Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Health Ruined Me

Dear New Healthy Lifestyle:

HL—may I call you, HL? Really? Thanks—I just want you to know that after letting you into my life, things are . . . weird . . .

I’ll actually choose carrots and hummus after potato chips. Seriously? Fried taters are like the best things ever. How dare you brainwash my tastebuds into preferring sweet, crunchy baby carrot goodness! And bottle water over Coke?? SERIOUSLY?! The previous me would have never done that. Oh, and then there are all the new recipes you have me trying--loaded with veggies, fruits, and natural ingredients, which taste awesome and feel fantastic. Who gave you permission to do that?? You’re tampering with lives, HL, LIIIIVES!!!

I don’t eat super late any more. In fact, I’m hungry by six. While dementing my tastebuds, you’ve also reset my inner-body clock, and I’m not sure I like this, oh no, not at all.

On top of that, I now insist on some sort of physical activity instead of bumming in front of the telly all day. I actually feel perky after all those squats, crunches, pilates, and speedy walks. I don’t know if I like this. It’s like invasion of the body snatchers . . . but I’m outside watching the snatch of my bod. So weird.

And what’s up with this intolerance of fast food? How inconsiderate! When the absence of my lunchbox forced me to indulge in Mickey-D’s last weekend, I found myself suffering stomach cramps for the rest of the day.
The Rest.
The Day.
Are you poisoning my burgers, now? Or does my body suddenly lack the ability to digest grease and cheese laden patties of almost meat? Or was there something wrong with my burger and you’ve decided my body should let me know? Ignorance is bliss, dear HL. Always remember that when intruding in the digestive system.

And then, to top it all off, you have a coworker insult me by saying, “My gosh, you eat so healthy!” Never, not once, in my entire life has anyone EVER said that to me. I think you planned this, because it was not at all earned. Nope, not a bit.

And do you want to know the real killer? I think I like this. Yes, dear HL, I think I’m rather fond of you, which is bloody insane.
The crap?

Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to return to my very normal, junkfood laden, sedentary life, thank you very much.


A Victim

Monday, June 27, 2011

Four Square

So my good pal Caity at The Road Goes Ever On and On posted this a while back, and you know, it's pretty darn cute. Plus it gives me an opportunity to give a shout out to Cait--she's pretty freakn fantastic AND will be documenting her adventures as she heads over to Indonesia next month (WHAT?! NO WAY!! TOO SOON!!!). So, here it goes:

1. Four Places You Go
  • My dark little cubby at the celery farm office
  • Target . . . when I shouldn't be shopping . . . 
  • Meg's house for small group
  • Chris's store to bring him lunch

2. Four Favorite Smells
  • Clean sheets fresh out of the dryer
  • Anything related to citrus
  • the green smell after it rains
  • the ocean
3. Four Favorite Shows/Movies
  • Big Bang Theory
  • The Brothers Bloom
  • LOTR
  • Futurama

4.  Four Recommendations
  • Don't put things off until tomorrow--chase your dreams NOW because you never know when they might come true or when it's seemingly too late
  • Dance in the rain at least once. Bonus points if you steal a kiss in the downpour. I still think it's the most romantic scenario ever.
  • Go some where far away from home, even if it's just for week. There are different cultures even within your home country. Learn about them, and learn about yourself. New places will test you, challenge you, and educate you in ways the comfort of home never could.
  • Pray unceasingly. It's a conversation. No ritual needed. It's nice to know that Someone's always listening, loving you, caring for you,  and talking back.
All right, peeps. your turn. Let me know if you repost--I'd love to get to know you a little more! 

Oh, and P.S. 

I have been searching for the name of this flower for a month
 And I have finally found it!! It's commonly known as False Spirea.
It's easy to care for (a plus since I have only a slight green thumb . . . meaning my orchid isn't dead yet). 

And it attracts butterflies!!! XD 
I'm just a tiny bit excited . . . now if we can just find it at a local gardening center . . . hmmm . . .

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

To those of you who work full time and manage to cook every night AND keep a spotless home, I salute you.
Because, frankly, this forty-hour a week job AND being responsible for all meals and household cleanliness is killing me.
Oh, and trying to find time to work out in between all of this.
And be social.
Oh yeah, and sleep.


I’m getting better at it. Thanks to the visitation of an otaku (see below entry) friend of Chris’s, I’ve been cleaning more this weekend than I have in longer than I care to admit. But the apartment is now spotless with every article of clothing put away and every service scrubbed and dusted. Huzzah.

Now if I could just keep it that way . . . That’s the real trick, isn’t it?

The Hubs
New appreciation for that man.
I realized this weekend I’ve never questioned his manhood, not even once. No, he’s not Rocky Balboa, but he’s not a wimp. Yes, he games and he’s a bit of a hermit, but I know I can count on him in a pinch, he’s a hard worker, lives in the present, and has a passion for justice and God’s grace. He wooed me, and golly, he wooed me well. Keeps wooing me. He’ll tackle the great outdoors with his quiet excitement and molds those guitar strings into musical artwork. He’s not perfect by any means, but he’s a man secure in his masculinity. Thank goodness.

I woke up in the middle of the night to something grabbing at my fingers. Thank the good Lord it wasn't flesh-eating zombies. No, it was Navi's furry gray face and hungry black paws.
Turns out Chris left the door open, and the cats invaded.
Pipkin slept between our legs and acted like a ten-pound heating pad and purring like a locomotive.
Ninja Navi hid behind the headboard and tried to capture my hair and appendages.
No, I didn’t sleep well.
Maybe we're being prepped for kids? Nothing can prepare us for that . . . right?

The Cottage
Our landlords (aka Chris’s parents) have given us permission to start painting the home’s exterior immediately. Yes, even before the current renters move out. I'm trying to figure out how I feel about this, if it's rude or not, but Chris's mom promises the renters won't mind.

Chris’s Mom: “So have you picked colors?”
Me: “Well—”
Current Renter: “Tell me that you're not REALLY going to repaint that house. Good grief. Seriously?”
Chris (to Mom): “Well, we don’t have to.”
Chris’s Mom: “Well, I just want to make it what you all want.”
Me: “We really don’t have to, but I had thought you had wanted to repaint it. That you wanted to try new colors?” (it's currently an adobe brown with dark chocolate brown trim)
Mom: “Oh, I mean, it’s kind of boring so I’m ok with repainting, but really it’s whatever you all want.”

So now I’m trying to come up with colors that go with dark brown trim and brown shingles.
Ideas? Go.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Favorites

friday favorite things | finding joy

So, I’m weaseling this in during my lunch break. Don’t tell! Sssshhhhhh!! Oh I am so ninja devious ;]

Summer time

The heat in summer time Florida is nearly unbearable. All of you early Floridian settlers, props to you, because, quite frankly, I don’t know how you made it without air conditioning. Golly wolly.

But, the thunderstorms are back. The heat lightning has returned. Clouds pile on top of clouds in pillars of color and light, looking completely unearthly, in cerulean and charcoal skies. I love it. I could stare at the sky all day long. Most times, I don’t bother with pictures—they will never do it justice.

The frogs have started singing again. I love frog songs. Peppy bright tree frogs, fat grumpy toads, I love them. Did you know that frogs only hear the songs of their own species? So, when you’re out at night, and it seems like hundreds of them are chirping away, they only hear the songs from their potential mates, the others? Silence. Don’t exist. Isn’t that incredible? The sun sets, and it’s like a concert. Beautiful, natural music chiming on the air, and suddenly, my anxious, tired heart is cheerfully at peace. Truly lovely.


A few months ago, I stepped out on a limb and joined a small group at my church.

I know, that’s like the scariest thing ever . . . maybe not so much.

But, actually, I was frightened to the point of tears. I wanted friends so badly. I missed the church I had grown up in, I missed my friends from college, I missed community. But I was scared of it. I would get all excited about an opportunity and then I’d just freeze, doubts rushing through my head like minnows. I’d carefully select my wardrobe, mess with my hair, wonder if I looked right--not like myself but "right," as if there's a standard--I would plan my conversation –not that those EVER go according to plan. I wondered if it was weird that I was going without Chris, if I was too weird. If I wasn’t successful enough. So, that first week, I went to Chris in near tears, terrified no one would like me. That I would show up, and I would be the outcaste. As kindly as he could, Chris told me this was utter nonsense. So I sat there in the papasan, trembling, while he hugged me and sweetly told me over and over again how silly this was.

It was.

Something in me still isn’t hasn't completely opened up. I'm not fully convinced that I fit in, but they are such a delightful group of peers. Friendly, out-going, honest, and with hearts for serving and their Lord. No, some of them don’t know what hobbit holes are, but that’s ok. I don’t know most pop culture and fashion, so then we’re even. The girls from group are having a girl’s night out tomorrow. Can I just give a shout out to how AWESOME it is to have a social life again? With beautiful people? Because it is.

Copier Jobs

Laugh all you want, but I got 40 minutes of heavy-duty pacing worked in while the monster copier replicated a 50 page document 50 times. I tried not to think about how weird I looked and instead decided to focus on the fact that I was getting some sort of cardio in . . . and that it would only look weirder if I had tried doing lunges. Yeah, pacing works.

The Cottage

In two weeks, the current renters begin moving out. I don’t know how quickly or rushed it will go, as they know our lease is up in September . . . but they also know we want to be moved in by the second week of August at the latest (before the school year really gets underway) and that, before we begin moving in, we want time to repaint and polish, give the place a tidy up and a facelift, because, really, as lovely and in shape as it is, being a thirty-year-old home with at least five previous owners, you need a lil lovin'. 

I am so nervous and so excited. Finances seem to be all right for a few new furniture pieces (rugs, a desk and some bookshelves) and some accessories. I’m trying not to get my hopes too high and not to worry.  Maybe I won't get a flower garden or pretty patio furniture, and maybe, after all my love and effort, it will never truly be "chic and fabulous," but it's all ok. It will all work out. It's going to be ours, and that's pretty special. So now, we wait.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate waiting? Patience is a virtue . . . and a real pain sometimes.

Again, please please please PLEASE any decorating or budget decorating tips out there, send them my way! I’d be most grateful! :]

What are some of your Friday favorites?

Awkward and Awesome Thursday

So . . . I starting looking through my old xanga website--the one I kept all through college. WOW. So glad I did that. If you're every beyond bored or what to know what I was like before and during the dating-Chris era, read on.

When I was ten, my grandfather died.
About six months later, my grandmother remarried to a delightful man we will call Bob because Bob is a wonderfully inconspicuous name. What I didn't know was that it was his nickname, because, you see, otherwise, his name would have been Bob Bobsin . . . or the equivilent. Let your imagination wander where it will. 

One night, they're over for dinner, and while adults talk about adult things, ten-year-old me is reading a book. A book in which the names are dreadful. Even for the Victorian era. Dreadful.
So I begin to describe these dreadful names. "Mom, there's this character named Horace. My gosh HORACE!!! What a terrible name! I mean, really who names their kid HORACE?!"
There is dead silence. Finally my mom says, "Honey, that's Bob's first name."
Kill me.

I turned so red, I matched my hair. It was an impressive feat. 
Oh, and yes, Bob totally forgave me. :^]

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
Good golly, it’s the first time that I’ve done one of these in a while. All righty, let’s get started then, shall we?

A Whole New World

As I am discovering the glory of Mystery Science Theater 3000 reborn in RiffTrax, I get a call from the hubs.
Yes, I said it just like that, with all the urgency of a fangirl coming face-to-face with the actor she idolizes, the reason she draws breath and all her friends have suddenly disappeared. Yes, it was so bad, Chris had to ask me to repeat it about three times. By the third I was moderately intelligible.

Then he says, so cool and suave, “Hey, you wanted Netflix, didn’t you?”

Let me lay it out for you: our TV picks up nothing. Nope, not even static. It’s a perfectly functional TV, but we just had no interest in cable and, quite frankly, have no interest in antennas just so I can watch the depressing evening news and antique road shows. No thanks. So I’ve been watching shows on quote possibly illegal streaming sites—it’s rather a bit of a miracle that my laptop isn’t bubbling over with every form of worm, virus, and Trojan known to the human race.
Netflix . . . it was safe and legal access to all forms of entertainment I’d been hoping for.

“Cool,” he says, “because if we sign up for a free Netflix trial I get 1000 shiny.”
“Shiny as in World of Warcraft money or as in like real money???”
“No, it’s for this game Drew got me into. I need to buy better supplies, but I don’t have enough shiny.”
“Christopher Steven, this is a new all-time low, even for you.”
“Oh come on, we both get what we want. I saw that, and I was like Oooo! Sarah’s been asking for Netflix, I need shiny, and here we are. Excellent.” Whenever Chris says “Excellent” it sounds like an evil genius. Just so you know.

So now I have Netflix. And Chris has Shiny, whatever the crap that is.

New Favorites

Yeah, pretty much been watching these lots. With Netflix instant stream and all that. How did my entertainment quota survive without it???

If you’re into sci-fi, Firefly is a gem—developed, rounded characters, humor, lovely world-building, just great writing all the way around. I can’t believe I didn’t find it sooner. Oh wait, I DO know why! I didn’t have cable or Netflix. DUH.

Oh, and Sherlock? GENIUS.

Chris is a big Sherlock Holmes fan—read all the books, huge Doyle fan—and he has given it a stamp of Holmes-worthy approval. Plus, Sherlock is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, which is like the coolest name EVER . . . oh, and the actor’s really fantastic.

And those two guys in the pic there? Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (Dr. Watson) are Smaug and Bilbo in the 2013 Hobbit film. I’m ecstatic. No, really, fangirl nuts over here. Mr. Freeman is the PERFECT Bilbo Baggins. This LOTR nut is very, very pleased. Epic.

Oh, and the show is fantastic. Wonderfully acted and written. I can’t find a single flaw.


Watch it.

Laser Tag

For Christmas, my mom was pretty awesome and got my brother, father, and hubs free tickets to unlimited laser tag. They were all pretty excited.

We FINALLY decided to use them for Father’s Day. Yeah, there totally wasn’t a six month delay or anything.

Father’s Day rolls around, and, after a lovely lunch with the family, Dad regretfully informs us that he has a headache and can’t go. So Mom tells me I should go.

If you’ve seen me try to walk, you know that this sort of thing is not my forte. At all. But I go and my fifteen-year-old sister tags along.

So we played three rounds. It was pretty fun, and I did surprisingly well second round due to my dubbed “zombie tactic”—If I ran into a player, I pretty much locked him in a face-to-face duel until he got sick of me and the repeated on-off-on-off of our vests and ran off. Chris said it was like trying to shoot an undead that wouldn’t die—it just kept coming, coming, coming, until finally you hack off its head. Hey, it was the only way I bloody hit ANYONE. The only other thing I hit was a target that deducted 1001 points from our team because it was, well, our target—like kicking the soccer ball into your team’s goal. Yeah, I’m smooth like that.

By the last round, I couldn’t figure out a setting on my gun so I just wandered around aimlessly.

Until the only other kid playing, a twelve-year-old laser tag enthusiast, kept popping out of corners and attempting a battle cry.

If you’ve been around twelve-year-old boys, you understand that their vocal chords do not naturally lend themselves to the deep, resonating, fear-inducing battle cry.

Especially when you hear it every 30 seconds.

I was desperately searching for something—ANYTHING—that could be used as a gag.

At one point, Chris and Matt—my brother—suddenly came face to face with each other, prepared for a shoot-off, then heard that squawking yell on the ground below them. They promptly turned around and began shooting at the same target: Banshee Boy. Unfortunately, he had the same color vest as I did . . . and it turned out they shot me A LOT. Not that I cared by the end of it—I stunk, I knew it, and quite frankly, I knew my standing still and not caring was the key to Chris’s high score and finally beating Banshee Boy’s score.

That was the most humiliating—the hubs losing to someone less than half his age. And Chris is a bloody ninja, which is really funny when the laser-tag vest looks too small and he’s sneaking around like he really is James Bond. My sister and I spotted him darting behind corners and LAUGHED. Oh golly. Nothing like a grown man and laser tag. It is a sight to see, folks.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Awkward and Awesome


I had to take a class to learn to walk like a woman.

I am not even kidding.

I don’t have a stroll—I have a gait. Fast-paced, big steps, flat feet, I zoom. Friends could spot me from a distance speed-walking to class or work because they recognized my walk. Thank goodness they never told me it was awkward (oh golly, I hope it wasn’t), it was just . . . distinct, might be the best word. Ok, so I walk like a guy. There is very little feminine about my presence except for the fact that I have breasts.

I’m tempted to think that was one quality that got me cast as a seductive divorcee in a one-act play my last semester. Honestly, that was not even remotely a typecast. Except for the breasts.

So, one day, I come into rehearsal, and a new actor is there. He explains that he is here to teach myself and the other female cast member to master the physical presence of our characters. She got it right off the bat.


I had to learn to walk. All over again. The seductive sway of the hips. The mastery of the high heels. Oh good grief, the high heels. My arch-nemesis. My curves tend to hide how gangly I am—and the fact that my arms really could place me as a close-relation of Stretch Armstrong—but they don’t hide the fact that I walk like a teenage boy after a growth spurt. I quickly discovered I was a master of anti-sexy-woman walk.

But then I got it. Good golly after over an hour of stumbling around, I got it. Man, could I strut. Head high, come-hither eyes, smirked lips and hand on my hips, click, sway, click, sway, BAM.
It was the most unnatural sensation.

So I kept practicing for a month after that, every day, in bright red heels. Partly because I wanted to feel sexy . . . mostly because my beyond-anal director threatened death if opening night I was a teenage boy again.


According to the crowd, I ROCKED that part. Ten minutes of glory.
The crowd laughed, applauded, and gasped. The compliments poured in. We were all very pleasantly surprised.  Someone even stopped me at work to ask if I was that girl from the play. Oh, sweet success.

The awkward, almost-tomboy was suddenly sexy--my voice changed, my demeanor, my presence, everything screamed WOMAN. BAM.

One night and one night only, folks. The next day I was back in my chucks and pirate t-shirts, zipping around campus, clop clop clop.
Yeah, I didn’t touch high heels again for year. So long sex appeal ;^]

Take a look

Check out Brittany's blog at My Life, In God's Hands.
Brittany's older sister and I were in the same high school graduating class so I knew Brittany only on an acquaintance level. My high school is pretty good about keeping up with it's alumni thanks to the gossip jewel and nightmare that is facebook, and word quickly spread that only a few months after marrying her sweetheart, eighteen-year-old Brittany was diagnosed with cancer.
I don't know about you, but if I were that young, newly married, and freshly financially independent, I would lose it. Like majorly. Brittany, however, has handled this with grace and joy that is nothing short of miraculous. She began her blog to record her memories during the chemo therapy as she quickly discovered how foggy the world became under the powerful treatment. In turn, however, she has also used it as a testimony to God's healing power and provision, seeing her illness as a chance to spread God's love where it may otherwise not reach. Her sweet spirit, so evident in her honest writing, makes me cry every time I read. She is a precious, beautiful gem who's love and joy touch everyone she meets, even in this tragic circumstance. Her faith was not in vain--she was recently told that she would be able to end her chemo treatment early because the cancer has completely left her body!
So please read her sweet story and cry then smile a little. God's healing love is such a beautiful thing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Zingers and Miscellany Mondays

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Do you remember the scene in the delightful “You’ve Got Mail” where Kathleen Kelly confessed to her email-penpal how badly she wishes she had the gift of zingers? (If you don’t remember, hit up Netflix, Red Box, or your local library and watch the movie. Now. It’s fabulous). Oh, Kathleen, I feel ya, hun.

When someone says something incredible rude, negative, or mocking, I come up with great zingers. No, really peeps, I feel so horribly witty when they flit across my mind. The problem? I usually come up with them like the next day. Darn. And then they seem either like chunks of gold or super lame even then. I’m just not a zinger.


Chris and I have been searching for either a small guest bed or, mostly, a sleeper couch/futon. We searched and we searched but could find one that we neither liked nor could afford, so we gave up and decided that any overnight guest would be forced onto the couch or a hotel room. Not at all what I wanted but, what could I do? If the bank account says no, I’ve kinda got to agree. As it turned out, God provided us with something as silly as a futon: a friend of Chris’s gave us one for free because he was moving and had no more need of it. SCORE!!! I was so excited and felt so blessed!

The futon and I had our formal introduction last night in the presence of a friend.

I squealed and immediately hopped/plopped myself into it, bubbling over with joy. “Christopher!” I called to the hubs, gaming in the next room, “I approve!”


My friend walked by, perched across the room, and said, “No one’s ever going to want to stay with you guys if they have to sleep on that. Futon’s are sooooo uncomfortable. I slept on one once. Hated it. And besides, no one would want to stay in Chris's gameroom and put up with his gaming all night. Ugh.”
I don’t know if this should have been offensive, but it was after suffering over a month of negativity whenever anything involving our future move was mentioned, and over three years of criticizing my husband, and this recent decision for us to get a dog (you have NO idea). It was time for a zinger. Just to prove I have a bloody backbone. Guess what I did?

a. said nothing
b. smacked her
c. stammered my affections for futons and that really, he wouldn't game all night and "I can find ways to distract Chris."
d. Laughed, "Oh you're so funny!"
e. “Well you won’t ever have to sleep on it. I only have pleasant people visit.”
f. Complained about how much I, too, hate futons, and, she's right, my husband's hobbies are annoying.

If you guessed E . . . that’s what I wish had happened. Of course, I didn’t think about that one up until my lunch break this afternoon. No it's not particularly smashing, but . . . it's better than what I really did.

So, I pretty much went with C and tried to ignore it. No, some futon’s aren’t always the most comfy (I thought our wasn’t half bad), but it was God’s gift and no one should be bashing it in that context. And maybe she's right: maybe none of my out of town friends, in need of a bed for the a night, would want to stay with us. Maybe everyone hates futons and the thought of futons. I guess I’m just been really sensitive and defensive recently when she says things like that. Blech.

How do you deal with zingers?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pondering the Decor

All righty, folks. Here's the deal:
I am collecting any sort of feedback or ideas on decorating for our move into "the cottage." If your ideas are thrifty and cheap, then PLEASE share your nuggets of knowledge. I will be forever in your debt.
I REALLY need ideas for paint colors. I love lots of colors--I understand using neutrals, but I use so many neutrals in my furniture, that I like the thought of the walls adding subtle color to bring together the bright accents (i.e. My brown couch with small red-violet and lime-green pillows). Anyways ANY paint color ideas, throw them at me :].

"Why is it called the cottage?" you ask.
Well, even if you didn't, I'm going to tell you.
  • It's a little over 1,000 sq. feet. 
  • It's about thirty years old
  • It's near a major road, yet, somehow, on a private dirt road in the woods
  • And, lastly but maybe most importantly, it sounds more romantic than "the little rental house."
Are we on the same page? Yes? Fabulous.
 The hard thing about trying to plan decorating right now? I have to do it all by memory. You see, the current renters are still in the cottage for another month, so I can't exactly barge in with my camera and paint samples right now. The other interesting factor? Our landlords are Chris's parents, who are incredible sweet, generous, and awesome, but I'm afraid some of my ideas might not fly . . . I'm not planning anything wacky, but  words like "green paint" and "May I please possibly remove the wall-paper borders?" can either strike fear or joy into the hearts of landlords, and I'm not sure which it will be.
But you work with what you've got, right?

First, we'll start with what's currently stashed away in our white-walled apartment:

Love the bedspread and the mismatched lamps (though, I suppose they don't go with the color scheme . . . hmmm . . . we'll work on that . . . New decor puzzle! Yay! I love puzzles :]) .
And, no, the gun was something Chris took out to show me and forgot to put away--it is by no means part of the decor. The cottage's master currently has light tan walls, and I'm thinking maybe stick with that color. Maybe? Or is there a color I could use that would blend well with the bedspread? Does it even have to blend?

Behold the mighty dining nook!
Dining space at the cottage is a little bigger with one wall being sliding glass doors and is basically an extension of the sitting room.

Master Bath

Alas, our lone toilet. So excited to have a second at the cottage. We're thinking of keeping this same set-up in the cottage master bath. Maybe pale yellow or tan (transitioning from the bedroom) walls? The current wall color is bamboo green, and if it's anything like the pictures here, then that could work, but I'm afraid it may clash or be overwhelming with our blue. Bathroom set-up and cabinet style in the cottage is pretty much identical. Thoughts?

Living Room
Not much to say here. I love blending earth-tones with bright accents. I'm more partial to blues and greens (hench the painting) BUT I love bringing in complimentary colors (hence the red-velvet bird pillows beside the small yellow-green pillow). Tempted to paint the cottage's current yellow walls a very light, subtle green. Not frog green or anything. I'm afraid to do a rich, vibrant color because:
a. will it all match?
b. Landlord approval
c. It could make the small space seem smaller.
But I am totally open to ideas on any color--bold, muted, neutral, what have you. I just want to give some contemporary life to a mild room.


 I love love LOVE this idea for the dining room! First off, already planning to replace the current hanging light fixture with a Chinese-lantern-like lamp.  Chris and I had found a small bookshelf but weren't sure where we'd put it.  I love the idea of placing it on the wall opposite the kitchen, near the table . . . basically exactly like this picture. Chris's African batik could hang on the wall above it, knick-knacks and/or lamps perched on top, and, finally some books/decorations and square wicker baskets (for quick organizing) inside the shelves. The question is: WILL IT FIT??? Oh please, please, PLEASE fit!

Wall Art
I was already thinking of putting an assortment of some of my paintings on a wall in the sitting area, but I think I actually like this better :]
There's an odd corner in the sitting area seperating it from the hallway leading to the bathroom and back rooms, and I love the idea of covering it in cool art or photographs in different shapes and sizes.

Living Room
Ok, so, yes I know these look like two TOTALLY different ideas, but I like the thought of pulling them both together . . . somehow . . . Or I'll take one or the other. Both are fabulous.
  I love the greens, browns, and earthy feel here. You just feel relaxed and sophisticated looking at, don't you? It's also the same layout as our new living room, but slightly deeper. We'll be putting down a rug on tile, as well, as the cottage is entirely pale tan tiled floors (SO excited about that!).  I'm hoping the rug/carpet we put down is large enough to sort of separate the living room from the entryway and dining area. Maybe not. Price and working with the space will determine that.
We will also have a window above the couch, but I wish we could have some cool art like that. Maybe we'll play with the blinds/curtains? We shall see . . . and check the budget.

  The spunk in this room is irresistible. Oh, and it has color without being horribly overwhelming. Score! I I also like the connection but separation between the living room and dining room, which is also something we will have to consider.

The cottage actually has three extra tiny bedrooms. I was planning on using one for Chris's game room/studio and another as a guest room, but then Chris pointed out that we don't have any overnight guests and wouldn't it be better if I had a study where I could work on grading and things? 
O.O!! What a brilliant idea!
Chris is on his own for decorating his space (though I'm sure I'll get my hands in there, somewhere). But my space?? Oh, I am so happy about that. It will have a desk, bookshelves, and a papasan in a corner. And Books. Oh the books!

I love the color of this room, but it may be overwhelming and crowding in a small space (which is maybe 8'x10' if not smaller). I like that the area is neat, crisp, and I love the dark wood shelves.

Oh, and P.S. The third bedroom? That's next to the Master and staying empty. I've dubbed it "emergency nursery space." You get the idea.
Guest Bathroom
Sadly, couldn't really find a picture for this one. We found a shower that is white with a large mod-art City Skyline in grays and black (love), pewter shower curtain rings, and vintage-style glass and pewter soap dispenser and cotton ball jar. So, we're thinking white towels with very pale blue walls. Or . . . spice it up and give it something bold?
Possible black and white framed photos of London and/or small round mirrors on the walls. It all depends on space.

WHEW! That was a lot! Anyways, if you say anything you like, had any thoughts, or suddenly had a decorator panic attack and wanted to slap me, please do it now before I ruin the new place.

Thank you muchly in advance, loves!

A Collection of Confessions

  • Sometimes, I cook just to clean out the fridge.
    For instance: last night, I made a mixed veggie and chicken sausage stir-fry with no recipe or direction except that-- a) we wanted oodles of veggies and b) if I didn't use it then, it would probably go bad, get thrown out, and there goes much needed cash down the drain. So I chopped up red peppers, broccoli, green onions, garlic, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and tiny bit of chicken sausage, added some olive oil and grated parmesan, and voila! A yummy Dinner and a clean fridge. Two birds, one stone. Win win.
  • I am so excited about the pup we will be bringing home, hopefully, in late fall. But I still have my moments of severe indecision, panic, questions, blah blah blah. So excited though and so ready to learn everything I can learn to be a good pet owner.  But my poor little mind at the mindless desk job . . . too much thinking, peeps. Way. Too. Much. Thinking. Before you know it, I'll start to question my age and name (cause, you know, I feel about 22, maybe, and more like a Pete than 24-year-old Sarah). See? This could be very, very bad.
  • Good golly, if I'm like this about a DOG, what will I be like when I'm pregnant with a HUMAN???? O.O Now there's a frightening thought.
  • I've been drinking nothing but water for a week and I feel fabulous. 
  • On that same note, my new addictive snack are baby carrots and celery sticks with Sabra Hummus's single serving packets. Keeps me going through the work day. So. Good.
  • Hm, I suddenly feel like a foodie. Do I sound like a foodie? 
  • Decorating inspiration rampage. It is ON. Unfortunately, I have nothing to decorate, so we're talking strictly mind space, here. And, you know, all this thought and trouble, and it may be totally unimpressive and disappointing. We shall see. But, if you will: Paint colors. Your favorites and why. GO. 
  • In archiving more old newsletters today, I found an article about Chris and just about went ballistic in the tomb of silence that is my cubicle. Why? a) it's my hubs. b) it's about a sixteen-year-old version of my hubs. That's right, rewind the clock twelve years. No, there were no pictures, just a snippet saying he was the first fifth generation company descendant to work there. It was a summer job sorting tractor screws and whatnot. He said he wanted to travel and be an archeologist/paleontologist. Good golly, I want to pinch his cheeks.
    And yes, I totally photocopied it and brought it home.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Celery and the City of Lights

Oh gee oh golly, I haven't been on in ages.
That's what a forty-hour summer job will do to you.
A job that's basic tasks require auditing 401(k) forms and archiving newsletters about celery.

I am not even kidding.

Ok, so the letter includes a little more than celery--there's radishes, citrus, sugar cane, real estate, and sod. Probably more, but that's all I really remember. Oh, and Afghan hounds. No really. Someone in the company breeds Afghan hounds and posts an update every time one wins the "Hot Dog Beach Body" reward or something. No it really is a title like that. And every time there are puppies, we have to know that "momma and puppies are fine" . . . Who says that? About dogs? I don't know, maybe when I finally have our dog, I'll say the same thing . . . except, hopefully, it will be male . . . and, really, no one cares about how Daddy's doing. He didn't push living beings out of his .  . . ok, tangent over.

And the staples . . .my gosh the staples . . . Fort-friggin-Knox trying to get all those insurance and retirement forms separated. Barbed-wire, folks. There's got to be a "go-green" rule against obsessive use of staples. Seriously

All in all, though, it's a good job, a good environment, and nice people. I'm really not complaining. It's just funny.
More on that later, I promise.
Point being, I'm exhausted and can't really blog while on the clock, you know?
Oh, and when I come home, it's straight to working out, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, and hopefully sleeping. Oh the sleep!

BUT!!! More Importantly!!!!

So serious.
So fabulous.

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