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Allan in Texas

7 Jun

Just thought you’d like to know that I started this post January 25, 2013.  Today is June 7, 2013. #GetOnIt

And since this blog is also for our “Dear Diary” purposes, I suppose I should go ahead and finish this one up about Allan’s move to Texas!

Big thanks to everyone who decided to spend their very first night of 2013 at Iron Age to surprise him with a dinner…. which was only kind of a surprise:

Iron Age Send-Off

The very next morning, my mom and I got into the car with Allan and began what would end up being an 18.5 hour car ride.  Let me give you time for that sink in. Eighteen. And a half. Hours.

It was basically a whole lot of this:

Heading West

After stopping at least once in every state to use the restroom, Allan firmly informed Mother and I that we were absolutely not stopping anymore…. Allan = Road Trip Grinch!  😉

By the good grace of God, we all made it without chopping each other’s heads off and spent the night in a motel – that’s pretty much all we could find at 1 am in the outskirts of Odessa.

The very next morning we headed to the leasing office and I watched my baby brother sign his very first big piece of legal agreement…. *tear*

Allan Signing His Lease

The following events were the usual things involved with moving… and I may be speaking for myself, but I had fun with the moving and shopping!

Purchasing Necessities

Purchasing Necessities

Allan and I put everything together while my mom made as much food for him as possible.  The best part was probably the fact that we had snow while we were there, which is also unique for the city according to the locals. Btw, he was one of the first ones into the complex….

Snow and Buildings

And here’s a little snapshot of the place:

Allan's Apartment

Although we had our first meal eating like this….

First Meal

…. we did manage to get out and explore the city too.

Mexican Olé!


We also had a lot of fun in between…. I don’t know these two:

Crazy Asians

We miss Allan like crazy…. we did finally get to see him again Memorial Day weekend when we came home.  It was almost harder to say good-bye the second time around… definitely did some crying after he left.  So we basically count the days until we can see him again….

But I feel better knowing that he has beautiful morning like this to see {with all that flat land everywhere}:

Departure Morning

Note the oil pump thingies

As long as learns what to do for tornado drills and keeps lots of sunscreen… I will worry less!  Until then… I hope you know how much we miss you, Allan!

Love For Allan


Note… Can anyone explain to me why there are so many big ass trucks everywhere in Texas???

Allan's Work Truck

Allan’s Work Truck

Let There Be Light

14 Feb

The Earnest household is shaking a little right now… so distraction is proving to be the best thing for the moment.

This e-card from Christy and Ava helps:

Valentine's Day Card



Whenever my mother comes into town, she comments on how dark our house is… and I was starting to agree.  I feel like we had to turn on all the lights all the time just to get some decent lighting.  Therefore, I decided to change the lights to a brighter, whiter light when I painted the office.


These lights are CFLs, so they give you the power of 60W while just using 13W.  The prices aren’t bad either… a 4-pack for ~$8.  The biggest different is that these are deemed “Bright White” instead of “Soft White,” so they have a 3500K warmth as opposed to 2700K.  Chris thought it was a little less intense than the “Daylights” at 5000K and I agreed with him, since the space isn’t incredibly large.

Light Deets

And…. we loved it.  And, by “we” I mean “me.”  Chris says he likes the yellow lights more.  But it makes me so happy to see white light… so I responded, “I hear you and I understand, but I am going to change ALL the lights now.. mmk?”  Chris (shakes head): “Okay. Whatever you say.”

So I bought 3 more backs, the only difference being they were 900 lumens vs. 800 lumens as above.  According to the packaging, I shouldn’t have to worry about these lights again until after we should be moved out of here.

And for a (blurry) side-by-side, while ignoring the in-progress blah bathroom:

Yellow vs. White

I love the brighter, whiter lights and am so happy to have gotten rid of them all.


And, for the life lesson of the moment:  this brush does not work for my hair:

Not My Style

Confirmed it.

Your Average Thursday… NOT

10 Feb

So, I got to experience this:

YHL Amazing-ness

some serious cheesing on my end

That’s right…. Mind. BLOWN!  After working all day, an alumni happy hour event for Emory, and an hour and half wait in line…. I got to meet John & Sherry from Young House Love!  You may have noticed their names pop up throughout my posts because they, along with Katie from Bower Power, were the reasons I wanted to keep track of things I did around the house.  They both write as if they are speaking directly to you, so I shouldn’t have been so surprised at how welcoming they were in person.  They were so amazing and so kind!

I have to admit, I was kinda nervous right before going up to meet them, so there may have been random words thrown around and my mind was a complete flurry of mess.  When Sherry learned my name, she asked if I was a twin… I let them know that I had the next best thing – a best friend named Nina!  I thought it was a hilarious question as John kindly explained that Sherry believes all Nina’s are twins.  Ha!  Sherry also complimented me on my outfit, which, coming from the queen of color-pops…. MADE. MY. WEEK!

But the cherry on top?  Katie and Jeremy were in another corner, with their own line, and with new baby Weston.  When I got up to Katie, the event was nearly over and I don’t know if it was the free wine that Flor provided for us, or the sheer joy of it all giving me helium-brain, but it was almost surreal to have Katie Bower (!!!) joking with me.  We talked about my pants (again!) and then how Chris and her brother in law both work at Case Mate.  We laughed, we joked, we complimented each other and I cannot tell you how hilarious she was.  I even had to apologize to Sherry for holding Katie up because YHL had finished while a group of girls were still waiting their turn to have a picture and autograph with Katie.


Yes, I realize that the pictures are blurry, but the memory is still there!  The picture on the right is right after she shoved my butt up in front trying to hide everything but her face, so we made up for it by diva’ing it up.

Thank you guys for everything!  Meeting you all in person makes me adore you more… and I can’t wait to see what all you guys do in the future! 

Other fun things to note: 

Loved this girl taking pictures for everyone…. and yes, I made sure to tell her that not everyone can pull off a one-piece like that.

Outfit Love

Creepin’ a little

Shout out to some new girls I met while waiting in line.  These two had just met that night too, believe it or not:

Keeping Warm!

A Bit Windy….


Things to Change (Attempting Counts) in 2013: New Year Resolutions

28 Jan

Chris and I haven’t even talked about resolutions this year.  And we are almost into February.  So let’s run through some, shall we?

(1)  Apologize less for not keeping up with the blog.

I don’t have a set deadline for blog posts.  They just kind of get done whenever I can get the time to edit the pictures and write the words.  I am usually not apologizing to any single person except myself.  I set the expectations for myself pretty high and though I’d LOVE to hash out 2-3 posts a week, I just don’t have the time to do it.  So I apologize when more than a week passes without a single glimpse at NinaSquared.  I gotta stop doing that.  It’s starting to get annoying.

(2)  Last year, I had hoped to save up for a new DSLR and my parents made that dream come true.  Therefore, this year, I am setting a goal to save up my own money for a new lens or two.  Oh, and a new desktop would be oh-so-lovely.  (*ahem*Chris*)  I’d love to do more with my camera and though I’ve been able to have fun with it (with Mommy & Me moments and even doing a shoot for Wendy and Henry’s Save-the-Dates and Nina and James’ Christmas cards), I know more opportunities are yet to come.  And it’s so. much. fun.

(3)  Since our roles in the home have reversed – I am no longer a student and Chris is now in B School – I am going to work on getting more at-home meals under my belt.  We’ve already gone WAY over-budget for the monthly restaurant portion this month because we are hardly ever around to do any cooking.  We’re going to kick ourselves in the butt when we have children (not now, calm down)… they’re going to get so fat.

(4)  Live it up.  While we are childless, Chris and I plan to do more traveling.  You know, start walking the walk instead of always talking the talk.  We are native Georgians and it makes me sad to think about how much we are missing out on.  Hopeful spots for this year: Asheville, Denver, California, Mexico, and Florida to name a few.  Oh, and I can definitely add Texas already!  Thanks, Allan!

So, there we go.  Ready, 2013?  I am.

One Less Choi

25 Jan

… in the hizzouse, I mean.

Almost a full month into 2013 and I’m only working out my 3rd post.  Yikes.  So you shouldn’t be surprised when I say I haven’t even figured out my resolutions yet.  (Luckily I met most of my goals last year)

Christmas was wonderful and Chris and I have decided we will not be the type of people to pay a bunch of money to get into a bar for New Year’s Eve anymore.  And we’ll leave it at that.

January 2nd, I was on the road for 18.5 hours with Allan and our mom because Allan got a job…. in Texas!  Midland/Odessa to be more accurate.  The car ride was exactly what you’d expect.  Allan basically threatened me though because he got tired of me asking for stops.  In that loving, brotherly way.  totes.

A few days in Odessa and Midland though… won’t lie – it’s pretty comfy there.  They have everything you could want… besides a decent mall.  But restaurants, Starbucks, Target, Marshalls.  Got ’em.  We were pretty sad to leave him behind and I can’t wait to go back again.  Maybe I’ll buy cowboy boots for when I’m in Texas.  And buy a truck.  Everyone and their mother has a truck there.. not like the little ones either.  Atrociously large ones.  Including Allan:

Allan's Massive Truck

Can you imagine him driving that thing? Yeah. Exactly.

And I have many more pictures of his new and humble abode (let’s also add super nice and new) to come soon….

Since returning from Texas, I’ve been doing a lot of that work thing.

But whenever I have a moment, I try to keep on working on the house:

Office_In Progress

More to come! Enjoy your chilly weekends!

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