Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Who Needs A Deck?

So what do you do when your backyard is gross like this, but you want to enjoy a beautiful spring evening? AND you have an amazing husband who never fails to spoil you?

You come home from a stressful two hour commute and have a driveway dinner going. (We figured it's only slightly redneck to eat in your driveway!)

I really don't deserve Tony. As cheesy as that sounds, it's so true. He always has dinner waiting for me when I get home (spoiled, I told you) and on days when I am particularly depressed sitting in miles and miles of traffic (and whining to him describing it to him over the phone), he always thinks of something spontaneous and sweet to do for me. I can honestly say he gets more excited about me being happy, than about himself being happy.

And he makes a mean dish of grilled corn.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Fact: I love Diet Coke. I crave it. I'm addicted to it (seriously, if you drink it, you understand! it's like crack in a can)

Another Fact: It ain't so great for ya.

While there isn't definitive proof - there are enough people out there saying some not so nice things about my favorite beverage - namely, the possible cancer risk from aspartame (what doesn't cause cancer these days??) and other ill-effects, fake sweeteners causing your body to crave more real sweets, and the fact that by drinking soda, you aren't drinking water. And I drink Diet Coke for the taste (and caffeine, yum!), not the dietness.

Tony gave up Diet Coke cold turkey a few months ago. He was having almost daily headaches, which also happens to be one of aspartame's little tricks. After cutting all fake sweeteners from his diet (that stuff is in everything once you start looking - gum, drinks, candy, diet foods, etc) he hasn't had any trouble - minus the occasional I-sit-in-a-cube-for-eight-hours-every-day ache.

While I don't have the same problem, I've noticed how I seem to always want sweets, and how if I have more than my usual one diet coke in a day, my stomach feels not too pleasant - I even feel a little woozy. That can't be good....

So I have decided to shift Diet Coke from an everyday guaranteed part of meals to rare treat status. I'm still going to drink my morning coffee to make sure I don't fall asleep at the wheel during my 1.5 hour drive into work (blah), but I'm going to swap DC for water during lunch. I don't usually have one after lunch, unless I go to a restaurant, where, before I know it, I've drank a 2 liter-worth of soda. Also, not good...

Diet Coke is going to be a treat that I have occasionally... wish me luck. I'm expecting real withdrawl symptoms - headaches, cravings, etc. But I know it must be better in the long run...

Do they make a DC patch?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Is It July Yet?

Lately I have been helping my mom do some research on beach rental cottages for a week in July for our family vacation. I haven't been to the beach with my family since my freshman year of college, so I am definitely looking forward to it! (Um... and ... free vacation...).
Ever since I was a baby (and before I existed) our family has always gone to Hatteras in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. That area has always held such a special place in my heart. It's quiet and non-touristy, and we love it. I remember driving out on the beach, going down about a mile to the point of the island and being able to set up camp on the sand without being able to see a single person in either direction. (Strangers and me in a bathing suit don't mix, you see). Sure, the water is freezing, even in July, and the waves about knock you over while you worry about the unseeable critters swimming within inches of your toes...and the shell chunks in the sand hurt a little when you walk on them (or fall on them when you were supposed to just be wading...), but it's the Atlantic, what do you expect?

This year we are planning on mixing it up a bit and heading to the clear water/white sand beaches of Florida. This works out better for Tony and I, of course, since we are halfway there anyway. We've been looking for places on Anna Maria island (on the gulf side, near Sarasota). It looks really cute and we've heard good things. Seems to have a little more happening than Hatteras, but not super crazy. Has anyone been here? Plus, my little sis will turn 21 while we are there - and I want there to actually be somewhere fun to go for that!
We've found a few options for little houses to rent for the week, and looking at all of the pictures makes me really want to go. Like now. HOWEVER, I'm a little bit pale and not exactly bathing suit ready (am I ever??). Either way, all this beachyness is making it difficult to sit in my cube...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Return of Chocolate

Oh chocolate, I missed you. This is bad...

We had a great Easter long weekend in Knoxville - minus the trip up there.
Tip: if you hear on the news and from multiple people all day that there is going to be tornadic weather exactly at the same time you plan on driving in a newish car with a dog in tow -- listen.
We just happened to be passing through N. GA when tornado-like weather went through. We were so happy we got to leave work early and beat traffic - instead, we ended up spending three hours in a Cracker Barrel (with Sandy!). And my lovely little Camry looks like someone went at it with a hammer. Great. Annnnd we just paid our house deductible. Looks like another $500 will be out the window - and this one is NOT the best $500 ever spent.
Oh well, at least we made it out alive - I was just picturing Bill Paxton and flying cows. Seriously though, I was pretty close to full out panic attack...but on to the good stuff.

I got to see some of my awesome friends who I miss so dearly - Hannah, JoBeth, and Adrienne. We got to say Totes Magotes and Joban, which was fabulous. And I got the good news that Adrienne and Adam are engaged!! (Adam, do you still read this? If so, I'm impressed. With both your endurance in reading this, and with that rock!)

Of course, I also got to spend some great quality time with the fam. I love going home to see everyone so much! I need to go back sooner than four months this time!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Our little house is now sporting a brand new roof!!

We got lucky - extremely lucky - when a recent hail storm went through our area. We had hail damage on our roof - but nothing serious enough to make it leak or anything. When we bought the house two years ago, the inspector told us our roof only had about 3 years' life left...something we were NOT excited about having to save up for.

But thanks to mother nature, we got a brand new one for $500!

Here is the before picture from last fall - the reddish shingles looked dated and were horribly stained with sap and who knows what.

Here is the fancy new one - with the architectural style shingles in "Williamsburg Gray." I think it looks so much more modern - and will look even better when we repaint the shutters black and get a new door soon. And of course, our house value increases significantly.

Good use of $500, I think!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cozy Cottage

Hi There!  Did your Googling bring you here to my blog?  

This post on Behr's Cozy Cottage is perpetually my top-visited page, which somewhat embarrasses me since this post is not exactly my finest work...  If you are interested in the blog, stick around!!  I'd love to have you.

If you just wanna see the paint color and leave - not a problem.  The photo below is the most recent photo of our living room where we used Cozy Cottage.  I still love the color.  You can seem more photos on our house tour page. 

It's warm and subtle.  I think you'll like it.

April 3, 2009:

Last weekend we spruced up our living room/hallway paint with Behr's "Cozy Cottage." And I have to say, it's quite cozy.

Before we moved into this house, we spent many a night industriously painting a light sagey green color on the living room and hallway walls. Yes, this was our first real painting foray, and it took us... awhile... And while I liked the color, it probably wasn't the best choice for our already small, dark, stone-fireplaced room. We were novices, what can I say -- and of course, I have issues with paint color...

By the way -- I am too lazy to clean up before taking a before picture -- or an after one, for that matter...

So it's now replaced with this cozy color. It ended up being a lot lighter than I expected, but oh well. We still like it. It's a yellowish but brownish cream color. The pictures don't do either the green or the cream color justice.

But it's a huuuuuuuge improvement having the lighter color - much less cramped and more open. I haven't gotten the chance to hang everything back on the walls yet, so it's realllly open right now!

And this time, it only took us one day. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


It's no secret that I'm kind of a paparazzi. What can I say - I like pictures -- especially candid shots that everyone probably hates me for taking...

I realize that I'm three months and a day short on this, but I have finally finished my way of remembering all of 2008.

As much as I love the beauty of digital photos (I can take thousands in one weekend with no regret - yay! Tony looooves this, let me tell you), there is still something special about being able to sit down with an album in hand and reminisce (or make fun of the people doing stupid things that I caught on camera, whatever).

Obviously photo books are big right now, and I have decided that each new January April I am going to make one chronicling the past year - including pics of events both big and small. I'm excited to do this every year and eventually have a collection (I'm sure our future kiddos will be thrilled to take a walk down memory lane with me). I used
Picaboo - and although the software is a little clumsy at times, I like how you can use thousands of backgrounds that users have made and put on their site, and there are lots of options for page layouts. Free shipping - woo!

And ok, so it's April. Better late than never.
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