Archive for ‘personal’

September 19, 2011

How I Love Weekends.

These days I live for the weekend.  Monday through Friday is great and all, but the weekends are when I get to spend more time with my hubby and I get to spend some quality time at the house.  Cleaning is high on the list, but it doesn’t always happen.  Sporatic cleaning is my new tactic, that way cleaning doesn’t end up taking over a whole day where my hair gets pulled on the top of my head and I’m covered in dirt from head to toe at the end of five hours.  (Although, sometimes it’s necessary).  This weekend did not involve much cleaning, but it was a busy one!

The back door has needed some love for awhile.  It was off-white when we moved in, peeling paint on the outside, and it didn’t seal at all.  Levi put some weather stripping on it a few months ago, which helped in a huge way during our heat wave.  The dirty look of the door has been driving me crazy.  So this weekend, it got a face-lift!

It’s so happy now.  I just love it. 

The trim still needs some work, but that’s for another weekend.

Another new addition to the backyard is the shed that my husband, so graciously, put together.  We debated for awhile on building our own or buying a pre-fabricated shed.  After pricing everything, we decided to buy one and put it together.  One million pieces later . . . the shed is finally finished and organized!  Levi put everything in the shed yesterday.  The yard looks so much better (minus the dirt that is now our grass).  That man is a blessing.

Hagen is still growing, of course.  We think she’s around 90 lbs now.  It hurts when she steps on your feet.  But she’s a huge ball of love.

Weekends also bring time for gardening.  I’m starting out small this fall … and in containers. 

Weekend before last I planted herbs :: basil, cilantro, sage, parsley, and lavender.  Currently this pot is no longer stacked on blocks on the deck, because Hager beans still found a way to get to the plants.  We are down one parsley now.  I got two chains and hung the container from two existing hooks outside our office window.  The herbs like it there so far.  And it’s out of Hagen’s reach .. for now.

The front beds have two tomato plants, four red cabbage plants, and four cauliflower plants. I also planted lettuce, because I love it.  Bibb, Romaine, Arugula & Swiss Chard.  It sits on our stop sign table on the front porch.  The swiss chard has it’s own pot, because it’s large and in charge. The lettuce really took off this week with our spurts of rain. 

Last night we had our first salad.  It was delicious.

Some sort of baking or cooking frenzy normally happens during the weekend as well.  This weekend, the baking was for a coworker-turned-friend ..  Happy Birthday Matt!  He likes cookies.  He likes icing.  Hopefully the cookie cake will suffice! 

With that, I will leave you with my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe … for one of your upcoming weekends.
 

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September 6, 2011

Ryan :: Autumn Wreath

It’s COOL outside! This weather, although probably short-lived, is amazing. I’ve been waiting to make our autumn wreath until we had a cool streak. Yes, cool … meaning two consecutive days under 90 degrees. So that day is today!

I realize that I still haven’t posted before/after pictures of the house. It’s only been what, 5 months?! I’ll get to it. For now, the front door. It was originally a dark olive green – yuck. I appreciate that this color holds a special place in the heart of many people, but I just can’t handle it. We took the door a dark charcoal color with the tiniest hint of violet. We also added the giraffe doorknocker from Anthro. I couldn’t resist this little guy. He welcomes guests and makes quite a racket to let us know when someone knocks at the door.

I have been gathering pieces of autumn goodness to make a wreath for this fall. All of the pieces for this wreath were found on sale at Joann’s, Michael’s, and Anna’s Linens. The wooden wreath form itself was picked up on the side of the road by yours truly. I’m not ashamed. It originally had some ghastly pink ribbons and hot glue ridden flowers. After removing all of the unwanted pieces, the wreath form was ready for a new life. Here is the result.

The straw-like pieces are from Michael’s. Levi actually spotted the 60% bins on the sidewalk while we were leaving BB&B. He regretted mentioning it after I started digging through the florals. We also scored some nice tiki torches for a few bucks. The little berries and feathers were a JoAnn’s find, with a 50% coupon, of course. Never buy anything from JoAnn’s without a coupon. Seriously. The burgundy hair-like pieces surrounding the center of the wreath were on clearance at Anna’s. I found out why too. They dye your hands hot pink. I mean solid pink. After working with those pieces, I had to scrub my hands so much to get the dye off. It was worth it though – I like the richness that the burgundy adds.

Yay for fall days!

September 2, 2011

This Week :: A Whirlwind

This beautiful lady, my mother, is FINALLY home in her own bed. No more hospital food. No more waking every two hours for nurses. No more IVs. No more tests. Only rest and recovery from the comfort of her own home.

For those of you who don’t know my mom, she is a bundle of energy. She’s a hairdresser, on her feet all day and often has a hard time fitting in time to eat lunch. Even when she’s tired, she doesn’t look tired. About 2 weeks ago, her right arm went numb when she got to work. After an ER trip, 3 EKGs, and a heart cath later we learned that she had some minor blockage in her arteries. Totally treatable with medicine, so we were all relieved.

Then comes Monday. Dreaded Monday. My mom woke up unable to move her arms or legs. Just typing that gives me chills. She could feel everything, but it was like she had no muscles. An ambulance rushed her to the ER and the testing began. She looked so tired to me. More tired than I had ever seen her. MRIs, CTs, blood tests … The only thing that turned up was a thyroid issue. Hypothyroidism can apparently cause nerve damage, causing numbness and loss of muscular control.

Needless to say, we were all so worried while Mom was in the hospital and many prayers were sent heaven’s way for her.

Thank you to everyone who supported and continue to support her and our family during this time. It was scary. I can’t tell you how comforting it was to know she was being lifted up in prayer from family and friends across the U.S. I am so thankful that she is recovering and that she will be able to treat the problem.

I don’t know what I would do without her. Seriously.

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To end on a lighter note. Look at this girl. She thinks this is comfortable.

We find her like this all the time .. Her head completely off of the bed. A nap does sound nice though, doesn’t it? Happy Labor Day weekend! Lots to celebrate in this family!

August 16, 2011

Lately

Most of my life lately has been consumed here :

This is my cube.  My tax accounting cube.  I have recently converted from sitting on that bright red ball to standing.  I know, I know … why would one do this?  Because this one’s back/neck/general posture has gone to pot since taking on the profession that is accounting.  Although my back hurts some days, I can deal with it.  The soreness will go away.  I feel like a curving spine may take a little more work to undo.

My mom works all day on her feet as a hairdresser.  So surely I can do the same.  I’ll just pretend like I’m giving my laptop a new do.  If worse comes to worst, my handy red ball is within close reach.

I need some serious decorating to happen in my workspace in the upcoming holiday months.  Too. much. gray.

On the subject of work, the peeps up in the FW EY office are pretty awesome.  Awesome enough to the point of making me want to organize a Thanksgiving dinner so we can all come as indians and pilgrims.  Also awesome enough to make me want to bake for every birthday in the office.  Check out these Oreo Stuffed Brownies.  Wicked.  These are next on the lineup and I’m super-excited about it. 

In other news, Phoebe loves the sink.

So much that I have to fight for room to brush my teeth in the morning.  She loves to drink out of the faucet.  Hagen loves to drink out of the toilet.  This may be proof that cats are smarter than dogs.  Or that Phoebe is smarter than Hagen.  Although Phoebe has been known to smack Hagen on the nose for no apparent reason, other than Hagen’s up in her space.  All Hagen wants is to play!

Once the weather gets cooler, we have some outdoor projects on the horizon.  One of these is to add a retaining wall of sorts to the front yard.  Levi’s not crazy about the slanted mowing situation that would have to occur if the yard stays as is.  Plus, it will dress up the front.  We keep debating on the style, but we drove by this house the other day and both loved the look of this.  Definitely planting more yuccas.

Lastly, I’m loving my new wallet.  The trifold that I’ve carried since graduation is not cutting it lately.  Apparently I’m a receipt hoarder and I find the need to keep bits of paper in my wallet until the writing is completely worn off.  I’m convinced I inherited this from my mother.  Regardless, I’m excited about this new addition to my purse.

I hope to share a recipe and another crafty project this week!  For now, Happy Tuesday to all.

August 1, 2011

Ryan :: A Proper Texas Pounding

Last month our parents threw a Texas Pounding to break Ryan in & warm our home with laughter & wonderful people. Most people have never heard of a Pounding, because they are kind of old-fashioned. Right up our my alley … Although I think Levi had fun with it too … Especially considering the many pounds of coffee we received. 

We had around 50 people through Ryan on that Saturday.  It was a hot Texas day, as I’m sure you can imagine.  Everyone stuck it out like troopers, and some staked out a spot in the office – which was the coolest room during the party.

Bran, modeling with the deer?

Every room.  More people.

The kitchen ..

The bathroom … For some reason, this wasn’t the room of choice to congregate in.  It did get a lot of action though, because I had to explain to everyone what it looked like before.

I’ll show you the bedroom once I have the curtains finished … but for now, just think electric blue.

The deck was a project semi-finished about two hours prior to the pounding.  Levi and Stevo worked their tails off in the heat finishing this.  I absolutely love it!  It’s so nice to walk out onto the deck instead of our now-crunchy-grass.  Once the upper portion is finished and it is stained a dark brown, it will be even better!  With the misters going, it almost felt better outside under the shade.

Bug – eyes.

Everyone wanted us to open the pounds they brought – so we gathered in the hottest room, the living, to open them.

I loved how creative people got with the gifts.  Among our favorites were : dolmas from Central Market, coffee, paper bags filled with screws, nails, and other construction goodness, a highlighter green hammer (so we won’t lose it), lantana plants, and a pound of ribs.  Of course, we have enough flour, sugar, peanut butter, and jelly to last us years!  We loved everything.

I think the boy was most excited about the bullets for his gun.  His brother knows him well.

Homemade spice mix.  Absolutely delicious on any kind of meat.

My parents gave us some of the doilies that my dad’s mom, who we called ‘Who Who’, had crocheted.  It is so special for me to have these to remind me of her.  I think I got a little bit of her craftiness.

Thank you everyone for your amazing generosity.  We love you!

July 26, 2011

24 Years & Counting

Seeing as I have been slacking in the picture department, especially in sharing some eye candy of our new decor/remodel, I have a lot to catch up on.  Normally, I like to keep things in order .. chronologically speaking ..  but sometimes you just have to make an exception.  Like, for birthdays.  Don’t worry, you’ll get to hear all about the pounding our parents threw for us and the plant situation that is now outside of our bedroom door.  For now, however – my birthday …

Sunday morning we made pancakes.  Lately, we have been making pancakes out of our copy Joy of Cooking …which is a bit worn in, and I like it that way. This time, we opted for the German Panackes, which turned into one big pancake that we shared.

It gets all bubbly and rises before it flattens to it’s beautiful shape.  The butter helps our case too.

Fold it over and slide it out of the pan.

Then top it with some powdered sugar & warm blueberries.  Yummers.

After breakfast/lunch, my boy helped me finish a project we started the day before — to. be. shown. at. a. later. time.  Let me just tell you though, it’s one of my new favorite things about the house.  That night we went to Buttons, for some soul food & jazz.  We basically had the entire restaurant to ourselves, because it was a Sunday … which I was completely ok with.

We laughed a lot.

We danced.

We ate a lot.

Chicken & Waffles are Buttons’ specialty.

Then it was cake time.  Blackberry Wine Cake.  Yes, my mother is amazing.

We all marveled at Brandy’s dancing skills as she danced a piece of cake up to the one man band as he played “Brick House.”  The pics couldn’t capture her talent.  Let me just tell you, that girl’s got some moves y’all.

Then they showered me with gifts.  My friends and family are way to generous … really, having them in my life is enough.

July 13, 2011

Ryan :: Recent Happenings

This is what our living room looked like on Sunday afternoon.

Fabric bonanza.

Over a month ago, we bought 4 cane-backed chairs off of Craigslist to go with the beautiful dining table my parents gave us as a housewarming gift.  The table was my grandmothers and it’s gorgeous.  So, the chairs need to be something special too.  This is what the chairs looked like before.  They weren’t terrible, but I wasn’t digging the fabric.

Imagine this chair x 4 plus 2 chairs (one shown below) that were given to us by the previous owner of the house.  Four hours, hundreds of staples, and a swollen hand later … we had newly covered chairs.  They look pretty and they feel better too.  The fabric is so comfy on the hind legs.

The makeshift red curtains don’t do much to block light or heat … that’s the current project.  I’m sewing the rings on next!  Can’t wait to share them … think light blue, orange, circles, and texture.  The fabric was a gift from the amazing owner of Interior Fabrics, where I used to work over the summers.  I’m so excited for her to come see where the fabric is being used once they’re finally done!

On a more depressing note … I completely forgot my camera on our trip to Austin for Jen’s wedding!  I could have kicked myself!  You can believe me though, everything was gorgeous … down to every last detail.  Fabric Flowers.  Suspenders.  First Kiss.  BBQ.  Succulents.  Lemonade with crushed strawberries.  Photobooth.  Cake / Pie / Cupcakes.  Birdhouse.  Dancefest.  Spiced Pecans.  Sparklers.  It was beautiful.  Tim & Jenny are such a testament of God’s love, clearly shown throughout their day.  I. loved. every. minute.

On Saturday we took a detour to the lovely town of Fredericksburg.  We found this amazing little German antique store with hundreds of ski poles imported from Germany.  I don’t have any use for vintage ski poles, but if you do … head down South.  I agonized over this vintage dough bowl.  Vintage + Wood + Bowl + German = Something I had to pull myself away from … once I heard the price.  It was actually a good deal for a dough bowl, but I couldn’t justify the purchase when I didn’t know where I would put it.  The bowl was huge, which increased its awesomeness … but I will just have to enjoy it through this picture.

I also saw these chimes while we were there … I’ve been wanting to make a chime out of old silverware I bought at a garage sale awhile back, but haven’t taken the time yet.  I like the idea of hanging them from another dish – this platter was cute. 

These planters (with succulents!!! yes, I’m obsessed with succulents right now) were outside of a cool little shop.  Definitely want to recreate this idea for the backyard; maybe for some herbs.

Before the wedding, we spent the night in Round Rock with some family friends, Leland & Dana.  Dana is super talented … she is so crafty.  She has most recently been making her own metal jewlery.  Everything is unique and completely customized for the person.  She made me the cutest necklace with charms of different shapes and sizes that say different things.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of it — but I DO have a picture of the decanter tags she made for us!  Yes, our liquor has jewelry too.  Look how amazing these are.  We have 10 or 11 in total … my favorite isn’t pictured, but these are the pictures that turned out the best.  Let me know if you need a custom necklace/charm, etc.  Dana can hook you up!

I was so happy to get back home to our Hager Beans.  She’s growing so fast!  Can you find her?

July 6, 2011

Ryan :: Growing

Hold the phone.  I have something that is growing for me.  Actually growing.  Look at these cuties!!!  Contrary to what you might think, with my mother’s outrageous gardening abilities, thus far in my life I have killed more plants than I have kept alive.  I am bound and determined to reverse this streak …. and this is the first step.

 This little seedlings are much more lively and beautiful in person.  It seems I only remember to snap photos at night lately, producing less than adequate pictures … but hey, it’s something.  These seeds were given to me by a family friend from her own hyacinth vine.  Hopefully in a few more weeks we will have something that looks a bit more like this.

We’ve had some help clearing the front beds and they now smell of wonderful pine mulsch.  We now have two knockout roses, two variegated privets, a plumbago, a hibiscus, some echinacea, and a hydrangea that is fighting for her life in this heat.  I know, July is not prime planting season — but seriously, that bed needed some color.  Everything besides the hydrangea is loving our weather.  Hopefully this continues….

I also have to share Hagen’s new necklace.  Yeah, it’s a vintage belt.  How great is that? Check out this super cute etsy shop for your doggy needs.

I’m kind of obsessed.

One of my closest friends is getting married on Friday!!!!  So excited to report back about their. amazing. day.

June 29, 2011

The Woodlands :: Hagen Learns to Swim

This week has been a bit busy thus far, hence the prolonged post about our trip down to H-town. Logan’s house was awesome and The Woodlands are amazing. Seriously, you can’t see any of the stores from the street. All you see is a thick band of trees and a small pretty sign indicating what stores lies behind the forest. I loved it. The doggies traveled so well together. They both slept alot and enjoyed looking out the window as well.

On Saturday, they took us to Old Town Spring … just a few miles south on 45. It’s a collection of older-homes-turned-cute-stores and let me just say, if you’re in the area you should definitely swing by for a look-see. There’s something for everyone. The boys camped out in a bar disguised as a train caboose, while us girls perused the adorable shops.

First store we went into had cupcakes for its guests. As I was snapping a picture, one of the workers told me “They’re real .. you can eat one.” Laughing, I knew he wouldn’t understand my need to take a picture of the cute thing before eating it. Hillary and I shared a chocolate cake.

Next was one of my favorite stores … because it was an antique shop.  Fireking and pyrex galore.  I scored a great deal on a few colorful doilies that are going to soon join with some other beauties I’ve collected for a kitchen and pantry curtain

Next stop … a candle that smelt heavenly and burns for 1,000 hours.  I *almost* talked myself into it.  They’re candles were pretty impressive.  The blueberry muffin was incredibly realistic.  However, I did get some great wreath ideas and let myself gawk over some amazing Texas pottery.  Both way too pricy for my taste, but so fun to look at.

OTS also has some adorable kiddy things.  I loved this tutu.

There was also this store.  Bet you can’t guess what’s inside.

 

Hagen scored an elk bone.

These treats took it just a little too far.  Dog treats shouldn’t look like human food. 

Our last stop (before grabbing some burgers), was this cute little craft market.  It felt like we stepped into Etsy.  There were booths inside .. each housing the work of a different local artist.  These little beanies were some of my favorites.

We Hillary & I lounged at the pool for the rest of the day.  The guys swam with the dogs.  Hagen “learned” to swim.  Started off with Romo’s lifejacket and then went solo with her big dane paws.  She’s not a huge fan of the water.

That night we spent some time at Market Street and killing time before seeing Bridesmaids.  Hubble & Hudson was the absolute perfect distraction for me.  I want them to come to Fort Worth.  Just look at these. *Love*

Sunday we took a quick jaunt down to Galveston to visit my aunt & uncle.  After having a late lunch on the Seawall, we started the trek back home.  Such a great weekend and totally worth the tired eyes on Monday.

June 24, 2011

Ryan :: Hagen’s Bed

This pretty girl has been averaging a 5 lb weight gain every week. It’s very impressive. This obviously means she’s eating more, pooping more (well it’s true), and she’s taking up more room on the bed. Yes, when she was a puppy I couldn’t handle the whimpering when we were in bed and she had to sleep on the floor alone. Now, however … I take a different stance. We would need at least a California King (we have a Queen) to handle all three of us. More importantly, I would rather snuggle with my man anyday. All of this explains my urgency in making a bed for lovely Hagen beans.

The striped fabric came from one of my mom’s friends who was cleaning up leftover materials. The H was cut from a piece of a pillowcase that was included in a bag of fabric scraps I bought at an estate sale for $2. The stuffing is memory foam that was at one time on one of our beds, but most currently took residence in the cow trailer at my parent’s land. Don’t ask me why. After shaking the dirt off, it now serves a purpose as Hagen’s favorite place to sprawl out.

Today we head down to The Woodlands to visit a friend from high school, Logan, and his fiance, Hillary! We finally get to see his house! I’ve been excited about it for awhile. If we’re lucky we will make it to Galveston and soak up some sun while we’re down South. Did I mention we’ll have two dogs with us? This is them resting last night after wearing each other out.

That’s the best part … Hagen will have her buddy Romo (Logan’s pitbull boxer … I am dog-breed challenged) as a companion on the drive. Longest trip yet for our girl, so I’ll report back on the weekend’s happenings.

I have to share how great friends are. Steve not only made the amazzzzzzing turquoise cabinet for us, but he ALSO made a gorgeous towel rack in the same great color and even thought to pick up this little chair off the side of the road for me! He knows me pretty really well.. Can’t wait to refinish it!