Friday, December 31, 2010

flashback friday: to margo and sean on their wedding day

I have absolutely zero recollection of writing this, but the title says I wrote it for my dear friends Margo and Sean. I was 16 when they got married, so I must have been 16 when I wrote this. 

To Margo and Sean on their wedding day:

Here we stand, hand in hand
I can’t believe this day is finally here
And through all our laughter and our tears
I have a thousands words to say
But only three will do

I’ve waited for oh so long
To find the one
God has planned for me
And nothing else can compare
With the life that we’re about to share
There are a thousand words to say
But only three will do
Baby, I love you

There will never be another face
That matches up to yours
We’ve come so far and won the race
I couldn’t ask for more
And though there are a thousand words
That I could say to you
There are only three that will do
Baby, I love you

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance."

^quote by Confucius

Books read in 2010:

The Guinea Pig Diaries by AJ Jacobs
Wild Mountain Thyme by Rosamunde Pilcher (re-read)
The Empty House by Rosamunde Pilcher (re-read)
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (re-read)
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
The Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
Blessings by Anna Quindlen
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Twenty Chickens for a Saddle by Robyn Scott
Lost in the City by Edward P. Jones
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy
It Sucked and Then I Cried by Heather Armstrong
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
The Legend of Colton H. Bryant by Alexandra Fuller
Let Me Be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Condition by Jennifer Haigh
The Poet of Baghdad by Jo Tatchell
Belong to Me by Marisa De Los Santos
The Beach House by Jane Green
Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh
If You Lived Here by Dana Sachs
In the Fall by Jeffrey Lent
The Carousel by Rosamunde Pilcher
Voices in Summer by Rosamunde Pilcher
Gods and Generals by Jeffrey Shaara
Abide With Me by Elizabeth Strout
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Currently in the middle of Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Favorite book of 2009: Tie! The Reader by Bernhard Schlink and Girl Meets God by Lauren Winner
Favorite book of 2010: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Kick-off book for 2011: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Monday, December 27, 2010

a grown-up Christmas

Before, my Grandma Mom (what we call my mom's mom) would spend the night on Christmas Eve and we would have a big dinner and go to the Christmas Eve service. On Christmas day I would open boxes of American Eagle sweaters and dangly earrings and CDs and maybe a cell phone or a camera. I would play with my presents until 2:00 and then leave for Grandma Jean's condo in Arlington. I would happily accept money envelopes from my relatives and then sneak off to the den to watch TV or play cards with my cousins until it was time to eat. My grandma would have everyone stand in a circle and hold hands and sing Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise Him above, ye Heavenly host, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 

Now Grandma Mom is in a nursing home and Andy had to work on Christmas Eve. A couple of my presents this year :: a cake stand, a berry strainer, and a creamer (among other wonderful goodies). Instead of having presents to play with I had a present I shed tears over (too-small jeans). Grandma Jean passed away this year so we went to my Uncle Bill's house for Christmas dinner instead.

So you see, Christmas has changed. I receive grown-up gifts, have grown-up responsibilities, grown-up issues and trials that I must deal with as maturely as I know how. Yet, I was blessed by what a wonderful day this Christmas turned out to be. I ate like royalty, Skyped with my brother who lives in Korea, had a fabulous time talking and laughing with aunts and uncles and cousins (I no longer retreat to the kid's table), watched two episodes of Sherlock with my family and went to bed feeling like a little girl again.

Some family traditions will never change, like waiting at the top of the stairs for the go-ahead from mom and dad, seeing presents under the tree but turning into the den to open stockings first, having coffee and hot chocolate and oohing and aahing over other people's gifts, eating a huge breakfast and receiving one last gift at bedtime. 

Todd, Katie, me, Andy
we miss you John-Michael!!!
It was a Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

flashback friday: untitled

moral of this poem/song:: don't ever fall for anyone at camp. this is me, age 15. 

I can’t say the things you want to hear the way you want me to
And all my thoughts are dying to be free from the cell inside of me
But silence is as golden as the note that lies unfolded
The letter that will shatter everything that ever mattered in my life

I can feel my fingers shake against the curves of I love you
With every beat that my heart makes I read the lies that I once clung to
I can picture in my mind how all the words I want to find will never leave your lips
I wish I could remember something more than this

This note that you wrote will burn with all the rest of the best of our memories
I hope you are happy with the life that you have made
And I hope that you’ll be haunted with the past that you betrayed
And someday you’ll have something that you’re so eager to say
But the words you’ll never speak
They’ll leave you feeling weak
Because silence is as golden as the note that lies unfolded

The letter that will shatter everything that ever mattered in my life
Just a few simple lines to tell me goodbye
And you’re gone
I never got to say…

read the previous "flashback fridays" here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

my favorite Christmas songs

"The Holly and the Ivy" and "Skating" performed by George Winston.
The first puts me in a reflective and quiet state. The second gets me giddy for Christmas.

I love love love love love George Winston. His version of "Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head" is incredible too but I couldn't find a good youtube video of it.

I walked down the aisle to this one:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the joy of my heart

"Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end." Psalm 119:111-112

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December's little pleasures

1. Ornaments- I started the tradition of buying an ornament each time we travel or go somewhere special. I have one to commemorate our engagement, several from our honeymoon, my travels with Laurel, etc. etc. Of course, sometimes I buy them simply because they are pretty. I do have a few corny ornaments but I like to keep the tree classy. Here's one of my recent buys from Pier 1.

2. Casey in the snow- how could you not love this face?

3. Christmas parties- Read about ours here.

Party at the West View house (where I lived junior year)
there were 12 of us and 11 of us are spooning.
the loner is my friend Kristen, who isn't much a of a snuggler
(but really it should be Amy b/c she complains about it more)
annual Shiloh party
this was junior year again...eww my braces!!
I was trying to look like a candy cane in my
Goodwill jumpsuit...womp womp.

4. Presents under the tree- all of Andy's presents are wrapped and under the tree but he hasn't bought me a single gift! My fault- I totally failed to produce a Christmas list for him this year. Normally I have a list a mile long. I think I'll ask him to get me a couple presents to unwrap and then shop together for the rest of my gifts. Here is something I found today that I'm going to ask for:
earthenware elephant from Z gallerie

5. Extra snuggles- Andy has had extra time off this month because his personal days expire at the end of the year. We've been staying up til the wee hours of the morning watching 24 and then crashing on our new flannel sheets. Snuggles are the greatest.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Party!

I had wanted to throw a Christmas party since our first year of marriage and I decided earlier this month I've got to make it happen! So I did.

The vision: Festive decor, low-key atmosphere and a simple menu

The invite: I used and after a long deliberation I chose this template. Six out of the eight couples we invited were able to come and I hired two girls from the neighborhood to watch the little ones in our basement.
The menu: 
Bbq/mayo/brown sugar dip for smokies
Cranberry-covered goat cheese roll from Trader Joe's
Sausage and cheese balls (brought by friend)
Cucumbers, carrots and celery sticks (brought by friend)

Coffee and hot chocolate
Brownies cut into stars and Christmas trees w/ cookie cutters
Maple leaf cookies from Trader Joe's
Cake pops (unexpectedly brought by the babysitters)

I bought green and red colored candy from the bulk section at Martin's
to set out with peanuts for easy snacking throughout the party.
This menu was incredibly easy to prepare and everything
turned out perfectly.

The decor: 
My Santa from Kohls is extra cute
inside the berry wreath

the tiniest manger scene ever
-they're all ornaments-

I fell in love with this little guy at first sight.
He was $4 at an antique mall in KY.
I think he and my grandmother's chair
belong together.

ornaments hanging from my shutters, chandelier and curtain rod

I meant to take a pic before the food was consumed...
oops! I used a card table for the dip, cheese, chips
and crackers. I had the smokies, sausage balls and desserts
set up in the kitchen. 
The party itself:  I decided to leave our dining room table free to create more space to eat. We started dinner at 6:30 with the girls eating at the table and the guys eating in the living room. At 7:30 everyone gathered together for two rounds of The Newlywed Game, hosted by our friend Matt (he played the theme song on his ipod... he's our church's resident game show host for a reason). At 8:30 our guests w/ kids headed out and those remaining stayed to play Screw Your Neighbor (not what it sounds like).

The best part? No stress. It was amazing. Somehow I managed to get the whole house sparkling (minus our bedroom) and prepare for the party in barely a day's time. AND I didn't cough or blow my nose once during the party. Now that is success.

Friday, December 17, 2010

flashback friday: Beckah's song

A couple days ago I decided to start a weekly post where I will share some of my writing from high school.
Read the first one here.

Most of my poems and songs are from someone else's perspective. I wrote this my sophomore year for a guy friend who had just been broken up with by his girlfriend. This song is for Beckah.

Note: that line about strawberries in the last verse is KILLING me. It's supposed to be obvious that they share a memories of strawberries together because he kisses strawberry ice cream off of her mouth during a date. This is the hard part about sharing my old writings...I want to edit them!

Beckah's Song

Remember nights in Old Town, Alexandria?
Eating ice cream like we were kids again
I smiled at your messy lips
That begged me for another kiss
Drowning me in strawberry sin

My heart can’t stand this loneliness
Every night I make a wish
On the star that we named after our favorite TV show
I guess I should go home
Wait for hours by the phone
Missing the sound of “I love you”
(I love you…)

Remember how we’d stay up late
Going out on crazy dates
Or staying in and making out
On your Hello Kitty couch
Even with the lights turned out
I couldn’t keep my eyes off of your mouth

Remember when our star fell from the sky?
You hugged me tight and then you said goodbye…
Next time you eat strawberries
I hope that you will think of me
‘Cuz thinking about you makes me cry inside

Thursday, December 16, 2010

it may be freezing cold, but at least it's organized

Last week I would have paid you to not open our freezer door. It was that scary in there.
Problem solved, thanks to two clear plastic bins and two plastic bowls that I already owned. Now everything is organized into groups (frozen fruit, veggies, meals, etc). I will probably replace the bowls with clear bins in the future to create more space. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I just want to make a difference

My parents are getting a new computer and asked me to go through the many songs, poems, IM convos and school assignments that I had written and saved over the years.  I'm going to start posting "Flashback Fridays" and I'll share with you my teenage heart. Here's a taste of what's to come:

from a senior year English assignment:
I want to be a homemaker and raise my children in a stable home.  I want to be remembered as someone who loved life and put her all into everything she did.  As my gift to the world, I will be an example of a successful wife, mother, and person in general.  I don’t plan on being a superhero.  I just want to make a difference to the people around me.

I still want those things.

Monday, December 13, 2010

birthday necklace

Andy has called me his puzzle piece ever since we met five years ago. I was so delighted to receive this necklace from him for my birthday!

I bought the rest of my presents myself starting back in October. I love having a December birthday, but it's hard to wait for cute cold-weather clothes/shoes. I also knew I'd have presents to open from my family, and they did not disappoint!

Despite being sick on my birthday, it was still a special time. Three of my girlfriends took me out on Thursday night to Byers Street Bistro in Staunton and my parents treated Andy and I to see "Oklahoma!" at the Arena Stage in D.C. last night. It was a knee-slappin', boot-stompin' heck of a show and we loved it.

Sure, I spent most of the weekend under multiple blankets with "Reading Lolita in Tehran," but if it weren't for the sinus infection I'd say that's a pretty great birthday!

Friday, December 10, 2010


I had a loverly time in Kentucky last weekend visiting my friend Laurel and her husband Steven. We consumed many hot drinks while watching snow fall and we laughed and told stories and reminisced and cooked together and I was happy. 

The drive is seven hours without stopping, so I was in the car for a good 7.5 hours. I am ever so grateful for the DVD player in the van and I listened to You've Got Mail on the way there and Juno on the way home. I also compiled a playlist right before I left (which explains how the songs don't always flow) and now "Cosmic Love" will always remind me of falling snow and leafless tree-covered mountains blurred outside my car window.

Magic Perfume by Charlyne Yi and Matt Davis 
Comptie d'un autre été : l'apres-midi by Yann Tiersen
Lovin' Arms by the Wood Brothers
Cosmic Love by Florence + the Machine
The Cave by Mumford & Sons
I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers
Sweetest In The Morning by Jill Andrews
The High Road by Broken Bells
Is It O.K by Serena Ryder
All for Love by Serena Ryder
Have You Ever by Brandi Carlile
Losing Heart by Brandi Carlile
The Funeral by Band of Horses (remember this from the talent show in My Life as Liz?)
No One's Gonna Love You by Band of Horses
Is There a Ghost by Band of Horses
Two Weeks by Grizzly Bear

Thursday, December 2, 2010

last night

Me + champagne + lighted candles + Yann Tiersen + dishes = married life.

I kid, I kid.
(but that is what happened last night)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

oh hey

Andy's brother showed up to Thanksgiving dinner wearing a white t-shirt that he had written on w/ pen: "%@#& Toothpicks" (except he used a word instead of symbols), which means my brother in law read my blog. 

I got to spend Friday and Saturday at our family's cabin w/ our co-owners and their two kids (Steven was my best guy friend growing up and I will always think of Joanna will always as a little sister), and we drove around the lake and climbed rocks and played pool and all of a sudden we were kids again- building forts and naming groups of rocks- and we were teenagers again- learning how to drive on the gravel roads and blasting The Wallflowers with the sunroof open and our hands out the windows making waves in the wind- and I felt more alive in those moments than I ever have in my life. 

I completed a crossword puzzle for the first time AND I finally taught myself to sleep on my back, which means I can pretty much conquer anything now.

AND, to top it all off...I discovered Photo Booth on my mac. Where have I been? I know. It's sad.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

front of ze house

As you can see here, our slip-covered sofa acts as a divider in our living room. Here's the little nook hanging out behind the sofa...and no, we did not choose these paint colors.

curtains and hardware: Target, recliner: West View attic, pillow: Ross
(this pillow is insanely adorable, the pic doesn't do it
justice), rug: Target
record frames: Urban Outfitters, album covers: thrifted,
FaithHopeLove art: bought on honeymoon, slanted desk: Crate
and Barrel, chair: I wanna say Costco? can't remember...
small painting: bought on honeymoon

Monday, November 22, 2010

a manly meal

My sweet man put up with mostly meatless meals for the months of September and October. He complimented each new concoction of veggies and rice or noodles. No complaints. The meals were always flavorful and filling, but not exactly "manly."

Last night I decided to surprise him with a humongous plate of nachos. He acted like it was it Christmas. He's all, "what made you decide to make this?" BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, that's why!

I added a packet of taco seasoning to ground turkey and then baked tortilla chips w/ cheese and the cooked meat on top at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. I served the nachos with sour cream and fresh green onions. I wouldn't have minded some black olives as well, but Andy isn't an olive guy.

We both realized that we've never eaten nachos together. How is that possible? I'm kicking myself for not thinking of making them earlier. Next time I plan to have lettuce on hand to make taco/nacho salads. I also want to try shredded chicken nachos.

Somehow, despite the nachos, I still lost weight over the weekend. SCORE.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

an "Amélie" inspired post

Andy Rennie is a good looking husband who can never escape the arms of his wife. He is a manager and fired people who did stupid things.
Andy Rennie doesn't like when the Bears lose or when his fantasy football team suxorz. When his wife calls to him from another room. Kesha. Peas.
He doesn't like being woken up.
He likes having his feet rubbed, drinking his coffee black, the smell of dinner cooking.
He likes Taco Bell. Spoiling the dog. Picking his teeth with toothpicks.
Andy Rennie likes to move by dumping things into boxes and then unpacking them later. He likes to brag about how efficiently this method "works."

Laura Rennie is a city girl who went to school in a country town. She wrote papers upon papers and now she has graduated and wishes she had papers to write.
She doesn't like public restrooms, the smell of Target popcorn or when she can't get water out of her ears.
She doesn't like cleaning the stovetop. When her toes cramp. Seeing someone she knows but forgetting their name. Discovering used toothpicks stuck to dishes, on the floor, in her bed, anywhere. Taking showers on a rainy day.
Laura Rennie likes reading perfectly inspired sentences. When a song makes her catch her breath. How the smell of fall fills her nostrils with crisp air.
She likes taking everything out of her desk drawer, taking inventory and then putting everything in its right place.

"Amélie doesn't have a boyfriend. She tried, but it didn't live up to her expectations. On the other hand, she enjoys all sorts of little pleasures, putting her hand in a bag of seeds, piercing the crust of crème brûlée with the tip of a spoon."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks, And all the sweet serenity of books."

^by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Last January I compiled this list of the 27 books I read in 2009. One of my New Year's resolutions for 2010 was to read a book every 2 weeks. I've read 30 so far, which means I have met and exceeded my goal already!

One book that I could not finish was "The Manny" by Holly Peterson. It was awful. Don't waste your time. I regret wasting my time trying to read it.

I look forward to sharing my 2010 list with you, but I'm even more excited about the 49 books sitting on my shelves that I have yet to read. Maybe next year my goal should be to read all 49...ha. I think I need to stay away from The Green Valley Book Fair in 2011.

What books should I put on my birthday/Christmas list?

yum in my tum

I've been embracing a new mentality: Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full.
I am ten pounds lighter and feeling great! I realized that by counting calories I was constantly checking to see how many calories I had left so I could snack more, even if I wasn't hungry. Now I wait until my stomach growls to eat, or if I recognize that I'm getting tired or cranky.
It's harder for me to obey the stop when you're full part, so I give myself small portions to start with and I usually don't need to get seconds. Our bodies have the amazing ability to communicate with us, so why don't we listen?

Here are some of my favorite meals for breakfast and lunch:
-Toasted 100 calorie sandwich thins spread with peanut butter + a banana on the side
-Barbara's Peanut Butter Puffins cereal + sliced banana
-1 pumpkin muffin + one serving of fruit

-Sliced apple + sliced cheese + a serving of Food Should Taste Good sweet potato chips
-Boson Lettuce with reduced fat feta cheese, walnuts, sliced strawberries (or chopped apples) and raspberry vinaigrette.
-Black beans with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

the best parts

-snuggles. lots of them.
-sharing a ridiculous love for our dog
-praying together
-walking down memory lane (we have 5 years of memories!)
-making each other laugh at all times
-waking the other person up in the night if one of us has a nightmare
-being completely uninhibited, goofy, vulnerable and knowing you're still loved
-PDA. we're PDA-ers. Sorry, world. We're in love. and we're married. boo-yah.
- ;) ;)

I got the sweetest phone call from my husband yesterday. He called simply to compliment me and tell me how grateful and blessed he is to have me. That right there-- that is the very best part-- having love for someone and them joyfully receiving it.

this was taken shortly after Andy asked
me to date him with the intention of marriage.
Andy is 20 here, I'm 19.

Monday, November 8, 2010

really, French couple? REALLY?

PARIS, Nov. 2, 2010

French Baby Survives 8-Floor Fall

Parents Left 18-Month-Old with 3-Year-Old Sister in Apt.; Baby Fell out Window, Bouncing off Awning into Arms of Passerby

(AP)  French police say an 18-month-old boy has survived a fall from an eighth-floor window of a Paris apartment by bouncing off an awning and into someone's arms, apparently uninjured. 

Police say they have detained the parents of the baby boy for questioning.

According to police, the parents had gone for a stroll on Monday, a French holiday, and left the 18-month-old with his three-year-old sister in the family apartment in eastern Paris.

Police said Tuesday the little boy somehow had access to an open window and fell out. He hit an awning of a ground-floor restaurant then bounced into the arms of a passer-by.

They said no injuries were uncovered by initial medical exams. 

hello free stuff

Check out this list (scroll down to find it) of freebies that CVS is offering starting Thanksgiving Day. I'm going to be grabbing Carmex, Excedrin, Eucerin lotion, Old Spice deods and some candy for my husband (haha, riiight).

I have never participated in the madness that is Black Friday, but it is really tempting. is a great place to look if you're wondering what stores will be offering.

If I'm in town, I may just have to hit up a couple places.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

in a rut

I'll be back to blogging soon. I'm too brain dead to blog.

Monday, November 1, 2010

base recipe for pumpkin muffins

If you're not a pumpkin lover (silly you) check out my honey and banana muffins here and my banana chocolate nut muffins here.

I tweaked this pumpkin muffin recipe from and was very happy with the result. I added chocolate chips and walnuts, but you could also add dried fruit. Some reviewers used even less sugar and still liked the result.

Laura's Pumpkin Muffins
makes 3 dozen muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
2.75 cups all purpose white flour
1.5 cups granulated white sugar
1.5 cups brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons each of baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 eggs
1 can (29 oz) pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
add-ins are optional- I used 3/4 cup choc chips and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (note: I used less choc chips but the same amount of walnuts when halving this recipe, and I loved them!) 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix together. Fold add-ins into batter. Pour into greased muffin tins or loaf pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
After they are baked, muffins can be frozen and then microwaved for 20-30 seconds.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Dancing in the Driver's Seat With the Volume Turned Up playlist
A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
Electric Feel by MGMT
Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi/MGMT/Ratatat
If I Ever Feel Better by Phoenix
Kissing The Lipless by The Shins
Speak Slow by Tegan and Sara
Inches and Falling by The Format
Chain Me Free by The Matches
Nature of the Experiment by Tokyo Police Club
Gold Lion by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
When You're On Top by The Wallflowers
Low by Flo Rida featuring T-Pain
Big Pimpin'/Papercut by Jay-Z featuring Linkin Park

Rainy/snowy Melancholy (but not if you're sleepy!) playlist
This Is the Thing by Fink
Help Yourself by Sad Brad Smith
Sweeter Light by Ace Enders and a Million Different People
Skinny Love by Bon Iver
White Winter Hymnal by Fleet Foxes
Green Eyes by Coldplay
Good Man by Josh Ritter
Gravity by Lucy Shwartz
Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie
Avril 14th by Aphex Twin
The Moon by The Swell Season
Leave Me Here by Hem
Sway by The Perishers
Long Ride Home by Patty Griffin
Throw It All Away by Brandi Carlile 
Hard Time by EastMountainSouth
Sunset Soon Forgotten by Iron and Wine
Heartbeats by Jose Gonzales
Tiny Dancer by Elton John
Fair by Remy Zero
Motorcycle Drive-By by Third Eye Blind
No Illusions by 78 SAAB
At the Wake by The Format

I Don't Care How Ridiculous I Sound playlist
Jolly Holiday from Mary Poppins (the best part is when the animals sing)
I Love Your Eyes by Barry Louis Polisar 
Nations of the World by Animaniacs
I Want It That Way by Backstreet Boys
I Need Love by NSync
This Is Your Night by Amber
All That She Wants by Ace of Base
Buddy Holly by Weezer
Intergalactic by Beastie Boys
The Final Countdown by Europe
Bad Touch by Bloodhound Gang
Butterfly by Crazy Town
Sugar Sugar by Frankie J
It's Still Rock and Roll To Me by Billy Joel
La Donna E Mobile by Pavarotti

Monday, October 25, 2010

October's little pleasures

I may have missed the month of September, but my little pleasures list isn't going anywhere.
Here are my picks for October:

Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds 100 calorie pack
I keep a pack in my purse and the rest in the freezer. I love that I'm getting my chocolate fix and a dose of healthy fats at the same time.

Slatkin & Co. candles (Current favs are Leaves and Pumpkin Patch)
These candles fill up my house with amazing fall scents even when they aren't lit! For $5, these would be a great hostess gift for whoever is hosting your Thanksgiving dinner.

2011 Paper Source Mini Desk Calendar
This calendar is only the cutest thing ever and the perfect gift for a female friend or family member. With a price tag of $7.95, you might as well by yourself one too!

Nivea Lip Care products
I've already seen several manufacturers coupons this year and plan to stock up on some yummy lip balm for the winter months.

Magazine subscriptions...I love curling up with my Real Simples and Marie Claires this time of year because of the amazing recipes and cute fall fashions. I have already asked for a Good Housekeeping subscription for Christmas. This may seem like a boring thing to give to others, but it's such a fun gift to receive! You could even pair the subscription with something fun and inexpensive, like pairing fashion magazines with a fun scarf, or cooking magazines with a recipe holder or menu planner.

Kissing. A lot.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

happy day

Today we went to Six Flags- the first time we've been to an amusement park together since we met five years ago! Let us give you a piece of advice: don't ever go to an amusement park during the summer. Late October is THE time to go. No lines, no crowds, no insane heat and very few children. It was a gorgeous day: clear and sunny and in the low 70's. We never had to wait longer than 2 minutes to get on a ride.

Andy has one rule about amusement parks: no buying food in the park. It's too over-priced. I was happy to oblige. A chicken sandwich was $9.99 and fries were $3.99! No thank you.

As we were leaving the park Andy asked, "Do you worry that I'm going to say 'no' to our kids too much? Like, will it bother you if our kids ask to get food at a park and I say no?"

I love my husband. I love when he asks questions like that because it lets me know that he thinks of our future children too. I love that he wants to be on the same page as me on everything, especially on parenting. I love that he wants to be a good dad.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

blessings poured out

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."
Malachi 3:10

God was not joking. Give to God, and He will give to you so much more.

These are the pieces of furniture that we have paid for since getting married:
Out of our three top floor rooms (master bedroom, twin bed guest room, office): a stool
Main floor (living room, kitchen, dining room): leaning shelf/desk unit, bookcase, 1 couch, tv stand, cabinet/shelf unit, end table
Basement (second office and queen bed guest room): nothing.

God has poured out so many blessings on us in the form of free furniture that we are literally running out of room for them.

I can't imagine what our savings account would look like if we had not experienced God's blessings through the generosity of our friends and family. We probably wouldn't have a savings account.

Don't turn away from the generosity of others.
Don't fail to recognize the blessings God has poured out to you.
He is worthy of our praise!

Monday, October 18, 2010

art on the cheap

frames: all are the same dark brown frame.
free for me. bought in Korea by my brother
art: I asked for a charley harper calendar for my birthday last year
so that I could one day frame the art
I hope to use them in our future nursery
b/c not only are they amazingly colorful and graphic,
but each print shows a mother with her baby(ies).
frame: free, from grandma's old apt. is not this bright in person.
art: a hand-painted postcard from an antique mall
I think it was two or three dollars.
OK, so it's ugly. I know.
I am kicking myself for putting these stickers on
such an ugly background. I don't know what to do.
frame: cheap poster frame
art: vintage luggage stickers that I bought years ago
for under $10
my favorite sticker
but they are all amazing
sniff. now they're ruined.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I want this, but if I get it then
I really need to start doing yoga again
Look Mom! The perfect necklace for
me to get and torment you with!

I did it! furniture makeover!

Remember the hall table I blogged about in September? I finally got around to painting it. First I sanded the table, then used a spray paint primer, then a black spray paint. Then I addded one final touch...

the original

yay!!! I look amazing under the black star.
as you can see, I'm displaying a little
fall decor right now.
I found it in the $1 bins at Michaels. Go. Grab them.

I adore this hall table now. I did mess up a little while spray painting (didn't sand enough, sprayed paint too close a few times) but I've decided that the mistakes are too minor to worry about. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

family treasures

You may remember me stressing about the pieces of furniture I was receiving from my grandma Jean before she passed away. I didn't know where they would go or how they would look against my color palette. I couldn't refuse them, though- these are gorgeous pieces that have been used by my family for years. They just need a little TLC. 

My parents brought the furniture down a few weeks ago and the biggest challenge for me was moving everything from my old dining room cabinets to my new china cabinet.

good light makes a huge difference!
I still plan on staining the wood
to bring it back to its full glory
photo from Little Green Notebook
one of my new dining room chairs!
Fauteuil chairs have such an amazing shape
and are super comfortable. Not sure
how long I'll keep the color- esp since my set
show some wear on the seat.
precious! this is one of 2.
my mom discovered 2 more w/ arms
that I'll be receiving soon.
I'm not changing anything about these!
love those legs! the table has 2 leaves and can seat 12.
ohmygosh I am so in love with this bureau.
I'm pretty sure it's meant for a dining room because
the top drawer is extremely shallow
and is lined in velvet (for silverware?)
please ignore the cardboard, spray paint and dog tail.
this is our beloved chaise. hi chaise.
we covered it with a huge knit throw b/c the bright green
and yellow fabric underneath screams GRANDMA JEAN!
this is an antique leather-top desk from
my other grandma. I'm using one of the white
chairs (4 pics up) with the desk and they
complement each other well.
I can't wait to spray paint/reupholster the
heck out of these chairs. hopefully I
will not ruin them- they are way too

and no, I STILL haven't painted our hall table. BUT I did tackle one of my 3 ridiculously ugly brass lamps yesterday. I forgot to take before pictures :( so you'll have to imagine how awful the rusted brass looked like. I sanded, primed and spray painted the first lamp. I used a dark gray paint and I'm not sure how I feel about the result. It's a bit too industrial looking for me. I love how the paint transformed the lamp, but I think I may re-do it in a different color.

I'm not sure gray is my color. What do you think?