Monday, September 27, 2010

All I want for my birthday is. . . . .

A trampoline!!  This trampoline to be exact: (ok, not with the green and yellow pads though)

I had a trampoline just like this when I was younger.  One of my biggest regrets in life was just throwing it out when my mom sold my childhood home.  I had nowhere to store it though.  The trampoline itself was still in perfect shape, it just needed new spring pads.  If only I could go back to the day when we placed all it's parts at the end of the driveway.  It makes me want to cry thinking about how I just tossed my beloved trampoline. 

Now that I have a home of my own, all I want to do is go out in my backyard and play on a trampoline.  Our backyard has the perfect spot for this trampoline I desire. . . .well it will have the perfect spot after a few trees come down! I've begged Gus to buy it for me for my birthday but the almost $800 price tag on it seems to be an issue (there are cheaper trampolines out there but I won't settle for anything else). I guess I'll just have to save up and buy it myself, just like I did with my first trampoline.

I realize I'm not as young and acrobatic as I used to be but I really think a trampoline would fix that!  Yes, I see stars when I do a cartwheel or a handstand these days.  Yes, I had several "incidents" on my first trampoline but all were fixed with a quick trip to the ER.   Honestly, I only had to go to the ER once and that was after my dear friend, Becky, used my body as the trampoline, instead of the actual trampoline mat. OUCH!  I went flying off into the woods a few times, once face first, but I always managed to land in a manner as not to injure myself. 
I figure I can save up the money just in time for spring!  Who wants to be on my trampoline party guest list?!?  =)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I tried to set my kitchen on fire last night.  Thankfully, I failed. 

I was making dinner and got a little distracted after I started heating the pan with the oil.  By the time I threw the ground beef in the oil was way too hot.  Oil was suddenly popping and spewing itself all over my stove.  I grabbed the pan, hoping to pull it off the heat so the oil would calm down, but instead the flame from the burner caught some oil and flared up.  The oil in the pan also caught fire.  So, I'm standing in the kitchen with flames shooting from the burner while holding a pan that is also shooting flames!!  Gus was there but his first instinct was turn on water in the sink to which I gave him an "are you an idiot, this is a GREASE fire" look.   He turned the water back off immediately. 

I stood there holding the pan with a flame at least 2 ft high for what felt like 5 minutes but in reality was like 45 seconds and then the fire went out on it's own.  WHEW!!!  I was actually impressed with how calmed I stayed considering dinner was on FIRE and only an arms length away from me.  Luckily, the ground beef was fine and dinner went on as planned. 

This is totally my life though.  I actually enjoy cooking and baking but in general, I totally suck at both.  Every now and then I have small successes that seem to impress my friends and family but trust me, those are few and far between.  The first time I ever made dinner for Gus, I ended up melting a plastic purple plate to one of the burners on my apartment stove.  I also made him a cheesecake once but forgot to add the sugar, GROSS!  He's pretty used to my failures now and we can both laugh them off but in the beginning it was pretty embarrassing!

What are your biggest cooking or baking blunders??

Monday, September 20, 2010

I'm still alive

I lost my blogging adrenaline and fell off the wagon!  I promise I'm coming back though. 

In the mean time, here are some super cute cookies I made a few weekends ago.  All of my old high school buddies had a little get together.  I made cookies for the party and for all the guests to take home with them.  My friends were a little overwhelmed with my domesticness (I made up that word) but I think the cookies were a hit! 

This isn't the best picture but I forgot to take any others!! 

Yummy little footballs!!!

And my favorite, UGA helmet cookies!  I'll admit, I was pretty proud of myself with these.  Too bad we've been having a miserable season! 

Monday, June 7, 2010

I've been a bad blogger

I apologize it's been almost a week since I last posted.  Life has been a little crazy with my grandmother in the hospital and my mom leaving town very quickly to be with her.  Work has also been busy lately. 

The good news is that my grandmother was released from the hospital today!  YAY!!   My mom and aunts have decided she absolutely cannot live on her own anymore though.  Her memory is really getting bad and they are afraid she won't be able to pay her bills and keep up with her medications if she is alone.  They haven't told her this though and it will be very devastating to her when they do.  I pray they can find an assisted living place that my grandmother will enjoy as much as her condo. 

Today I spent the morning walking a golf course and watching my brother play in a US Open qualifier.  It was absolutely beautiful outside this morning.  I was only there for 9 holes and he wasn't doing great.  I'm really hoping his day improved after I left.  I'm very anxiously awaiting news on the outcome but it will probably be a few more hours before all the players finish up. 

The next few days are going to be spent getting myself ready to drive up to VA.  My niece's 3rd birthday is on Friday and they are having a party for her on Saturday.  Then on Sunday, my sister-in-law is going to be induced to give birth to baby #2!!   I am so excited about this trip!!  I absolutely adore my niece and I can't wait to see her! 

The soon to be birthday girl

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Prayers, Please.

I need prayers for my grandmother.  Yesterday morning she was taken to the hospital via ambulance, again.  This is about her 6th trip to the hospital this year.  It's the same problem, she's throwing up and can't keep any food or drink in her system.  Currently, she only weighs 89lbs.  The doctors can't ever seem to figure out what is causing her stomach to refuse anything put in it.  

I have two aunts, one who lives in FL, Aunt D and one who lives not far from my grandmother in NJ, Aunt L.  Well, Aunt L happened to be in FL visiting Aunt D for the holiday weekend.  When they found out my grandmother was in the hospital again they tried to get to get flights from FL to NJ but due to the holiday weekend they couldn't.  They hoped in Aunt D's car and headed north, stopping in Atlanta  to get my mom.  After driving through the night, they all made it safely to NJ about 8:30 this morning. 

The doctors did some testing on my grandmother today but we still don't have any answers as to what's wrong.  It's just so frustrating that she's been to the hospital for the same thing so many times this year and we haven't made any progress diagnosing or fixing the problem. 

My mom and sisters are starting to consider whether my grandmother should continue to live alone or if it's time to find somewhere else.  My grandmother is fiercely independent and the loss of that independence will really hurt her spirit.  I can't imagine she will willingly go anywhere else.  She loves her condo, her kitty, and her fabulous neighbors.  At 89 she has a better social life than most people I know.  She plays bingo a couple times a week, plays cards once a week, goes to the movies, to plays, etc.  Her friends are wonderful to her and always make sure she has everything she needs.  She also still drives although somewhat infrequently and only short distances. 

My biggest fear is she'll move to an assisted living home and lose her vibrancy and love of life.  When my grandfather was still around my grandmother was a very shy woman.  She wouldn't go to a new store on her own, had very few friends of her own, and pretty much just kept to herself.  My grandfather died almost 23 years ago though.  About 5 years after his death my grandmother decided she no longer could keep up with their large house and bought a condo in a "retirement community".  All of a sudden she was a whole knew woman.  She changed from this quite, reclusive woman, to the life of the party.  I'm convinced if she hadn't moved to this community, she would have passed a long time ago. 

Please pray the doctors find out what is wrong and have a way to treat her.  If she could get her strength back she could easily still live on her own.  I hate being so far away but I just can't go up there right now.  My plan is to go in July and I'm really praying that she will be feeling better by then.  I would greatly appreciate any thoughts and prayers for her.  She's very much the glue that holds our family together. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

I F*ing Hate Friday

This week I'm going to change it up a little. . . .I F*ing LOVE Fridays before a holiday!  Our office closes at 3pm on holiday weekends but my group has usually vacated the building by 1pm.  It's nice to have a 3 day weekend plus a half day on Friday! 

Gus and I don't have any fun exciting plans for this weekend which is fine with me.  I'd like to take my e-ring to get it cleaned and dipped.  Last weekend when I attempted to bake the chocolate cake I somehow managed to get chocolate deep down in the setting of my ring.  OOPS!!!  Note to self - take off rings before baking!  I'm sure if the weather is nice little miss Roxey will get a few walks in.  Roxey loves to take walks.  She knows exactly what drawer we keep her leash in and when we ask if she wants to take a walk she runs over and sits below that drawer.  It is so cute!

I do have an update about my GPS - it finally shipped!!!!  Apparently, the amazon website just likes to stress the heck out of buyers though.  If I track my package on the amazon site it still says the estimated delivery date is June 11 but if I go to the UPS site it says the estimated delivery date is June 1st.  . . .big difference there!!  I am ridiculously excited about getting something I never thought I really wanted!  I can't wait to use it. 

In honor of Memorial Day weekend I would like to thank all of the soldiers and their families who have stood up for our country over the years.  I know I don't have the courage to do what they do and I admire all of them.  I have a dear friend whose husband was severely injured during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.  She has handled his injury far better than I could have.  Her strength through the last year has been incredible.  She is truly an amazing wife and mother. 

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why Amazon, Why?!?!

On Sunday I purchased this lovely GPS from

Amazon is apparently holding it hostage though and it's stressing me out.  The purpose of buying the GPS now is so I can use it when I drive to VA for my niece's 3rd birthday in June.  The estimated delivery is between June 7th and 11th. . . . .since I leave in the early morning hours of  June 10th, this could be a big problem.  Since when does it take Amazon almost a week to ship something?!?!  Yesterday I decided I'd just go edit my order to pay for 2 day shipping but by the time I tried it told me my order was being packaged for shipping and couldn't be changed.  grrrrrrrrrr.  I really thought 2 and a half weeks was more than enough time to order something from Amazon but apparently, I was wrong.  I will now spend the next 2 weeks stressing over the delivery of this. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baking FAIL

I absolutely love to bake despite the fact that it's bad for my waistline, well more like my hips and butt.  Last weekend I was bored so I decided to bake a cake to entertain me.  I was just planing on making a yellow cake with buttercream icing but then Gus mentioned he'd like me to try make Irish Cream Mousse filling.  After some more talking we decided that filling would go better with a chocolate cake than yellow.  I decided on the chocolate cake recipe on the back of the Hershey's cocoa container.  I then searched for a irish cream mousse recipe.  For icing I made a version of a chocolate cream cheese icing I had tried before. 

I've had quite a few baking fails in the past but most are because I try to be all fancy and use the convection option on our ovens.  My experience though is that convection tends to dry out cakes and cupcakes.  This time I used the regular bake setting to avoid that.  Everything seemed to be going just fine. 

I took the cakes out of the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes in the pans.  I then went to flip them out onto my cooling rack when the first cake completely broke in half!  It caught my fingers on the pan and just broke.  I had already made the mousse filling though and figured I just press on somehow.  I didn't think the broken cake would be strong enough to be the bottom layer so I put it on the top and tried to smush it together with some icing in the middle.  As you can imagine, this didn't work!!  I put the crumb coat of icing on but it was obvious my cake was going to have a big valley in the middle.  I admit, I kinda gave up after that.  I just left the remaining icing in the KA mixer bowl and stuck it all in the fridge.  Good thing this was just for Gus and I. 

Gus doesn't really care about appearances though so we've been eating the cake and just piling on extra icing from my mixer bowl.  

Here's my poor, pitiful  (yet, half eaten) cake

I forgot to mention that a big piece of the broke cake fell off when I went to stack it. . . . I just filled that part in with extra icing.  OOPS!

At least it still tastes good!! 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Proud Of My Big Brother

I have one sibling, a brother, who is almost 5 years older than I am.  I love my brother, Jason, dearly but we've never been super close.  After our parents divorced he went to live with my dad in New Jersey while I stayed with my mom in Georgia.  Living 800 miles apart makes it hard to develop a good brother/sister relationship.  He moved back to Georgia after he graduated high school but he spent most his time working and hanging out with his friends.  Jason loves to be the life of the party and gets along with almost everyone he meets. 

This is him dancing the night away at my wedding

My brother has always been in to golf though.  He loves to play the game and he loves to work in the industry.   He has the perfect personality to work at a golf course/country club.  He's very engaging and has a great memory so he really gets to know all the members.  He started off working at a small neighborhood club not long after he moved back from New Jersey.  After a few years there he got a job at a much bigger private club in Atlanta.  He started out in the bag room of this new club and worked his way up to assistant pro.  While at this course he also started working on the PGA coursework to become a certified Head Pro.  After about 5 years he moved on to another very large, well known, private club in New Jersey.  His ultimate goal though was to be a Head Pro at a private club which basically means you own and run the pro-shop.  He finally go to see them dream come true when he took the job of head pro 2 years ago at a course in Virginia. 

During his time working in golf he has also continued to play in various tournaments.  Two years ago he qualified to play in his first PGA sanctioned event which took place last summer in Albuquerque, NM.  My mom, sister-in-law, and niece took the trip out there with him and had a great time watching him play.  He didn't do as well as he'd hoped in that tournament but it was a great learning experience for him. 

Currently he is trying to qualify for the 2010 US Open.  He played in his local qualifier last week and finished 2nd!!!!  Now he has to play in sectionals on June 7th in Atlanta!  If he makes it through sectionals he will get to go play the Open at Pebble Beach!  How freaking cool is that?!?!?  My mom and I plan to go walk the course and watch him play on June 7th.   There is one slight bump in the road, if he does qualify for the Open, he will most likely miss the birth of his 2nd child.  My sister-in-law is totally okay with that though! 

Here's to wishing my brother good luck on the 7th!!  This is finally his chance to make it to a major PGA event and I'm incredibly proud of him.  I would love nothing more than for him to see his dreams come true!!

Jason and my niece, Jordyn, at the Bad Pants Open, the tournament his club always opens the season with. 

Friday, May 21, 2010

I F*ing Hate Friday

I haven't had any time to really post today so I'll keep this one short and sweet. . . I F*ing hate rainy fridays.  It's like traffic isn't f*ed up enough on Friday afternoon.  Add a few rain drops and everyone suddenly forgets how to drive.  It's a crappy way to kick off the weekend.

Seriously. . . who wants to go get in their car when traffic looks like this??

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Migraines have come to be the bane of my existence over the last few years.  They suck, the medicines that make them go away come with awful side effects, and it always seems a lose-lose situation.

I got my first migraine in January 2004 and things have been downhill since then.  That first migraine landed me in the ER because I was convinced something was seriously wrong with me.  I never imagined pain could be that severe and only have a diagnosis of a migraine.  Back then I only got migraines every now and then.  As the years went on, the frequency steadily increased until I was getting anywhere from 3-5 migraines a week. 

I've seen numerous neurologists, tried numerous preventatives, tracked my daily habits for triggers, but have had very little luck controlling the migraines.  I have found two drugs, Zomig nasal sprays and Treximet, that will make the migraine go away but as I said, the side effects are awful.  Zomig makes my skin and organs hurt, it's really very strange.  Treximet causes horrible stomach pains.  Both make me very sleepy and dehydrate me. 

Migraines are currently the biggest obstacle for Gus and I when it comes to trying to start a family.  I'm not sure I'm strong enough to fight through migraine pain without the help of drugs.  Zomig and Treximet are part of a family of drugs called Triptans.  Triptans are considered a pregnancy class C drug which means they haven't been studied in pregnant women enough and/or testing on animals indicates they can increase the chance of birth defects.  In the case of Triptans, animals given the drugs have shown a higher frequency of birth defects but animals and humans don't always react the same to medications.  More recent studies indicate pregnant women who have taken triptans during pregnancy have no higher rate of birth defects than the normal population.  These studies are very new and not necessarily something I'm ready to accept for truth though.  On my good days I try to tell myself starting a family means enough to me that I can tough it out without drugs but then when a migraine hits I realize there is just no way.  As badly as I want to start a family, I don't want to risk the health of a future baby. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

Double Wedding Weekend

Gus and I attended a wedding on both Friday night and Saturday night this weekend.  Two weddings in one weekend is fun but a bit exhausting.

The first wedding was for a couple we used to work with, Abbie & Chris.  Just like Gus and I, Abbie and Chris met while working at Mercury Insurance.  I left Mercury about 6 months after Gus and I started dating though and never actually worked with Abbie.  I met her through our mutual Mercury friends several years ago though.   Chris and Abbie are both wonderful people and fun to be around.  Their wedding was gorgeous and the rain held off until the ceremony and pictures were complete. 

Me and the beautiful bride -

Saturday night was really just a reception since the bride and groom had tied the knot in Vegas in March.  The groom, James, is long time wonderful friend of mine.  We met when I was a freshman in high school and were instantly friends.  James has always been there for me throughout the years and I truly value his friendship.  It was so nice to catch up with his family since I don't think I've seen them in several years. 

James and Me

Gus and Me

Sunday was spent running errands and spending time with Roxey dog.  I guess Gus spent more time with Roxey as I was laid up with a migraine for part of the day.  My migraines will soon get a post dedicated to them.  They suck and I feel bad for anyone else who deals with them.  We had a great week overall though!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

While carpooling with Gus one day this week he pointed out that several times during our ride I said "I fucking hate _____" and that maybe I needed a sunnier outlook on life.  I might over use that statement for things that just plain annoy me, not really think I hate.  Gus' comment gave me an idea for a re-curring blog theme, "I F*ing Hate Friday", which is a tad ironic since I love Friday, who doesn't??  It will give me a chance to truly vent about something that bothers me and then move on.  Once I post about something, I'm going to try not to let it annoy me anymore or at least not vocalize my annoyance.  My warning though, 99% of these posts will end up about driving and other drivers.  That's where most of my frustations stem from!!

So to kick it off an annoyance that I face almost daily.  I F*ing Hate people who multi-task while driving, not to include talking on a cell phone.  Mainly I'm talking about the people who do things while driving that are completely ridiculous.  One morning this week I ended up behind a girl putting her make up on.  This one really irritates me.  If you don't have time to put your makeup on in the morning, get up earlier.  She was driving about 25mph in a 40mph zone while putting on blush, eyeshadow, eye liner, mascara, etc.  It's not my fault you didn't finish getting ready before you left the house so I shouldn't be punished by having to ride behind you.  I've also seen a woman putting on full eye makeup while driving 75mph down an interstate.   She couldn't maintain her lane and almost rear-ended someone when traffic suddenly came to a stop, which is a pretty common occurrence during morning rush hour, it's not she shouldn't have expected it. 

Another shocker was the woman who was reading a book to her child in the back seat while driving down the same interstate previously mentioned.  How dumb are you?  Just because traffic is only moving 45mph doesn't mean you should be reading to your child while you drive.  You should be more focused on getting your child safely to your destination. 

While I don't mind talking on the cell phone and driving (although some people are truly not capable of doing both and should refrain, Gus is one of these people), I get really annoyed at the texters who can't stay in their line while they look at the keypad on their phone or the people checking e-mails on their blackberry.  Nothing is that important that it can't wait until you are done driving. . .or at least at a red light. 

It's like some people have no regard for the other drivers on the road.  Everything you do behind the wheel of a car affects everyone driving around you.  Your life is no more important than the person next to you, in front of you, coming up in the opposite lane, etc.  People should have a little more respect for others while they are on the road. 

So if you don't want to end up mounting another car, put down the distractions and focus on the road.  The rest of us on the road with you would appreciate it!

This picture is from a friend who is a claims adjuster, the car on top was his insured and he was texting when this happened.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Is it over yet?

This weeks seems to just be dragging by and I'm so in need of a weekend!  We've had one heck of a week in our house. . . here is the quick rundown.
 - Discover condensate pump on lower level ac unit had leaked all over the unfinished part of our basement
 - Go to HD to try to buy a replacement part for pump/look new ones. 
 - Pump can't be fixed so we go home to read reviews of HD pump, reviews are AWFUL.
 - Hike it to Lowes (there are 3 HDs within a 5 mile radius of our house but the closest lowes is 10 miles      away) and buy a pump from there.
 - Install new pump, 15 minutes later new pump cracks and leaks all over floor.  Must hike it back to Lowes to return.
 - Decide tube to outside of house must be clogged and causing the pumps to break.  Look at two HDs and 1 Lowes, all in one night, to find enough tubing to replace. 

Gus has installed all the new tubing but he didn't finish until 10pm last night and it was too late to stay up and test it.  Thank goodness it's been a little cooler down here so Roxey is fine in the house with no AC.

I'm thankful the weekend is almost here but with 2 weddings to attend I'm afraid it won't be the relaxing, peaceful weekend I really need.  Hope you are all having a better week than us.  I'll leave you with a picture of our spoiled Roxey pup, I just love her to pieces.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pets and their embarassing ways

Has your pet ever embarrassed you to the point that you didn't even want to show your face?!?!?!  This sweet, happy puppy could never do that, right??  WRONG!!

Gus and I adopted Roxey in June of 09 and from what we could tell she was just the sweetest, most loving dog, who really didn't get herself in to trouble.  That all changed on labor day weekend.  Gus and I went to dinner Sunday night and when we came back our sweet dog was acting all sorts of weird.  She didn't want to go outside but being only 7 months old I knew she should need to use the bathroom.  I forced her to go outside but once we got in the backyard I realized she couldn't stand but for more than a second or two.  Her back legs kept falling to one side.  I brought her back inside and something about her was just off.  It took me a few minutes to realize her eyes were dilated.  I tried shining a flash light in them but nothing worked.  This is the point where I start to freak out a little.  I'd never owned a dog and I wasn't sure what to do. 

Take it from me, DO NOT go google your dog's symptoms.  Your little freak out will turn into full on panic when the internet tells you that your dog has neurological problems and is going to die.  NO LIE.  I figure out the emergency vet is only about 3 miles from our house.  We throw Roxey in the car and I drive like mad.  They immediately look at her and tell me she must have eaten something toxic.  great.  The plan of action is to give her an IV to help flush her system and run a urine toxicity test to see what she ate.  We'll have to leave her there over night.  At this point, I'm in tears.  What have I done to this poor dog?  Maybe I'm not cut out to be a puppy mommy. 

Gus and I go home and try to get some sleep.  I just couldn't sleep though.  Finally, about 1:30am the vet calls to tell me the tests are back and my sweet, innocent, happy puppy, tested positive for marijuana.  I don't think I said anything for a minute or two.  Where the heck did my dog get marijuana?  So my dog wasn't sick, she was high??  Beyond that though, I am mor.ti.fied.  The vet tells me she should be ready to go home by about 10am. 

After a very restless night of sleeping wondering how my dog got high, Gus and I search the internet for pictures of marijuana plants.  We then start scouring our backyard for any plants that resemble what we saw on the internet but found nothing. 

It's time to go pick Mary Jane, er Roxey, up at the vet and I'm convinced the cops will be waiting for us when we get there.  We walk in and tell them we are there to pick up Roxey.  The receptionist goes to the back and this is what I envision the conversation went like

Receptionist: Roxey's parents are here
Vet Tech: Who??
Receptionist:  Stoner dogs parents
Vet Tech: Oh, stoner dog.  Should we call the cops?  Do they look high? 
Receptionist: They seem normal but you never know these days. 
Vet Tech:  Are you sure it's safe to send this poor dog back home with them??

So maybe that isn't how it went but that's how I pictured it.  We then sat there for over an hour waiting for them to bring Roxey up.  At that point I'm totally convinced they've called cops.  Turns out, they didn't though. 

Gus and I have since determined it was not marijuana but some mushrooms growing in our backyard.  Roxey became obsessed with the area they were growing in and they were so tiny we could never find them until we were plucking them out of her mouth.  She did get high several more times though.  Honestly, it was pretty funny.  She'd run around the house like a crazy woman, running into doors, walls, cabinets, etc and then she would just crash. 

I now see the funny in the story but that night I was so embarrassed I thought I'd never tell anyone what happened.  I had put in my fb status that we had to leave her at the e-vet and then I thought I'm going to have to come up with a lie, I can't tell the truth.  Now she's just the butt of jokes though. 

What has your pet done to embarrass you?? 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kitchen Tour

Our house has a beautiful, gourmet kitchen, that is never used up to it's full potential!  Gus and I are both picky eaters and not very good cooks.  It's pretty sad.  If we ever won the lottery I would definitely hire a personal chef. 

The kitchen was one of two reasons we bought our house.  I just couldn't pass up such a nice kitchen especially when most the other houses we looked at had tiny, outdated kitchens.  I hated the wallpaper the sellers had in there but I immediately knew what I would do with it. 

A couple before pictures: Take not of the hideous wallpaper, window coverings, and light fixture.

Being a University of Georgia fan means nothing goes better with black and white than red!  I've always wanted a red room but living in apartments I could never paint.  When I saw this kitchen I just knew it had to be red.  Not only did it have to be red, but it had to match this beauty:

I promptly took myself to Lowes to pick up every red paint sample I could find!  I'm pretty sure I came home with about 60 of them.  I laid them all out around my mixer trying to find the best match.  This task would have been so much easier of Kitchenaid would just pair up with one of the paint companies to come out with a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Paint line!  How cool would that be? 

Anyway, I finally narrowed it down to three or four colors but I just couldn't decide on one.  I hate making decisions, I would much rather someone else do it for me!  Gus wasn't interested in being the decision maker though.  He fully supported my idea for a red kitchen but he wanted me to make the decision. . . my guess is if I ended up hating the color he didn't want to have to take the fall for it!  I went back and forth on different colors but finally decided on Valspar's Quite Red

Now that the paint color was selected it was time to get busy!!!  I was over the top excited about our first project in our new home.  Well, that excitement lasted about 2 minutes.  Wallpaper is a pain in the arse to remove.  It's not like I didn't know this, I'd just never experienced it.  The kitchen had two different wallpapers and the one over the chair rail wasn't so bad.  The top layer peeled off easily and then the adhesive layer came off after being hosed down with a water/vinegar mix.  The wallpaper below the chair rail was a different story.  That stuff did not want to come off.  I finally broke out our clothes steamer and it helped a littler.  Unlike the top half which came off in nice long pieces, this stuff came off about an inch at a time.  I had several moments of total frustration where I almost just gave up.  I didn't though and eventually all the wallpaper was gone.  Of course we were left with walls that were now in awful shape.    I plastered and plastered and plastered and the walls still looked like crap.  In the future, I would just skim coat the entire room. 

After all the frustration it was time to paint. . . . .not so quick, it was time to prime.  Two layers of primer is what the Lowes guy suggested.  One sandable layer to help with all the bad spots and then a grey layer to help with the red paint.  Now, our kitchen doesn't have a lot of wall space so I thought no problem!  Wrong, the space above our cabinets is virtually impossible to reach.  Gus had to lean a ladder against the cabinets and reach back in there. . . my arms weren't long enough to even reach!  It was such a pain!  Hmmm, maybe a grey kitchen wouldn't be so bad?!?!

Ok, maybe a grey kitchen would be bad.  It took 3 coats of red to not look streaky. . . .well only 2 coats over the cabinets because you can't see up there anyway!! 
The finished product, before we decided to have some electrical work done
(The table is from Target.  I recovered the chairs because I didn't like what came on them)

We've always wanted to add some recessed lights, change out the fugly track lights, and the gothic looking fixture over the table.  Earlier this year we were having our roof replaced and decided to just go ahead and let our contractor do all the light work for us.  I'm so glad we did.  I think it's a big improvement!

Alright, I better stop now since this post is way longer than I expected!!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Why is owning a home the American dream???

Gus and I bought our house about two years ago.   I love our house, especially our kitchen and dining room, but home ownership has been quite the adventure.  Here's a list of our troubles. . .

1.  Three weeks after moving in we found MOLD in our main floor bath.  This is certainly not something we expected after just having the house inspected by someone we thought was a great inspector. 

Doesn't this look fun?!?!?

2.  About a month after finding the mold we noticed a water spot in one of the spare bedrooms upstairs.  Turns out a piece of the bay window roof was missing and there was a huge opening right into our house! 

3.  Last spring we discovered a water spot in our garage ceiling.  Turns out the master shower is leaking into the garage and could cost $3000 to fix . . .we shower in the guest room. 

4.  Also last spring we discovered that water is getting under the threshold of our front door and causing the hardwood floors to buckle.  We've yet to find the source or figure out how to fix it. 

5.  Last July during one heck of a thunderstorm and shortly after adopting Roxey, we found a puddle in the foyer.  Poor Roxey got a not very nice talking too about peeing inside until I realized it wasn't her.  As I was cleaning it up, the puddle kept forming (She ignored for about 2 hours after this).  I then discovered a trail of water running down the two story foyer wall and a nice crack in the drywall ceiling.  After looking around the attic we came to the conclusion it was the roof.  Our very sweet contractor came out at 9:30pm on a Sunday night and tacked a tarp on our in the pouring rain, lighting, and thunder. 

6.  Our chimney pan was rusted to the point of having holes so our contractor ordered us a new one.  The idiot guy from the chimney company put it on wrong and our chimney leaked into our basement causing drywall damage and nearly catching our house on fire. 

7.  Our hot water heater also died at some point last year.  We had a home warranty which covered the cost of a new hot water heater, too bad it didn't cover the extra $800 to bring our house up to new code! 

I'm pretty sure if I would let him, Gus would put this house on the market immediately.  He doesn't quite understand that all houses have their problems and that moving isn't the answer.  Plus, we'd never find another house in our price range with a huge kitchen, master bath/closet, and beautiful dining room like we have now. 

We haven't done a lot to our house but eventually I'll get around to posting what we have done, including renovating the moldy bathroom! 

Has owning your home been as much fun as owning ours?!?!?!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Two Years Ago Today. . . . . .

I married my husband!  I guess technically, our anniversary isn't until Monday but who's counting? 

Two years ago today I was a nervous mess, not because I was getting married but instead because my beautiful outdoor ceremony was being threatened by some serious storms.  I know everyone tells you to have a plan B when you plan an outdoor wedding, and I did have a plan B but, in my head I'd always seen myself getting married outside.  I just couldn't accept my plan B.  The Thursday before the wedding was when I first realized that rain was very possible and that night I cried for 2.5 hours.  My poor bridesmaid, Amanda, was staying with me and just didn't know what to do.  She finally got my mom on the phone at like midnight and my mom calmed me down.  Friday the weather report was still giving an 80% chance of not just rain but thunderstorms at the time my ceremony was to begin.  I'm pretty sure I stayed up all night Friday night watching the radar and praying the band of storms that stretched from Kentucky to Florida would somehow just skip right over Georgia.  Saturday morning it looked like the storms had moved faster than expected but there was still a possibility of rain.  We had to be at the venue by 2pm to get our dresses on for pictures and that is when I had to make the call about whether we'd go for outdoors or move it inside.  It rained on us as we drove from my mom's to the venue but once we got there it was gone and the radar didn't indicate anymore rain in the area.  Hallelujah!!!!!!  After all the tears and all the worrying, my wedding was going to happen outside!!!  The sky was full of not so pretty clouds but that was ok

After all the pre-ceremony pictures had been taken and all the guests had arrived it was finally time!  Gus, our pastor and the groomsmen entered from one side.  My bridesmaids and adorable flower girl made their way down the extremely long aisle and now it was my turn!!  Just as my mom and I stepped off the patio of the clubhouse onto the grass the clouds parted ways and the sun came bursting out.  I swear, this is no exaggeration.  It was an absolutely amazing moment and almost every guest commented about it during the reception. 

Our ceremony was short, sweet, and to the point.  I didn't really want a long ceremony to take away from the party!!!!  I love to dance and I wanted to get in as much booty shaking as possible!!! 

All in all, the day was beyond perfect.  I wish my grandmother could have made it but she just couldn't handle the trip from NJ to GA.  All of our other family, friends, and loved ones were there though. 

The last two years have been wonderful.  We bought a house, adopted a dog, and have settled in to our little family.  Gus is an amazing husband who is always there for me and knows how to take care of me.  We laugh all the time and just enjoy life.  I'm so thankful to have found Gus (I can promise when I first met him, I never dreamed he'd be my husband one day.  He just wasn't my "type"!).  I can't wait to celebrate many many many more anniversaries with him. 

How cute is she??

This is one of those "what the heck was I doing??" moments!

This is probably my favorite picture from the wedding

Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom-Mom!!

Today is my grandmother's 89th birthday!  I hate that I can't be in New Jersey with her to celebrate so a blog post about her will have to do.

My grandmother, Mom-Mom as we call her, is the life of the party in our family.  My grandfather, Pop-Pop, died very suddenly and unexpectedly almost 23 years ago.  Before he died my Mom-Mom was a very introverted person who wouldn't go to new stores alone and really only had friends that were couple friends.  After Pop-Pop's passing we all worried about Mom-Mom being alone in their big house.  About 5 years after his death she decided to sell the house and buy a condo.  This was one of the best decisions she ever made and in my mind helped her live so much longer. 

Mom-Mom bought a condo in a retirement community where everyone has to be 55 or older to purchase.  They offer all kinds of activities and events to the residents.  It only took Mom-Mom about a year to turn into a social butterfly.  Every time I called she had plans to go to the movies, play cards, play bingo, go to a fashion, etc.  It was amazing how my introverted grandmother had turned into such an outgoing person.  Having so much fun also keeps her from feeling "old".  A couple years ago Mom-Mom was having some trouble doing tasks around the house because of pain in her legs.  One of her neighbors, who happens to be about 10 years younger, suggested she get a few tools that have helped her deal with daily tasks.  Mom-Mom's response was "I don't want those, they are for old people!"  I love that she doesn't see herself as old. 

The last two years have been hard medically on her with a couple small strokes and a fall that caused her to break her hip but she keeps chugging along.  At 89 she still lives by herself and drives, although not very far and only in the day time.  I can only hope that I am as happy and independent as she is when I'm that young! 

Here are a few pics of my dear sweet Mom-Mom.
This is my brother, Jason, dancing with Mom-Mom at his wedding.  Everyone at the wedding kept telling her she looked like the Queen Mum.  She loved it!

My brother, mom, mom-mom, and niece.  4 generations

Me and Mom-Mom when I was up there at Christmas.  I look horrible!

Mom-Mom reading to my niece.  Her face is very bruised because she tripped and fell on her face the week before.  I love how in to it my niece is. 

Happy Birthday, Mom-Mom!!  I love you and can't wait to see you in June!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stolen Post - A River Under The Ocean

I'm stealing this from a link that was posted on a blog I follow because I think it is just too freaking cool. 

These pictures were taken by Anatonly Beloshchin in the cave Cenote Angelita, Mexico.  His description of the site: "We are 30 meters deep, fresh water, then 60 meters deep – salty water and under me I see a river, island and fallen leaves… Actually, the river, which you can see, is a layer of hydrogen sulphide.”  

If I wasn't completely terrified of scuba diving, I'd have to put this site on my bucket list. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Puppy Smiles

Well, maybe they aren't really smiling, but they sure were having a good time together. 

Roxey and her friend, Kai, had so much fun playing together when we puppy sat Kai.  I happen to looooove this picture, most people seem to be a little frightened by it though.  I currently have it as the wallpaper on my work computer.  Earlier this week I had to contact our IT department to fix something.  The poor guy didn't know what he was in for when he remotely took control of my computer and minimized all my windows.  His shock was quiet evident by the nervous laughter coming from the other end of the phone.  I promise, both puppies are sweet as can be and not at all the vicious dogs displayed in this pic!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Working on Curb Appeal

Gus and I bought our house in July of '08.  The house had been vacant for close to a year because the previous owners relocated to Pittsburgh.  In that year the yard had been very neglected and was way overgrown.  I'd also say the previous owners had horrible taste in landscaping!  We've continued to neglect the yard since we moved in though.  I'm pretty sure this annoys the crap out of our overly anal neighbor across the street.  He's the type that mows his yard several times a week and when he isn't mowing he's grooming it in some other way.  I can only imagine the stress it causes him to look at our mess of a front yard. 

Although you can't really see how bad it was, here is a picture of our house when we bought it:

Do you see the giant crepe myrtle about to overtake our bay windows?!?!  Yeah, we got rid of that almost immediately.  What's the point in having a two story bay window if you're going to hide it with an overgrown tree???  Not to mention, it was causing the bay window surround to rot away.  Sorry tree, you're pretty but you had to go.  We also trimmed back the other tree that was growing into our roof!

Last year, Gus did a little digging up of dead bushes and we cleared out one island that was covered in Lamb's Ear.  Here is a picture of lamb's ear in case you've never seen it:

I'm not sure about you, but I'm not a fan of this stuff.  There was so much of it and it just looks so boring and gloomy.  After we cleared that island we filled it in with black mulch.  Nothing fancy, but it definitely looked better. 

During our recent monsoon season, most of the black mulch was washed away.  We decided we should put pavers around the island to help keep mulch in and to plant some colorful flowers.  Now, I'll admit, I've NEVER planted flowers in my life.  I've watched my mom do it many times but I've never actually participated.  Sad, huh?  I tried to lay them out first but during the actual planting I didn't do a good job of centering them.  Oh well, it's definitely an improvement. 


(Notice those beautiful bags of mulch sitting on the rock. . . . . they've been in that exact spot since last August. . . .ooooops.  We even hosted Thanksgiving and didn't bother to move them.  Don't try to be cool like us though, the bottom bag was infested with ants, gross.)


It's not much, but it's definitely an improvement and hopefully the petunias will get a little bigger!  Now, we just need to put some plants in where the crepe myrtle used to be and clean out the island that is down by our sidewalk and we won't be that yard in the neighborhood anymore.