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?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

back to business

one more note on my grandma::  a distant cousin of mine played the bagpipes at the end of my grandma's funeral mass and then again at her burial. instant tears. can music be stunning? yes. it was stunning. just like my grandma.

tuesday was a day of recuperating.

wednesday was Andy's birthday. we went for a hike in shenandoah natl. park and I made a huge pot of clam chowder for dinner. kevin and jackie got andy a blizzard cake and we had them and simone and dan over and andy got to argue with the boys about coffee and football. he had a good day.

today I prepped veggies for chicken fried rice that I'm taking to a friend tomorrow. I moved furniture around in the basement and created a second guest room and a second home office. I unpacked books from my grandma's apartment. I did laundry. I made pumpkin pie. I went to the gym. I cooked turnips for the first time. I had a good day.

It feels good to be back.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Last Friday I was heading off to Rockbridge to serve the Campus Crusade for Christ groups from JMU, GMU and UVA. I made friends with the Caitlyn and Alex, the other female chaperones, and volunteered with Caitlyn to be the bakers for the week. We had no idea what we were getting into: baking for 500 people. The mixer was as big as me! We made frosting that called for 12 pounds of butter and 20 pounds of powdered sugar. It was intense. We were on our feet from 6:30am to 2pm and left with ankles so swollen they looked broken. Thankfully the weather outside was incredible and we had the rest of the day off. We went on the zip line and hung out by the pool for hours.

I got home from Rockbridge on Sunday afternoon and was contemplating when I should drive up to northern VA to see my grandma before she passed. Turned out my sister was already on the road and I had just enough time to re-pack my bags before she arrived at my door. We stayed until my grandma died on Wednesday.

Today I went back to the gym for the first time in a week, went to the mall with Andy for free pretzels at Auntie Annes, shopped for viewing+funeral dresses and caught up on The Office and 30 Rock.

Tomorrow I am going to Dayton Days with my friend Kelly and then we are making dinner together for our husbands. We are going to buy cannoli for dessert and we are going to play Clue: The Office edition. It's going to be amazing. I'm grateful that I have a couple days of relaxation and joy between grandma's passing and the viewings on Sunday and funeral, interment and reception on Monday.