Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mocking Jay Spoiler Alert

I've finally finished The Hunger Games series and, unlike what seems like the rest of America, actually liked the last book.  However, instead of giving you all the reasons why, I want to go straight into the Peeta vs. Gale discussion.  If you haven't read the books don't let me ruin it for you- stop reading this post now.

So here it goes.  I'm Team Peeta.  Yeah, I said it.  I like Peeta way better than Gale.  He loved her from the beginning... it didn't take him years to feel that way and he certainly didn't have the advantage of her time and attention which Gale did and still took forever to respond to.  And sure, while I don't like some of the things that happened to Peeta in Mockingjay, in the end I'm happy that he got it together enough to have a real relationship with Katniss (finally!).   Lastly, I'm t.h.r.i.l.l.e.d that she threw in the epilogue; I don't know what it is but I love catching a glimpse into the far future for characters.  It's like I just can't leave the story at that point, I have to know more about the characters before I can be done with a book.  Call me quirky.

On another note, I can see why some might view the last book as a little abrupt.  Personally, I feel like I have closure and nothing went unanswered for me (again, thank you epilogue).  Plus, it jsut helps when I'm happy with an ending since that can make or break my opinion of an entire book.   I loved the series and so did Jake, we give it four thumbs up!

Monday, December 19, 2011

easy holiday treat

I came across this holiday pretzels recipe on Pinterest and they are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. We like them so much that I've already made them for both of our work Christmas parties... and with any luck I'll find some festive containers and give them out as gifts. 

Here is everything you need to know to make them yourself, enjoy!

what you need:
-bag of M&Ms
-bag of square pretzels
-hershey kisses (2 bags)
-parchment paper

-Heat oven to 170°
-line cookie sheet with parchment paper
-line pretzels along cookie sheet and center a hershey kiss on each
-bake for approximately 6 minutes
-remove from oven and press down each kiss with a M&M
-let cool then place in fridge

lessons learned:
-the white chocolate kisses melt faster (6 min is plenty) so if you're going to mix them with the regular hershey kisses then try putting them on separate cookie sheets and add another 1-2 minutes for the milk chocolate kisses
-once out of the oven test if they are ready by pressing one down with an M&M to make sure they flatten; you do not want them to look like Rolos (they'll break off too easily)
-keep them refrigerated until serving (they just take better)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Catching Fire

Ahhh, I knew the Hunger Games series would be good, but I had no idea I'd like it this much!  I've finished Catching Fire and am already onto the third and final book in the series.  The suspense is killing me and I even packed my nook in my purse this morning hoping for some reading time during lunch, but I wasn't so lucky.  Of course, I'll let you know when I finish and what I thought about it, but obviously you can tell I'm enjoying it.  However, if a book doesn't end quite the way I'd like you can forget me having anything nice to say about it.  I don't know what happens, but it's like I forget everything I liked leading up to the end because I'm obsessing over how I wish it had ended differently.  The same thing goes for movies.

Also, per my usual WW update, I've lost another 2.6 pounds and am less than a one pound away from having lost a total of 10!   Once I hit that, I'll be back to my wedding weight, although I'm not looking exactly the same.  I mean I can tell I'm losing a little weight here and there but I still feel pretty hippy, so where I'm losing is different from where I gained... but so goes a lot of people's stories.  Regardless, I'm happy to see the weight coming off and revel in the compliments from Jake.  I know we've been together forever, but it's always nice to know the person you try the hardest to look your best for notices.  He's been really great, constantly telling me how proud he is of my progress and it's really encouraging.  I still have a lot to go, but I can't complain about the results to date. 

As always, thanks for all your support.  I love hearing it, despite that on average it takes the people around you 12 weeks to notice the change and I'm only 4 weeks in (a little tidbit from Alison, my sister-in-law, who also has lost a ton of weight!).  Not to mention the fact that some of you are sending the love my way and haven't even seen me! 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

a book and a couple pounds

I just finished the first book in The Hunger Games series and really enjoyed it (I can already hear my sister Dani's 'I told you so').  The best part of finishing it was that the interest driving me to start the second book was easily met by a quick download to my nook.  This officially marks the first novel I've started reading on my nook and so far, so good.  I have to admit I was a little worried I wouldn't like reading from it it as a paperback book (and I don't completely) but I know I'll appreciate it the next time I'm traveling and can bring as many books with me on it as I'd like.  More than once, I've finished a book sooner than planned and had no other options OR I haven't already started a book prior to leaving and have to pack several to provide options (I never know what I'll be in the mood for!).   Overall, I'm glad Jake bought me one for my birthday and I'm sure he's glad to see me finally using it.

On a separate note (although it's not too much of a stretch to jump from something hunger related to talk about weight), I've lost almost 7 pounds so far on Weight Watchers and I'm really excited about it.  It was really nice to step on the scale at the end of a holiday weekend and have still lost over a pound that week.  I'm starting to see my clothes fitting better and the chub in my cheeks has definitely lessened (or so people say).  I know seeing more weight come off will be a slow progression, but the little bit so far as been a big motivator.  Hopefully my weigh in this Sunday will mark another pound down.  My goal was to see 1-2 pounds each week, which considering I'll be on this plan during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's it'll be nice to potentially be losing weight during the holiday season compared to gaining it.

Thanks for all the encouragement you've been sending my way, it's been nice to read/hear it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

weekend catch up

Jake and I had one of those weekends where we didn't have an overwhelming amount of structured plans, but enough that we were out of the house as much as we were in it.

-Friday night we really wanted to rent Horrible Bosses and of course couldn't find it at a single Red Box close by; instead we opted for Green Lantern, which I wouldn't recommend.  I love Ryan Reynolds, but in general the story was sort of corny... and there aren't enough shirtless scenes to make up for that fact.  We did eventually snag Horrible Bosses on Sunday and it was worth the wait... hilarious.  I'm still shocked that Jennifer Aniston played that role- she did fine, it just didn't seem like a character she'd play.  Whatever. I still loved the movie.

-Saturday Jake went to "man night" where each guy was given his own rotisserie chicken to eat and glass of home brewed beer to drink.  I guess that's their idea of fun?  Meanwhile I went to a girlfriend's house to eat brownies and watch Millionaire Matchmaker (the host has lost a ton of weight!)... how different our evenings looked.

-Sunday I did my first official weigh in since starting Weight Watchers a week ago and lost a a total of 4.6 pounds!!!  Jake and I talked about it Friday night and I mentioned that I would be thrilled to lose 2 or 3 pounds, so I'm sure you can imagine my surprise Sunday morning; I actually got on the scale 4 times just to make sure it was accurate.  I'm really proud of the progress and while I know it will slow, I'm feeling pretty encouraged to stick to the plan and be honest about my points each day!  Now if I could just lose another 2 pounds when I weigh in this Sunday I'll be really pumped.

-Ooh, Sunday I also finally found a pair of black flats.  They are more memorable so I can't wear them all the time, but they are cute on and comfortable too.

Audrey Brooke Autumn flat

That covers most of the weekend.  I wish there was more to share but like I said earlier, it was one of those not-so-overwhelming weekends- this is what that looks like for us.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I debated whether or not to blog about this topic but figured whoever was still following my blog was probably a close friend or family member, and if that was the case then I'd probably tell you anyway.

So the big confession is that I've officially signed up for Weight Watchers- I weigh in and start counting points first thing tomorrow.  A friend of mine has gone through it both ways and said if you're honest then the online option is just as effective.  Since I'm sort of private when it comes to details about my weight and measurements I think online is the best choice for me personally.  Plus, another person at work is about 5 weeks into her online plan and has lost almost 20 lbs; I'm hoping her success will continue to motivate me and I get the feeling she'll be working to hold me accountable as well.

Right now I'm still working through my goals and learning their point system and how to make the most of their website tools.  I'd LOVE to lose 15 lbs. by January and am hoping that is realistic considering the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays will both hit before then.  All I can say is that I'm 10 lbs heavier then when I got married 2 years ago and I wasn't skinny mini then, so this is long overdue.

Wish me luck!  I suspect there will be more blogs to come about this uphill battle and hopefully some successes to share as well!

Friday, November 4, 2011


I grabbed the book, Semi-Sweet by Roisin Meaney when Borders was going out of business and it was 80% off.  I do judge new books by their cover unless they come well recommended and so far that system has worked out for me.

This novel appealed to me for a couple reasons- the title, the price, the fact that cupcakes were involved, and the main character was named Hannah Robinson (which is the name of a friend of mine).  Considering these were the motivators for my purchase, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

The entire book rotates through a few main characters' love lives and everything is somehow interconnected.  The concept reminded me a lot of the movie, Love Actually, which I also liked.

That's all I'm going to share for now... to be honest, I just wanted to get some sort of post up for you guys and figured committing to this (since it was recent) was a good way to get back on track. Let me know if you are really interested in more about the book though- I'd be happy to share.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Portland Head Light
As promised, Jake and I went to Maine for five days to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and it was a-w-e-s-o-m-e.  A little known fact is that despite being together forever this trip marked the first time we flew on a plane with each other.  Isn't that strange?  

Anyway, we left for Boston at o'dark thirty and once there, took the "downeaster" to Portland.  Portland is a foodie town right on the water.  There are tons of shopping boutiques, breweries, restaurants, and art galleries... it's definitely my kind of town.  We did a little shopping and a lot of eating and walking around for two days, it was the perfect balance.

Next on the list was Newry which was a couple hours from Portland and is best known for the Sunday River ski resort turned Fall festival when we passed through.  This town made it on our list as a way to break up the trip and gave Jake an opportunity to get some exercise in by signing up for their 12 miles Mountain Epic trail run.  He asked if I wanted to do it (or one of the shorter distances) but I think you all know what my answer was.  He ended up doing well despite spending the first 30 minutes straight running uphill and having to climb 8 summits total.  Are you starting to see how appropriate naming the race, Mountain Epic, was?  (As a side note, Jake is using the word "epic" way too much since we've been home).

After just one day in Newry, we finally made our way to Bar Harbor... and it was worth the wait!  There wasn't a thing about the town of Bar Harbor that I didn't like.  We rented a small cabin close to Acadia and spent most of our time in the park sightseeing.  I have a good story to share about one of our park adventures but that's worthy of its own blog, so stay tuned.

We wrapped up the trip by driving back down the coast, stopping in Freeport, and spending just a few hours in Portland again before catching the bus back to Boston.  I had such a great time and was happy to celebrate our anniversary together in such a fun place!  If Maine isn't already on your radar as a travel destination it should be now.  I could tell you more if you're interested... for now enjoy a handful of photos from our trip!

Bass Harbor Head Light
Barn in Newry
Sand Beach in Acadia

Thunder Hole in Acadia
View from the top of Cadillac Mtn in Acadia

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

book obsessed

I am obsessed with Emily Giffin's books (you know it's true)!  I can't pinpoint what it is about her writing style exactly but I've managed to read her last two novels in just a few days and have found myself moderately upset that that's it... I've officially run out of options for now!  I've even taken to stalking her website in hopes that there will be some PR announcing her next book as soon as she's got one lined up!  Creepy, I know, but I got lucky.  I stumbled upon a preview for Where We Belong coming to stores in 2012.  Oh boy!!!

I read Baby Proof and Heart of the Matter, in that order, but wouldn't suggest saving Heart of the Matter for last; out of all her books it was my least favorite.  Don't get me wrong, I love ALL of her books, but if I had to put them in order I would probably go with:

1. Baby Proof
2. Something Borrowed
3. Something Blue (you have to read this directly after Something Borrowed. period.)
4. Love the One You're With
5. Heart of the Matter

The only thing I might reserve the right to change is placing the Something Borrowed and Something Blue series first, but that would be it.  Honestly, if you like a single one of novels then you'd like them all.  Don't take my word for it, read for yourself.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

oh my word

One of my company's larger events is finally over and I feel like I'm back to an almost normal schedule.  It's been pretty crazy and I haven't been able to be my usual social self.

I started to blog about the past few weeks (mainly regarding work) but then decided since that hectic season is almost over I don't really want to revisit the stress associated with it.  So, let's not.  I got back from Phoenix late Friday and leave for Boston early Tuesday.  It doesn't feel like enough time to be home and I've realized I'm not at all what some call a "road warrior".  Nope, it just isn't for me.  I'd like to think it has something to do with the hours I put in and pace at which I work when traveling, but other things like time with Jake come into play as well.  In the 5 days that I was gone, Jake and I talked once for less than 3 minutes and emailed a quick exchange regarding when I'd be home- that's it.  I have no desire for that to become normal or routine in our lives, nor do I want to work the way I have been leading up to this trip.  I'm hopeful with our new hire starting in another week that things will get much better.  I realize getting her up to speed will be a task in and of itself, but at least one that I'm looking forward to!

Then, in case that won't provide enough relief, Jake and I are actually taking a vacation!!!  Yes, you read correctly, we are going on a trip to Maine... just the two of us!  I can hardly wait.  Our second anniversary is coming up and we will be in Bar Harbor during it and Portland and another town before that!  I'm looking forward to the cool weather and being able to see and do everything Maine has to offer before it starts to shut down for the end of tourist season.   We've both picked specific things we'd like to do while there and I'd say the agenda is the perfect balance of our interests!  There are wineries and breweries we want to check out, easy hikes with beautiful scenery in Acadia National Park, and so far the places we've made reservations to stay are a nice compromise for our likes.  The fact that we have reservations for where to sleep at all, let alone in fun places, is a big step for Jake and I'm thankful.  We're both really looking forward to the time away together and celebrating another year of a blessed marriage!

I have more to say, but am a bit tired and want to try and spread it out so not as much time passes again before you hear from me.  You'll hear from me soon, promise.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Preparation

Well I wouldn't have thought I'd ever say I experienced an earthquake and a hurricane within a week of each other (especially in Virginia Beach, I mean really?) but by the end of this weekend I'll be able to.

Hurricane Irene is still headed our way and residents, just like when it randomly snows here, have lost their minds.  I ran a few errands to get ready (grabbed some cash, filled up my tank, and got some non-perishable food) nothing serious, but while I was out it clearly registered that Irene has made people crazy... or at the very least completely inconsiderate of others.  I don't care to elaborate because then I'd have to relive the most annoying parts to my day, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Back at the office, we were getting email after email with PDFs on hurricane preparedness and notes of things to do before the weekend and the office closes completely.  We were asked that if we sit near a window to put the blinds down and try to turn our screens or equipment toward the wall.  Easy enough.

Meet Leanne... well more like Leanne's desk (yes, someone sits there).  "Leanne" just started with the company a few weeks ago (her true identity is being protected) and took the hurricane emails from HR very seriously.  A few things you should know is that Leanne does NOT sit beside a window and obviously did more than turn her electronic equipment against the walls of her cube.  

Every picture or document pinned up in her cube has been taken down, the frames put in drawers, monitor turned around, her file cabinet was moved, and the top of her desk has been entirely cleared off.  As for me, I forgot to move my monitor and turn off my surge protector.  Whoops.

Photo Update as of 8:39am on 8/29:

Looks like Leanne's desk is basically back to normal.  However, my co-workers and I think she might be holding some things back  for fear of what this week could bring.  Its either that or she thought now was the time to avoid putting back up some of the newbie materials they post in your cube to help you get started and remember things.  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Help

Yet again I've finished reading a novel WELL after the rest of the world has.  I like to use the excuse that before the Twilight series I was hardly reading so I have a lot of catching up to do, but the truth is I could have skipped older bestsellers and went straight for this summer's top reads...

Spoiler Alert: Just to warn you, I'm going to talk about the book with the assumption that you've read it; if that's not the case proceed with caution.

The Help was awesome, I read the majority of it in two days- I just couldn't put it down.  I didn't realize beforehand that the voices would rotate between three characters, but I really enjoyed that it did.  Their personalities were so distinct, as were their intentions behind writing the book and what the road had looked like leading up to that point for them.  

Skeeter and Minny were my favorites of the three and I don't even know if I could pick one over the other- they were so different.  I loved Skeeter's mother, her love for Constantine, and reading about her relationship with Stuart. (Confession: I do wish things had worked out for them.  I mean I know that it wouldn't have been fair for her to hide who she was just to be with him, but for what ever reason I really liked him for her after he apologized for their first date... you know the story)

Minny, well Minny's sassy, outspoken personality had me chuckling a few times.  I loved her relationship with Miss Celia... and subsequently Mr. Johnny too.  Oh, and not to mention the dynamic of her working for Miss Hilly's mother and how that all ended.  Too much.

I thought the ending seemed too quick; you spend so much time getting ready for the book release and then within like three chapters its published, read, gossiped about, and the end. We weren't left with any cliff hangers, I just always feel this way at the end of a book and movie.  Personally, I need more specific details about how things end for people in the long term. Like where did Skeeter take her caeer once in New York?  Did Minny have twins and how in love with them would Miss Celia be, if at all?  And what exactly did Aibileen do next?  This must be why I like sequels so much.  It's all making sense to me now.

I don't want to end with that if you haven't read The Help you should, because I'm hoping if you read the above you already have.

Friday, August 12, 2011

kitchen addition

After refinishing my first piece of furniture I enjoyed it so much that it immediately became a hobby.  I'm constantly searching on craigslist for a cheap piece with potential and find myself wishing more and more that we had a garage so I could actually buy and store the deals I come across.  The reality is though that we don't have a garage and the outdoor space we do have (albeit significantly larger than at our last place) isn't really conducive to storing random sized pieces of furniture just sitting in the que for a makeover.  Facing that truth has resulted in a slow progression of this hobby, but forward movement all the same.

The most recent remake is the below antique magazine rack that belonged to Jake's dad.  His mom was happy to provide me a free piece to take another stab at refinishing and seemed please to clear out some space in her house at the same time.  While I am wishing now I'd taken the time to snap a picture before,  I can only say that is was stained a medium brown and had little wear considering its age.  For that reason, sanding wasn't needed and I could go straight into painting!

I know it seems a bit weird to have a magazine rack in the kitchen, but Jake had the idea to put the recipe books in it the way we did, and once those were in place it seemed odd to put in any room other than the kitchen.  The wall that it's currently on is prime real estate in our kitchen and seemed appropriate since it got lost in the only other nook available.

If I could change on thing it would be the height of the table (I said "if"); it isn't unusually short but both here and in the other spot we tried, it didn't seem quite tall enough.  With that much space between the top of the basket (conveniently storing dish towels) and the bottom of the picture it seems to put emphasis on the gap between items, but the picture couldn't go any lower and the basket can't get any taller.  What I can say is thank goodness for the lime green, it helps it to pop against the wall and the colorful recipe books demand attention!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

rest easy

Shortly after my rant about our insurance letter denying the costs from my recent teeth cleaning, I got a call that put all my worries to rest (and had me wondering how crazy I must have sounded that night in the message I left for my dentist's office)!

Long story short, the reason the fees were denied was because Dr. Paul Berger is out of network... as a matter of fact hes retired and thus out of any and all networks!  However, his sons, Dr. Chris & Dr. Arnold are not.  They just recently graduated and took over the family business which is causing quite the confusion with my insurance company.  Apparently I'm not the first patient to receive this sort of letter and despite months of trying to have the change made permanently, my dentist believes I won't be the last.

Bless the receptionist's heart she was so nice, assuring me that she's had to have this same conversation plenty of times and for me not to feel embarrassed about my frantic message (easier said than done).  I apologized for behaving borderline crazy in the middle of the night and thanked her over and over again for calling me back so quickly and setting things straight.  They had addressed the situation the day before with my insurance company, but I guess the letter was already in route so they couldn't avoid the scare.

Needless to say, I'll be keeping my January appointment and am even going to send Jake their way!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Avocado & Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

I mentioned Pinterest awhile back and am still pretty into it.  I've come across a lot of decor ideas and tons of unique recipes!  Below is one that I've made twice now and  has been a crowd pleaser. 

Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette

1 bag of shoepeg frozen corn (original recipe calls for grilled ears of corn)
2 Avocado’s, diced and sprinkled with lemon juice to prevent browning
2 C. Tomatoes, red and yellow cherry
1 Small red onion, finely diced
¾ C. Feta, crumbled
1 English cucumber, skin on and chopped small dice
Combine in a medium size bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cilantro Vinaigrette:

6 T. Olive oil
2 T. Sherry vinegar
1 t. Garlic powder
2 T. Fresh cilantro, minced
½ t. Salt
Pepper to taste
Add all of the above ingredients in a small mason jar and shake really well. Taste and adjust seasoning as you desire.

When ready to serve, combine the dressing and other ingredients into a large bowl.  I like to add a little at a time so it mixes easily with the vinaigrette and gets evenly coated.

Monday, August 8, 2011

when it rains it pours

I try not to vent too much on my blog but I've got to go there today.  Jake and I are both blessed to have jobs that we enjoy and are grateful for the Lord's provision.  BUT every once in awhile things seem to hit all at once and you get overwhelmed at the money pouring out of your account... now is one of those times.

We moved into our new place at the end of May and had some initial charges hit to set up our utilities, etc.  We noticed it had been awhile since receiving any bills, but thought that it might take some time before we did (that would only make sense since nothing came through the mail).  As suspected, the Verizon bill hit for just short of 60 days of service, our water bill from June through August just came, our car insurance hit, I needed glasses, Tank got neutered (oh, theres so much more I could share about this), and OH WAIT, I literally just opened up a statement saying that my recent dentist appointment is being denied due to my provider being out-of-network!  Seriously.  Of course, here I sit after hours and completely anxious over what this means!  If I know anything about dental work, I know that you better wait until you have insurance before you make an appointment because their services aren't cheap!

I think the reason I'm most frustrated about the denial is that my dentist office sought me out after being almost a year since my last visit.  I was clear in that first call that I changed providers and wasn't sure whether they were in my network anymore.  I explained to them what two providers I would have had (not knowing for sure which was the new and which was the old) and they assured me that they were covered by almost all of them.  Even when I arrived to my appointment and began filling out paperwork I reviewed Jake's employer information and insurance card prior to the visit.  The receptionist didn't seem bothered at all by by insurance information despite my being uncertain abut all that was covered since it was in my husband's name.  She quickly pacified the my nerves and assured me it was fine before sending me back to get my annual x-rays, cleaning, you name it.

It wasn't until today that I even thought again about that appointment!  As a matter of fact, they made my next appointment for 6 months from now right there on the spot and told me with my insurance there shouldn't even be a co-pay fro today's visit.  Now tell me how I wouldn't have any financial obligation if you're not a dentist in my network???  Also, why in the world would you think I'd be willing to come back 6 months later and pay out of pocket for your services AGAIN?  Don't get me wrong, my dentist is pretty cool with his black scrubs and full sleeve tattoo, but I'm happy to see someone new whose services are FREE instead.

Needless to say, one lengthy and anxious voicemail to my dentist after hours and this post later I'm here still feeling uneasy.  I have no idea what this will even cost and quite honestly I'm afraid to find out!

I hope there is a cap on something like this since we do in fact have dental insurance and I'll be praying that my dentist finds some culpability since they allowed me to go into my appointment believing I was 100% covered.  I mean I've been a patient there since before I got braces, which dates back to elementary school... that's got to count for something!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seeing through new eyes

The title of this post might be bit dramatic, but it's true that I am seeing more clearly now that my glasses arrived. This is my first pair of glasses and they are basically just for wearing while driving at night and for the computer when my eyes feel strained.

I hadn't been to the optometrist in over four years and thought that with working in front of a computer all day for that time span it might be a good idea to make an appointment.  Honestly, I went in hoping to need glasses for driving (considering I've seen a need for awhile now) but when I actually started taking the tests I felt myself getting flustered as I made mistakes.  I tried telling myself that its ok to not see the dot every time or miss one letter out of the six, but the whole process made me anxious.  I was so ready to get out of there that it only took me (max) five minutes to pick out the frames. I know, right- ME of all people was able to get things done that quickly!  I must say knowing that only people at work and in my car late at night (Jake and Tank) will see them helped to care less about what they looked like.

To my surprise when I picked them up I didn't think they looked too bad.  I attempted to nonchalantly wear them at my desk, but this change to my everyday look got a lot of attention.  Thank goodness most of it was compliments with only one reservation (ahh hmm, Jake).  I don't think he minds them, but just isn't used to them yet or so he said repeatedly while looking at me on the computer.  Not to worry though he isn't the only one adjusting, I'm still getting used to them too.  Here's the pair that I ordered- they're not too bad, right?  

Issy & LA

Thursday, July 21, 2011

the long and short of it

I hate breaking from blogging for awhile and then hitting the highlights of whats been going on in the interim in a single post, but its the life I live.  Here it goes...

-I went to Richmond to visit my friends, Ashley and Stacy and had the best time sunbathing, shopping, eating, and catching up.  You can't beat time with old friends, where you pick up exactly where you left off and feel like you can barely cover all the details of whats been going on since you last spoke!
-Our good friends, Jeff & Elizabeth had their baby boy, Sam... and we LOVE him already.
-I ordered a professional photograph (well from a photographer on Etsy), framed it, and already found the perfect spot for it in our place.  Not to brag, but it looks good.
-I signed up for a half marathon in November and have started training already.  I'm only on week 2 but so far, so good!
-Our friends, Dan & Jenny are moving to Hawaii and we've been participating in the farewell festivities that go with that.  Dan actually leaves tomorrow morning and Jenny will follow soon after in August.  Both Jake and I really love this couple and are going to miss them in our community group!  They invited us to Hawaii, and we just might miss them enough to make the trip... which also isn't hard to do win they'll live in paradise!
-Work has been CRAZY!  There are a lot of changes being rumored and I don't care to go into too much detail (or I might cry... again).  Don't worry though, I'll be sure to keep you posted if anything major happens.  What I can share is that I'm stressed, my eye twitches incessantly, I go in early, leave late, and am pretty tired all the time.  So is life, this too shall pass (or at least that's what I keep telling myself).
-I'm officially obsessed with Pinterest.  I could be on it all day long.  True story.
-I've added three unexpected trips to my calendar.  Two are for work- the first to Miami in August and the second to Boston in September, and the third to Charleston is for fun with three of my friends from high school.  I'm looking forward to all three, except that the Miami trip falls on bad dates.  

I'm sure there are things I've forgotten but perhaps once remembered they'll be deserving of their own post!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

total bookworm

Yes friends, I'm at it again... I started and finished Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin  last week on my flights to and from Vegas and I LOVED it- shocker!  I might even go as far as to say that I enjoyed it more than Something Borrowed; however, when I gave some thought as to why that might be, I came to the conclusion that the element of suspense was greater for me in Love the One You're With.

I don't want my post to spoil it for you, so like my other "reviews" I'll just give you an overview of what its about and you can decide whether it should make your summer reading list yourself!

We learn early on that Ellen Graham has the perfect husband, the perfect job, the perfect life... or so she thought.  One afternoon, Ellen unexpectedly runs into Leo, her ex from years ago. Leo, who was her first true love and the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation- the one she could never forget. When his reappearance ignites  emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live and how perfect it really is.  It's a powerful story about one woman at the crossroads of true love and real life.

Read it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Coolest Space in Your Place Photo Contest

It’s that time again and my company is sponsoring their annual consumer contest.  Trust me when I say that I only promote work when I think it’s relevant to friends and family, so you can rest assured that this contest has already passed that test.

To make a long description short, ForRent.com and Homes.com have teamed up to present “The Coolest Space in Your Place” photo contest.   All you have to do is upload a photo of one of your favorite spaces in your home here.  It’s that easy.  The winner will receive $2,500. 

Whether you own your home or are renting like me, this is the perfect opportunity to show off your favorite decorated rooms!  If I could enter, I would... so since you can, you should!  Good luck and if you have your own blog, feel free to spread the word... unless you're feeling especially competitive already!

There is a limit of three (3) photos per entrant- official contest rules and details can be found here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

something borrowed... and something blue

So far my summer reading is off to a good start- In a matter of days I finished Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin  and LOVED them both!  In the scheme of things though, I'm sort of behind my one book a month goal and am hoping the summer months help me make up for it.

To start, BOTH books were quick and easy reads and were quite entertaining.  With sequels I feel like its easy to have a favorite, but I genuinely liked them equally.  I don't want to go into too much detail in case you haven't read them, so I'll simply share the storyline for both so you can decide whether you want to read it yourself!

Something Borrowed (which is now a motion picture) tells the story of Rachel, a Manhattan lawyer and average people pleaser, who ends up sleeping with her best friend, Darcy's fiance after her surprise 30th birthday party.

Despite wanting to put the whole thing behind her, Rachel realizes she has genuine feelings for Dex (the fiance) and spends the entire book trying to decide what to do about it.  The choice of ignoring her true love for him to spare her best friend's feelings torments her daily.  The more you learn about Darcy and Dex's relationship 
as well as Darcy and Rachel's you'll understand why the answer isn't so black and white.

Something Blue switches things up, revealing Darcy's perspective on things; including Rachel's betrayal, an unexpected pregnancy, and her sudden move to London .  Readers learn the truth behind Darcy's seemingly perfect life as the novel takes you through her ups and downs and her struggle to discover who she really wants to be.

My suggestion is to read them both by the end of summer... if of course, you haven't already!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

all done

I'm happy to report that the table I blogged about renovating last month is done, and considering  it was my first attempt at refinishing a piece of furniture I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Additionally, in light of being a first for me, the rule was that I couldn't spend a lot of money on it.  Which was fair because based on my history there was no guarantee that I would actually start the project or use the table when and if I ever finished it.  In keeping with the rules, the only items I purchased were sanding blocks (around $9) and glass knobs ($10).  The "butter" paint I borrowed from our neighbor and the rest came from my own blood, sweat, and tears... well just sweat, but still.

Here is a reminder of how the table looked when I found it:

And this is the finished product:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

things gone wrong

I had wanted to title this post, "Move Mishaps" but realized that some of the things that have gone wrong aren't as much mishaps as they are just plain unfortunate.  So, without further delay I'm going to share a few things that have gone wrong as a result of the the big move.

First, one of our place settings didn't make the trip to our new place.  Why?  Well, because we simply couldn't find it.  Jake told me I miscounted how many we'd gotten after the wedding, but I know myself and I would never have asked for nine place settings instead of eight or ten (everyone knows you're supposed to get them in even increments).  But just in case perhaps we hadn't received the even number we'd asked for, I went ahead and checked our registry online and I was right- we asked for ten place settings and that's how many we got.  Once I confirmed that one was missing for sure, I emailed Jake to  let him know that we needed to search our place again.  His response:
"I'm pretty sure if we've gotten by this long without using it we'll be OK.  Plus, now that I think about it, I remember that place setting walking off awhile ago... it was fed up."
I mean how am I suppose to take him seriously when this is how he reacts to big issues like missing place settings?  Needless to say, we never did find it.

While we're on the topic of wedding gift being broken, two other items fell victim to our move.  The first was one of my Mikasa goblets (I only had four to begin with) and the second was my matching Mikasa swirl pitcher.  The goblet broke in transit and can easily be replaced, but the pitcher shattered after being cleaned.  I think it had something to do with being washed with too hot of water and rinsed with water too cold... but I can't be sure.  I am sure though that it is no longer available (in the clear) to buy so its gone for good.

We've also had a few pairs of shoes get chewed while they waited for a more permanent home; our kitchen table has water marks from being rained on while in transit; and one of the feet on our TV stand broke off completely.  The shoes were tossed, the table's stains can be covered with a tablecloth, and we've positioned TV stand perfectly to remain in tact... it just can't be easily moved.  All in all, I'd say it was a successful move. Nothing extremely valuable got  ruined and I really love our new place... so it was worth it.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

one room done

The kitchen in our new place is the only room I'd say is 100% done, and by done I mean livable and decorated.  All of the other rooms are still lacking in the decor department; they need pictures to be hung and items to find their permanent home... you know, last minute touches.

I'm happy though that the kitchen was the first room to be checked off our list since we spend so much time there and I really do love how it turned out.  Our color choice, "Pitter Patter" was a good compromise since Jake likes everything 3 shades darker than I do.  Judge for yourself.



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

I'm happy to report that, despite all that is still needed to prepare for the move this weekend, I just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and absolutely loved it!  Admittedly, I actually started reading it over two weeks ago and after only two or three days had gotten a few chapters into the third and final volume.  However, the distraction of the move and some much needed time helping my mom recover from surgeries (not one, but two) definitely contributed to my delay in finishing it.

If you haven't read it, I'd highly recommend doing so.  I understand the love story isn't realistic, but to be convinced otherwise isn't really the point.  Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy's gradual change in their opinions of each other and behavior as a result is fascinating to read and their constant banter is exciting to follow.  My only advice is to have a dictionary close by; if you overlook some of Old English words you could miss a clever comment or simple understanding of the time thats passed, etc.  This is definitely a book I know I'll have to read again, perhaps even annually.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

making progress, I guess

I don’t remember any of my moves in college or the one to our current apartment being this bad. I’ve made progress and we’ve gotten rid of a ton of stuff, but when I look around it doesn’t seem like I even made a dent. There are tupperwares everywhere and lots of the TJ Maxx and Marshall’s reusable bags stuffed with random things, but I’m still unsure of how it’s all going to get from point A to point B by Saturday night.

On a more productive note, we did pick out the paint color for the kitchen (which I’m keeping a surprise) and have made the majority of calls regarding our utilities, renter’s insurance, and all that other jazz. Jake has been a HUGE help with this and it’s been such a relief to not have to use all my lunch breaks to sit on hold and make these arrangements.

I’m off this later this week because of the holiday and really hope to have things close to well-organized before I get back to work on the 31st! Fingers crossed anyway.

Friday, May 13, 2011

boxes, boxes come out wherever you are

It's official... Jake and I are moving at the end of May!

While I realize the move from one rental to the next isn't as exciting as the move from renting to owning, this is the stage Jake and I are at and I'm not upset about it at all!  Actually, I'm perfectly content, its where we should be.

So, in two weeks we'll be leaving the 948 sq. ft. apartment we've come to call home for the past 20+ months for a townhouse in another area of VB- and I'm really looking forward to the change (I think we both are, which is a big deal if you know Jake).

Honestly, the only thing I'm concerned about is packing.  Everyone knows thats the toughest part about moving and we've only scratched the surface at this point.  However, I think having a place lined up and a set move date will help motivate me to do more than I have been.  I want to get started this weekend, but all I keep thinking about is what am I going to pack things up in?  I haven't been one of those proactive people whose been collecting boxes the past month and I wouldn't have the slightest idea of where to get some from.  Oh well, it'll eventually make its way over to the new house one way or another.

The only other thing I've been thinking about as far as preparation, and its minor, is what I want to paint in the new place before we start moving furniture.  We made arrangements to get our keys on Thursday so we'd have time to slowly move boxes over and paint before the big stuff gets moved but I'm not sure what I want to mess with.  Despite this place being a rental, its still very much our next home and paint to me can work wonders in taking a sterile space and making it warm and inviting.  At the same time, everything has to be painted back before we move out so I don't want to get too crazy with it!  For now, I decided the kitchen HAS to be painted and the only other space I'm considering would be the living room.  Currently the walls are stark white and the dining room is a dark tan... it's quite the contrast.

Here is a quick shot of the kitchen, nothing fancy but don't you agree that it needs a little color?  Any suggestions?

PS- Don't judge it as is... I have high hopes for this room!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dumpster Dive

Ok, so I didn’t have to dive into any dumpsters, but I did dash from the end of a stranger’s driveway back to my car with an end table this weekend.

Long story short, I’ve always wanted to refurbish a piece of furniture and decided that it might be something I’d need to acquire at an antique store or garage sale versus stumbling upon, but this weekend I got lucky and I did just that. 

I was driving around a few neighborhoods looking for some for rent signs on townhomes when I saw a little end table/nightstand at the end of a driveway.  I assume when people place items there they mean to get rid of them, but this wasn't the area where the trash cans stood to be collected so I wasn’t 100% sure.  I went up the driveway, knocked on the door, and asked the woman if she wanted to get rid of it… only to find out it was her neighbor’s not hers.  So, I went next door and knocked and no one came to the door (they were definitely home because the storm door was closed but the main door was not).  I knocked once more before walking backwards to the end of the driveway.  I grabbed the piece and literally ran to my car parked a few driveways over.  I’m still not sure why I felt the need to run, but it made the whole experience that much more exciting. 

Jake called right as I was driving away and I couldn’t help but practically scream in excitement what had just happened!  He of course encouraged me for being spontaneous and a risk-taker and asked that I not take months and months to reinvent the piece, which was a totally reasonable request.

So, here she is in all her current glory.  

I already peeled off some stickers and am very clear that she still needs a lot of work.  My first thoughts are that she’ll need to be sanded, painted a fun color (although, black or white  isn't completely out of the question), and receive some new knobs.  I’m leaning towards traditional glass or round black knobs if I paint it a quirky color, but if I go white or black I want to do some unique artsy knobs like these.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

all over the place

Lately I have been all over the place, in more than one way.  We've been in town, out of town, in town but dog/house sitting, etc.  I haven't blogged because the things that have been racing through my mind and changing in my life haven't seemed noteworthy.  But, to reassure you that I haven't fallen of the face of the earth I'll shed some insight into a few of the things I've been thinking about and involved with lately.

1. I put in a request to keep Spring intern on for the summer and am fairly certain that won't be happening.  Bummer, I know!  She has been a HUGE help to me since January but extended her stay with us wasn't anticipated and as a result budgeted, so it doesn't look like it will happen.
2. I went to Fort Worth recently for an event and it was a very successful!  I am getting more active in the social spaces as a marketing tool and this event kicked those efforts into gear.
3. Speaking of social media, I am getting more active on Twitter and am loving it (for the most part)!  Two recent things  I've learned/seen via tweets include proof of Robert Pattinson and Kristin Stewart almost kissing and this article/video of Pete, a penguin from SeaWorld, walking through the aisle on an ordinary Southwest flight.
4. We submitted our intent to move out to our apartment community and have until May 31st to line something up.  I am not stressing over this because I know we'll find something and per a local realtor it doesn't take long at all to flip privately rented condos and townhouses in the area.  Fingers crossed we like our next home better than our first!
5. I am still obsessed with the movie, "Life As We Know It" and rented it for the SECOND time this past weekend.  I really want to just buy it, but it is still $20 at Target and I think thats crazy!
6. I had my first misplaced luggage experience when I traveled back from Texas and it wasn't so awesome.  I did learn that Delta will deliver your bag to your door, but didn't get to take them up on their offer since we were going to be in and out all day and leaving my suitcase with my life in it on our doorstep wasn't the best idea.
7. Club Tank appears to have dissolved.  The kids still like Tank, but I guess he's too big now at a whopping 16lbs for them to be totally enamored with.
8. Jake is 99% sure he is going to do a half ironman in Manteo this fall!  I'm super excited for him to work towards this!
9.  I started running again... and by running I mean I ran like 2 miles on Sunday.  I have been too sore to run again yet, but I've thought about it- so thats a step in the right direction!
10.  I'm getting serious about Jake and I traveling somewhere awesome that requires a plane.  I'll keep you posted on the progress!  Realistically, he has no vacation time since Haiti so it might be just me going somewhere, but I'm not opposed to another girl's weekend in Atlanta!

That's all I've got for now... I told you I've been all over the place!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today Jake turns 26 and I think I’m more excited than he is! 

A lot of people say that on their birthday they feel exactly the same as they did the day before, and I agree- but if you take that a step further and compare how you felt on your birthday the year before compared to now, hopefully its different... and hopefully it's because something has improved.   I was thinking about all the things that have happened with Jake since March 22nd, 2010 and I think it's a lot!

-He got his Cannondale cycle in April (aka Carmen, his baby)
-Graduated with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May
-Started his first job with Sentara in June
-We got our dog, Tank, in July
-He started a small business with another therapist in September
-We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in October
-Picked out our fresh Christmas tree together in December (this was a first for both of us; I'd always gotten a tree from NC and never with him and I don't think he'd ever picked out a real tree period)
-He “Retired” the terminator for a new Tacoma & spent two and half weeks in Haiti working on amputees through Physicians for Peace in February

Of course this isn’t nearly everything, but I’m sure when Jake really thinks about everything from the past year he will feel different (and hopefully in a good way).

Now as far as his birthday celebration goes, it’s sort of tricky because we are both part of a bible study on Tuesday nights and the guys' study is actually at our house!  With that in mind, we preemptively celebrated on Sunday with Alison and Will at Zushi in Town Center and splurged with dessert at Confetti!  Tonight my plan is to get off work early and cook dinner for him.  And trust me when I tell you that the act of cooking in and of itself is a great gift.  Not to mention the recipe has both multiple ingredients and steps, which will hopefully impress him as well!

Tonight’s menu is (don’t worry he won’t read this before then):

Cayenne-Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa 
and Tomatoes Stuffed with Grilled-Corn Salad from Martha Stewart’s Food Everyday

I’ve actually told Jake that I made plans for us right after work and will text him the address right before he gets off to keep the surprise.  Of course, he assumed this meant eating out and started to complain that we’d already done the whole celebration charade on Sunday and he isn’t sure that we’ll have time to go out.  I reminded him that I’m a planner and I’d already taken all of those things into consideration before making the plans, so for him to trust me.  I promised he’d be home in plenty of time for the his bible study.. and I plan on keeping that promise.

He should be getting said text with our address any minute and I'm sure he'll call right away to see what I'm up to.  Hopefully, dinner will be timed perfectly for his arrival and the house may even be cleaned too (fingers crossed)!

Oh, and if dinner ends up looking like the above I may share some pictures with you, but based on my past experiences it probably won't so don't hold your breath!

Dinner was a hit and he of course appreciated the gesture!  Below is how it turned out... not to shabby if I say so myself.

Monday, March 21, 2011

there's a first time for everything

I have been with Jake just a few months shy of a decade (crazy, I know!) and I can honestly say that last week was the first time he knowingly watched an entire romantic comedy with me.  Notice, I put emphasis on knowingly and entire because in the past 10 years Jake could say that he has watched one with me before, but you and I both know that either he didn’t realize it was that type of movie OR he didn’t watch it all the way through… story of my life.

Well, for whatever reason this most recent attempt was successful.  After looking unsuccessfully for a few movies at the Redbox, I noticed Life As We Know It was in stock.  I’d wanted to see the movie for awhile so I asked Jake to rent it for me.   He gave me a look like, “Do you know what kind of movie this is?” to which I responded aloud, “I know it’s a romantic comedy but I’m not asking you to watch it, I’m just asking you to rent it for me to watch” and he did.

Once home, I waited a little while before making my next move.  You see I really didn’t want to have to wait to watch this until after he went to bed and I definitely didn’t want to have to watch it on the laptop, but it’s all in the art of execution.  So, I waited for him to watch that day’s DVR of the Paris-Nice Tour (it’s a cycling thing) and then start fumbling through the channels before asking if I could use his laptop.  He of course wondered why I had to ask and I explained that I would have it awhile so I could watch the entire movie and didn’t want to hog it if he needed it.  And then he said the magic words, “you can watch it in here if you want”.  BINGO.  I was so happy it probably took me 20 seconds to get everything set up and hit play. 

The next thing I noticed was completely new- he didn’t move.  This entire time my focus was on watching this movie on the plasma before 9:30 but this… this was a pleasant surprise.  Even after the movie was a few minutes in he still didn’t move.  Can you say best thing ever?  At one point he did turn around to see my expression during a sadder scene and gave me a look like I was being ridiculous.  I responded with a don’t bother me look and we both went back to watching.  He sat through the whole thing and then went to bed. If you know Jake, you are probably having trouble believing this, but there’s a first time for everything.

As far as the movie goes, and I'm aware I'm behind the game on this one (which is a price you pay when you prefer the price of a rental to the theater) it was adorable.  The crazy part is, apart from the whole raising a baby with someone you don't care for in light of your best friend's death thing, it seemed to be an accurate depiction of that first year.  Of course, I don't know for sure, but they certainly didn't make it look easy... and I hear it's not, so that in and of itself offered some validity in my eyes.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

time for an upgrade

It’s been decided.  We are going to have to get a king size bed.  I absolutely, without a doubt, can’t take it anymore. 

This isn’t the first time you’ve read about this trouble in my life, but I’m hoping it’ll be the last.  Actually, let’s save the last official topic-related post for when we announce that we’ve officially ordered a new bed or had a successful night’s sleep in it.  Yes, that sounds more realistic.

The main thing you need to know is that neither Jake nor I are sleeping well.  Jake swears that Tank is the problem but since I mentioned this trouble once well before we got Tank, I’m not convinced.  I will say that Tank certainly contributes to the problem, but he can’t be the sole cause.   Not to mention that at this point I don’t know that I can break him of sleeping in the bed.  Not only would it break my heart, but when he cries and scratches at the door it’s unbearable- thus why he currently comes in and out of the room as often as he pleases (don’t judge me, you’ve never had to listen to him).  His current routine has him getting out of bed at 5:45am with Jake, going potty, eating breakfast, then coming back and crying at our bedroom door until either Jake or I lets him back in.   It’s awful.  But that’s enough about Tank; let’s talk about the other 4 letter word that contributes to our sleeping troubles, J-A-K-E.

Jake goes to bed super early (usually around 9:30 folks) so of course I don’t go to bed at the same time.  When I do finally decide it’s time to sleep, I go into to find him sleeping diagonally across the bed or he’s somehow taken over all 5 of the pillows on our bed.  Talk about terrible.  Every night I have to nicely ask him to scoot over and some nights when he is sleeping more soundly I have to yank a pillow right from under him.  I mean it is a battle to get a spot on the bed.

I can’t think of a better solution than a bigger bed and since we have a queen now, the next step is a king.  The best part is Jake is in totally on board.  He has trouble sleeping too and desperately wants more room… and I think more pillows.  The biggest challenge will be me having patience to slowly get a new bedroom set; we can’t buy everything all at once and I’m sort of weird about bedroom sets matching.  However, at this point sleep deprivation has taken over and I’m fairly sure I’ll get over that quirk fast.

I really like these beds (and overall room styles)...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

desperate times call for desperate measures

This might be an over share, but I’m going to ahead with it anyway. 

The other day I came back from lunch and sensed that there may be some food in my teeth.  This being a peeve of mine I immediately went to the ladies room for a closer examination.  To my surprise, there was nothing there- what was there was an unnatural amount of eyebrow hairs.  Gross.

I’m not being dramatic either, this was a forest of wild (and certainly undesired) eyebrow hairs… it was awful.  But what was worse was that I made this discovery at work!  I mean what’s a girl to do at this point???   Well, after asking the two most responsible people in the office if they happened to have tweezers and coming up empty handed, I had to get creative.  One person offered her cuticle clippers instead and that’s when I knew what I had to do.

(PS do you see what I mean about them being responsible?  I mean she had them in her desk drawer for Pete’s sake, who does that?)

Anyway, I went ahead and accepted her offer and went right back into the ladies room to take care of the disaster.  That’s right folks, I started trimming my unsightly eyebrow hairs with cuticle clippers- I was desperate!  I managed to get rid of some of the major offenders but had to control myself since each clip left my forehead nice and red for all to see.  I figured that if it took me that long and getting that close to see the nightmare myself, then it was safe to assume no one I was meeting up with after work would notice.

The next morning I hadn’t forgotten about the hairs that had survived another night and with tweezers in hand, I took care of business once and for all (or at least for the time being)!  I was so zealous that at one point I actually made myself bleed and had the tiniest scar of shame all weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

so stinkin cute

Earlier this week Jake and I had dinner with one of our favorite friends, Scott, and his girlfriend, Hannah (who is becoming a favorite the more we get to know her).  They invited us to their neck of the woods in Norfolk and cooked us dinner at Hannah's house.

Now one thing Norfolk has going for it (and always has) are the adorable older homes.  Each house has so much character inside and out, I absolutely love it... and Hannah's house was no exception.  We walked up to her cute little porch with a red front door and the minute I got inside I fell in love.  Her style is simple and understated.  She has one of those houses that looks like it should be in a magazine except for the fact that its much more personal than the ones you see featured- so much so, that you are almost glad that it isn't because its better.  Part of what makes her house so adorable are the great colors she chose for the walls and the art.  Not to mention, shes got the cutest darn kitchen.  The house isn't huge, which makes it feel intimate as well.

I'm not trying to sound like a design know it all (I'm far from it), but its like she makes  her personality transparent through the style of her home.  Perfect example, she loves to read and had tons of books throughout the house.  And these weren't just books to fill shelves (by color, mind you) she had actually read all of them.

Then there's the art!  Shes got funky art all over her home, a lot of which she did herself or at least has a story about it that shes happy to share.

Lastly, she is very resourceful.  She found an old door in the attic that she painted with chalkboard paint and leaned against the wall leading to her kitchen.  Can you say adorable?  Then she had these fun recycled glasses she admitted were from some other drink that she'd just held onto afterward.  I don't think to do stuff like that; I'm terrible about imagining how I could repurpose something down the road in a creative way.  She's a natural.

I could go on, but I don't want overdo it.  Its too bad I don't have pictures; then you could just see for yourself.  Actually now that I think about it, it would have been way creepy if I did. Can you imagine?  I let myself in for the first time and start snapping away while she cooks!!!  Yikes!  That would never happen... not on my first visit at least.  However, I can't make any promises from here on out!

This is just a random photo to give you a visual (hers door looks better).


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