6 Things Stories: My Office

I decided to start doing my “6 Things” series recently because I love how everything in a house has a story behind it. I started with 6 Things Stories: Our Den and now we are moving on to My Office.

While my office is filled with things that have all sorts of memories attached to them… I narrowed it down to just 6.

Thing 1: Cotton Monster

This is my very own Cotton Monster, handmade by a Baltimore-based fiber artist. Many years ago, I was at a work event that had a raffle and the Cotton Monster was one of the prizes. I wanted it SO BAD… and did not win it. However, one of the accounting partners at the firm I worked at DID win it by accident. And not even knowing how much I coveted it, walked by me on the way out of the event, handed it to me and said “enjoy” before disappearing off into the night.  

My adorable little monster is soft and ridiculous and always makes me smile! He also appears in the background of many of my #ootd pictures on Instagram, back when I used to leave the house regularly for work.

Thing 2: Voices of the Year Award

This is my Voices of the Year award (aka a VOTY), which is basically like the blogger version of the Emmy’s or the Tony’s. Back in 2016, I submitted one of my posts to be reviewed through a juried program with a minimum of three rounds of judging. Out of the thousands of submissions for the 2016 VOTY awards, fewer than 5% of them made it through to become an Honoree. The piece of writing that I was honored for was really special to me, because it is about some of the simple pleasures of being a mom. You can read it here: I Want You.

Thing 3: My Watercolor Painting

I’ve always been an artsy-fartsy-crafty kind of person. I love to create everything from tie-dyed shirts to embroidered pictures. I’ve tried pretty much every craft out there, including stained glass and hand throwing pottery on a wheel. I LOVE to create. However, I can’t draw worth a crap. At the beginning of the pandemic, I bought myself a watercolor set and an acrylics set and just allowed myself to play. This is one of the paintings I made and I love it.

Thing 4: Jack’s Note

Over the years, Jack has always been the kid who has made me little notes and pictures. One day a few years ago, he found a piece of wrapping paper and wrote this note on the back of it: To Mom. I love you so much. I like your hard work.” He painstakingly sounded out each word and carefully wrote each letter. Sure, some of the words are spelled wrong and he was a little loose with his capitalization and punctuation. But it is absolute perfection to my momma-heart.

Being a full time working mom is hard — I want to be awesome at my job and I want to be awesome at being a mom. I added Jack’s note to a photo frame with some pretty backing paper and it hangs right over my desk.

Thing 5: My Relaxation Corner

Each morning before I turn on my laptop for yet another day of pandemic inspired teleworking, I have a little ritual. I light a nice smelling candle and settle in with a cup of coffee, before attacking the emails that came in since I had logged off. If it’s a super stressful day, or I’m on a call where I have to keep my cool… you’ll probably find me with one of the little shells or rocks in my hand. Just smoothing it like a worry-stone. My friend sent me the llama-corn planter, but the plant that came in it is long gone. I recently bought a couple new ones… and they’re still alive. So yay!

Thing 6: All the Craft Organization

As I previously mentioned, I love being creative. This bookshelf is basically my home version of Michael’s. Do you want some embroidery floss to use for cross-stitching? Yup, got it. How about some super soft yarn to knit a blanket? Yup. Some jewelry making supplies? Some fabric paints? A metal stamping set? Glitter? Yup. Yup, Yup, and Hell Yup! Not only do I have a little bit of everything, it’s all organized and labeled so I can find whatever I need. So whenever inspiration strikes, I’m ready to create!

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Jack’s Book Recommendation: Princess Pulverizer

Source: Amazon.com

Jack has been enjoying a new reading series, so I wanted to share it with you all in case you have a young reader in your life! The interest for this latest series came out of an online class with the school librarian where she told the kids about different books they can check out though the school’s online borrowing system.

I was in a meeting, but as soon as I hung up my phone Jack burst into my office with a list of book titles written on his whiteboard.

One of those titles was Princess Pulverizer.

Knowing literally nothing about the book other than the description literally made my kid excited to read, I immediately clicked over to my Amazon account and ordered the first three paperbacks.

Parenting Rule #108: If my kid is interesting in reading a book, any book… I’m buying it!

Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons by Nancy Krulik (find it here on Amazon)

Source: Amazon.com

Synopsis: Princess Serena (or as she prefers, Princess Pulverizer) doesn’t want to be a princess–she wants to be knight! But her father, King Alexander of Empiria, thinks she still has a lot to learn when it comes to exhibiting valiant behavior. So, he presents a challenge: the princess must first go on a Quest of Kindness and perform good deeds to prove that she truly deserves to go to knight school. With help from a friendly dragon named Dribble and a perpetually terrified knight-in-training named Lucas, can she complete her quest and discover what it really takes to be a hero?

You guys, if I could hug the author, I totally would. This is a real, actual CHAPTER book with a Lexile score higher than my kid is currently testing. However, he loves this series so much that we have been reading a chapter each night. I read a page, he reads a page, and we go back and forth until the end of the chapter. He doesn’t complain that I’m making him learn… he LOVES IT.

We just finished the second book of the series together, Princess Pulverizer: Worse, Worser, Wurst and he liked it as much as the first one. Even though he thought the wizard was kind of mean.

There are 8 books in the series and I am happy to buy all of them if it helps my kid to be excited about reading!

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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My Dyson Vacuum and Costco’s Return Policy

Source: Dyson.com

Way back in 2017, I decided that I was sick and tired of buying vacuums that would smell like death within a few months of normal use. I did a bunch of research and decided to purchase a fancy vacuum… specifically the Dyson V7 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum.

It checked ALL my boxes: it was cordless, you charge it by attaching it to a wall mount, and the battery lasted long enough that I could vacuum one level of my house at a time before needing another charge. It was also bagless, so I could just dump the yuck directly into the trash.

When I was researching the vacuum, as always there were a few different places I could buy it with varying prices. Back in 2017, the Dyson V7 was brand new and the price was right around $400. Which to me is A LOT for a vacuum. My choices narrowed down to buying it at Bed Bath and Beyond or buying it at Costco. It was about $20 cheaper at BBB… but I went with Costco specifically for their return policy.

As we all know, it is only a matter of time before a vacuum breaks… no matter how much you pay for it. The Bed Bath and Beyond policy only covered the vacuum for one year. However, the Costco policy was much, much better.

Costco’s Return Policy: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase price (exceptions and additional info here) That’s right. If the vacuum breaks EVER, they will return your money.

So, I happily went to Costco and bought my new vacuum. I mean I wasn’t *happy* about spending $400 on an appliance. But you know what I mean. So yeah, this was way back in April 2017 and I had four years of awesome vacuuming experiences.

And then last month, my Dyson stopped working.

While I had tentatively planned for this to happen one day, I was suddenly nervous about whether Costco would really replace my broken vacuum. Even worse, I couldn’t find my receipt.

So, I loaded up all my vacuum pieces into a bag and drove on over to Costco. I walked up to the friendly guy at the Member Services desk and let him know that my vacuum stopped working and I’d like to return or exchange it. He scanned in my membership card, started click-clicking around on his computer and immediately pulled up my receipt. Within a couple minutes, he refunded $400 to my credit card.

It was THAT EASY.

To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I couldn’t believe that I could walk in with a broken vacuum cleaner in a bag with no receipt from 4 years ago and they would magically give me my money back. As an added bonus, they now had a newer version of my vacuum for $75 CHEAPER than I paid.

So, of course I turned right back around and gave Costco back my money to buy the Dyson V8. I mean, with a return policy like that they have certainly earned my business!

Disclosure: Not sponsored. I wish it was… Costco, call me!

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