Friday, May 28, 2010

O-H... I-O!!

Well folks... it's time for me to take another break. I'm in Ohio for the next week visiting with my family. I really just want to focus my time on them and not worry about blogging. I could steal my little sister's computer and tap away at the keys to produce a post for you, but frankly... I don't wanna!

I'm sure I'll have some fun things to blog about when I get back. Like how the 3 hour plane ride went with Aidan- BY MYSELF! Eeek! Among other things I could entertain you all with my family's crazy antics, or my sister's 30th birthday celebration, or perhaps with the funny things that come out of my grandmother's mouth. Whether she intends them to be humorous or not is debatable.

Since I am post dating this entry, you'll be reading it while I am spending the day with Jason's parents. They will be leaving for Florida the following day and will only have one day to spend with Aidan. His Grandparents and Aunt will also be stopping by, although they do not know we're in town. It should make for a fun surprise! (which is why this post is delayed.. I don't want to ruin the surprise in case they're reading!)

I hope you all enjoy your Memorial Day weekends. Look for my return around June 6th or so...

Love from an Ohio-bound,

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Help my living room!

Decorating Dilemmas

Thanks for stopping by! I've decided to participate in Amanda at Serenity Now's Decorating Dilemma Party. I wanted to jump in on her last one, but didn't have time to post!

You see... my living room is awful. Just take a look!

This wall is probably the best one. I like the bookshelves with the TV in the middle and I also do like the colors of our walls.


This picture from Pier One that I hung above the TV is my inspiration for the room. I love that shabby chic look. I'm just not sure where to begin!


Here is the other angle of the living room. We have very little furniture. But, I do like the couch and chair that we have. The "coffee table" we have is really an end table, and we are not using anything for an end table. I like the idea of an old trunk for a coffee table... but not sure how it would look. I'd like to get rid of this end table and find something different altogether. Thoughts? We also desperately need a rug. What color? I've thought about boxcut valances for the big window, too. What do you think?


Here is the left side of our couch/fireplace. Big, empty open space. Jason's 75 gallon fish tank that's in our garage will go here. What should I put on the wall above it? I think that is my biggest challenge.. finding wall decorations and accessories.

Our couch is pushed up against our fireplace. I hate the gray marble color of it! (who really needs a fireplace in Texas, anyway? Come on!) I'm not a big fan of the mirror either, and not too sure how to redecorate my mantle.

Here is the right side of the fireplace/couch. We have a small house and NOWHERE else to put the dog crate's... They are stuck in our living room. I'd like to get some new lighting and figure out what to put on that wall. Maybe some shelves? Also, see the green pillows? Should I get something in a different color? Brighter, maybe?

I've had these two pictures for awhile. Should I try to paint the frames and use them in this room or forget about it?

This table is between our big window and front door (you can see it in the first picture). I'm not a big fan of it. I've thought about sanding and painting it and replacing the handles. Just not sure. What do you think of the style?

And finally, this BIG, OLD breakfront is in our foyer. It's an antique that was my Great Aunt's. There is no way I'm parting with it. I think that is probably the best place for it... We did have it where the dog crates were for awhile... but then the crates were by the front door. Not the best looking entrance. I also like the green accent wall in our foyer.

So, thoughts? Please help me save my living room! I just need some guidance to help me take that first big step. Thank you, thank you!


The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful

Thursday night I wasted away in Margaritaville. Okay, I wasn't wasted. I did have my first drink in over a year though! I was terrified I'd be drunk after a few sips and be hungover in the AM. That was NOT the case my friends! I definitely took the plunge and indulged in that gigantic margarita I was eyeing up. I'm sucker for a cold, blended beverage with an umbrella on top. So worth it! I actually had two, and felt fine! Now, my sister-in-law... she was a little tipsy! My second one was actually HER second one that she only drank 1/4 of. I told her I'd take care of it for her... I couldn't let that frosty goodness go to waste!

It was a magical night. My obsession with Jimmy Buffet is nothing to take lightly. The man is a God in my eyes. He can do now wrong. What I wouldn't give to spend a day (perhaps a lifetime?) hanging out with him in the Keys! So, with that being said, I was in heaven! He played all of the standards, plus some songs off of his newest album and of course, some not so well-knowns. I have to say that the Parrotheads here in Houston are very different than the ones I am used to. The atmosphere was not one of drunks and marijuana (although I did smell a little here and there!). It was more, dare I say, sophisticated?! The weather was perfect, hot/warm with a cool breeze once the sun set. We couldn't have asked for a better night. I have a feeling this may become a yearly pilgrimage for my brother and his wife... Seeing Buffet in Houston was a totally new experience for them. One I think they enjoyed more than the drunken stupor that is Buffet in Ohio!

If you haven't seen Jimmy Buffet in concert, then I suggest you put it on your bucket list. He never disappoints... and I KNOW that you know atleast a few songs! You'd have to have lived under a rock for the last 20 years if you can't sing along to "Cheeseburger in Paradise" or "Margaritaville"! Be sure you get there early so you can tailgate in the parking lot with your fellow concertgoers. It's an experience like no other! And who doesn't like to people watch all of those crazy Parrotheads walking around? Just watch out for flying beach balls! Oh, and if you don't have lawn tickets, then don't bother going. It's the ONLY way to experience Buffett. I repeat, the ONLY way!

I leave you with a concert staple.... Fins up!




Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lazy Sunday- 5/23/10


Wow! This has been a whirlwind of a weekend. My brother and his wife left this morning... now Jason, Aidan and I are going to kick our relaxation mode into high gear. We're gonna throw some ribs and just chill. It's definitely needed.

I thought I'd join in on Keely's GTKY Sunday today. Here goes...

1. Do you have a fetish?

Nah. Back in the day I probably had what would be considered a "shoe fetish"... Alas, those days are long gone!

2. Do you sing in the shower?

If the radio is on. I don't usually sing in the shower if there's no music playing.

3. Who was your first crush?

Oh gosh. My first crush that I remember was Justin Alvarez in 5th grade. I just loved him! I even mailed him a love letter after the school year ended. Embarrassing! We became friends in High School and he never mentioned it... although I'm sure he remembered!

4. What do you think is the best manly trait a guy can have?

Being a good father.

5. Do you sleep naked?

Nope.

6. What do you do when (you think) no one is looking?

Pick at my split ends. VERY bad habit of mine!

7. What's the first thing you do when you go online?

Usually check my email.

8. Summer is.....?

Super hot! But, full of fun things to do, like hit up the pool, barbecue, going to the beach, vacations, and sun, sun, sun!

Until tomorrow!



Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Carb lovers dream!

So, as I mentioned in this post... I really need to cut down on my carbs. They've always been something I've craved. Oh, let's face it... I'd kill for a good loaf of sourdough. There, I said it. It's my weakness.

*le sigh*

Now things have gotten worse! Why, you ask? Well, because I tried one of P Dub's recipes. Actually, I've tried lots of her recipes. But this one takes the cake! I could eat it all day, everyday for the rest of my life. Which probably wouldn't be a very long life if I ate it every day, all day, but I digress.

What did I make last night? What was so delectable that I am making them again for dinner this weekend?

These delectable buttered rosemary rolls. Heaven in your mouth.

We have a HUGE rosemary bush in our backyard that is going to waste. I've only used a few sprigs of it from time to time and I feel bad that I'm not taking advantage of it more. I saw this recipe on her site and decided to give it a go.

Oh. My. Lord.

You must try them! Must. This is an order. They are super simple and SOOO good!

She also has a TON of other recipes of her own and her Tasty Kitchen where readers send in their favorite recipes. It's my new go-to site when I want to try something different for dinner. Seriously, it knocks the socks off of allrecipes.com! Give it a shot!

And, just so there's no misunderstanding here... I have no affiliation whatsoever with the Pioneer Woman... I just love her food!






Thursday, May 20, 2010

A happy Thursday! - 5/20/10


Today I'm participating in Keely's Thursday 5.

You just have to list 5 things that have made you..

Joyful
Excited
Grateful
Appreciative
Elated
Happy this week...

1. Aidan is officially going to be baptized. We met with a Baptism Team Member at our Church and they gave us the okay. Now we just have to take a few classes and he'll be baptized in front of our families when we go back to Ohio in July!

2. I have become an Events Coordinator for my mom's group. I love to plan things so I'm excited to plan events for all of the moms and their kiddos in the group!

3. The veterinary clinic I worked at before I had Aidan has asked me to come back and work on Saturdays. I jumped at the opportunity to get out of the house for a few hours, make some extra money and to focus on something other than "mommy stuff".

4. Aidan consistently sleeps 8-9 hours straight at night. Alleluia!

5. And finally, I'm going to see Jimmy Buffett tonight! This would fall into the ecstatic category, folks!

I'm off to the airport to pick up my brother and his wifey!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Circle of Siblings


Check out more Wordless Wednesdays at 5 Minutes for Mom!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday- 5/18/10





Today's 2? .....Two things you want to do before you kick the bucket!

1. Visit Ireland. It's my dream. I know so much about Irish history that I could even bore a history professor within an inch of their life. This little passion of mine has almost become a sick obsession. The myths, the battles, struggles, castles, villages, cities, seashores and wild islands off the coast... Aaahhh... Bliss! And, of course I have to kiss the blarney stone and dip my feet in the Shannon! I know I'll get there one of these days, but when?!


2. Live in Oregon. Portland to be exact. Yea, I know it's cloudy, gray and miserably rainy for a good part of the year. But it's also gorgeous! Jason and I talk about living there every once and awhile... and I'd love to make it a reality one of these days. To live in the beautiful part of our country, so close to the sea, mountains and an abundance of National Parks. I'd be in heaven!


I'm off to meet my friend Andrea and her little guy, Alonso for a walk at the mall. Hopefully I'll burn off some of these carbs I've chowing down on! It's all Pioneer Woman's fault.... More on that later! :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh brother!

On Thursday my brother and his wife are coming to visit. It will be their first time visiting us in Houston and we are extremely excited to show them around! It will also be the first time they meet Aidan! I love introducing him to new people; I'm so proud of him I feel like I may burst whenever I present his chubby little cheeks and contagious smile to someone. :)

While in town we will be seeing Jimmy Buffet *swoon* in concert, taking them down to Galveston for shopping and a trip to the Coastal Living Idea House, treating them to lunch at The Flying Saucer (one of our favorite restaurants downtown) and hanging out on our back patio (depending on how awful the humidity is) smoking some ribs and a whole chicken. It will be a whirlwind of a long weekend, but lots of fun!

My brother and I have a special relationship. Even though he is 14 years older we have always connected, ever since I was a little girl. When I was 5 I was riding with him in a go-kart my dad had built. I was in front, leaning up on the steering wheel as he maneuvered it around the hilly parking lot of the church next door. He asked me if I wanted to drive. Of course! I took the wheel, cut it too soon and drove us straight into a tree. I permanently broke the axle on the go-kart and it was never driven again. My sister Elizabeth ran home screaming at the top of her lungs that I was dead. I was fine, but that tree still bears the mark from my miscalculation to this day. I remember that when I was 8 years old he moved away to Florida. My whole family (remember, I have 6 siblings!) piled into our minivan to follow him to the airport. Since this was WAAAAY before 9/11, we were able to not only see him off at the gate, we were all allowed to board the plane, check out the cockpit and meet the pilot! It was so upset to see him go. I cried the whole way home from the airport and couldn't stop for another week. Luckily, he was only gone for about a year.

I loved having him close by, I always felt safer knowing he was only a car ride away. We used to have sleep overs at his apartment, staying up late, playing his big arcade video games, watching movies and eating junk food. He was not your typical older brother. I mean, what guy in his 20s wants to hang out with his pre-adolescent little sister? He sure did!

Now, don't get the impression that my brother is some loser. No way. He is the guy that everybody wants to talk to. The one who for some reason always ends up being the life of the party, the one people want to be around because his charisma seems to be almost contagious. He is the guy that the other guys want to be friends with and that the girls want to date. Energetic, handsome, generous, effervescent, and downright fun! I miss him.

This is the man who taught me how to drive stick when I was 15 (very unsuccessfully at first) and who introduced me to Jimmy Buffett when I was 16. He showed me how to make scrambled eggs when I was 9 and doused me with Sun-In when I was 14. (What a mistake that was!) He is the one who I needed comfort from the most when my grandfather passed away 5 years ago. I think of so many things that have happened in my life who shape who I am today, and for many of them he played a role, sometimes big sometimes small.

When I was in my early 20s I was going to college about 3 hours away from him. Almost every other weekend I would drive up to his house to spend time with him. This is when we were closet. Thick as thieves. We'd talk on the phone about everything: relationships, work, school, family, you name it. At the time he lived in a little house with his first wife. They loved spending time outdoors, canoeing, horseback riding, bike riding, hiking. It was great for me to get away up to their house and just decompress. It was a very stressful time in my life with school and work. I needed him and he knew it.

Time passed, his marriage ended, we both moved around a bit. But we still always managed to keep in touch. Now I'm 28 and he's 42. He is remarried to a wonderful girl, who is also named
Emily, as it happens. She's perfect for him. His life has changed. They are very prominent in the social scene in their town. He is on the board for the American Cancer Society, belongs to a country club and lives a much more fast-paced life than before. But he is the same person. I am a new mother and live 1400 miles away. Granted, we don't talk as much on the phone anymore. But our connection has never wavered. I know he will always be there for me and me for him. His opinions, advice, love and guidance mean the world to me. I always know that I will be able to trust him to tell me the truth, to steer me in the right direction.

Even though we live far away and our conversations are fewer than ever, he is in my heart. Nobody can ever replace him, for I will never have another big brother and I would never want anybody other than him.





Sunday, May 16, 2010

How to spruce things up?

I love our new house here in Houston. I just wish that we were able to decorate it! We literally have no pictures on the walls in the bedrooms and only a few in the living room. Our furniture is sparse and I'm at a crossroads as to what I should do. I'm tired of looking at the same things and would really love to redecorate. I also want to liven things up a little bit with some more colorful furniture/decor items.

Unfortunately our budget is pretty tight at the moment. I've had the idea to shop some goodwill/thrift stores/garage sales for furniture and other odds and ends that I can refinish... I just haven't actually gone out to see what I can find. I think the whole process is rather daunting. I have ideas in my head as to how I want things to look, it just seems a bit overwhelming to actually go through with it.I think I will have to do one room at a time. That way I may be able to handle the overhaul. Because, literally, I want to redo almost all the rooms in our house. That would include: living room, master bedroom, guest bedroom/office, back patio/porch, kitchen/dining area, and a few things to Aidan's room. Whew!

I took a "What's your Decorating personality?" Quiz today. It tells you what your decorating style is. Mine was "cozy casual", which wasn't surprising at all. At the end it gives you some links to stores that suit your decorating style. Of course on the list were Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. Two stores I love, but cannot afford to shop at. It also listed two stores I'd never heard of, Maine Cottage and Pine Cone Hill.

They both have CUTE stuff! Things I'd love to furnish/decorate my home with. So, I guess I will try to use my favorite places as inspiration for my DIY projects. I actually started something today to add some more color to Aidan's room. I am painting a few wicker items all a "peekaboo" blue color to add accent to his green walls. The items are drying right now, then I will prime and paint them. This week I will also be painting letters that will spell out his name above his crib. Wish me luck!

Have you spruced up your home with some DIY projects? I'd love to see what you've done! And know how you did it... This girl needs some help!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday 5- so much to be happy about!


Today I thought I'd jump in on Keely's Thursday Five. You have to write down five things that have made you:

Joyful
Excited
Grateful
Appreciative
Elated
or just good ol' Happy this week!

1. My Grandma got out of the hospital today. She was hospitalized late Sunday evening with some type of infection. She has been on IV Antibiotics for the past four days and they are finally letting her go home today. She is really happy and so am I. I'm so glad that my family is able to take care of her in her times of need. :)

2. I booked my tickets on Tuesday to fly home to Ohio later this month! It will be Aidan's first time in Ohio and there are many, MANY people anxious to meet him. It will be so great to spend 10 days with my family and friends!

3. I went to the library today and checked out 3 books. It's been a few years since I checked out books for anything other than research/report purposes. I'm excited to sit down, relax and delve into some wonderful works of fiction.

4. Aidan now smiles when he sees me after I have been gone/out of his sight for a little bit. I love that he knows who I am and associates me with happiness!

5. And finally, I just found out that I will be in Ohio for my nephew's kindergarten graduation. I have watched this little guy blossom from sweet baby, to incredibly smart toddler to a handsome, curious, intelligent 6 year-old boy. I'm so happy that I will be there to witness his graduation from kindergarten! It means a lot to me.



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Top 2 Tuesday- Homes!

In case you can't tell... I decided to spruce things up a little bit around here! I'm not sure if I like it yet, so the next time you visit everything could be completely different! We'll have to see. Oh, and if anybody can show me how to get my buttons up on a navbar on the top of my blog, I'd be FOREVER grateful! :)


Today's Top 2 Tuesday is.....

Dream Homes!

If you don't all ready know, I have a passion for everything that has to do with homes. I have an Associate's Degree in Real Estate and growing up my Sunday treat after being good in church was the privilege of going to open houses with my Mom!

1. What girl doesn't want a beach house? I love this Coastal Living Idea Home that is in Galveston Island.

I was able to visit it last summer and was BLOWN AWAY by how beautifully it was decorated!


I love the layout, all of the porches, its multitude of windows and the unique touches that make it feel like home... Oh, and the fact that it's backyard is the Gulf of Mexico!


It's for sale, furnishings included, for a mere $3 million!

If you live in the area, or will be stopping by I really suggest that you go and take a look! Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to the Galveston Historical Society.

I'm also a sucker for the special touches of older homes. Our beautiful house in Ohio was built in 1930 and had the original wood doors complete with glass doorknobs. We also had a jam cellar in our basement (who doesn't need one of those?!), a coal chute on the side of the house and underneath the carpet were the original wood floors (yes, they needed some TLC).

2. With that being said, one of my all-time favorite older homes would be: Stan Hywet Hall.

It's a beautiful Tudor Revival home in the Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio. Built between 1912-1915, the house alone (not including gate house or carriage house) was over 64,000 square feet! No, I do NOT need that big of of a house. It's just breathtakingly beautiful. The intricate woodwork, furnishings and landscaping will render you speechless.

It also had over 3000 acres of land when the owners built the home. Today, it is preserved and open for tours and of the 3000 original acres, most has been donated to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Stan Hywet still retains 70 of the most beautiful acres of land you will ever lay eyes on. Their gardens are magnificent.

Back when we lived in Ohio I had a membership and visited atleast 5 times a year, if not to view the house, then to just wander the gardens.

(Sorry there are no pictures of the inside, photography is not allowed!)

Have a great day!




Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Mother's Day

.... was fantastic! Aidan was great and after his 7 am feeding he slept until 10 am! Jason and I took advantage and we slept in as well. This never happens. Aidan must've known it was Mother's Day and wanted to give me a present of his own!

After getting up and feeding the baby, Jason got my breakfast ready (English muffin, clementine and yogurt) and took the baby reins from me. After my yummy breakfast I slipped into our bedroom and finished reading my book that I mentioned in a previous post.

I was then given my first mother's day gift from Jason. It is a "mother's love" pendant from James Avery and is absolutely beautiful. I have to go out today to get a chain to put it on. I also received a card from my cats, thanking me for being such a good Momma to them!

After a quick shower while the baby was napping I headed off to the movies. By myself. Heaven.

I love going to the movies and have no problem sitting alone with a small popcorn watching the images flicker on that big screen. What did I see? Well a rom-com of course! My movie of choice was The Back Up Plan with Jennifer Lopez. It was cute and it made me miss my little man.

Afterwards I headed up to the GAP Outlet to exchange some shorts I had bought for a pair of capri pants and then headed home. I called Jason and I knew he was losing it. He's never with Aidan for more than a few hours by himself and he was ready for me to come home. Aidan was fighting with Jason whenever he tried to bottle feed him and was very fussy because he was hungry and only wanted his Momma.

While I was feeding Aidan, Jason went out to the store to get the ingredients for my Mother's Day dinner. He cooked me up some Thai Pineapple Chicken Curry with Jasmine Rice. It was delicious!

I spent the rest of the evening playing and cuddling with Aidan until it was time for his bed time. My day ended snuggling in bed with Jason and watching a little TV.

Perfect.

I couldn't have asked for a better day. I'm so lucky. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I've rediscovered my balance

The tomorrow that I posted about on Wednesday came and went... as did Friday, then Saturday, Sunday was a blur and now it's Monday morning! Where does the time go?!

I'll be honest.... I was cheating on my blog. Yep. Cheating. With whom? With what, you ask?

A book.

*insert wonderfully pleased sigh here*

It was great. Instead of trying to read all of the posts that are forever clogging up my reader, I read an actual book. A 650+ page book. I loved feeling the weight of it in my hands, the smell of the ink on paper and the feeling of the crisp pages as I turned them, devouring every word. Pure bliss.

I don't know the last time that I actually started and finished a book within a few days. According to this post I wrote awhile back, it's been a long time. I had said that I really wanted to rediscover some old passions of mine. Reading being at the top of my list.

This past week I finally made the time. And it was worth it. I stayed up late at night in bed, flashlight in hand reading voraciously, gobbling up every word as if I were afraid it may disappear if I didn't read fast enough. I couldn't wait until Aidan took his naps so I could pick up where I had left off. For once I didn't try to tidy up, fold laundry, wash the dishes or do any other household chores while he was sleeping. I decided to use those precious minutes to enjoy myself, to lose myself in literature.

I finished my book Sunday morning. I stayed up Saturday night until 2 am reading, and finally decided to get some sleep when I had a mere 50 pages left. It killed me to leave those pages unturned, but I knew I'd regret it when Aidan would awaken at 5:30 for his early morning feeding. I picked up my book Sunday morning around 11 and finished it. And I felt fantastic afterwards.

The book I was reading? Well, it was a novel, but one I had purchased almost two years ago. It is called The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory.


I'm sure you've heard of it and some of you have probably read it, or seen the movie. And I had never even opened it. I didn't have the time. I was constantly reading textbooks and the thought of reading for fun just wasn't appealing to me at that time. I should have read for fun though. I regret that. Reading is an outlet and one I needed to help myself stay sane while my busy life swirled around me.

I never realized how much I missed imagining the characters, their clothing and surroundings. I love painting pictures of books in my head, how the characters spoke, what their facial expressions looked like, what their homes looked like.

Now I know better. I am making it my mission to read a book a week. Which is by no means impressive considering I used to read a book a day and would sometimes be reading upwards of 4 books at once. Not anymore. I want to enjoy one book at a time. I know it will help me to relax, decompress and become an even better mother to my little man. I need my reading time back.

Any suggestions on what I should read next?

*cough* Tudor Rosy HELP! *cough*

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays and some Mania, too!

Photobucket

This week I am going to try and join in on Mama M's Mother's Day Mania... Whooo... that's a lot of M's!

She has a different topic pertaining to mommyhood everyday, starting today. I am actually not joining in on today's topic, but will start linking up with tomorrow's post.

If you'd like to play along just click her button at the top of my post!

Now for Wordless Wednesday:

Little Man in a BIG robe!

For more fantastic photos check out Five Minutes for Mom.

Stay tuned for tomorrow....

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