Friday, March 30, 2012


Husband was outside at almost 9 pm chopping up a block of wood for my diy experiment last evening...such a sweetie, that one.  I mentioned the other day that I planned to stop by Home Depot and they would cut me a board, right?  You should have seen the look he gave me.  He said he would have been "insulted" if I asked a Home Depot worker to do that for me.  So there he was in the bitter chill with his powertools being all hunky and cool :)

So I'm settling in with a cup of tea and my paintbrush to get to work.

Wish me well!  And next on my list are these super-cute Kate Spade look-alikes!  Love this idea, Anna!

Spring break has sprung!  Man, I drove away from work as fast as I possibly could this afternoon, given the fact that my tank was practically on E and I needed to coast to the nearest gas station.  But I did so with a song in my heart, that's for sure.  I want to make crepes this week.  How do you make crepes?  Do you make them? or do you buy them?  Hmm...a little crepe help, please??

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My First Migraine and other Grown-up Things

Yep, you heard it here.  I had my first migraine headache yesterday afternoon between the hours of 2:30 and 9:30pm.  What in the world?  I mean, I get headaches pretty frequently, but they're the give-it-a-few-hours-and-pop-an-ibuprofen-and-presto-gone type of headaches.  Nothing like this craziness.  I have a new sympathy for people who get this nastiness frequently.  I bawled my eyes out-no joke.

So naturally I came home and asked the ultimate expert in all things health-related.  Yes.  webmd.
According to webmd, this was most likely brought on my by womanly hormones.  Also a bummer, am I right?  Why does growing up have to be so hard?

Here's to 2 more work days and 1 more class before spring break makes my life glorious.  I'll be kicking it off by meeting up with my college roomie/bestie for lunch.  You see, she just had a birthday and she's also embarking on an exciting new season of her life.  So naturally I need to find the best gift ever...and because I always feel the need to one-up myself, I decided to diy a really fun present.  Depending on how that goes in the next two days, I may or may not share it with you fun people. 

And did I mention we're eating at PF Changs?  I've never been, so I must know...what should I order?

Monday, March 26, 2012

You Can't Always Get What You Want

but if you try sometime, you just might find...YOU GET WHAT YOU NEED.
-Rolling Stones

Noticed the chorus to this little diddy on a colleague's classroom wall today...and consequently I've been humming it since...while teaching social studies, while on a conference call, while at the grocery store...and despite the awkwardness of those situations, I'm reminded of how true this has been in my own life in the last 7 days.

The hubs and I got to spend some sunny afternoons together last week, traveling around the country running errands and browsing for gardening supplies.  We were on a mission to price fun things like chainsaws and pressure washers and rototillers (NOT as fun as shoe shopping, in case you wondered), but came home without any of those things. 
from the "dating years"...Cape May!

Instead, we came home with an oven (gahh!!!) and a chest freezer!  You see, right after I did my "I'm an appliance dummy" post with a picture of my most coveted gas oven, it's twinzie appeared on the Facebook yardsale page for our area (do you have one of those? and do you love it?)  Shockingly, I got first dibs on it, and even more shockingly, we went to see it and it was perfect, and the shockingest of all, hubby said yes!!  Talk about a steal of a deal.  It's now residing in my basement in all its brilliance and glory until we get the gas hookup going.

And while we cruised right past Rita's on free ice day because the line was a mile long and I was trying not to be bitter about it, we happened upon a bent and dent appliance store that was moving locations the NEXT day and had the perfect little chest freezer at a sweet discount price just waiting to hop into our basement as well.

Let's not talk about how expensive it is to be a homeowner (which reminds me, time to pay the mortgage!)  Rather, let's dwell on the fact that I am SO BLESSED...with big blessings like the appliances we've been dreaming of at bargain prices, and with the even bigger blessing of the sweetest man in history at my side along the way.  And that hunk can sure lift an oven by himself! 
he makes my heart sing!
It sure adds a little extra sunshine to my week to be reminded that the Lord is caring for us and providing for us in surprising and fun ways.  Even more fun to experience those blessings together and deepen our relationship by being thankful together.  Loving these "life" moments with my sweetie.

Had any sweet moments with your man this week?  SHARE!  I'm a sucker for rom coms!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Weekend Favorites

It's a good Saturday, folks.  A good, good day.  It's been a long week and I really needed a rainy day like this to sleep in, frolic around my house and decompress.  Here's a few things that are cheering me up right now.
Totally thrifted these babies at Goodwill this week...major score from my "list".  May have also thrifted a chocolate brown pleather know, one of those $2 impulse buys you might never actually have the guts to wear in public.  I'm thinking with these loafers and my chambray shirt?  Would you do it?
Fun vintage watering can hubs insisted on buying me this week.  I think it may be his secret ploy to try to get me to keep watering the houseplants.  Let's just say I don't have the reputation of keeping things alive in this house.  Speaking of...
Check it!  4 living plants!  My Christmas cactus is going strong after 1.5 years, my aloe plant is still kickin' after about a year, and I'm loving this hyacinth from a friend, and it really is true!  You can grow green onions in a mason jar above your sink...this one's sprouting after about 3 days!  Look at me go!
But these, THESE are the Pièce de résistance...I planted some flower seeds last Saturday, and was delighted to see 5 pretty little red sproutlings yesterday!  How exciting!  I'm cheering for them, and perhaps patting myself on the back a little for this brilliant accomplishment!  You don't understand how bad I am at this.

So I guess I got a little amibitious after that and my afternoon turned into this...
The hubs is really excited about doing our first veggie garden this year, and I'm determined to try and learn as much as I can about it.  So I planted 104 cells...lots of maters, squash, beans, peas, melons, lettuces, a few herbs, onions...all kinds of goodies!  Fingers crossed that something grows!!!
Dragged out the ole magic bullet to make a fruit smoothie for lunch...why don't I do that more often?
This breezy rain is bringing down my beautiful magnolia blossoms that have made an early appearance this week in the freakishly warm March weather.  But how pretty!
and I just can't stop staring at these beauties that showed up in my mailbox this week.  These stamped coffee spoons are from Jessica N Designs...from a giveaway I won on Much Love, Illy's blog.  (Shout out, ladies!  Love you both!)  Like everyone else, I'm sure, I feel like I never win anything...and I could not have been more excited to win these gorgeous vintage spoons!  I'm kinda coffee obsessed...even the hubs loves these!  Such beautiful work--you seriously need to check these out!
And finally, this.  I did a bit of therapeutic house cleaning with the windows open and the pitter patter of rain mixed with fresh breeze.  I am that fool who dances with the broom and therefore, takes twice as long to do menial tasks.  No, I'm not a chronic glee watcher, but I do love this jam for a good rainy day.  Happy weekending!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

*ME* dinner

I say a secret little cheer when the hubs has to be out during dinner time.  Not because I don't want him here...more on that later this week!  But because sometimes, just sometimes, I like to make a *me* dinner.  You know, the kind of dinner that can be made in about 2 minutes flat with very little effort and fulfills exactly every craving you've had all day long.  The dinner that requires very little clean up and absolutely no guilt because there are absolutely zero pairs of eyes glancing at your plate and silently screaming, "You're eating that?? for dinner???"  Tonight, for me, that's leftover lo mein noodles and scrambled eggs.  Most of the time, it's cereal with cold-cold milk.

What's your *me* dinner?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Swap Swag

Sorry, but my friends are kinda stupid.  Stupid enough to give up these treasures to me at the clothing swap!  Granted, they have their reasons, like things don't fit them anymore because they have beautiful babies now, or they wore these things a billion times and have moved on to better pieces, if that's even possible.  Either way, I scored big with this stuff.  Observe.
*First on the top left are some great tweed trousers from Banana Republic that I am loving for work with my leopard flats and a neutral top.  All about it.

*Then bottom left there's a silky little top from Nine West with a fun little tie at the neck and some really cute petal sleeves.  You can't tell from the picture, but the print reminds me of the NYC skyline.

*The center is possibly my fave...a fun sheer bird tunic from Target with a cute belt--I'm in love with the green/blue/teal-y color.

*Top right is my second's Michael Kors...can you believe that!??  Love the little leather detail at the waist and the cute flowy-ness of this cardi.  Looks great with those tweed trousers!

*Underneath that is a fun plaid tunic with gathers in the front--really flattering and easy to style with my skinny cargoes for a casual look.

*And a fun brown paisley pashmina because I can't get enough of those!

Let's not talk about that fact that pretty much everything is neutral and/or in the gray family.  I definitely gravitate toward neutrals when I'm shopping, too--just so easy to mix and match.  I promise I do have splashes of color in my wardrobe...really!  Can't live without my mustard cardi-wearing it right now!  And I happened to add a really fun bright bright orange tunic and some mint pants to my closet just last week.

So there you have it.  Score any sweet new finds lately?  Please share!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Patty Day

It's a big day in my house.  My very own St. Patty has been busy in the kitchen all morning, filling my home with smells of corned beef and cabbage, steak & ale pie, colcannon, irish soda bread, and every possible flavor of jelly belly that is a shade of green.  It's our little family tradition to have a bunch of friends over to share this feast, and I love that he insists on doing most of the work himself!  :)

It also happens to be 73 degrees and sunny outside, so all the windows are open and the hubby is playing lumberjack with some dead trees in the backyard.  The pool is almost completely drained, and it ALSO happens to be sporting a festive shade of green!

I decided to go with Revlon's Jaded for my nails this weekend...
Also, I had to see what all the fuss was about these things...
Yes, it's true.  I've never before had a Shamrock Shake from McD's til now.  And no, congratulations are not in order.  I think I've mentioned before that I have hypoglycemia, so this was not a great choice for muah, but in my defense, I tried this earlier in the week...
and it was seriously so gross!!!  And that's coming from a girl who can usually ignore the taste of the medical food (protein powder) I use in my shakes and smoothies.  It looked pretty but I absolutely could not stomach it so it went down the drain :( and I went to McDonald's!  I feel like the guilt of all that sugar should be cancelled out by the fact that I TRIED the healthier version first, right??

Have a great and safe holiday, friends!  I'll be back later this weekend with my sweet clothing swap scores!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I Paint my Nails by the Pool in the Winter

This is possibly the weirdest "winter" ever here on the East Coast.  When I come home from work this week, I've been hauling my derriere out to sit by the pool and soak up the sunshine.  And by pool, I mean the tile and plaster-falling off-opaque green water-unkempt concrete nightmare that came with the house we bought.  We are in the process of draining it and trying to assess how much work it needs to get up and running, but for now, I sit by it like it's a beautiful blue summer dream. 

Last night I grilled some kielbasa and sat by the pool, trying to pretend like the hardest decision in my life right now is what color to paint my nails.  I splurged on 2 new colors at CVS the other week (I use the word "splurge" loosely since they were on super-duper-sale for about a dollar each.  Do you guys coupon at CVS?  TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!) 

This is Cherries in the's actually a lot pinker than it looks in the picture.  I've had a hot pink polish from Avon for years, but this is such a vibrant, saturated modern hot love!
 and this is Bold Sangria...I can't find it on the website, so maybe it's discontinued?  It's such a fun purpley-plum.  I did one coat and it lasted a good 9 days before it really started chipping.  Great pigment, too--I love it when polishes look the same in the bottle as they do on your nails.  And it inspired me to make sangria last week, so it's basically a win-win-win.

I've really been into shades of blue and green lately, but these just whispered "modern girl" to me and I knew they belonged in my collection.

Next on my list is a really great coral--anyone found one they like?
But tonight I think my nails need to go green in honor of the weekend...maybe my fave Minted by Revlon!

What color are your nails this week?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I'm an Applicance Dummy

This is the one where I admit my all-out ignorance of the kitchen appliance world...I mean, like the 2012 world...not the 1980's one I apparently still live in.  Hubs and I took a field trip to the appliance store to do some oven shopping last night...and boy was my mind blown!  I mean, I was totally stumped on the whole electric vs gas thing, but there is so much more to think about!

Color...I'm thinking that if I had an all-white, clean, vintagey looking kitchen, I'd go for the white ones...but since that's not likely and I have a major crush on wood grain (yes, I do), I'm thinking all stainless or a stainless/black combo...but more stainless than black.

I think my ideal dream kitchen looks something like this...     Source: Segreto  Fine Paint Finishes
I love contrast in the woods and colors, some texture, a lot of natural/rustic, and a little vintage mixed in.  I'm thinking stainless works the best with this.

I'm sure I want a range where the burner/grate thing is continuous...not four separate burners with space in between...I want to be able to slide the pots and pans around without things falling or the surface being uneven.  I was also interested in the "powerboil" burners they have now that supposedly reduce boiling time?  Anyone know how true this is?  A few models had a special burner for simmering also.

Since I'm a breakfast food fiend, of course I liked the sliding griddle option on some models, but that alone was an extra $100...not sure it's worth much as I love me some pancakes!

At this point, I'm thinking something a little like this...
But then there's the double oven...I mean, how cool are those?  Anyone have one and want to tell me if it's worth it?  Hubs likes the efficiency as far as energy usage...just not sure if it's enough to warrant the expense.

Before we left, we browsed through the fridge and freezer section...and I very ignorantly made the comment that I don't like the double door fridges...I just feel so awkward opening them like double doors at a church or something.  Then Hubs gently pointed out that pretty much ALL fridges are made that way now to conserve energy.  Uh...right.  I knew that.  *awkward grin as we went up and down rows of fridges with double doors*  That's something I'm going to have to get used to. 

It was pushing 9pm as we walked through the big screen tv section...I basically turn into a pumpkin after 8 pm on weekdays, so I was useless at that point as hubs started talking about how small 50 inches looks these days...  People, this is a fancy world we live in, and I know pretty much nothing about it.  Front loading washers save water and use less soap...really?  I'm 25 and I am so OLD!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Swap Recap

Oh boy.  It's been a while since I last posted.  But I am determined that this blog will not be one of those things that I start strong and then just let's been a crazy week for sure, but I'm still standing.  Is the vicious stomach bug running rampant in your town and destroying your friends and family like it is mine?  Goodness...I spent one day passed out on the couch and the following 5 days regaining my energy a little bit at a time.  Then checking in on my family as they each took their turns on the couch as well...and well, hugging the toilet.  Let's just be real.  It's not pretty. 

But let me just highlight the great success the clothing swap was this past weekend.  The food was fun, the tunes were on, my house was a flippin' thrift store, and everyone went home with some sweet goodies free of charge.  Huzzah!  Check out my old cheap point-and-shoot documentation.  (Sweet camera for my birthday, pretty please?)

These little suckers were so quick and fun and I could eat about a million by myself...the link is in the post below, but obviously they're easy to put together.
Obviously I'm not "all fancy", but this was a tasty spread.  I found this virgin sangria recipe here and loved how it turned out.  I threw some lil' smokies in the crockpot with grape jelly and chili sauce (I know, I didn't believe it either), and the waffle cones with berries and cantaloupe pieces tucked inside.  And then there were these....
These suckers are a dream come true...banana cinnamon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and nutella inside!  So easy to make...just a white cake mix with some add-ins.  Thanks to my sweet momma for letting me come over and bake in her oven!  See the link in the post below for the deets!

So I had my friends drop off their clothes a day or two in advance so I could start setting up...I couldn't believe how much stuff I ended up with!  My dining-room-to-be became the boutique.  This was only about 60% of the stuff we had...
Some great treasures in those piles!  A few of my friends came down with that yucky virus I mentioned, one of whom was planning on bringing the jewelry motherload, so I placed our meager bling selection on one of my fave recent thrifting wooden birdcage!
All in all I'd call it a success...and boy, did I score some sweet finds!  More to come on that this it's off to the couch with me to snuggle with the kitty and maybe hit the sack early.  TAKE YOUR VITAMINS!  THIS IS YOUR MOTHER SPEAKING.  And in other news, oven shopping tomorrow!!!  Gas or electric?  Thoughts?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Prepping for a Clothing Swap Party

I did it!  The evites are out, the date is set, and I have exactly one week to plan my first clothing swap party!  I've been wanting to try one for a while since I just can't get enough of thrifting--what better way to thrift than for free, in the comfort of your own home, with your best friends, and with a cocktail in hand!  I mentioned it to a few friends and they seemed excited to try it so I went to the good ole' interwebs for some guidance.  I read several articles that popped up in my google search, such as this one, which I found enormously helpful for figuring out how these things work.  I figure this is the perfect event to host in my new fixer-upper home, partly because we have very little furniture and zero decorations, making it easy to set up a "boutique" on the first floor.  I'm personally excited to fill my empty wall of bookshelves like the "ebay fashion wall" on Project Runway.  *squeal*

Instead of frantically watching the evite rsvp's coming into my inbox, I should probably be focusing in on things like what to serve for refreshments...I'm thinking a cute mocktail since a few of my friends are preggers and some kind of cheese tray?  Here's some ideas I've had pinned for a while...
Banana Cinnamon Cupcakes with Nutella Centers
and something mimosa-like for the mocktail?  maybe with raspberries in it?  I'm really so excited for this and I hope everyone enjoys it!  Have you ever hosted a swap or been to one?  Any advice for me?  I'd love to hear your suggestions!