Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Making decisions and spending money

Earlier today I purchased our dining room table online. Without consulting my husband. Without measuring. Without doing much thinking on. I just clicked order. The table had gotten away from me the last time it was listed on this sale. I've been searching for a long time. It's a big purchase, but not necessarily a forever purchase (I mean we can buy furniture in the future too, especially since I bet my style wants change). So, I bought it. No regrets. Until ... I panicked it wouldn't fit with the leaves in use (the entire point of ordering this size table - I want to be able to seat 10-12). 

I fixed my panic quickly by taping out the table in its daily size, then with leaves ... And thank goodness it fits!! I can't wait for it to arrive (and to pull the trigger on buying dining room chairs - that will probably take another 3 months)! 

But for now, I am happy and grateful it fits. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Currently ...

cooking nothing new this week.  last week, this minestrone soup was a hit (but, I'd add the pasta to each bowl if you think you'll be eating leftovers for days because by day 2 it was super soggy!) and I took these green chicken enchiladas to a new mama. 

planning my paint schedule.  next week, I will begin painting the trim in our house! I've only been talking about it since July, so I think next week is perfect.  My goal is to get the main part of our living quarters (so everything but the guest rooms) done by Thanksgiving.  That's a lot of trim, windows, and fireplace! If you find yourself bored, come pick up a paint brush (or glass of wine and entertain me) :) 

smelling Tide. it is laundry day (bed linens included), and the smell is just one of my favorites.  clean sheets is one of my favorite feelings! 

appreciating life lately.  while it may not be exactly what we had envisioned years, months, or even days ago, life right now is pretty good! we're so blessed it is full of friends and family! 

anticipating our trip this weekend to Oxford, Mississippi!!! Rob turns 30 on Thursday (!), and he wanted to celebrate at our first Ole Miss game in the Grove, visiting our best buds from residency! Y'all - I can't even explain how excited I am to see these people, celebrate Rob, and witness the Grove in action :) ahhhh .... come on Friday!!!! 

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Join Anne Jenna for this month's currently linkup! 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Closet space

When we looked at our home on the market, I had big visions of changes I would make if money were no object. When we closed on our home, I had necessary & budget friendly updates prior to move-in: cleaning the entire house and painting the rooms.  These things happened, we move in and I started a to-do list for our home.  It is ever growing, so I won't share it right now. Some things are tiny like patch a hole, others require some major renovation, and even more are still probably just dreams (unless we live in this house forever). 

Our current master closet is a great size (especially when compared to prior closets), but doesn't fully utilize the space available.  My maybe-not-so-distant dream is to do a closet renovation with built ins, but since I'm still working on buying furniture I need to prioritize.  I did realize we had shelves laying around that were taken down when the rooms were painted.  I'm just about ready to donate to habitat restore, when I realized I can use some of the shelves to help use our closet space better - poor Rob doesn't get dresser space in our room, so gets the shelves in our closet.  

This weekend I finally bought the "L" brackets we needed, and today after a lot of drilling (and a lack of anchors on the left side thanks to some stubborn wall behind the closet!), I used a shelf we already owned to create additional space in the closet! 

I cleaned it all up, the added Rob's clothes back to the nook, in a much orderly fashion.  The shelf is about an inch short on each side (which I knew ahead of time), but it works for now until I can get a closet person in there to create the closet of my dreams (and budget)! 

Let's just hope Rob can keep things sorted better than before or I may have to give him the dresser! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Currently on Friday

With the weekend events, I am slow to join the currently linkup, but combining this months subjects with ::five on friday:: is just going to have to work this week :) Happy weekend!!!

eating: berries and yogurt. yep, it isn't really berry season but thank goodness for hothouses that grow berries year round because I am loving them right now with my yogurt and coffee for breakfast.  And I'm not really cooking any exciting meals this week because I wasn't home Sunday to plan - I went for easy this week.  We'll try again next ;)

exploring: the beach.  I love the fall when the tourists have died down, and we can freely roam the beach. While I am not a big shell collector, I love scouring the beach for sea glass.  I found one small piece on our last exploration.  I think I will go today and see if there is anything special left over from the storm.

wearing: rain boots. Well, I was for several days straight.  I am thinking they were a good purchase.  Dry feet are such a luxury ;)

admiring: the Pottery Barn sectional we just ordered.  Well, I thought I'd be ordering one ready made, but of course once I got into it we decided to go more custom to better fit our space.  So it is essentially the 3-piece L sectional with a wedge instead of the corner piece.  I am so ready for it to be here, but I will just have to wait until it is ready in December! Seems so far, but we're almost halfway through October!

collecting: art.  I am loving finding new artists online (blogs and instagram and facebook).  I just bought a small piece from Haley via instagram.  I love her faces, and can't wait to get it framed!

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

traveling raining weekend

Wow, what a weekend we have had.  Prayers continue for the residents of Columbia, SC.

Let's rewind to last Thursday.  I was scheduled to make a trip (for fun) to Atlanta.  I briefly considered cancelling due to #hurricaneJoaquin, but after it started trending out to sea I knew I could handle some rain on a drive and visit.

So, I packed up my newly purchased rain boots (I mean, I needed them for quite some time) and Friday morning, I woke up and drove to Atlanta, making it just in time to greet sweet Lottie as she woke up from her nap.

We had the best weekend: playing, shopping, eating, and playing some more.  Sunday, I visited with my friend Hillary, celebrating her sister's birthday, and then helping her pack for an out-of-town doctor's appointment.  I was originally supposed to leave Sunday, but after seeing the flood warnings I decided to stay the night and leave in the morning - at least I would be driving in sunlight!

Well, my goodness, I have never been so thankful to have made this decision, as the waters in Columbia rose, the SC DOT had to close the two main highways I needed to get home! I-20 and I-95 were closed at points that were essential to me getting back to Wilmington.  When looking at the map and trying to reroute myself, I ultimately decided the most clear and safest option was to take I-85 to Charlotte, and then pick up Hwy 74.  It added about an hour and a half to my drive, but I am just thankful to have made it home safely!

Fortunately the rain and flooded streets had pretty much subsided in Wilmington, and our house was just fine while we were both gone over the weekend.  I did a bunch of yard clean up yesterday (and much-needed weeding), then after a necessary shower I put on my slippers and enjoyed a glass of wine in front of our fireplace (sans fire because it just isn't that chilly yet)!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

what happens when it rains

This week has consisted of rain, rain, and more rain, which has led me to cooking, cleaning, and tackling items on our house to-do list.

First up, I finally hung a mirror in a half bath!  I mean, who takes a mirror with them after selling a home, but that's a whole-nother story. The space is special, need a tall, skinny mirror.

I thought this would work when I saw it in the store, but it's unquestionably too small (unless you're Rob and he says it is perfect).  Well, a slight water issue with our master toilet made us have to use the guest bathroom for a couple of days ... I couldn't stand not having a mirror, so this was hung. And then the plumber came and fixed the master toilet, so we're back to usual with a too-small mirror hanging in the guest bath.  It will probably stay there forever.

Between the plumber, hanging the mirror, cleaning out the dining room boxes (other than the boxes of books, which may just get donated here soon since we seem to not need them), and finally scheduling the decorator to come look at our space (today!), the to-do list is slowly dwindling.  Painting the trim is a large looming task that I think I will tackle next week, or maybe if I wait long enough, Rob will just hire a painter so I will stop talking about it!

Second, cooking.

Mmmmmm, bacon.
If you don't know, baking bacon in the oven is my favorite way.  Lay out on a baking sheet (with an edge, for the love of bacon grease), put in an oven set to 350* and wait for about 30 minutes - it will be perfectly crispy. I like to burn it, so I leave it a bit longer - until I just can't wait anymore for all of the bacon.  Yum!

I also made a baked risotto with delicious butternut squash and kale, which upon first taste out of the oven, was perfect crisp risotto.  Then I let it sit with the top on.
Do not let it sit with the top on fresh out of the oven (or cook it way less) because by the time I got to eat it (oh, two hours later) it was complete mush.  Yuck! I mean the flavors were good, but the texture was not something I would force on anyone.  I ate it for dinner, then lunch the next day.  And then no one touched it.

Oh well, you win some and lose some.  This was a loss, but totally cook's error.

And finally, I tackled a spaghetti squash.  I mean, I love it, but it is a beast of a squash to cut.  I hear you can microwave it for 5-6 minutes to soften it to make the cutting in half easier.  I should have tried that, but I didn't.  I suffered through the rocking back and forth of the knife, coming questionably close to an ER visit.

Once brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt & pepper (those Costco salt and pepper grinders are the best!), and baked in the oven for almost an hour at 450*, I scraped out the "spaghetti," mixed with garlic butter (saute garlic in a few tablespoons of butter) and peas, topped with Parmesan.  Yum! Note: Rob would never be satisfied with this just for dinner, so I tend to eat it when he is away. 

I suppose three "recipes" is enough for today, but a kind reminder: when making muffins always add the sugar.  While not a total disaster (I top with honey or melted butter & sprinkled sugar), they are much better with said sugar as the original recipe calls.   

With all of that, I am off on this little break in the rainy week to meet with a decorator about the sofa I want, and then go buy rain boots so I can quit ruining shoes, and hopefully survive the potential October hurricane.  Oh what a Wednesday! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

weekend living is easy

We had a relatively low-key, but productively fun weekend at home!

After Rob returned from the golf course, we headed downtown to enjoy a burger at the Fork N Cork, followed by a stroll along the river with one of the most beautiful sunsets to date.

We ended up meeting some friends down on the beach for the day, which was nice once the wind died down and the water covered the fine sand :) We grilled out at home, and I was fast asleep despite the football that was on TV! 

We went to church, then grabbed a ladder from my parents - I needed to try to climb up on our roof and sweep/rake the pinestraw off.  I was unsuccessful in my attempts, but I tried so I feel okay paying someone to do it ... as soon as I can find someone to hire! 

My youngest brother popped over to scout out our cable situation.  We needed it moved from where the cable company installed it, run under the house to where we wanted our TV positioned.  Apparently the cable company does not go under houses ?!? He created a plan for what we all needed, so we all met my parents for lunch (at the Fork N Cork - it's becoming a family favorite) then grabbed the supplies from Lowe's.  

Y'all ... my brother successfully disconnected our current line, reconnected it with one that we ran under the house, as well as removing all of the unnecessary cables that the previous homeowner left us! I was so impressed and grateful (though I had offered to pay him, so there was reward for him), and Rob is so happy the TV is on the right wall - now he just needs/wants a bigger TV!   

The TV used to sit in the left corner where that little round side table is. And the current "media stand" is an old bookcase that I fixed up.  I'm hoping it won't house the TV long, and we can use it in one of the guest rooms, but for now it works! We ended the weekend at the driving range - Rob is in a golf tournament (of friends, but it's so serious it's crazy) in two weeks, so he has been practicing a lot on the course and at the range.  I tag along occassionally to help film him so he can try to see what needs correcting!

Inspired by his work, I kicked off this Monday with patching up the holes that were left behind (inside and out), after an early morning workout, meal planning session, and grocery store run! 

I whipped up some banana bread to use up some really really ripe bananas before I cleaned the house for the week. 
It's really tasty, but a bit odd texture/density - probably because I didn't have any baking powder or baking soda to help it "fluff" up.  Oh well - I'll enjoy my pecan, chocolate chip, banana bread.  

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start!