Saturday, July 28, 2012

School Supplies!!

 I love school supplies!  They are awesome.  I also love to buy stuff for kids.  Our church is taking up school supplies for needy kids.  Check out what all we got!

Here is the "big boy" stuff.  My favorite is the notebook that says Just so you know I'm kind of a big deal

Here is the "little boy" stuff.  Avengers notebooks!  Dark Knight!  Mario!  Spiderman!  Phineas and Ferb!  I want to be a little boy!

This is the "little girl" pile.  It isn't as big because Josh kept saying I was getting too much for girls and not enough for boys.  Um, go back up and look at that boy pile.  I totally could have gotten more little girl stuff!  The cuteness of the princess pencil holder kills me.  I thought I would have to have one for myself.

Finally, this is the "big girl" pile.  So many fun patterns and glitter cause girls need glitter.  True story.

When I was in kindergarten I sat at a table with a little girl who stole my crayons, not once but over and over.  Dad told me that I should give them to her and not say anything because that's what Jesus would do.  I gave her my crayons every time.  Then one day she took my Lisa Frank pencil.  I only had two Lisa Frank pencils and I thought that if I had all sorts of Lisa Frank stuff then the other girls would let me sit at their table and be my friends so I tattled to my teacher that she took my pencil and she had to give it back.  To this day I feel awful about making her give me back my pencil.  Her family didn't have enough money to get her crayons (she had to use the box of classroom crayons that were broken and dull) and Lisa Frank pencils.  She probably wanted to feel included just like I wanted the popular girls to like me.  I wish I had given her my pencil.  Now I like to buy nice school supplies for other kids so they don't have to steal other people's stuff.  I hope they get enjoyment out of their school stuff and that it inspires them to kick school butt!  Go buy some school supplies for kids who can't afford them.

Friday, July 27, 2012

10 Reasons I Can't Wait for Fall

1.       Fall colors-I LOVE when the trees start to turn and I can look at the mountain at the back of my subdivision and it is just glowing with colors.  I think that with as much rain as we have had that the colors will be bright this year.
2.       Fall smells-Is anything better than a cinnamon apple candle?  I love the crisp smell of falling leaves and fires and chili.
3.       Which brings me to:  fall food-chili, soup, pumpkin pie, dumplings.  In the summer I can’t think of anything to cook.  I don’t want to turn my oven on and heat up the house and humidity completely zaps any desire to eat.  I know Josh has to be tired of hearing “let’s just grab something from the pantry for supper”.  Autumn has so many great recipes and it’s cool enough to turn on the oven.
4.       Football-I don’t actually like the game of football, but it has this sentimental value to me.  I guess because I have such happy memories of family gathering at our house on Saturday to watch the Vols and eat and hang out.  It just makes me feel festive even if I have zero desire to watch sweaty men run headlong into each other (unless it is hockey, which is totally different to me).
5.       Cooler weather-It’s been hot.  My hair doesn’t respond well to crazy humidity.  It’s so nice on fall mornings when you walk out and the air is crisp and cool but not freezing.  You don’t have to have three layers and a heater, just walk briskly.  That’s good weather.
6.       Fall events-First there is school starting, then Halloween, then my birthday, then Thanksgiving.  Autumn is basically back to back happy occasions. 
7.       Sense of impending greatness-Okay that is the worst description ever, let me try and explain what I mean.  Maybe it was brand new notebooks and pens that would record all new knowledge in new school classes, maybe it is the cooler weather that makes you feel more invigorated, maybe it is just the happiness that fall brings me, but I always feel like I can do anything in fall.  I am superwoman.  Just around the corner, something good is waiting, whether it is something interesting new that I learn or just an awesome birthday present.  I get the feeling that life is just about to open up into something new and exciting during the Autumn.
8.       Fall clothes-By this time of the year I always start missing my fall clothes.  In March I start missing my summer clothes.  It’s totally normal to miss clothes, right?  I start thinking about my Old Navy sweaters in red, blue, and white (because I tend to buy every color of an item I love from ON), and my cords!  I heart corduroys.  I have a cute purple coat I like too.  Oh!  Pink pea coat!  I hadn’t thought of that one yet.  Yep, ready for some fall clothes.
9.       Fall cleaning-Okay so it isn’t that I just love to clean but I do love the feeling of a truly clean house.  We always did fall cleaning instead of spring cleaning because fall is when my family gathers more (See #4 and #6).  I remember coming home from school and smelling pinesol and bleach and knowing that Mom was taking care of everything and working hard to make our house a home and it was like all was right with the world (longest run on sentence ever?).  I want the house Josh and I have to have that same feeling and a big part of that is fall cleaning.  And love.  That’s a big thing too.
10.   Most importantly:  Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks-Can I get an amen?  I love this coffee.  I’m not a huge coffee drinker but I would drink this every single day if my budget would let me.  It is basically every single one of the above things in a cup with nutmeg and whipped topping.  I feel like maybe God planned for there to be Pumpkin Spice Lattes just for me.  Probably not, but it’s a nice fantasy! 
Let's think about these things while we roast in the heat today, okay?  Maybe if we all think really hard it will be fall soon?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Renovation Part Two

Two posts ago I had a picture of my pretty chalkboard against my bright red walls and I mentioned that we wanted to paint that wall at some point.  Josh has decided that point is now.  Our house is in full fledged renovation mode.  Of course, we aren't just painting the walls, we are also painting the cabinets.  Hold me.  I'm afraid.

This was the kitchen just before we moved in (still has all the old owner's stuff).  I have a better before picture on my camera but it's all the way in the kitchen.  I've already exercised so there is No way I am getting up and going in there!  Sorry Charlie.

Here is all our paint cans and supplies.  So much to do.

We took off all the cabinet doors and took all the socket covers off.

 I have no idea why this picture looks like this but here are our first cabinet doors that are sanded.

The walls are going to be cream and chocolate.  The cabinets are going to be a deeper cream.  I hope it's going to be awesome.  I'll keep you posted every step of the way.  I may be coming to your house so I can have some respite from my kitchen!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Zumba with Frankenstein

So I've written a time or two about Josh and my (mine? my's? us bodies!) quest to get healthier.  Well we are still questing.  We are doing pretty well, we are exercising several times a week and eating healthier and using a really cool app to track our calories.  It's My Fitness Pal.  It's pretty great.  The best thing is definitely that it includes most restaurants.  So if Josh is wanting chicken tenders at Cheddar's, he check the calories of exactly that meal before he orders it.

In trying to find different exercises that I don't mind doing I tried the super popular Zumba.  ...  Oh goodness.  It was a sight to see.  The first time I went to the local fitness center and they had a huge projector screen and there were maybe ten other women in a big cafeteria shakin' our thangs.  Let me just say, my "thang" it don't shake.  I was jamming though.  In my mind I looked good and I was having fun.  Well I was doing it at home the other day and I pulled my full length mirror over so I could work on getting the technique right. 

One word:  cellulite.  I was not even aware that I had so many jiggly parts!  I've always been pale, but in the past I would occasionally lay out in the sun and try to tan (mostly burning in the process) but since that time something else has come into my life, it's called a straight day job.  So in essence my thighs haven't seen the sun in, gosh I don't even know when.  I am so white right now, I could get a moon tan.

These things wouldn't be bad if it wasn't for the actual dancing performance.  I am not Latina (Re: white enough for moon tan).  I do not have the inherent ability they seem to have to move their hips independent of their shoulders or any sort of fluidity.  Watching me dance would be like watching an android trying to dance, but without all the warm fuzzy feelings you get from watching a humanoid attempt to be a real human.  Have you watched Young Frankenstein?  If you haven't, then you lead a deprived life and I will pray for you.  If you have you should remember this scene

I am about three times spazzier than him.  I wish I were joking.  I can never return to that fitness center.  I can probably not go to the library as it is attached to the fitness center.  However, I am a glutton for punishment because I keep trying in the privacy of my own home with the door locked so not even Josh can see.  At this point I am just determined to make my hips shake!  Please enjoy a chuckle at my expense as I hide behind a pillow so I don't see any of my jiggly bits.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mirror to Chalkboard

I wanted a chalkboard for my kitchen and I have been searching for awhile and I couldn't find anything that I liked.  Everything had a very stereotypical fat French chef with black mustachios on it.  Just didn't really fit with my kitchen.  So, I decided to make my own!

This is the mirror I started with.  It was $5 at a yard sale.  It's not really my style, I'm not a big gold fan.

We took off the backing and flipped it over and used the back of the mirror because it was easier to work with.  We had to scrape all the glue off.  Use a sharp knife, preferably a utility knife.  Do not use your best kitchen knife.  That's what we started out with, not the best plan.  :)

Then I sanded the back and scraped the rest of the glue off.  The surface needs to be very smooth and clean.  Next hose it off, literally with a hose.  Now this is a very important step, spray your spouse or child with the hose.  It's been very hot and you need to do this.

Here is the paint.  It matches the pretty bow.  The bow matches the two other bows on the two other stands that completes the cake stand ensemble.  The bows match the KitchenAid mixer.  Are you seeing a theme?  I like this color...a lot.

Partway painted.  Such an improvement IMO.

Reassemble your new chalkboard and add the hanger.

Final product!  It massively clashes with the wall that we hope to paint.  Also everything that I would take with me goes together.  It's all in the lovely seafoam color.  Anyway, I love my new chalkboard!  It's cool!  Make one yourself!

EDIT:  I feel you should know that the chalkboard no longer clashes so terribly with the wall, as the wall has been painted in a massive kitchen renovation.  See HERE on the second picture to see how much better it looks.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Catching Up

This past week has been pretty busy.  Last week was a three day week.  I vote three day weeks every week with the same pay we currently have.  We went to my grandmother's for her 4th of July picnic.

I took lots of pictures but you saw most of them on FB if you are friends with me.  I also messed around with Instagram.  It's a very hipster app but I love the quick editing and the fun filters. 

Then Saturday Josh and I went to the block party.  It was kind of a bust.  We don't do crowds so great and he doesn't do hot well at all.  We did have excellent icees, man now that I'm thinking about them I kind of want another.  It was luscious and cool.

Josh and I went to one yard sale (Hey I found what I needed, why continue to shop and potentially waste money?).  We got a big fake gilt mirror.  It's going to grow up to be a non-gilt blackboard for the kitchen.  Pictures will be posted.

Sunday (Was that only yesterday?  It was a loooong day today) Eli, his new gf, Josh and I all went to a baseball game.  It was a minor league game and I thought it was kind of fun.  Again with the heat.  It explains Josh's face.  Lol.  About half of our Sunday School class was there and that was fun.  Very social.  Then we went to a Japanese restaurant.

I'm also currently in love with this show.  That explains why I am propping my eye lids up on toothpicks to manage to stay awake until 10.  It is written by Amy Sherman-Palladino who also wrote/produced (both?  I don't remember) Gilmore Girls.  So far there are two characters who also starred on GG, the contractor from Lorelai's house remodel and...Emily Gilmore!  She is almost the same role.  The dialogue is the same spitfire, pop culture reference laden banter that we came to love from Stars Hollow.  You really need to be watching it.

Those are the nuances of my life.  I hope yours is equally laid back and wonderful.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vegetarian Experiment: That's a Wrap!

I finished my month of vegetarianism this past weekend.  I had chicken and scallops in my meal at Ghengis Grille down in Knoxville for the inaugural meat meal.  I have a deep and abiding love for that restaurant; it was like love at first sight, er taste.

I really recommend trying this experiment for yourself.  After a month I wasn't craving meat.  In fact, I only had one or two days during the month that I really wanted some meat.  One of those days was when Josh convinced me to tag along with him to Chik-Fil-A.  Not a good idea.  I feel like I have more energy when I am not eating meat.  This weekend when I was having chicken and scallops I felt kind of heavy and lethargic after the meal.  I know that I ate more balanced as far as fruits, veggies, and grains go.

The whole point of this experiment was to get away from some of the chemicals and steroids we get as part and parcel of the meat we get from the grocery and to see how much meat I could do without, without feeling totally deprived.  After a full month of this, I've decided to stay vegetarian at home, but that I will eat meat when I go out to restaurants.  As far as the quality of the meat, that is probably backwards from what I should do.  The reason for this is two fold.  In the first place, since I cook most nights of the week and we eat in, I will be getting about 5-6 days a week that are meatless.  That is way better than eating no meat in restaurants but eating it at home as far as quantity goes.  The second reason is that it is difficult to find meatless dishes around here.  Even trying to order pasta with no meat is a challenge at some restaurants.  Eating out is also where I feel the most "deprived".  I still want to enjoy life and eat good, tasty dishes, I just want to be healthy too.  That and I just don't think I can totally give up on Chik-Fil-A and the chicken gnocchi soup at Olive Garden.

So that's the wrap up on my month long experiment.  I hope you try it for yourself!  Even you decide to go back to meat full-time (for lack of a better phrase), it is a good way to detox your body and get some great fruits and veggies in for a time.  I even discovered veggies that I like now that I didn't like as a kid from trying to diversify my dishes.

Up next in the food realm is trying to find some good vegetarian dishes that can be staples for both me and Josh.  Right now I am either cooking two meals (sort of) or trying to munch on a couple side dishes.  I think I can find some recipes that he would like too and we can have one meal that we can both eat and smile about.  :)