Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Urban Pulse by Valspar
Shaken Not Stirred by Valspar Shockingly different and yet, most of my furniture and decor will work (hopefully!)
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Now, when you see this "house" you may think to your self, "Self, that home looks pretty good! What is she fussing about?" And from the magic of a camera lense, the house doesn't look half bad. Its in a great neighborhood, on a great lot and has a pool! Let me go ahead and give you a little tour.
The front of the house; it has beautiful shade, a picture window and is on a quiet street.
The family room; it has a fireplace, pocket doors leading to the back bedroom suite and sliding glass doors giving view to the pool.
The kitchen; it is open to the family room and clearly is missing the upper cabinets.
The breakfast nook; it is a very generously sized area with a nice window over looking the pool.
The master bedroom; nice sliding glass doors overlooking the pool and a vaulted ceiling.
The master bathroom; beautiful tiled shower, large walk-in closet and um... 20 year old tulip wall paper.
One of the 3 smaller bedrooms.
Bathroom; quiet a bit dated and somewhat functional.
The best part of the house as it is, the pool and lanai.
When we bought what we are now affectionately calling The Money Pit, we had initially thought that a fresh coat of paint and new carpet would make everything good enough to move into. The rest we would do bit by bit over time. Well, that plan has been totally scrapped and along with the plan, our summer has been scrapped. Thank God for the pool as the kids have been there every day, every step of the way with us as we are doing most of the renovations ourselves. And my ourselves, I mean with mega doses of help from family and friends! Thank you Jesus for people who love us!
A quick run down of projects completed or in the works thus far:
- Pool cleaned, shocked, cleaned, shocked, and cleaned and shocked again.
- All popcorn ceilings scraped and retextured with knockdown.
- All walls with wallpaper (horrible, horrible wallpaper that was applied directly to sheet rock!) have been stripped and retextured with knockdown.
- All other walls have been patched, repaired and retextured.
- Tile and carpet removed throughout the house with the exception of the bathrooms.
- Soffits removed from kitchen.
- Fireplace mantel reconstructed.
- Area carved out over the fireplace so that our TV will be flush mounted up on the wall.
- New AC unit installed (most of the work done was without AC!!)
- Paint EVERYWHERE!
We have kitchen cabinets on order, have picked out our granite, are finishing up painting this week, prepping and laying hardwood floor this week and carpet is coming on Friday! We are about 3 weeks from completion and 6 weeks past exhaustion.
I look forward to the day when I can write about the completion and transformation of a "house" into "our home". Until then, I pray for strength, energy, patience and that I can stay out of the loony bin for the next couple of weeks. :-)
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I walk into the class (with Mister in tow- surprisingly, he wanted to attend?), sat down, got out my notebook and waited for the class to start. Friends were streaming in, chatting, giving kisses and hugs hello while I sat. and waited. for the class to begin. I was not here to socialize. I was here to save some moolah. In walks the coupon lady. The class begins with her asking who has used coupons and what their experiences had been like. I raised my hand and shared that I suck at couponing and if she wasn't able to make this all come clear to me, I was never going to cut another coupon again. And I said all of this with a challenge in my eye and in my heart. And over the course of the next couple of hours, the coupon lady picked up my challenge and pretty much made mince meat of it. It made sense! It all finally made sense! In theory... would I actually be able to go to the store with these little scraps of paper I had cut out of the newspaper and get stuff for darn near free?
Fast forward to today. I did my homework, read couponing blogs, made my list, clipped my coupons, and just to prove to the world what a brave and virtuous woman I am..., I took my 4 year old to the grocery store with me. In less than an 1.5 hours in the store, I ended up walking out saving $121!!! I saved over 55% of my grocery bill! Amazeballs!!
I could not believe it! All of this food was mine, all mine! I had chicken breasts, produce, dairy, 10 boxes of Rice-A-Roni... Food, real food! I Heart Coupons is a mad mother shut your mouth when it comes to spreading the good word of couponing! I am eternally grateful for the knowledge she has shared. Now I can be a much better steward of the money that God has given me and can grow a stockpile of items to be donated to local charities. I can not wait for next week's ads to come out so I can see what other amazing things are going to fill up my pantry!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
I love her!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
1. Wednesday, 5/11: Sir comes to me saying that he has something growing in his ear and he's pretty sure it’s a tatoe. Upon inspection, I find that while he says he's pretty sure it’s a tatoe, I'm pretty sure that he knows its the hot pink bead he has placed in his ear. Being the Super Mommy that I am, I calmly tell him he needs to lie still while I extract said hot pink bead. I lie him down on the couch with his little head in my lap only to realize that the bead is in deeper than I thought it was and there was no way on God's green earth was I going to get anywhere near that thing! And the panic sets in. What do I do? Do I rush him to the doctor? No, that won't work! What if the pediatrician doesn't know the intricacies of de-beading a 4 year old ear? Take him to the hospital! Yes, that's the answer! Surely they are equipped to remove this item that I am now sure will cause lifelong hearing problems for a boy that already has such selective hearing. But I can't drive him! What if I hit a pot hole and in the bumpity bump bump of the ride, the bead lodges itself further into the ear canal? (At this point, I'm positive that the bead has joined forces with the tatoes that actually do live in his ear and have created a waxy plan to travel down the canal and then work its way up into his brain.) I'll call 911. The paramedics can come, evaluate the situation and decide if he is stable enough to be transported via ambulance or if he needs to be life flighted to Tampa General. The life flight option is sounding really good to me as it should be much smoother ride than the streets of Tampa.
Just as I am about to call 911, Mister calmly hangs up from the call he is on, fills a syringe with water and flushes out the bead. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. That's it. It’s over. No 911, no hospital, no life flight. A little water and a hero. That's all the boy and I needed to have our day saved.
My Hubby Is My HERO.
(today's post is dedicated to Susan Ortiz and of course, My Hero!)
Friday, March 11, 2011
Reading is my first true love! So to honor my love, I've got My Happy Addiction list posted on the right hand side of my blog. So far, I've read 15 books this year
My question for you... What is your Happy Addiction?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Reading one of my favorite blogs today, Hooked on Houses, I have come across what is darn near close to my current dream house.
This is the home that Judy Garland had build in Bel-Air in 1938. I love the East Coast traditional feel of the home and the landscape.
If only I had the $5.5m to live in such a humble abode.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I loved my company for the first 10 years; lived the life that others only dream of! Made tons of money, traveled the world and was excited every day to get up and go to work. And then 2 years ago, we experienced a change in leadership and it was downhill from there for me. I did the best I could to hang in there. To have a stiff upper lip and to endorse the new regime. In the last 6 months, I started really praying that God would deliver me from this place that I was convinced was killing me softly. You see, I couldn't up and quit because a> I'm not a quitter and b> Mister has been a stay at home dad for almost 3 years now. I couldn't leave my family in a lurch. And who in their right mind leaves a well paying job in this environment? So I prayed. And I prayed and I prayed and I prayed. And since the beginning of the year, I prayed even harder. And Friday at 1:00, my prayers were answered. I was fired! Canned! Finito! And I couldn't have been happier! Of course at first, I was a tad bit emotional
I received a very generous severance package which will keep us afloat until Mister is able to secure employment. He started his job search on Friday at 1:10pm and has had tons of positive feedback! Has one offer on the table and other great interviews scheduled! I know that God has great things in store for him!
Oh, so what's my new job? That's right, I did say that I started my new job only an hour after losing my old one. Are you ready? ....... Wait for it....
I have entered the realm of the SAHM! That's right, this career girl has put up her heels and traded the BMW for the SUV. I am nervous as hell but excited all the same. Officially 4 days into it , the kids are both still alive, I've made a casserole and the house is on its way to getting in shape.
Thank God for answering my prayers! Now, let's just pray that I don't inadvertently burn the house down or teach the kids new grown up works that I was known for spouting off at the office.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
In the latter parts of the 1700's, the seas were fraught with pirates and one of note was Jose Gaspar! Every year, Tampa celebrates this notorious pirate with parades, marathons, parties and overall debauchery!
So pour yourself some rum, sit back and enjoy pictures of past invasions...
Monday, January 24, 2011
Yes, Mister had his orders to El Toro in Irvine, CA. What was a freshly smitten girl to do? Go with him of course! After all, I had already known him for 6 weeks! You see, not only was I in a dating slump when I met him, my entire life was in a bit of slump. I started out strong at Memphis State the year before but over the course of the next two semesters, I went through some pretty hard personal times and ending up dropping out of school. I was back living with my mom and had just quit my job. Life was not looking up for me. The girlfriend who had originally helped to bring us together suggested to Mister that he take me with him. After all, it wasn't like I was doing anything else.
He left at the end of May to drive cross country and I was to follow two weeks later. I remember him calling me after he had gotten out there to tell me about the apartment he found for us. It was a one bedroom in Lake Elsinore, CA and only cost $425 a month! I couldn't believe what an amazing deal that was! I would come to find out in a very short amount of time why it was such a great day.
On June 6th, 1994 I boarded a plane bound for John Wayne Airport in Orange County. (How great is CA?! Even their airports are named after movie stars!!) I had packed up everything I could fit into 3 duffel bags, gave away all of my furniture and my car and was ready to start my life anew. I wore a green and cream plaid summer dress and remember being both nervous and excited to see Mister. My plane arrived in the evening and after all of the kissing and hugging, we ventured out to find something to eat. Now remember, I was straight off the plane from Collierville, TN. 20 years with an adventurous spirit but not an adventurous palate. We drove and drove looking for somewhere to eat but I didn't recognize anything! And I wasn't willing to try something new. I was tired, hungry and scared about the huge decision I had just executed and I just wanted something familiar. At one point in the evening, we stopped for gas and I asked the gentleman pumping gas next to me where was a good place to eat. After having to repeat the question several times and not getting a clear answer from him; I climbed back in the truck now frustrated even more than before. When I fussed to Mister about the man who couldn't answer my question, he explained to me that we had a failure to communicate. The man I had approached spoke no English, only Spanish. And I with my strong Southern twang, obviously didn't speak English very well either.
The first month together in Cali didn't get much better. While we had our apartment, we had no bed (we slept on the floor sharing one blanket and one pillow case stuffed with clothes for a pillow), we had no furniture, one towel and no food. Thanks to the maintenance man who gave us a steady supply of items that people who had moved out had left in their old apartments (frying pan, tiny black and white tv, air mattress and lamp) and the person who dumped their hideous yellow and brown plaid couch in the Dumpster (yes, we actually climbed in and pulled it out) our living situation was getting a bit better. However, I was lonely and stuck in this apartment while searching for a job. These were the days before everyone had a cell phone and I would spend hours alone waiting for Mister to come home each night.
(Side Story: One night Mister was 3 hours late coming home and I was worried sick about him! Three hours! He could have been dead! Driven off the side of the mountain! I was sure that something horrible had happened to him. And to make matters worse, I was brimming with excitement about the fact that OJ Simpson was on the run being accused of killing his wife and friend. Finally, Mister comes through the door and we both start talking at once. Me telling him all about what I had been watching on the news and he telling me how he got caught up in traffic because the white explorer that had just passed him had a bunch of cops following him. A. WHITE. EXPLORER? He saw OJ on the run! An amazing note in America's pop culture history!)
As I said, the first month was rough. Really rough. One night around the first of July, Mister woke me up in the middle of the night asking, "Hey, do you want to get married?" Me, "Ok, sure. Goodnight."
The next morning, Mister told me he was excited about getting married. Um, como say what? Who was getting married. It seems I thought I had dreamt the whole thing. Come to find out, Mister had spent the night praying, asking God what to do with this girl that he barley knew. God said, "Marry her!".
On July 8th, 1994 approximately 3 months after having met, Mister and I went to the Santa Ana courthouse and got married. I wore my green plaid sundress and laughed hysterically through the entire ceremony.
My kitchen pantry is clean and organized!
As you can see in my 'Before' our pantry was a hot mess of canned goods, Crystal Light, baking supplies and everything else you would expect to see in a family of four's pantry. You can also see the wire shelving that the builder installed which does not make for a very organized pantry. Those of you who have experience with this type of shelving know that things do not always sit evenly.
Once I had everything removed, I inserted pre-made shelves from Lowe's right on top of the wire shelving. As I mentioned before, we are moving sometime this year and didn't want to take the time or expense of putting in a long term solution. This solution seems to have worked out just fine so far! I also bought two collapsible bins; one for snacks and the other to hold bread and rice.
Once the shelves were installed, it was time to start organizing! With Mister's help, I put everything back and in an order that made sense for us.
I've already started going through them and throwing away the pictures that never should have been saved (ie. snow on his roof, pictures of the tv with the ball dropping on NYE for several years, every car accident he passed on the road, etc). Now I am going through which need to be scanned and cataloged. The process thus far has been filled with many smiles, laughter and tears. They are all great memories and I look forward to protecting them for the generations to come.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Young Marine and I have now dated for a couple (2) weeks and he tells me that his immediate family, who live in FL, will be at a family reunion in Knoxville and do I want to come? As I pondered my decision, my thoughts centered around the following two things... a) my severe social anxiety and shyness and 2) the fact that he still "officially" had a girlfriend back home and his family was sure to love her and think that I was a total skank. And then the pro hit me and wiped out those two very big cons. I would be able to stay in a hotel for two nights!! What 20 year old doesn't love a night or two in a hotel? That is just about as good as it gets!
The big day arrives and I dress to impress! A shorty one piece and flats with big 90's hair and bright red lipstick. (I truly thought I was Cindy Crawford! Beauty mark and all!) We pull up to the reunion and everyone starts rushing the truck as he had been away from home in the Marines for over a year now and they were all so glad to see him again. Me? I froze. Then I took a deep breath, lit a Marlboro Red (yes, ashamedly, I was a 2 pack a day smoker at the time) and gave them all my best Super Model smile. (I may have even done a little hair flip.)
As I'm making the rounds meeting (and hugging... turns out his family were major huggers! Me, not so much) everyone, I finally get to his dad who just laughs and whispers in my ear, "I already like you better than the other one." That made my day! I had an ally! You see, we had just narrowly avoided disaster. Mister's mom was going to bring his high school sweetheart to the family reunion as a surprise. He was bringing me as a surprise. The day before his family left for TN, his mom called him and told him about his surprise. There was just enough time to un-invite said sweetheart and turn things around. (Boy, that would have been disastrous!!)
Shortly after falling in love with his family at the reunion, Mister received orders to go to CA. CA!? This was horrible! I had expected him getting orders to go somewhere but what I had not expected was falling in love! Yep, in 6 short weeks I had become totally smitten. And he was leaving. For CALIFORNIA! This new love affair was starting to not feel so good.
On the eve of my 39th birthday I found my first ever grey hair....and I did what any sane person would do....I PULLED THAT SUCKER OUT!Now lets just hope 10 more don't grow in this week.
I was in a slump. I was batting below 100. I had lost my mojo and could not get a date to save my life. My friend had recently started dating a marine from local Naval base which meant she was spending less time as my wing-woman and more time out on dates. While I was happy for her budding relationship, I was sinking lower into my slumpdom. So what's a girl to do but beg? I begged her, pleaded with her, threatened with blackmail for her to get her guy, George, to find me a date. I mean, come on! Its a base full of young eligible men! Surely there was someone who would fit the bill. (The bill being having a heart beat and being available). Her guy scoured the barracks and found someone who somewhat fit the bill, he had a heart beat but also had a girlfriend back at home; but more importantly, he had a truck! Which was necessary for any dating of any kind to happen that night.
George approaches the young marine saying, "Dude. I need a favor. I need you to go out with me tonight on a double date. (and I need you to drive) ".
Young marine responds, "Can't. I have duty tonight". (Notice, no mention of the girlfriend in his response.)
George, "Dude. Come one! If you don't go out with my girl's friend, she won't go out with me! And I really want to see her tonight!"
Young Marine, "Can't. I have duty tonight."
Now, you might think that the story ends here. And it would have. If George had given up so easily.
George, "Dude. Come on, get ready to go out."
Young Marine, "Dude. I have duty tonight!"
George, "Not anymore, dude." (George said dude ALOT!) "I paid some guy $50 to take your duty. Get dressed".
So here is my plan (see I told you I'm good at planning!):
- Come up with a list of about 5 projects to complete with a deadline of 3/31.
- Assign time lines, shopping lists, and other resources needed (ie. Mister's muscles)
- Scour blogs and magazines for inspirational ideas. (I am loving Honey We're Home's organizing series!)
- Schedule specific time to prep, shop, execute!
Here is my list of projects for Q1 (please forgive the quality of the pictures. My camera needs to go to the shop and I am borrowing anothers).
- Pantry- We are going to be moving in the next year and don't want to overhaul the shelving so I plan on laying MDF on top of the wire shelves.
- Master closet- It's a beautiful closet overwhelmed with shoes, purses and clothes that no longer fit.
- Garage (for the second time this year!) Thankfully my 17 year old nephew and brother are staying with us which will be extremely helpful to Mister's muscles as I sit and point.
- Kid's rooms/closets- No explanation needed.
- Book case- I am an avid reader whose book collection has grown to insane proportions! I have got to edit and plan on donating most of my books to the local VA hospital.
- Pictures- My grandfather took pictures of everything! EVERYTHING! and I have inherited all of those photo books. Many of the pics can be thrown away (pictures of snow falling, of the car accident by his house, his new driveway, of the ball dropping on New Years on tv); however the rest are irreplaceable and need to be scanned and protected. His pictures from WWII, family pictures going back the 1920's, every birth in our family, dance recitals, baseball games, Christmases, etc.
I'll do my best to document my progress and maybe, just maybe, I'll end up being an inspiration who also suffers from being a Wannabe!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Here goes:1. Have you (only you..not a group) ever won first place in anything? Hmm. Let's see. When I was in elementary school I rode 20 miles in a bike-a-thon for Cystic Fibrosis and won the grand prize of 10 speed bike. I was really proud of that since I wasn't (still aren't) very athletic.
2. Are your toes always painted (sorry guys...this question for girls only)? My toes are ALWAYS painted. But alas, today, they are a bit busted. Time for a pedi!
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Wow! I said it! A deep breath brings me a feeling of relief and release!
Let me introduce you to Liberty Rose aka Libby.
From that first day, life with Libby only went downhill. Sir was only 18 months at the time; toddling around learning the ropes of life. Libby, being a rambunctious puppy who was half his size and a herder by nature TORMENTED him. She would nip at his heals, knock him over and pounce on him when he was down. I could go on and on about how bad things were. Life in the Casa was not nice. Everyone was miserable most of all me. I hated her. I pleaded with my husband to get rid of her. I begged, cried, offered all kinds of bribes. We even had the breeder come to the house to pick her up! (I stared through the window with a heavy heart as she drove away with a red fuzzball still at Mister's feet.)
Fast forward to today. Libby has grown to the wise old age of 2 and has made a 180 in her behavior and in my heart. Our "understanding" (as I would come to call it) started with her joining me in bed to watch TV at night. Who knew that she loved The History Channel as much as I did? When Mister would come in and question what was going on, I would answer that we had come to an "understanding". Our "understanding" has evolved to me taking her with me to run errands. I came out of the dog hating closet and now publicly pet and cuddle her. I have even come to enjoy her so much that I am weighing the idea of getting another dog. With all of that said, I still have not said that I love her. Because that would mean that my husband was right in keeping her. And if he was right... well, that would mean that I was... no... I might confess that I love Libby but you'll never hear me say I was wro....