Monday, December 10, 2012

Get & Give Away

Selfishly I don't want to blog about the Get & Give Away over at E, Myself, and I's blog- but it's an extra entry if I do and I'd like to help her get as many entries as possible.

The good news is that she has a handful of chic giveaways lined up for one lucky winner and a few options for how you can enter.  If anything suits your fancy, you should give it a shot.  But before you do, let's make a deal.  If you win and heard about her contest here, you have to give me the calendar.  Fair enough?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Discover Your Decorating Personality

I recently came across the HomeGoods Stylescope while catching up on my girlfriend's blog and couldn't help myself.  Initially I wasn't sure what five images to select, but then I stopped overanalyzing and went with what photos spoke to me per their request.

Looks like I'm Set Sail with a touch of Farmhouse Glam.  Are you surprised?

I had mixed feelings about my design personality at first, so I took the test a few more times, opting for some of the runner-up images I'd debated before.  Wouldn't you know that Set Sail was part of my results every.single.time.  I guess I'm more predictable than I'd like to think.

There's nothing wrong with my design personality, and I'd even like to think I fit their description nicely, but it seemed like the other styles were so much more unique.  Urban Funk, Sassy, Farmhouse Glam- they all sound awesome, and then there is Set Sail...which doesn't leave much room for the imagination.

Oh well, all in all the test was right on for me and my style tendencies.  They did state that they tend to think you are where you live and I can't imagine living anywhere other than the beach, in my house, with my comfy down striped couch, typing on my laptop by light of my coral lamp.
I already follow the blog they suggested, but definitely started following their Set Sail Pinterest board.  I had even already pinned a few of the spaces... shocker.

What's your design personality?  Find out and share!

Monday, November 19, 2012

we're making progress

All this time I've been thinking that I'd shared more photos of the house, but it turns out those moments only happened in my mind.  My bad.

Despite the house being 100% move in ready, it's impossible for me to live in a place I haven't gotten to add my personal touch to.  While our house was picture perfect before we moved in, there were still some things I wanted to add/change to make it feel more like ours and show a bit more of my personality and style.  Jake thinks I will find any excuse to spend money and go to Home Goods, but that's simply not true, I genuinely take pride in my living space and just have to personalize it.  If you think about it, there isn't a single place I've lived other than my dorm rooms that I didn't paint a wall and purchase space-specific decor and furniture for... it's my nature.

A few things on my list to be addressed immediately were:

1. the mailbox
2. the kitchen (long story and I'm sure you'll disagree)
3. wall color
4. living room
5. gallery wall
6. hallway bathroom
7. front door
8. porch lights
9. paint the window shutters

Surprisingly, I've made a lot of progress but somehow my list hasn't gotten any shorter; for every item I check off, I add two more projects/spaces.  My list currently looks more like this:

1. the mailbox The mailbox and post have been completely replaced, I just need to add house numbers 

2. the kitchen (long story and I'm sure you'll disagree) This is going to stay on here awhile... turns out the tile is going to be much more difficult to remove than I originally thought and since Jake doesn't want to change the kitchen, it looks like I'm on my own.

3. wall color I painted over the cream walls with a tan/grey color in the hallways and dining room and went a shade darker in the living room (same color from my living room in our townhouse).

4. living room This isn't done, but progress has been made.  We replaced a bookshelf I bought my junior year of college (it was under $20 and originally intended for a bathroom) with a tall white cabinet I received as a birthday present and I'm a fan.  I also steam cleaned our couches (although you can barely tell), we added linen curtains, and slowly started hanging artwork.

5. gallery wall Totally done and I'm really proud of how it turned out.  It may have been completed late the night before our housewarming, but at least it was done (and done well) before the masses arrived.

6. hallway bathroom I'm almost there... I bought a new shower curtain, rug, and hand towels to start and painted the walls Turquoise Mist last night.  All I have left is cabinet hardware and hanging something on the wall(s).

7. front door I have always wanted a yellow front door and that's exactly what I got.  Jake painted ours for me the first weekend we moved in while I was out and it made my day!  

8. porch lights Not even close to deciding.

9. paint the window shutters All I have to do is paint them black from brown, but it hasn't fell high on the list of priorities.

10. NEW find art to fit new our walls and hang what we already own sort of started

11. NEW Master bedroom, including getting a king size bed and a ceiling fan I'm not sure if the desire for a bigger bed is actually new (it's been a reoccurring topic) but the focus on decorating the master bedroom in any way definitely is!

12. NEW window treatments throughout the house

13. NEW area rug for living room

14. NEW dining room table

15. NEW buffet/sideboard for dining room I'd love to refinish an older piece but haven't found what I'm looking for yet.

It's coming along (by my standards) slowly but surely!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Turning 27

I was sort of indifferent about my birthday this year.  I don't mean to be a party pooper, but there isn't anything special about turning 27... it actually just makes me realize I'm that much closer to 30.  And while turning 30 isn't a bad thing, it just seems like there are so many things I should accomplish by then and time is  flying by.

In light of my recent birthday and this reality, I went ahead and updated my 30 Before 30 and was able to cross some things off the list.  Feel free to help me prioritize what's left.

30 before 30

1. Take a pottery class  this is still a hope
2. Spend a weekend in the Big Apple  maybe this winter?
3. Read the whole Bible
4. Become a dog owner 
5. Move with Jake to a new place for both of us  does our new house count?
6. Host and cook a holiday meal for family
7. Travel to another country  we went to Haiti last July
8. Try my hand at cycling or a spin class, maybe form a hobby
9. Go on a mission trip
10. Visit a castle
11. Visit a vineyard on the west coast 
12. Become very involved with or work for a charity/non-profit  I am trying to continue supporting St. Vincent's through the Red Thread Promise
13. Run more than one half marathon in a single year 
14. Take a spontaneous trip (less than a week's notice)
15. Keep reading... I'd like to average reading a book a month, which equals roughly 64 new books by my 30th birthday 
16. Discover my signature dish and perfect it  my veggie lasagna is pretty good
17. Confidently wear a bikini... in public, not just at the pool
18. Take a "girls only" trip
19. Buy a piece of art (not necessarily anything fancy, but a piece I love and appreciate) 
20. Pay off more than 50% of our school loans
21. Be more proficient on a Mac than a PC  a newer Mac would help
22. Become more versed in Adobe Creative Suite
23. Swim with dolphins
24. Take a professional quality photograph; I want people to assume I bought it
25. See/meet someone famous
26. Revamp an old piece of furniture  I've finished a few pieces 
27. Throw/Attend a baby shower for either Alison or Dani (I'm ready to be an aunt)
28. Talk about/start trying for kids
29. Learn to ski or snowboard
30. Buy a house  we are still getting used to this fact ourselves

Monday, October 29, 2012

A day late and a dollar short

In case you haven't already noticed, I'm always a day late and a dollar short.  I never paid attention to the Twilight Series until after the first movie came out... and that's just one example.  Another is Friday Night Lights.
I vaguely remember when this tv series came on (circa 2006) and although the commercials seemed appealing I wasn't sure where I was going to find the time for another tv show.  Well, years later after friend after friend told me how much I would like it, I've finally finished watching all five seasons.

What can I say about it?  To start, I absolutely loved it.  I'm sort of glad I got into after the seasons were available on Netflix because I'm not sure I could have waited a week in between each episode or months for the next season.  Poor Jake had to deal with me monopolizing the tv the past few Saturdays, which I don't feel bad about because I liked the show too much to turn it off.

I thought I might be able to narrow down my favorite characters to a select few, but it turns out I love almost the entire cast.  What I will say is despite a large portion of the cast changing midway through, I preferred the characters in the later seasons.  I loved the stories early on too, but there was something about East Dillon that really hooked me.  Coach Eric Taylor and his wife, Tami were hands down the reason I kept watching though.  They truly had a great marriage and the show was only enhanced by the characters coming in and out of their lives.  Of course, Tim Riggins wasn't tough on the eyes either.

Since I literally just finished the watching the last season I could probably talk about the show for hours, but I don't want to overshare and spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. If you haven't watched the series I would highly recommend it- you can find all five seasons on Netflix and it won't take you more than a month to get through it, talk about $8 well spent.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I'm back

I can't believe how much time has passed since my last post.   Our move and traveling for work hasn't helped much, but it feels like things are starting to slow down you may actually hear from me more often.  Here is a bit of the things that have been in happening in my corner of the world.

-We bought our first home!  It took less time than we planned to get things moved over and we are unpacked in all of the common spaces.  I still don't feel comfortable navigating my way through the kitchen, but at least we have enough space for everything and my roaster doesn't need to be stored in the linen closet.
-I went to Cancun and Orlando for work.  I love to travel and Cancun was really nice, but being away while we were still in the process of getting settled was stressful.
-I turned 27!!!  More to come on what that means in regards to my 30 Before 30.
-Jake and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary!
our moving announcement

cookie dough cupcakes for my birthday from Jenn Cakes-A-Lot

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Meet Zooey

It's absolutely ridiculous that Zooey was introduced into our lives this past July and this is my first post about her!  Trust me, she's gotten a lot of instagram coverage and Tank is in love with her already (whether its in a sisterly or girlfriend way is still TBD) but that doesn't explain why you're just now hearing about her!  No excuses, I'm the worst.

That aside, she is the cutest Boston Terrier and every time I'm around her it makes me itch for another one.  Don't worry, she doesn't have the same effect on Jake... yet.

I'm certainly going to miss her (and her sweet family) when we move, but have a week of watching her this November to look forward to!  I'm not the only one, Tank has grown extremely attached to her too and cries at the door any time he hears her or her name being called outside.  It's the cutest and saddest thing all at the same time.  His ears go up and he gets anxious when he hears her barking too.  Poor thing, I think he actually stresses when she's crying in her crate- a rare occurrence because she is quite the traveler.

What do you think, should we get another dog?  I mean clearly Tank is open to the idea.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

inital home purchases

I'm sure this list will continue to grow, but I've been slowly but surely acquiring some things we'll need (mixed with some things that I want) for the new house!  It's so exciting to be purchasing things that will go into a permanent space and I'm trying to remember to pace myself.  Below are a few things I've snagged to date.

-Samsung refrigerator (obviously this had to make the top of the list)
-coral reef shower curtain... I haven't decided whether this will go in the hallway or master bath yet, but it will definitely have a home somewhere!
Coral Reef Shower Curtain from West Elm

-simple white curtains for the window in our front room
 Cotton Curtains from Pottery Barn

-antique china cabinet (which I'm in the process of refinishing)
-and paint!!!
Tattered Sail

 Barefoot Beach (in my current living room)

 The Harbor 

Monday, September 3, 2012

first home purchase

The house we're moving into has been completely flipped, which is a.m.a.z.i.n.g.  The only appliances it doesn't have are a washer and dryer, which we already own, and a refrigerator, which we definitely don't have and will desperately need.

That in mind, we factored that expense into our offer and have been extra conscious about setting the money aside for it to ensure one could be paid for and delivered by the time we move in.

Starting a few weeks ago we went price shopping just to get an idea and after stopping at a few places were advised to make a purchase Labor Day weekend when it was suggested that the sales would be really good.  In the time leading up to this weekend, we did our homework.  I know it sounds ridiculous, but this was a major purchase and something we have to use on a daily basis.  Add to the mix that we are totally new homeowners and don't have much experience with or opinions on appliance brands, etc.- up until now we haven't really had a choice in the matter.

Anyway... long story short, we ended up buying a refrigerator this weekend that we're both pretty excited about.  Surprisingly, it wasn't from Sears and was a style we hadn't originally planned for.  Not surprisingly, we went with a Samsung and it fell within the budget we set before leaving the house!  Jake loves a good value and this definitely was a steal!!!  I'll have to give you all a video tour and our review once it's set up and filled in our new place- I realize that may sound crazy but I'm a marketer down to my bones!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

hurry up and wait

My life has been in a perpetual state of rushing around followed by waiting.  I'm not complaining, just sharing.

Obviously with buying a house it seems like every step falls into this pattern.  The various folks working toward our closing will tell us they need something, which we in turn run around to get, and then wait for what seems like forever for confirmation that things are good and we're moving onto to the next item on their list.  It's definitely been a learning process and apart from some obstacles, has been relatively stress-free.

First we had the surprise news that we needed to vacate our rental, which was eased when we found "the" house in our very next Saturday search.  Then we had some pre-approval hiccups, which were resolved in a way neither of us expected.  Our closing date was set for a week before our lease ends and we just heard that we only have to pay for rent up until the day we're completely moved out and ready to do our walk-through, even if that comes before the established lease end date.  The Lord is good and he's shown that over and over again during this time. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

We're Moving

Did I already share about our unexpected move?  I honestly can't remember and seeing how I haven't blogged much at all I'm going to go ahead and guess that I haven't.

So here's the deal.  We'd been saving for a house for awhile and went month to month on our lease in June.  Over the summer we'd gone to see a couple houses, but more just to expose us to some neighborhoods and not necessarily because we were in a position to buy.

Well, fast forward a bit to Haiti where we get an email that the owners of our townhouse will be moving back in at the end of September.  And there you have it.  Trying not to let this incite too much panic while we were gone, we decided we needed to kick up our search a notch.

Once back we started exploring options for winter rentals while also paying much closer attention to the listings that came through our email.  I honestly felt like things weren't going to come together- time wise, financially, etc. but as always the Lord provides and I feel blessed that we're scheduled to close September 13th on a house we love and that is completely move-in ready!

Everything fell into place, the way it always does and we are getting pretty excited.  I hope to have more pictures to share soon, but for now here is our soon-to-be home from the outside!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Midweek Confessions

I'm finally ready to link up for E, Myself, and I's Midweek Confessions and it gets skipped this week! Ugh.

Well I guess in effort to prove my willingness to participate I'll just go ahead and do it... by myself.

Here it goes...

-My sister went out of the country and I had no idea!  Here I am harassing her about what to do for her birthday and all the while she is hundreds of miles away without cell phone reception.  Fail!

-WW is not going well.  I haven't gained but I'm at a standstill.  Maintaining is great- when you've hit your goal weight, but I've still got 15lbs to go!

-I love Shark Week.  I was watching it on DVR at 5am this morning.

-I've been counting down for Fall so that once Shipyard's Pumpkinhead Ale came into stock I could buy as much as possible.  Well, Fall must have come early because Jake sent me a picture of a 6 pack and I flipped.  No joke.  I called him right away and started screaming.  He bought 2 cases.

-We're buying a house.  More on that later!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

More Than Names

I find it's easier to connect to a person, story, or situation when you can put a face to a name.  Here are just a few of the sweet, sweet faces from Haiti.

Let me introduce you to Oxilous, aka Freebird.  He is the second youngest camper and I pretty much fell in love with him the minute he stepped off the bus at Kaliko.  He is deaf and doesn't really speak.  He definitely understands sign language and body language but during Camp Jake we only witnessed him signing once.  He was dropped off a week before the first Camp Jake back in January and the returning counselors said his interaction this trip was world's better than the last's.  I could just eat him up.

This is Jean... another sweetheart in the group.  He is exactly what you would expect of a boy at his age, but was such a helper when given a task and a little direction.  He was eager to fit in with some of the teenage deaf boys, also content with the younger guys too.  He was so fun to be around and full of energy- I'm definitely already missing him.
photo courtesy of Howe Captivate

Marieline was born without part of her left leg and with a right club foot.  No one ever taught her how to use her prosthetic so she either didn't wear it or didn't put weight on it.  She received physical therapy from Jake daily (sometimes twice a day) and her improvements could be seen immediately.  She loved working with him and was receptive to us both early on in the trip.  She was one of the ones I was surprised to see crying through the bus window on the last day.  She has such a strong spirit that her emotion caught me off guard.

There is so much more I could write, and a lot of other campers I could talk about but it would take forever. I'm sure if I have the opportunity to talk to you personally I won't shortchange you on the details!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I'm not sure what I expected

I don't know exactly what I expected our time here in Haiti to look like because there were so many questions as to exactly what we'd be doing, but knowing how emotional I am, I should have known that this trip would pull at the heart strings.

They hadn't even finished unloading from the bus when I pulled my sunglasses down to hide the tears.  It only took a few minutes to know for certainty a couple things.

1. They are thrilled to be at Camp Jake... a majority of them for the second time.
2. There are a lot of them and with that a huge range of handicaps.  There are several blind and deaf campers as well as a fair amount in wheelchairs, all with unique stories and needs.
3. They love, love, LOVE each other and care for each other well.

I could honestly talk about the first day and some of the campers we've learned the stories of for awhile, but in effort to make sure I actually keep up with the posts I'm not going to put every detail onto these pages.  I hope to share enough to let the family and friends supporting us from home feel connected to us and what's happening here.

Today was a total whirlwind.  It was emotional, it was fast paced and slow moving all at the same time (I'm learning about Haitian time and how to tame my Type A tendencies quickly), and it was intense.

Getting 45 campers into their rooms across two floors (some in wheelchairs) was tough.  Helping to get them seated and fed was also tough.  But getting them into the water to relax and swim which they don't have the opportunity to do at the orphanage was easy.  Getting them to grab instruments and participate in creating music (for a couple hours) was also easy.  The best part is that the music came as a plan B for tonight's activities... only when our French dvds wouldn't play on the American dvd player did we have a change of plans.  Regardless, it didn't make much difference.  On a whim a few of the musically inclined counselors started playing the guitar and drums at the end of dinner for fun and that quickly transpired into a camp-wide activity that only thunder and lightning could out a stop to.

To avoid the storm we piled into our meeting space and picked the beat right up where they left off.  The most beautiful part was when the songs turned into worship music, completely at their direction.  When they started singing, "We Worship You" I honestly couldn't take it.  I teared up watching them sing those lyrics from the heart.  I know it sounds cliche, but it was anything but.  This group is faced with some hard challenges daily and despite that their faith is like a rock.  They sing with pure joy in their hearts.  It's inspiring and not something I'll soon forget... you simply can't forget such beautiful souls.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

We've Arrived in Haiti

We arrived in Haiti around 2:30 yesterday afternoon after some intense traveling.  I won't go into too much detail but originally we had a 6:00am flight out of Norfolk which was cancelled (after midnight), so we rebooked a 7:20am flight out of Richmond.  Brutal, I know.  However, the other person traveling to Camp Jake from Norfolk, Kelly, was really great and recruited her Dad's SUV and generosity to get us there.  After that, everything felt into place as planned.

Once we arrived in Port-au-Prince things got crazy, which we were warned they would.  Not in a bad way, but in a OPEN YOUR EYES sort of way.  They have one carousel for luggage and then a big open area where bags just are put out for pick up.  There are so many people hoping to provide service to arriving travelers the minute you walk in.  Our group had a ton, and I mean a ton, of bags.  People brought all kinds of snacks, games, and gifts for the campers which led to over 20 suitcases for about 10 counselors.  We loaded them onto an open truck, hopped into two vans, and made our way to the Kaliko Beach Club about 2 hours away.

Kaliko Beach is amazing.  We are staying in colorful bungalows that are so close to the ocean that I could hear it as I fell asleep.  The food has been different from the states but good so far, things taste so fresh- even the juices are made on site.  Everything about where we're staying is much nicer than what I expected... which I felt weird about at first.  I guess I felt like we were coming to a third world country and it seemed odd that we'd be spending our time at one of the nicest resorts in the area.  I wasn't sure how that would help us understand and relate to the true poverty right down the road.  And then I understood.  It's not about us- it's about the orphans coming from St. Vincent's and what this experience will be like for them.  The campers that are coming here tomorrow are the ones at St. Vincents that do not have families to visit or a place to go when school is out, so they are coming here for their summer break.  Their comfort, interests, and needs are at the root of every plan in place for the next two weeks.  I have never met a group like this group.  Tom, the camp director has thought of everything.  He has purchased and planned for things I would have never thought to bring for or do with the campers that will make their time here and their perception of themselves that much more special.  I wouldn't even know where to start with examples, but I'll try.  I think as things come together and I share the stories with you it'll be easy to see what I mean.

For now feel free to also follow The Red Thread Promise's blog, as Sonya is blogging consistently from Haiti during the trip.

Counselor bungalows
View of the pool and the ocean just beyond it

Sunday, July 8, 2012

sweet goodness

I'm not sure what it is (well, I do), but whenever we have people stay at our place I get crazy about cleaning.  The irony in this sudden and short lived obsession is that I focus so much on deep cleaning that I quickly tire out and don't get everything done... big and small!.  So for example, while the inside of our kitchen trash can could be completely disinfected and wiped down inside and out, I will have completely forgotten to take out the trash throughout the house.  This sort of thing carries into every room.  I'll dust the ceiling fan in our bedroom but won't vacuum the stairs.  I mean seriously.  Who is going to go in our room and run their finger across one of our fan blades?  No one.  But who will travel up and down the stairs noticing all sorts of things along the way?  Everyone.

This is all coming out now because we are preparing for our trip to Haiti and as result need to get the house ready for our Tank's sitter/our friend.  I spent hours in my room tonight and have 2 bags full of clothes for goodwill... but the laundry is still piling up, I didn't change the sheets (which was actually on my list), and I created more work for myself finding proper homes for things.

I've still got a few days before we head out.  Wish me luck to get everything done and for Josh to actually feel like the house is clean at first glance... because I already know under close inspection the most random things will pass.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

everybody else is doing it

I feel sort of lame doing this but I feel like you see everyone else doing it constantly, so here it goes.  Guys, feel free to stop reading now (yes, there are a few gentlemen that do read my blog).

I was really proud of this little ensemble I pulled together a few months ago which I debuted for the second time today.  Please note that I changed the shoes and added the necklace to change things up just a tad.
I should have taken this in the morning pre-food belly and putting my hair back.
My groupon necklace from Esme (designed by Murphy in Charlotte)

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Last weekend Jake and I hit the beach so he could play volleyball with some friends and I could soak up the sun.  Surprisingly (for Jake) we stayed a few hours and I ended up getting a good little tan before my trip to Boston... which was much needed considering the week called for me to be in dresses.  That's beside the point of this story though... the best part is what went down when we left.

As we walked back to our car, we made comments on how packed the streets were and how living at the beach would be tough this time of year but at least people couldn't park in your driveway.  Jake told me that if people parked in your driveway you could have them towed, but you'd still have the inconvenience of doing so.  The idea that people would find it appropriate to block a private driveway blew my mind, it just seemed so inconsiderate.  

Maybe a minute after this short exchange we crossed the street only to see a busted old rodeo parked perpendicularly behind my car and the car beside me.  I looked at Jake and something along the lines of "seriously?" was all that came out of my mouth.  We'd literally just been having this conversation and now found ourselves blocked in our space for no reason other than this person clearly didn't want to go a little further to find an open space.  Immediately I became annoyed because it was well over 100 degrees and I was certain with how crowded the beach was that we were not going to find the owner. 

My next move was to call a towing company who directed me to the police since it was public property.  Apparently they can only tow illegally parked cars and this car was not illegally parked, just inconveniently.  I called the non-emergency line and had just requested an officer come out when I see two older women approaching- one shaking her finger and yelling.  I tried eavesdropping on what she was saying to Jake and quickly discovered she was the owner of the clunker blocking me in.  I let the operator know the owner had arrived and that I would call if an officer was still needed.  Wait, the story gets better.

Once I was off the phone I could hear her better and everything about her and what she was saying was r.u.d.e.  She basically told us that we had no right no park in front of her property and that gravel area was parking for a private residence.  I politely explained that before parking I checked for private driveway signage but there wasn't any nor was there a house # or visual of her home for me to know that.  She said that her signage was ignored in the past so she took it down and the police would never tow anyone so she just started taking matters into her own hands.  She let me know that she was sick of people doing this and she could easily go back down to the beach and leave me hanging there unless I paid her $20.  

Now, I started to get fired up.  I had been apologizing and telling her I honestly wouldn't have parked there had I known it was residential parking and that while I understood her frustration, I wasn't someone who had parked here before and she was treating me like a repeat offender.  While it made sense that she was frustrated, I wasn't going to pay her to move her car.  I explained that if she wouldn't please (yes, I was sure to say please) move her car that I had already requested an officer come out and I was sure they would ask her to do so.  She responded that she knew for a fact that they wouldn't make her do a thing because she wasn't parked illegally.  This got my wheels turning...

How is that she could be blocking a car in a private drive and not be illegally parked?  Also, why wasn't she able to have cars towed or receive help from officers in the past?  Well, probably because technically it was public property.  There wasn't a mailbox or house # because I think her property was a guest house of some sort in the back yard of another beach home.  So in reality she had no driveway.  Should she?  Probably.  But she made no effort to deter folks from parking there.  Surely a cone or no parking sign (even if i wasn't legitimate) would deter some people.   Then if someone consciously disregarded it surely that isn't someone you would feel little sympathy for when blocking them in.  It's a risk they took, right?  Regardless, I continued to apologize and tell her that nothing was done maliciously on my part, but her behavior was intentional and I refused to pay her for simply turning her car on and moving a few feet forward.

So what'd she end up doing?

She moved (hesitantly and complaining, of course).  Did she pull into my spot?  Nope.  She reversed just enough to let me out and blocked the other two cars parked to my right.  She got out and said she hoped I didn't know the people who owned those cars because she wasn't moving again.

Oh, and I forgot to mention her friend's commentary during the breaks in conversation.  She went on an on about how if we're from the beach we should know better than to park in front of people's homes.  Again, I'm still wondering where said home was... but that is neither here nor there at this point.  Jake explained that we were very familiar with parking which is why we've never had this issue before now.  He also told them that they should know what to expect during summer and that any type of signage would be better than nothing and responding the way they had.

We ended up finally leaving.  No police or cash was involved.  Maybe a few sassy comments ensued on the ride back, but can you really blame me?  Seriously.

Monday, June 18, 2012

back on the hunt

I can't remember if I blogged about our house hunting, but just to bring you up to speed, Jake and I are actively looking for a house.  We aren't in a hurry and are on a savings plan to be in the best position to buy come this winter.  That said, we are receiving listings based on our search criteria and have gone to see homes on two separate occasions.

We're all over the board on our wants and needs at this point, but seeing places in person is helping us better get a feel for our home style and each other's preferences.  Below is a photo of the home we looked at most recently.
Located a block from Chick's Beach... need I say more?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Midweek Confessions

Whenever I'm trying to get back on track with blogging it always feels like I ease into with a little Midweek Confession.  Clearly today is no exception.

I must confess...

-I had skinny dip today even though I wasn't in love with the flavors.  Don't get me wrong, Cookies-n-Cream is a good one but it isn't the best pairing with my favorite toppings.

-While our temporary roommate, Matt, was moving out today I sat on the couch and stalked people on Facebook.  Eventually I offered to help but it was half-hearted and he didn't take me up on my offer.

-I'm feeling even more anti-social this week than usual.

-I thought I might cry this morning when I woke up with arm pain from my tetanus shot.  I knew it would be bad (I'm still traumatized from the first one) but my arm feels like it's on fire, looks swollen, and I'm fairly certain my range of motion has decreased.

-I realize that overall this post is coming across as fairly negative, but I've not been in the best spirits lately.  Truth is, my Papa is really sick and I'm coming to terms with the fact that he isn't going to  get better.  It's hard to watch and hard to process.  I've been praying about it a lot and find such comfort in seeking God when I'm feeling sad.  Selfishly I'd love to have him around longer, but deep down I know he is going to a better place.  He's had a really great life surrounded by people who love him and I'm sure if he was asked he wouldn't have any complaints.  I love that man.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

true story

Remember this less than awesome confession from not too long ago?  Well wouldn't you know I found myself there again- not literally at Just Cupcakes, but is Skinny Dip really any better?

It's busy.busy.busy at work right now and unfortunately that leads to stress... which leads to the consumption of a lot of sweets as a coping mechanism.  Trust me, I wish this wasn't my response but I've always turned to sweets when sad/stressed and it's a habit I've found extremely difficult to break.

One day last week I went straight from work to Skinny Dip; sampled almost all of their flavors; chose Frosted Cupcake; covered it with cookie dough bites, Reese's cup pieces, whipped cream, and cherries; checked out and made my way back to the car.  Did I mention it was pouring rain?  Well, it was and that didn't deter my mission in the slightest.  Nope.  I proceeded straight back to my car, shoveled my fro yo down my throat, listened to the radio, and posted to my Facebook wall that it'd be easier to stop stress eating if I were never stressed.  Little did the people who 'Liked' my post know exactly what that meant.  My guess is no one was picturing me sitting in my parked corolla in the pouring rain breathing easier with each bite.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Summer Wish List

As it warms up there are so many great things I want to see, do... and have!  Obviously I can't buy everything that I want but there is no harm in looking... and there is definitely no harm in sharing what some of those things are with you.

I've been expanding my wardrobe these days and have started to think more about accessories and shoes when doing so.  Below are some things that have caught my eye for summer.  Have you all branched out this season with anything new and different?
Carrie Bangles from Stella & Dot
Stella & Dot Vallen Pendant 
Crochet TOMS
The Webster at Target Jersey Dress
Rainbow Sandals in Sand

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tanky Tank

Obviously Tank can't talk, but his behavior last week spoke volumes to Jake and I about how he's been feeling.

In addition to Jake being non-weight bearing for 4-6 weeks I've been traveling a lot.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, between the two of us Tank is typically exercised at least once a day.  Typically Jake runs him or I walk him and clearly neither Jake nor myself have been able to do either lately.  I guess Tank noticed.

At first his response was to act lethargic around the house, but I guess after 2 weeks he decided to take more drastic measures.  He started getting into and destroying anything and everything left out within his reach.  I've lost a pair of navy peep toe heels, a skinny belt (that I wore once and was left on the bed for less than 15 minutes!), a bottle of sunscreen, an eyeglass case (weird, I know) and who knows what else that I haven't found yet.

Frustrated, I vented to Jake and he mentioned that there were other strange things he'd been doing too that I didn't even know about.  Apparently he no longer wanted to play fetch and he pooped in the house a few times while I was away!

We eventually decided that it had to be Tank's way of lashing out from a lack of exercise nd agreed that I had to start walking him again regularly.  I did and things have gotten better.  

I still don't think I'll leave a pair of heels out any time soon, but I'm feeling like things in the house stand a better chance this week then they did last week.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Windy City

Usually it takes me at least two weeks to unpack my suitcase from a trip, but recently I unpack it within a day or two... only to get it back down and packed a week later.  Ironic?  I think so.

Lately, it's been go, go, go in my world.  At times it's great and at other times I'm seriously tired.  Trust me, I'm not old, but I have noticed that I don't bounce back from trips the way I used to.  Perhaps it's because I'm traveling more, but perhaps not.  Regardless, it's starting to take it's toll.  Thank goodness after next week I have over a month before I see another plane.

However, the point of this post wasn't to complain but rather to share a recap from my most recent trip to Chicago.  I tried taking as many pictures as possible to document my time there, which was primarily spent in the hotel at the EVENT Marketing Summit.  I had an awesome time, despite not knowing a soul and hope to go back next year.

For those of you who don't know, I am a Marketing Manager and spend a lot of my time planning events (meetings and trade shows) for my company.  This conference inspired me to really think outside of the box with what I do and to challenge myself to take experiential marketing to the next level.  The insights shared from major brands touched on strategies beyond event marketing and it was completely inspiring.

See for yourself.
Tour Chicago by bike
The General Session
Quickmobile's booth- they make event apps
These pods are fully customizable and can be dropped off anywhere- The Body Shop chose NYC as it's test ground and did make overs right in the heart of the Big Apple
At the conference with my new, very short haircut

Monday, April 30, 2012

It's Wine o'clock Somewhere

This past weekend marked the first annual Princess Anne Wine Classic in Virginia Beach and I l.o.v.e.d. it.

Let's be honest- I'm a fan of wine so no one had to twist my arm to go, but it's always nice when you spend money on an activity and end up really enjoying yourself.

The Noblemen put this on and are known for hosting quite a few social fundraisers throughout the year.  This was the first event of theirs I've attended, and with all proceeds going back into the local community I was happy to support their cause one bottle glass at a time.

Little did I know that my fellow wine supporter and date to this day o' fun, Gillian, was a newbie to the world of wine festivals.  I would have never guessed this because she loves wine with all her heart and soul... but tis true.  When we approached the first tent she asked what we were supposed to do and it was quite shocking.  All the comments about my preparedness and general know-how started to make more sense.  See,  I'm used to attending these sorts of things with big groups of friends and my typical contribution is minimal- as in I show up and maybe prepare a small snack to share (if that!).  Last year I had to step up my game because the mother hen of our group, Elizabeth, was way-pregnant (is that bad to say?) and I was trying to help her out by taking on some of the prep work.  I ended up making chicken salad, purchased some cheeses, and packed a super cute cooler with all the random things we may need- even down to hand sanitizer.  From that festival on I became a new person.  Similarly, I brought a cooler packed with a variety of cheese and crackers, fruit... and of course, whatever utensils there was the slightest chance we might have needed.  It felt good to plan ahead and pack well enough that we didn't need to do anything but taste, taste, and taste some more wine.

Shortly into arriving (as in three tents "in") it started to rain... hard.  Thank goodness for the food tent and two folding chairs we somehow managed to snag to wait out the storm.  Oh, and did I mention the bottle of wine Gillian ran back through the rain for?  No?  Well definitely thank goodness for that.  We chatted with quite a few people, ate, and decided that should the rain persist we would just have to buy a bottle from a random tent we hadn't tasted from yet and move our party of two to the car.  Fortunately for us, the rain did let up and we didn't have to take such drastic measures.  It sounds crazy, but I wasn't about to let the newbie's first experience be lamo.

The best part about this whole thing was that once the rain stopped we were more fascinated with the horses in the stable than the vendor tents so by the time we picked up where we'd left off we realized there only30 more minutes of tasting.  Tough break, I know.  Didn't matter to us though, the day was full of good company, good wine, and good food.  


Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm awful

I really am awful when it comes to care taking.  I like to think that's not the case, but anything over 24 hours and you've lost my interest.  Don't get me wrong... for those first 24 hrs you feel like a king/queen, but after that you've lost your status.  My concern has a limit and it's called time.

This makes me embarrassed and concerned for so many reasons.

1. I'd like to have kids (well maybe just one) at some point and I realize their issues/needs can't be contained to a single day.  Bummer.
2. I have friends and family members that stay at home and have a gift for care taking and I can't even be patient with Jake and his broken foot for two weeks.  It's true.  I'm way over this injury and he still has at least another two weeks to go.
3. My brief concern for people and their needs is a bit selfish and highlights how truly impatient I am.
4. The truth is, if Jake didn't wait hand and foot on me each time I got sick I'd be devastated.  There is something about being on the receiving end of this treatment that makes you feel better.  Can you say hypocrite?
5. This behavior isn't earning me much credit in the wife department- well just in general, I wouldn't even be appealing as a roommate at this rate.  I don't clean up after myself, I don't like to clean up after others, I'm not a good cook, I enjoy 'me' time, if I could have sole control over the tv I would and I wouldn't think twice about it... oh, and you can add not being overly sympathetic for others in times of need to the list.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


So much has happened since my last post (most likely because a lot of time has passed) but I'm going to do my best to bring you up to speed.  Hopefully, in the days/weeks to follow I can go into more detail on some of the updates.  Here's to keeping you in the know...

-Jake and I got accepted as counselors at Camp Jake by The Red Thread Promise.  We'll be in Haiti just shy of two weeks this July and are getting really excited!  We have been toying around the idea of doing a block party that could serve as a fundraiser as well.  The plan is to provide the food and drinks (a perfectly timed home brew) and put a shoe box out for donations- old school style.  Anything collected above our $500 fundraising goal would go straight back to the organization.  More details on this definitely to follow.

-Jake broke his foot.  He is fine, but it sucks.  He is pretty limited in what he can do and I predict will go stir crazy by the end of the week.  The worst part is that he's been training for a half ironman that he now won't be able to do.  As a matter of fact, he broke his foot while trail running this past weekend as part of his training plan.  Poor guy.   The only thing he hates more than inactivity is wasting money.  This incident has resulted in both.

-I'm headed to San Antonio tomorrow for work and am bringing our new(ish) Marketing Coordinator with me.  The plan is for this week to serve as a live training for her before our biggest event in June.  I'm really looking forward to teaching her the ropes and having some company while working the event, it should be fun!

-I've taken a break from my book and am having a really hard time picking it back up.  Hopefully my upcoming travel may create an opportunity to dive back in.

-The hard drive for my work computer crashed today.  Need I say more?

I hope to post when I get back this weekend, but I understand if you take your time to check back!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

4 Day Challenge: Day Three

My Baking Addiction has a ton of great recipes! 

Day Three's meal happened but I wasn't able to document it with photos. Bummer.  

Let's get right to it.  We enjoyed some tasty shrimp & scallop tacos with avocado sauce, inspired from this recipe; my corn salad for a side; and delicious No Bake Nutella Cheesecake for dessert.  Both the tacos and cheesecake were new recipes... and I would say were a total hit!

Tip: if you try your hand at the cheesecake, plan to prepare it in individual dishes- it made for a pretty presentation and would be difficult to serve otherwise.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

4 Day Challenge: Day Two

Sorry for the delay but it was Jake's birthday week, so as you can imagine celebrations were in order... for what felt like every night!

The 4 Day Challenge ended up being more like a 3 Day Challenge which was fine because Jake had a work happy hour on Wednesday night and that is the same day our community group meets, so needless to say time was tight.  Anyway, I'm not worried about it, I gave it an honest effort and I think that's what matters.

Tuesday's dinner (aka Day Two) from was OK.  The chicken was a little dry which was totally on me... I didn't realize toaster ovens cook hotter than the oven.  Lesson learned.  I will say however that the squash side was delicious and definitely something I'll make again.  Check it out.

Panko Crusted Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta, Spinach, Tomatoes, & Basil: 

  • 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese
  • Small handful of baby spinach, chopped
  • Small handful of grape tomatoes, diced (remove the seeds if possible)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Dash of oregano
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Italian seasoned panko crumbs
  • 2 tsp olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine the ricotta, spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Mix until thoroughly combined.
3. Rinse the chicken breasts then cut a long horizontal slit along the center of the thin long edge of the chicken breast, nearly through to the other side. Fill the cavity of the chicken breast with the ricotta mixture. Season each side of the chicken with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Carefully dip the chicken breasts in the panko crumbs until both sides are evenly covered. Close the slit together with toothpicks.
4. Heat the olive oil in an OVEN PROOF skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown, flip the chicken over and place the skillet into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
I followed this recipe for the side but replaced the zucchini with a squash and left out the pine nuts.  d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

midweek confessions

I'm really getting the hang of this whole linking up concept.  Go me.  Go me. Go me.  Too much?  Understood.  Well, the good news is this week that I think I'll be able to actually write about more than one topic (aka no tax talk here!).  Yay for movement out of my self pity party.  Here it goes...

-I am cooking dinner from scratch this week for Jake's birthday which is a true gift since he does 90% f the cooking (don't judge me) and I'm already not a fan.  I personally don't know how some women do it.  I commute to work, put in my 8+ hours, get home, go for a run, and start cooking as soon as I get back.  I try to clean as I go but by the time I'm taking a seat it's 8:00!  I don't know how some people do it, I mean could you imagine inserting a small child into that schedule?  I.don'

-Today when I came home the minute I came through the door I found Tank laying in the submissive position on the couch.  Not good.  I dropped my bag, looked down, and found the sole of Jake's new loafers completely chewed and thrown across the carpet.  I disciplined Tank and then called Jake to confirm he in fact left his shoes out (as if I didn't know).  I can see the remnants out of the corner of my eye right now as I blog and I'm not going to clean it up.  I think Jake needs to see what his "pup pup" is capable of.

-I have absolutely no discipline when I walk into stores these days.  I don't know what's wrong with me but I'm crazed for new clothes and I'm not very good about telling myself no.  To my defense, a lot of my clothes are old and have been worn well past their prime, but replacing them gets expensive.  I try not to hide my shopping endeavors from Jake, but I know his anxiety is growing as he sees me sporting new outfits.  Don't get me wrong, we're both fans of my style these days- he definitely prefers it to my sweats, sport bra, and t-shirts (strange, I know) but I still sort of feel bad.  Also to my defense, my clothes from before aren't fitting right.  They are too big, which is a good problem to have, or are severely "worn in".  I'm talking sweat and bleach stains, faded colors, etc. it's bad news bears when you work in the kind of office environment that I do.  

-My new boss starts next Monday and I went from nervous to excited to anxious all over again.  I have only met her briefly and she seems really nice, but for whatever reason this weekend I started questioning whether that is really her or if her "true" side will reveal itself with time.  Eek, I guess I won't know til I know.

-Jake's birthday is tomorrow and I don't really have a good gift for him.  I replaced is cologne which jut ran out from high school and bought him a nice pair of VT work out shorts.  He is the worst when it comes to gifts, so I just don't stress over it anymore.  As a matter of fact, I'm fully prepared for him to ask me to return both things... and I will, without hurt feelings because it's just how he is.

-I'm considering hitting the tanning bed.  Terrible, I know.  It's just that it's getting warmer and I'd like to let my legs out to play without blinding innocent onlookers.  Know what I mean?  We'll see if I do it or not.  In past years when I've gone it's given me the base tan I need to avoid a harsh sunburn when I finally hit the beach.  Decisions, decisions.

Hope you're having a good week!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...