Feeling Inspired

I’d like to start this post by saying thanks to Shaw, for the inspiration to spread our decorating wings. We miss ya!

When decorating a room there are always tough decisions to make. There’s paint colors, window treatments, furniture layouts…the list goes on and on.  When all those things are combined you make a room you will be sitting, working, and sleeping in. It’s a great accomplishment and feeling.
We had a friend come in town this past month for a wedding. While he was here he stayed at his parents place in his old room. Like most people, when our friend moved away he took almost everything with him. One night Stephen, myself, and a friend were talking and we decided it would be nice to make our friend feel more at home in his old room (you know, like it was before he moved away).  Well, with the lovely combination of my creative eye, and Stephen’s wit, this is what we came up with…

Zach Efron and Neil Patrick Harris!!  oh ya

We have a purple boombox, Grease Soundtrack, and Nail Polish :)

Yes, that’s a poster on the ceiling, you know, so he can stare at it while falling asleep!

A closer look for all you ladies out there ;)

Now I must admit this is not exactly how he left his room, but it was definitely good for a few laughs.  Actually, now that I’m thinking about it I need to go get those posters back…

Hittin' the pavement

It’s unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims. It makes people nervous to see someone running. I know that when I see someone running on my street, my instincts tell me to let the dog go after him.” – Mike Royko

Something in me has developed a serious aversion to intentional exercise. My figureing is that no task should be torturous. If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.

As much as Cassie loves being outdoors and being active, my belief has always been that exercise (i.e. running) just for the sake of health is tedious and boring.

My perception of this has not changed.

However, I have started a program called couch to 5k. It’s a beginning runner’s program designed to train someone who spends no time running or exercising to be able to run a 5k in nine weeks.

If this were just a walking/jogging program that would make me a slave to a stopwatch, I wouldn’t spend ten seconds on it. But this is a little different for a couple reasons.

First, I’m listening to a podcast while running. Actually, it’s a little more than that. It’s a podcast designed specifically for this program by Robert Ullrey. It’s already measured out the times that I’m supposed to walk and the times I’m supposed to spend running so that I’m getting an audio cue of when I need to start and stop. As a bonus, Robert is very motivational in encouraging the listener to push through the tougher parts of the routine.

Right now I feel like an mp3 player with this podcast would be more than sufficient to help anyone through this program. The podcast makes it entertaining to do this. But the other tool I’m using makes it fun to look back at what I’ve done: my iPhone. Now, on it’s own, the iPhone can only track where you are through the use of its Maps application. But I’ve downloaded another app (and a free one!) called RunKeeper.

RunKeeper does a couple things for me. First, it keeps track of lots of statistics. Time, distance, time spent on each mile/km, speed, and elevation, RunKeeper tracks them all for me. And beyond that, it maps all of this information out for me on the RunKeeper website.

This is super rad

First, there’s the map that tracks my route. Then, below that, there is a sweet graph that tracks my speed (in blue) and elevation (in green). Below that is an area that displays notes that I want to make about this session, an area to share the URL of this data, and a table of how long each mile took (The last mile in all of these tables is extrapolated from the average speed in that mile so far. As the couch to 5k program takes you through a five minute cooldown walk at the end that last mile’s time is going to seem high unless I stop the program right after I finish the last round of running).

Finally, looking at all of this data after I finish has a very satisfying psycological effect. No, I couldn’t run a marathon (let alone a 5k) right now if I tried. But I’m progressing, and that’s something!

For the curious, I’ve shared out my run from this morning. You can view all of the gritty details here (a note: my speed and elevation and mile times are not accurate as I did not set up the GPS piece properly this morning. The route taken, distance and overall time are all correct).


The Endless Web

As crazy as it sounds I have been hearing the phrase “Christmas is just around the corner” a lot lately. Now while this sounds absolutely CRAZY to me, it got me thinking about how I should try beating the last-minute shopping rush this year. I have become a big fan for on-line shopping over the past few years, and these are some of my recent finds that had me laughing, but also considering … you know, since I’m married to a bit of a nerd ;)   Check these out, it’s crazy what you can find on the Internet:

Starting out a bit serious:

A Digital Measuring Tape

A Digital Measuring Tape


Then something for work:

Nice Work Polo

Nice Work Polo


Something helpful for home:
     (to promote men cooking)

Yes, Star Wars Cookbooks

Yes, Star Wars Cookbooks


A nice weekend t-shirt:

Who doesn't love Star Trek?!

Who doesn't love Star Trek?!


For our Savings Account:

A Nice Piggy Bank

A Nice Piggy Bank


For Nighttime Reading in Bed:

Everyone loves Pop-Up Books!

Everyone loves Pop-Up Books!


 I would never buy this:
(for fear that Stephen would forget about me for weeks)

Yes, a 7 X 7 Rubix Cube

Yes, a 7 X 7 Rubix Cube


These are just a few things I found on 1 website, and in just a few minutes of looking … there is just so much stuff out there!  I hope this has gotten you thinking, it’s just about that time to get Gift Lists together for family. Be kind and prepare early this year. Give your families plenty time to spare, you know … so they can enjoy the Christmas season!

Sunday Lunch

Cassie and I are over at her parents for lunch to celebrate Jason’s 24th birthday (which was on the 13th).

Wings are almost done so we’re about to head inside!

Update! I got a picture of Jason and Kelley. She’s doing her Godzilla impression!

Lap Desk

Almost a year ago Stephen surprised me with an early graduation present. After a (secretly) long search he got me a wonderful compact laptop. The technical term for it is a Netbook. The computer is called an Eee PC and fits perfectly in just about every handbag I own!  Apparently Netbooks have become very popular over the past 6-8 months. I think it’s due to their great price (under $400) and portability, which makes it ultra cute (yes, cuteness does got into account for women)!  Stephen could not have done a more perfect job picking out a laptop for me, I love it!

Since Stephen works with computers for a living I have learned a lot of things from him. For example, did you know that you are NOT supposed to put a laptop on your lap?  Unless you sit with your legs spread far apart to allow ‘breathability’, laptops are off limits to your l-a-p. Pretty much anything with fabric that is not a hard surface is a no-no (yes, including your couch and bed)! I was clueless about this info pre-Ringl.  To avoid your computer from overheating you should always place it on something solid.
Since discovering this important information I have been on the search for a lapdesk. Something I can use that will make it possible to watch Hulu.com in bed again, without getting the eye from Stephen…

This weeked, after months upon months of searching, I finally found the perfect Lapdesk! So with a 20% off coupon, and gift card, I headed to Bed Bath & Beyond to return home with my very own lap-buddy.

August 09 025

As you can see it has a flexi-light, pen holder AND cupholder.  How cool is that?  Is a cupholder a good idea right next to a laptop?!  Probably not (or definitely not as Stephen told me), but that’s what water bottles with caps are for!  :)
I wanted to let all you laptop people out there know about this great buy! You can find it at Bed bath & Beyond, or click here and buy it on-line, shipped direct to your doorstep!
Here are some more super-cool photos:

MyPlace Cozy Laptop Table

As an endnote I wanted to mention that it has a carry handle and cushiony bottom for ultra-comfort. I have used mine almost everyday, including on a car ride to Mississippi. The LED light is perfect for reading a book or writing letters.  Enjoy!

Project Hacking

I was recently reading an article online about a new coined term. “Project Hacking” is used in context to when people get design idea’s from one place and make their own version of the same thing.  With recent changes in the economy it is becoming more popular for people to see furniture and decor that they would have spent top dollar on 3-4 years ago, and are now choosing to find less-expensive alternatives.
This of course is like a summary of one of my greatest passions; it’s like house flipping, but with furniture. I love it!  I am in awe that this has become so popular they have coined it it’s very own term.

I know my projects and “cheap home decor” aren’t near as intense as the people referenced with this term, but I think I’ll apply it anyway.  I, Cassie Ringl, am a Project Hacker!

Now getting back to hacking, here is a follow-up picture from a previous post:


My friend Kelly got to hang her project that we worked on while she was in town.  Seeing the completed project on her wall makes me real excited about designing my own version!

Kaley's 1st birthday

Here’s Cassie at Kaley’s 1st birthday. I’m sure she’ll post the picture’s she took soon, but for now I’m going to get back to trying to remember everyone’s name.

Although if I do forget, I just bring up that Cassie thought a good gift for a one year old would be a jump rope. Hilarious!



Today I’m going to feature a very skilled artist that I met. She has that artistic ability that I only wish I was born with!  She is a local resident of Pensacola and is finishing out her MS degree at the University of West Florida. I love it when people want to decorate their home and can do so just by getting an idea in their mind and grabbing a few paintbrushes to make it happen. Being a local artist isn’t always easy in Pensacola. While Pensacola does have a few museums and an art gallery or two, it’s nothing major.
So without getting into too many details, here is her most recent work:




These pictures don’t do the work justice, but I wanted to give you an overall idea of how she used 2-canvases to make a larger piece. These pictures were right after it was completed, as you can see from them still sitting on the easel. I have one of her pieces, and it is currently gracing the hallway to our guest bedroom.
I just love paintings!  Probably more so because I can’t do them myself.  I tend to over compensate for my lack of artistic ability by getting frames and hanging them around our place.

Are you wondering who the feature-of-the-week artist is? Well let me tell you:  Her name is Miriah Brown.  If you are family/friends then you probably realize that she is actually my sister…(hehe)  I actually met her over 21 years ago, when she was born. She has a brilliant mind and a creative eye and I thought it was time I brag a bit about the youngest of my siblings.
She has several pieces that she has done and I plan on posting those soon, so stay tuned!

Smore, please

Think back to the days of summer camp.  When you sat at a campfire with friends or family. What was one of the best things about those moments?  Let me tell you, it was the joy and purity  of a delicious smore! Yes, you remember the kind. 2 graham crackers around a delicious marshmallow and piece of melting chocolate. Yes, those were the days …

However, smores are no longer a thing of the past. This weekend some friends came over to play some cards and we re-visited the joy of smores…

August 1 Fun 001 August 1 Fun 013 August 1 Fun 012
August 1 Fun 014 August 1 Fun 003

Okay okay, sure this isn’t your normal scene for smore-making. I guess you could say we kinda brought Smores into the 21st century. We used forks instead of metal hangers and candles instead of a massive bonfire, but heck we live in Florida and it’s stinkin hot out there!

So take after our example…get to the store and buy those 3 wonderful ingredients. If you join in on the Awesome-Summer-Time-Smore-Extravaganza snap some pictures. I’d love to have a follow up post of your experiences!