Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Perfection

Beer cheese soup + fresh bread + cool, crisp fall weather = AMAZING.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Update

Heh, I just giggled a bit because it reminded me of SNL. That part isn't really an update thought...

I had a great weekend! My grandparents were in town from NY, and so my parents and grandparents came to see our house.  Emily surprised my parents and flew in for the weekend, so I got to spend time with her, too.

I ran some errands and found myself at JoAnn's. I always seem to have either a million coupons or no coupons, and this weekend was one of those times where I have tons of them. Unfortunately, they're only good on regular priced items, and 99% of the time the items I need are on sale.

I had my eye on a new cutting board (my old one had an unfortunately run-in with the iron a few weeks ago) and  was thrilled when they weren't on sale! I know that's strange, but the 40% off coupon is usually a better deal than the sale. I decided to splurge on the largest one they have, and I am SO glad I did! Having a new, giant cutting mat has made a huge difference already.

I don't usually use their fabric for quilting. I'm kind of a fabric snob.  I'm always skeptical of how the JoAnn's fabric will hold up with lots of washing and wearing.  I do use it for other things though, like wall-hangings and projects that probably won't get washed often. I walked away with this stash:


I'll tell you what it's for after Christmas... 

I also volunteered at the Walk to Stop AIDS this weekend as a marshal. Basically, my job was to make sure people turned right and not left. Really tough. Oh - and this was the view from where I was standing....

I love this city!!

I hope you had a good weekend... the weather in Cincinnati today is cold and rainy, and it feels wonderful!! I have some plants that are just soaking up the rain, and it turns out our house is as pleasant when it's cold outside as it is miserable when it's warm out.  Yay - Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Beautiful


I guess that butterfly bush was worth the money??

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A peek into my closet

I can't wait any longer to show you my new closet!

You may remember a long time ago (like, April) when I noticed a little "nook" in our bedroom that was the perfect size for a closet. So perfect, in fact, that I convinced Zac and his dad that we should turn it into one.

See, I'm sort of the ideas person in this relationship. I say things like, "Wouldn't it be cool if we built a second closet? How long would that take, like 2 hours?"  Six months later, I'm eating my words.

I'm convinced that the secret to marital happiness is going to be having two closets. It's not that I don't love Zac. I do. And it's not that I don't want to have children with him. I do. And it's not that I don't want to grow old together. I do. I just don't see why our clothes need to be squished together while we're doing all of those things!

The closet started out looking something like this. (Note to self: stop forgetting to take before pictures). This is actually the closet in the sewing room, which is a mess. Don't judge.

Door open

Doors closed.

A quick note on mirrored closet doors. I hate them. Sort of. I got used to having a mirror when I got dressed so quickly, and while I miss that, I can't say I miss living in an aerobics studio!

So... here's the transformation!



I love this guy.



I think it looks like I need more clothes??




Yay! What do you think?? Obviously the room itself has a lot left to go (like painting), but I think this is a big improvement!

Oh, and I can't tell you how to do it. Because apparently it's super hard and takes about 6 months. The fact that our house slopes seemed to complicate things. And it cost WAY more than we expected. But I love it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Friend Day and the cutest front porch ever

So... it's already been a long week, and it's only Tuesday afternoon. I guess if I'm just now posting about Saturday, it's probably not getting better anytime soon!

This weekend was a lot of fun, but we sure weren't home much. My two bestest friends from college (who are also my bridesmaids) and I realized over the summer that we need to add Friend Dates to our calendar. Otherwise, way too much time went by without us seeing each other.

Mandy lives in Lexington and Katie lives in Louisville, so we're essentially living in cities that make a triangle. Our plan was to meet once a month in one of the cities and do something fun! Last month, they came to Cincinnati and we picked out bridesmaid dresses.

Since Katie's birthday is in September, this month we went to see her! Lesson learned:

Lunch + shopping + cake + your best friends = a really really great day!



Katie modeling her birthday presents. To make this make more sense to you, you need to know that her kitchen is almost finished being completely remodeled, and that the only food this girl ever cooks is cereal. So we got her the Cereal Lover's Cookbook and an apron so she can use her new kitchen!


Happiness.

Saturday night I went to my friend Erika's house for a housewarming party. This girl moved in a month ago and her house is already perfect.  She had this on her front porch:




And she moved in a month ago!!!!!!!!!!!!! She said I can take pictures of it for my blog, but I thought her other friends would think I was weird, so maybe next time?

Sunday we went to Lexington to get together with some of Zac's family... and then the weekend was quickly over! The only thing saving me this week is that all of my favorite TV shows are on new this week! Tonight, I have a date with GLEE!!!



Saturday, September 18, 2010

About all this "grown-up" stuff

Over the past few months, it's hit me hard - I'm a grown-up. I don't know when it really started, and while it seems to have been gradual, lately it feels like it's hit me like an ice cream truck. That's my favorite analogy - because it's all good stuff but it still hurts!

Was it when we decided to get married? Sitting on the floor of my sewing room tonight, I'm looking around wondering if it has something to do with this house? Was it going back to school or something at work? Was it watching my sisters get older, or my friends start to move away?

  
                                                          When did I go from this... to this... to this?

All I know is that somehow, things are different. I walked up to my friend Katie's door today and thought, "Wow, her liriope are just goregous!" I'm decorating my house for the seasons, the way my mom does. I'm opting for clothes that are more practical and makeup that stays on all day. I'm noticing things that I never noticed before, like why you close the blinds when you're changing and it's dark outside. I want to know what cleaning product my friend Ashley uses to make her house smell so good.

When did we start talking about having kids like it will actually happen (relatively) soon? When did we hang paint samples on the living room wall to choose between fourteen shades of WHITE? When did we figure out there was more than one shade of white to begin with?

I'm totally freaked out, and at the same time, I feel more comfortable than I have ever been before. All I know is that this grown-up stuff is totally crazy.

And that I love it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If Facebook had been around forever

This is way too funny not to share. Warning - some objectionable language included below! I think "France likes this" is my favorite!







Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I love you today.

Warning: the following story will probably make you sick. Because it's honestly that cute.

My co-worker's husband goes to work earlier than she does, and he sends her a text message very morning that says, "I love you today." This isn't even the cute part.

Today she woke up and he hadn't sent the message. She sent him a text teasing him that he forgot. A little bit later, he sent her a message telling her to look at the window.  And we saw this:


Oh, you can't see what that is? Look closer:



Still not sure? Try one more time:



ARE YOU KIDDING ME? It's a sign stapled to a tree across the street from our office that says, "I LOVE YOU TODAY."

You already know that my darling fiancĂ© doesn't read my blog, so if you talk to him, mention that it would be cool if he did something like this. I'm happy to email your significant other to suggest it for you. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's beginning to feel like Fall around here!

The weather here has finally broken and for those of us who endured an average summer temperature in the 90s with no central air conditioning, it is none too soon!

My friend Ashley and I spent the day together on Saturday, first visiting my family and then hanging out with her wonderful aunt. Ashley's Aunt Peggy is incredible... her crafting skills and space are amazing. I'll give you a tour of her craft room later this week, but for now, look what we made!!

Steps for Making an Incredible Fall Wreath

Gather some supplies, like these. Check places like Biglots and buy things that are crazy cheap. Find a wreath in Aunt Peggy's magical craft closet.


Find someone you like to hang out with. Bonus points if, while actually trying to demonstrate how cute the tiny pumpkin is, your crafting partner looks like she's constipated.



Take your decor items and start placing them where you want them, like so. Try to look like you know what you're doing and you're "artsy" and stuff so you can impress your crafting partner.


Go faster than your crafting friend, and then take a picture of her in action.


Then, make her take a break to take a picture of you, so that you can prove to your blogging friends that you were, in fact, also there crafting.


Get out the hot glue gun and starting attaching all of the pieces you laid out. Be really careful so that you don't accidentally move something.  Then, screw up and move something. Look at Aunt Peggy, and hear her say, "There's no such thing as mistakes when you're crafting. It's just a different kind of beautiful." Want to kiss Aunt Peggy for being so adorable.


Love Aunt Peggy even more when she brings this upstairs, just in case you burn your finger while you're glue gunning.


Bring your finished wreath home and try to hang it on the front door. Realize that the top half of your door is made of glass. Take a second to wonder why the heck you didn't realize this before. Set the wreath down on a living room chair until you can get a wreath hook tomorrow.  Come downstairs the next morning and see this.


Gently grab the cat and throw her across the room. Hang the wreath on your front door and go outside and take pictures of your house.  Wave to your neighbors, who clearly think you're creepy.






There you have it! Happy fall-ing, everyone!

Linking up with:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

T-7 Months...

I just realized that 7 months today, we'll be walking down the aisle!

In honor of that, I'll treat you to one of the very first pictures we ever took together. This was a wedding the day before Christmas Eve almost 4 years ago. We look so young!


We've sure come a long way... 

And here's a goofy wedding countdown thing, just for fun:

BabyOopsBaby Ticker

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

House Inspiration

We've been working hard on projects at our house lately, and by we here I really mean me, Zac, and Zac's dad. He is so fantastic and is teaching us (I mean Zac) a lot of things. I'm mostly the ideas person here, as in, "We should add a second closet. How long will that take, a few hours??" I think Kenny is starting to hate me and my ideas... :-)

We spend a lot of time talking about what kinds of things we want to do to really make our house our home. A few things that seem to keep coming up:

Make it comfortable yet stylish.
We want our house to be beautiful and stylish, but we also want it to feel comfortable. I want my living room to be cozy enough that our friends want to kick off their shoes and sit on the couch. That they want to sit in our dining room for hours just talking. That our guest bedroom is warm and welcoming. You know, like this:







We need to get rid of some stuff. Or at least put it away.
My friend Erika just moved to a beautiful new house, and when I went to visit her on Monday, I realized that part of what made it so beautiful was her lack of stuff. Everything in her house seemed to have a place to go - there weren't piles of mail sitting out or things on the stairs ready to be carried up. This is our big downfall... we're good at putting things away if they have a spot to go, but otherwise, we're not so good. We need spots. And to get rid of some of our stuff.

It needs to work for us.
Our designs need to make our lives easier. We need to add a small desk downstairs not because we don't have office space upstairs, but because it doesn't make sense to have to climb stairs every time I need a stamp. We need a spot to hang our keys, not because it looks nice but because otherwise we can't find them in the morning. Walking in the door at night needs to make me feel more calm, not more stressed!

We need to be ok that it isn't finished now.
It takes time to paint every room in the house. It is expensive to replace flooring. It takes forever to decide what pictures to hang. And that's ok. We're prioritizing. Erika's house is brand new, and they still have projects. They're different from ours (landscaping vs. replacing flooring) but they are projects none the less. And let's face it - I love these projects! Once they're finished, I'll need a new house!

What do you think? What lessons have you learned while determining the style of your house?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Party weekend in Chicago

Remember my friend Ali? She's my friend from elementary school who came to visit when I was in college and fell in love with one of Zac's friend. (Side note: I am the best match maker ever.) This weekend was her bachelorette party in Chicago, and we had a blast!

We started with lunch and then went to the Chicago History Museum (I know, we're wild). But they had this really cool exhibit on the history of wedding dresses, and seeing dresses from the past 300 years was really fun!


We weren't supposed to take pictures, but I snuck this one for you because it's just so cool. This wedding dress is made out of zippers. Like, you can literally unzip the entire thing into one long string of zippers. Fun!



After that exhibit we did a quick walk-through of the Children's Museum where we rode cool bikes


and made this super cool postcard that we emailed to ourselves:



After that, we walked back to the hotel and had a really fun wine tasting. The wine rep taught us how to swirl the wine around and smell it (even though we had no idea what we were smelling!).

Oh - and this was the view from our hotel:

Absolutely stunning!

We had dinner and went dancing, and our bachelorette was a dancing machine. As in, energizer bunny. That girl danced for 4 hours with only a 2 minute break to trade out her high heels for my flat shoes! 



It was so neat seeing some of my elementary school friends as a grown up. We had tons to catch up on and laugh about (like when we coded M&M colors with the boys in our class and if you ate a color, you liked that boy. Amazing). Can't wait for the wedding!

Last night we went to our neighbor's house to watch the Cincinnati Labor Day fireworks. Other cities do the 4th, but Cinci holds out for Labor Day.  This is the view from their deck:

(Sorry for the cell phone picture)

And the fireworks:



I love this neighborhood! I've got a week of 7 AM meetings every morning, so you may not hear from me for a few days. Hope you had a great holiday weekend!





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