matter where you live! I follow a lot of blogs from all over the world, from big cities to the most rural of towns, and I love to see when people really connect with where they live. A great example is Danielle from Sometimes Sweet. She loves small town life and blogs about her area quite frequently. Would you like to start exploring your city more? Here are a few ideas….

1. Follow bloggers from your area. I have a little bit of a girl crush on LoveTaza (I know, I know, who doesn’t?). But other than thinking about how cute she and her tiny family is, I get great ideas for adventures because she lives close to me. When she talks about interesting museums or pretty parks or yummy restaurants, I take note. Then next time Jeremy and I are wondering where to eat, I can suggest someplace we haven’t been before.

lemon pancakes

2. Pick something you love then research! Frozen yogurt, crepes, coffee, art, live music, hiking – what is your thing? You know what I’m talking about – something that you get excited about. I love brunch more than a person probably should. So I did a simple search on Google for the best brunch spots in Northern Virginia and D.C. I compiled a list of the most highly rated and am slowly making my way down the list. I have visited parts of my city I didn’t even know existed! You can do the same thing with whatever you are passionate about.

Birthday Tea Party

British Tea Pantry Birthday Party

3. Be a tourist for a day. Pretend that you have a friend visiting you for the first time. Where would you take them? Any attractions your area is known for? Do you know a great local coffee spot that would make Starbucks look like gas station coffee? GREAT! Support local businesses. It is so good for your area. A girlfriend of mine recently had a birthday. Could we have gone to Olive Garden to celebrate? Sure, but we’ve all been there and done that. Instead I did a little internet research and found a local tea parlor owned by a British couple. Not only did we have a perfect afternoon, but my blog post about the day got new people to visit the tea pantry – win win!


4. Take your camera for a walk. There is something about having your camera with you that can make even a short walk around your neighborhood fun. Looking through a lens helps you see things in a different light.

I hope these tips give you some ideas. Get out there - create your own adventures. :)

That is all.
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How great was Ashley's post?! I am so thrilled that she agreed to guest post for me today as I am galavanting through Nashville, TN! That's right, no more barn weddings, receptions at the local bar, or driving through the middle of Kentucky; I am spenidng my day exploring Nashville! Anyways, big thanks to Ashley for wrapping up the guest posts on my blog. Please check her out here, I promise you wont be disappointed! :)

Guest Post: Alissa from Rags to Stitches

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hi, my name is Alissa and I blog over at Rags to Stitches. I'm so excited to be guest posting over here at Little Miss Holls. Thanks for having me Holly! Hope you're enjoying your time in Missouri.

I live in Southern California and while I did not grow up here, I love to calling it my home. There are so many amazing things you can do, see and experience here. Being a mom of two little ones I really enjoy finding activities that they will love.

You can't live in California and not go to the beach. This is one of my favorite beaches to go to, Corona Del Mar Beach. I have to admit, I might be a little bit bias to this beach because my in-laws live not too far from here. I find that this beach doesn't get too busy, especially during the week and you can even have small bonfires down by the pier. I love staying to watch the sunsets, they are phenomenal! I have yet to see two that look a like. My kids love the sand and when they are not trying to eat it, we make sandcastles and run around.

On a hot day I love taking my kids to the Turtle Fountains at the Irvine Spectrum. Water springs up from the ground and out of the turtles mouths. I have so much fun watching my kids try and catch the water as it sprays out! Often times we will head to the mall, enjoy the fountains, and then grab some a bite to eat before heading home for nap time. I love how this mall is outdoors so you can enjoy the great weather while walking around and getting some exercise in. Oh, and I have to admit the shopping is pretty great too! This mall is home to one of my most favorite stores, Anthroplogie

Disneyland, everyone's home away from home. This is one of the single greatest attractions within 20 minutes from me. I have to admit that while my children love all the Disney movies, we don't have passes to Disneyland, but we do love to go if we are given the opportunity. It truly is a magical place!!! This adventure will take you an entire day, but if your kids will nap in the stroller, it's totally worth it to stay till the fireworks. Their fireworks are amazing!! 

Pretend City in Irvine is one of the best locations to take young children, if you have them. This entire museum is filled with toys that will allow your child to use their imagination to explore and learn what it's like to be a doctor, teacher, carpenter, policeman, fireman.... you name it, it's there! If I could have yearly passes for my family to anywhere in Southern California, it would be Pretend City. We could easily spend hours in there exploring each room. I promise your kids will sleep so good at bedtime!

Now I can't talk about great places to go in So California without talking about the mountains. I know you're going to think I'm totally crazy, but there is snow located two hours from my house. My house, where it never snows!! I love it and so do my kids. During the summer you can head up the mountain and spend a few days relaxing and skiing, jet skiing, tubing, and kayaking in the lake and during the winter you can go tubing, snowboarding, skiing and snow shoeing. Our family spends Christmas up in the mountains and let me tell you, it wouldn't be Christmas if there wasn't snow on the ground. Here are my kiddos enjoying some time in the snow.

I love traveling and exploring new places. In fact I grew up in Southeast Asia, but that's a whole other post. What are some of your favorite places to travel to?

I'd love for you all to stop by and visit me on your journey: blog, twitter, facebook

LABELS: Rags to Stitches, disneyland, pretend city irvine, big bear, irvine spectrum, corona del mar beach, california

Thanks again!
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Thank you Alissa, you're so sweet to post for me while I am out in the Midwest/South part of the country. At this time right now I am probably driving from Missouri to Kentucky & trying to avoid most of the backroads that have been wiped out in the floods - exciting stuff :)