September 30, 2012

What a weekend!

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I had a great weekend!!  First of all, my cold is 98% gone, which is awesome because usually I am sick for 3 weeks on average.  I really tried to take care of myself, take my meds, take vitamins, drink water and eat some fruit to help the process go faster.  Second, Dave was off all weekend.  This has been happening more lately and it is so great because we get to spend really great quality time together.  For those who are hubs is a hard working night shift nurse at our local sometimes we have completely opposite schedules.  It's lovely when we get at least a whole day off together, let alone two!

Friday night we headed down to Baltimore to see our beloved O's play.  This is the first year that I can remember that they have done well.  We usually go to at least one game every year, but it's honestly sort of a joke most years with a half empty stadium and not a lot of hype.  Well, WOW, what a difference it was on Friday!  The O's are battling for first in our division and Camden Yards was PACKED.  It was like being at a Ravens games with everyone so pumped up and loud and excited.  We had great seats too;)

Here's a lovely Instagram of Dave & I. Yes yes we know...we look like brother and sister but no no we are NOT!  LOL.  They say that people who live together a long time start to look even more alike.  In that case we have no hope because we already look related;)  At least we are cute, right?  Haha.

 Saturday we had a breakfast date at Bob Evans, which is close enough to walk to.  We love eating here, it makes us feel like we are on vacation, and its super cheap;)  Gotta love a cheap date!  Then we visited a new store here in town called "Poor Boys" which was awesome!  I keep joking that it was like walking around inside Dave's head.  The store is full of every and any sort of Ravens and Orioles fan stuff you can imagine!  Clothes, furniture, barware, jewelry, jerseys, everything!  Even Steelers Suck toilet paper, how funny is that?  All of Dave's Christmas gifts are coming from that store.  It's amazing...if you are a local and a Ravens/O's fan, you must go.  If not, you live in the WRONG town;)  Dave bought a sweet Harbaugh-type polo shirt and I bought this adorbs ladies ravens tee, some earrings and some hair bows for both Ash and I.  Gotta have some cute stuff to represent on Purple Fridays.  I love our town!!

Later on Saturday we went to the Annual Wine Festival at Rockfield Manor.  We went last year and had so much fun.  You pay $25 and they give you a glass and you can taste unlimited wine samples from all the local wineries, plus non locals.  They also had a live band, tons of fun vendors, and some food stands.  I love that it is whole-family friendly too, so kids are welcome!  All the Belairians were out with their blankets and chairs and picnics and having a good ol time.  Including us...

We stopped by my parents afterwards, they live really close to the Manor where the wine festival was.  We hung out with them for a bit and shared some of the goodies we purchased.  When we finally got home we were so zonked, we just ordered Chinese and watched Independence Day on TV.  It was such a great day together, and a cozy evening in:)

We were supposed to go to church this am, but I did something crazy to my neck early in the am.  I was turning over in bed and heard a very loud, uncomfortable "pop" in my neck, which was immediately followed by extreme pain.  I'm telling really is NEVER a "bland" life with me.  There's always something dramatic going on;)  All day I have been in a lot of pain, I'm actually taking a super pain pill today so that I can sleep enough to function tomorrow at work.  Ouch.

We did manage to make a drive up to PA to pick up Ashley, it was lovely drive up there because it was such a PRETTY day and even though my neck was in pain the whole time, the scenery was worth it.  We dropped her off at youth group and headed over to Wegmans for our monthly shopping trip.  We are trying hard to keep our expensive shopping trips down to 1x a month, and to use lots of coupons when we do.  It's still a process.  I've fallen off of the coupon wagon again.  I definitely need to organize them all again and get back into it.  I love being frugal, but it does take a lot of time to plan.

Welp...that was my weekend!  I hope everyone else had a lovely one too.  We didn't get much done in the house, but that will hopefully change this week;)

Oh - how do you like my redesign so far??  Cute, isn't it?!?!


September 23, 2012


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I'll be honest.  The past few days have been torture.  I'm sick, yes, again.  I've got my yearly "it's fall" cold.  I went to work on Thursday feeling perfectly fine, no hints or clues that I was going to get sick.  By the time I taught a 2nd grade lesson, around 1:45, I was battling a sever sore throat.  By that evening, my nose had turned into a faucet and my body ached like hell.  All in a matter of 12 hours?  Usually I get sick nice and slow, and it progresses slow, so I guess this wam, bam, thank you ma'am cold is a blessing in disguise.  Today, when I started coughing, I knew it was time for the doc.

My whole weekend (plus my work day Friday) was stolen by this wretched infection.  I didn't get anything done, besides rest.  I hate resting.  I hate sitting around doing nothing!

So, let me catch you up on what I did do...last weekend;)  I wanted to wait to do updates until my blog was redesigned but it's taking longer than expected and I don't want to be away that long!  We've done a few little updates around here, mostly on our main floor.  We still have a long way to go until I call this place "done" but we are slowly chipping away!

Our door handles in the house are that ugly brass...gross.  I thought about replacing all of them but then I figured, why buy something that can be so easily re-made?  All I needed was something to sand them with, a primer, and a nice color to replace the brassiness!  I chose good ol ORB because I love how it looks with our gray.

I sanded them lightly with one of those steel wool jiggy ma-bobs, then cleaned them in warm, soapy water.  I sprayed them lightly with a white primer, and then sprayed them with this ORB from Home Depot.

What a wonderful difference it makes.  I've only done 4 of our doors on the main floor.  I have to do all of the upstairs handles, and our two main doors.  I have to do the main door handles on a day I have off, and finish them in one day, obviously, because I'll need to be able to lock our house back up at night;)  Here are the ones I've done, all pretty!


The doors and trim have since been painted too.  I love the crisp white with the ORB and lovely gray!

Then, I had to repaint my candle stick set that I re-made a year ago.  Too much gray!!  They needed a pop of color, so I chose a moody navy blue and a happy limey green - both colors go awesome with the gray walls...

Isn't spray paint the best?  Such a quick, sweet update!

They used to be a silvery gray, which worked better with our old colors and decor, but now they pop out and give a cheery HELLO!  I need to put some candles in them.  I'm in love with these colors!  Again with these I sanded them a little and wiped them off, and then sprayed thin, even coats...

The last little update are the new shelves from IKEA.  These are a work in progress.  I have books and other fun things to decorate these with, right now they look a little empty.  I am a huge fan of the whole new way to display pictures...which  is not hanging them on the walls but propping them up on shelves in haphazard ways.  I'm hoping it'll add to the layering look I am trying to accomplish in the house.  So while they are cute, they are going to be cuter in weeks to come!

They were super easy to hang.  I love the floating shelf look.  The pictures are going to be swapped out for frames that prop against the wall...

Of course, Frodo needs to photo-bomb as usual...

Aren't the colors delightful together?  I bought white shelves to off set all the dark furniture in this room.  I've got plans to paint, refinish and update every single piece of wood furniture in this space...I can't stand that it all matches!!  Oh and we need a big rug in here too - a big big one!  And curtains...but all in good time, all in good time.  It's really coming together nicely though, isn't it?

September 11, 2012

What I will never forget...

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Everyone has a 9/11 story.   I am going to tell you mine.  I have to say, the day did not start out great for me.  Everyone talks about what a beautiful morning it was, a seemingly perfect day...but a cloud had already set over our family even before the terrorists pricked our heart.

My dear Pop Pop, Dad's dad, had suffered from a stroke that summer and was in an assisted living down in his Florida town.  I was headed to class at Towson that morning, and before I left I looked at the Caller ID in our kitchen and saw that the assisted living had called, followed by a funeral home.  That wasn't a good sign.  Mom was upstairs, Dad was at work, I can't remember where Jonathan was...but I felt my world get small.  I called Mom down and she called to confirm what we already knew, Pop Pop had passed away. 

Pop was the sweetest, most selfless man ever.  He brought Notre Dame into our family, but I never saw him scream at the TV like Dad, Jonathan & Uncle Pat.  Every time he called me on the phone  he would say, "Geronimo!!!" like we used to do when he would take me to the playground as a kid on push me, or what I would scream as I jumped into their pool in Florida.  I miss him.

Anyways, that morning Mom called Dad at work to break the news to him and I decided to skip class, obviously.  We turned on the TV to distract ourselves, and there it was...smoke pouring out of the 1st tower that was hit.  My heart burst.  Why was one of the Twin Towers in my favorite city on fire...on top?  The news wasn't saying anything about terrorism yet, they were all trying to speculate what had happened exactly.  Then....BAM.  A plane hit the 2nd tower.  Then we realized a plane had hit the 1st one too.  It was all so fast and confusing.   Then the 3rd plane hit, and the 4th...and I remember we thought the world was ending.  My one Uncle works in NYC, the other worked in DC, we couldn't get a hold of either of them.  What a mess. 

That day was awful.  Grieving about Pop, grieving for the world, grieving for my beloved NYC.  Those towers being hit and eventually coming down felt like 2 old friends passing away.  All my trips to NYC since I was 10 included those towers.  I loved going to the top to observe the amazing views of the city.  Mom and I would always buy our Broadway tickets at the TKS counter in the lobby.  We used the subway to and from there as a launching point for exploration.  I loved shopping at the GAP in the mall underneath.  The first time I have ever eaten sushi was the restaurant on top.  The city STILL doesn't look right to me because they are gone.

It's nothing to what some others have gone through.  Like I said, everyone has a story and that is mine.  It may not seem tragic, but to me, it was a sad day.  I know for so many people in NYC, DC and PA, it was the worse day of their lives.  It was close for me. 

I love NYC.  I love the people who tried to save it, and who gave their lives to do so.  I love that our country was brought closer together, and I love that we got some of the bad guys.  I'll never forget. 

I'll leave you with a pic of me, taken when I was about 15, on top of the observation tower of one of the WTC.  I loved it there!!

Oh and also...PopPop, I miss you like crazy! 

September 10, 2012

Pinterest inspired buys...

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Pinterest for me is like infomercials for some people.  I see something I like and I want it right away, so I buy it!  Usually I buy the things that are Etsy based, because I love buying off Etsy.  It's like how I love buying from local, small business owners.  I don't do it often (let's face it, 99% of my crap comes from Target, which basically is the Man, right?) and I want to try harder to shop from places like this.  Anyways...I digress...

I've bought a few things lately, found directly on Pinterest, made by Etsy shops:

Infinity Scarf Loop Scarf Circle Scarf Cowl Scarf Soft and Lightweight Zigzag Chevron Print Red Green Yellow

Found here.  Isn't it adorbs???  I bought it like 2 weeks ago and I just got an email saying it's on it's way - Yipeeeeee!!!

I also bought this...

Hogwarts Alumni Parody Shirt, Harry Potter Inspired - T Shirt
Found here.  Who doesn't love a good Harry Potter shirt, right??  RIGHT!!

The good thing about both of these is that they were each about $20 shipped, so it hasn't set us back a whole lot of cash.  Cheap and cute, my kinda combo!

Anyone else addicted to Pinterest and from there, addicted to buying things they pin???

September 9, 2012


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Well, we didn't finish the to do list today, we actually ended up adding more to it.  We did put a dent in it though!  Now it looks like this...

Some of the things are bigger projects, like painting the whole stairwell and putting in a faux chair rail with paint, and getting curtains/window tx and cleaning out the guest room.  Those are all one a day projects themselves!

We did...paint the doors and trim...

What a difference a new coat of paint on a door makes!!  They look 1000000000 times better than before!

We cleaned the couch...

By we, I mean Dave!  Here he is all happy about his chore;) 

We also made Ashley's weekly schedule.  She needs a ton of prompting and reminding so we do this so that we don't have to tell her to do things a bazillion times, she has a set schedule and knows what she has to do and when, and that way there are fewer arguments because she knows ahead of time what we expect of her.  Plus she is a busy kid, so it helps putting it all on paper so we can remember and try to stay accountable, and try to be good parents.  It's hard sometimes!!  This definitely helps...

Dave did the dishes and cleaning the kitchen AND swept all the floors.   I heart him!

I took off all our ugly brass door handles and decided to do something about them.  I cleaned them in warm water and then wiped them down, then I went over them with those steely woolly things, then cleaned them again.  Then I sprayed them lightly with a primer, and then attacked them with ORB.  They look so much better!

Light coats, lots of coats.  Lots of light coats...

Here is a hint, don't spray paint on newspaper.  You'll pull your hair out.  Spray them on cardboard, or something else that won't stick!  They are all done but I am giving them a full day to dry.  I put a LOT of coats on them.

Then we worked hard to de-junk the place...

Mail got sorted, Goodwill stuff got taken out to the car, Frodo bombed more pics...

Painting stuff was put away, least more neatly than it was!  It's living in a black tote over there until we are done the stairwell.

Speaking of, I started prepping the stairwell for paint.  I dimpled and fill the holes and nail pops and all the little imperfections.  I'll let this dry for a day (or 5) and then I'll sand it down and trim it out and then finally paint it!  I have very cool plans for this stairwell!

It was a productive day!  Plus, in the middle of all this chaos, we got to sit around together and watch football, and we went to Starbucks for the 1st Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season.  Plus!!!  I finished my book!  If you remember from my post yesterday, I was reading Legend.  It took a while for me to get into it, but I got hooked on it yesterday and sped through it and finished about 2 hours ago. 

All in all it was a great weekend!  Got lots done, spent time with family yesterday (before the storm), and got to enjoy the whole weekend with Dave!  He's been off on the weekends lately and that has been really great!  I'm not ready to go to work - it's going to be a busy busy week!


This morning, my house looked like this...

I'm putting up pictures of how it looks to hold myself accountable to my to do list, which looks like this:

Actually, the list grew to include changing our bed sheets to the new, very nice ones I've bought, cleaning our room, doing laundry, and talking to the neighbors again about the gutters.

It's brave of me to show you my dirty house.  It's really bad.  At first glance it may not look like such a mess, but if you were here you would see dust and dirt on every surface.  Just plain gross...

Groceries everywhere, and I'm not even done shopping.  Oh yeah, add more grocery shopping to the list...ugh...

Super dirty couch.  Messy desk.  Book and mail and laptops eschew...

Painting stuff hasn't been put away in over a month because...well...I still need to paint things...

Like the doors and that stairwell.  Gross.  Can you believe our house was ever that color??  Yuck..

Double yuck...

See those brass door handles?  And the dirty doors??  All that has already been dealt with today, so I am making progress.  Slooooow progress because I keep taking breaks to sit and chat with Dave and watch some football or take a sip of water.

Can you see the dirt stains on those doors??  That's after scrubbing them too, but they don't look like that anymore!! ;)

Yikes.  The kitchen.  I have a hubby who says he'll do this and cross it off the huge to-do list.  Oh and vacuum the couch, its realllly dirty.  He's a keeper!

Look at me, all meal-planned out!!!  Yeah, that was from a month ago.  Epic meal planning failure has been happening for the past few weeks.  Hence all the ordering and eating out.  Hence the fact that I am ordering wings for us to eat right now;)

Stay tuned for some afters later today.  Hopefully.  If we get enough done, and don't die from exhaustion in the process;)

Happy Sunday!  Are you getting your to-do list done?

September 8, 2012

Books books books

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Let us get back to my love of books!!  I mean, that's how this whole blog thing started, right?  I have to revisit from time to time!!

This summer I've read lots of great books!!  I read Matched:

Then I read the second one in the series, Crossed:

I really liked them both.  I really love YA lit.  I'm a sucker for a good teen book!  I am super excited because the next one comes in soon, like...maybe next week?  Soon!  Disney bought the rights to make it a movie too, very fun!

I also read Girl of Fire and Thorns:

I really liked that one too!  This one will also be a series.

I tried to read the James Patterson teen series, but I couldn't get into it at all.  I can't even remember what it was called but there are a bunch of them?   Then I started reading Legend:

That one is fairly good so far, but if it doesn't catch me more soon I may stop.  I am way way excited about these two books I just got in the mail!!

I've heard great things about the Discovery of Witches, so I can't wait to dive into that.  The second one is by Gretchin Rubin, who wrote one of the best books ever, The Happiness Project, which I read and reviewed last year.  I love having new things to read!

What are you reading now?  I love getting recommendations!!!