Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week of March 22nd

Last week I was all: SPRIIIINNNNGGG!  And then I was quickly reminded that I live in Ohio (land of ever changing weather) when Sunday it was sunny and we were grilling and Monday it snowed :(


Despite the snow it actually IS spring and I'm digging all the fresh produce that's becoming available at the grocery store!

Such pretty colors!

We finally made some progress on our bathroom this weekend.  Drywall is 95% up and I currently have no mirror or storage.  It's good times.

We did choose and purchase a new medicine cabinet, light fixture, miscellaneous hardware, and brought home some paint swatches.  Progress.  We still need to choose and purchase flooring, which we looked at, but nothing struck my fancy.  Next up: putting up the last 2 panels of drywall then taping and mudding and I'm crossing my fingers that once the walls are ready to paint the rest will come together relatively quickly!

I also finished up staining (well, Mark did that part) and polyurethane-ing (allll me!) the trim from our sliding door replacement of Summer 2013  ::shuffles::  We procrastinate a lot.  It's done, but now I need to figure out how to get the masking tape off the door that we left up to protect the surface from the stain/poly.  It's kind of cemented on there since it's been left so long.  Good times.

In other news, we finished Sons of Anarchy season 6 and I'm just all sorts of frustrated that season 7 (the final season!) won't be available on Netflix for another month!  #firstworldproblems

Menu for the week:

Sunday:  Grilled Chicken Fajitas

Monday:  Chicken Yakisoba (with half the noodles replaced by zoodles?)

Tuesday:  Sweet Potato Nachos

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Homemade Pizza with Salad

Friday & Saturday:  Out

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spring is here!

Or, almost here anyway.  Spring officially arrives on Friday, but temperatures have *finally* started rising and we have been enjoying some sunshine and warmer weather for the last week.  It is so very much appreciated by me - and the kids too!  They're happy we can finally be outside!

Last week we visited the zoo for the first time this year!

There was still snow piled up in the parking lot and temperatures were in the 40s while we were there, but when it's 40 degrees and sunny after months of temperatures that make your face hurt it feels glorious!

Last year we didn't get to the zoo until the very end of March!

We've been playing outside (in the front yard because the backyard is currently a swamp.  Can't wait for it to dry out!) and riding bikes, grilling burgers, and we've even had the windows open to welcome some fresh air!  Love it!

They're standing on the wood chip pit courtesy of the tree we removed. Yep, that mess is still there.  Was kind of hoping this year it would self-heal under the snow... it did not.

All this fresh air and sunshine *almost* makes me want to do some spring cleaning.  Almost.

Big brother Jack teaching Molly how to play Mouse Trap <3

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Grilled Burgers with Fries (first grilling of the year!)

Monday:  Salmon with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa and Garlic Green Beans

Tuesday:  Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Corned Beef with Carrots, Potatoes, and Cabbage

Wednesday:  Corned Beef Hash with Eggs

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday: Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Miami Trip

In honor of never-ending winter (we're supposed to get another 2-4 inches of snow in a couple of days, this on top of the 5-ish that was dumped on us Sunday, that fell on the several inches still lingering from the previous weekend, ugghh... come on, spring!) let's talk about our Miami trip so I can simultaneously reminisce and torture myself.

In July, Mark and I went to South Beach in Miami and it was Everything.  Amazing and incredible and wonderful and all sorts of perfection.

We were there July 2-6 and it was the second trip I've had to take on an airplane.  (My first brush with air travel was in 2008 for our honeymoon in the Dominican Republic.  Spoiler alert: I don't love flying.)

It wasn't so bad though.  Trap me on a vessel hurtling through the air with no kids, a book, and a little complimentary packet of pretzels to go with my bottled water and I'm not going to complain too much.

We arrived in Miami in the early evening and cabbed it from the airport (I don't like cabs either.  Hey, I'm from Ohio.  I'm pretty much only comfortable with riding in a car as far as transportation goes.) and made it to our amazing hotel.

We were located right on the beach and had a cute little suite, which wasn't all that much smaller than our house, and it seemed a generous size since it was just us.  It had a kitchen, living room, dining area, bathroom, bedroom, and a balcony overlooking the courtyard/pool area, with views of the ocean as well.

The beach was incredible.  Our hotel had it's own private beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas and drink/food service.  Pretty much my idea of Heaven.  The sand was white and the water was clear and it literally felt like swimming in bathwater.  I've never spent more time actually swimming in the ocean.  It was amazing!  

We spent the entire vacation just relaxing, eating great food, relaxing, hanging out at the beach, and relaxing.  Perfection.  

Our hotel had these strawberry mojito cocktails that were served with a splash of pink champagne (see bottom left).  Uhm, amazing. 

Everything was walkable, which was awesome.  It's such a melting pot down there so there are tons of great restaurants of every type of cuisine from hole in the wall restaurants with the best cubanos to upscale dining.  There's nightlife like I've never seen, shopping, drinks as big as your head and the beach.  Did I mention how amazing the beach is?  Because it's amazing.  

See that top left picture?  That's my Heaven.  That picture was taken on my birthday and it was was the best gift ever!

Notice in the top left picture, we both got some sun.  The sun down there is NO JOKE. I'm the kind of person who pretty much doesn't have to wear sunscreen ever and even I got a little pink while wearing sunscreen. Mark got straight up burnt while wearing sunscreen, sitting under an umbrella, with a t-shirt on.  Crazy!  Yes, we did a puzzle on vacation.  I love puzzles!  And yes, I watched fireworks on my birthday, on the beach, with my feet in the ocean.  Doesn't get better than that!

*Sigh*  Such a great trip.  It was so perfect, some days it just seems like it was a super nice dream.  But it happened and I'm so grateful we got to have such a wonderful experience.  Definitely the best vacation I've ever been on and I would love to go back!  Since that's not happening I will just keep looking at my pictures and hoping that spring arrives in Ohio soon.  I neeeeeed sun!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Menu Plan and Updates - Week of November 2nd

Trick or treat!

Last week brought Halloween and trick-or-treating.  Jack was super psyched this year for trick or treat and all but ran from house to house.  He was very polite and in the days leading up to the event he was teaching everyone from Molly to his cars and trucks the proper way to trick-or-treat: "first you knock on the door, and then you say, 'trick-or-treat!' and then they give you some candy for your bucket, and then you say, 'thank you!'"

Molly was an insta-pro trick-or-treater.  She walked right up to houses to collect her candy and walked for over an hour around the neighborhood refusing to ride in the stroller.  Obviously it's not cool for not-yet-2-year-olds to trick-or-treat whilst riding in a stroller like a baby.  Obviously.

The day following Trick-or-Treat was actually Halloween.  Molly rocked her strawberry costume all over town and refused to take it off all day.  

Speaking of not-yet-two... Molly has hit the TEST ALL THE BOUNDARIES stage of toddlerhood and the last 2 weeks have been extremely challenging.  I remember hitting this stage with Jack and was all... where did my sweet baby go?!?!  And yeah, it's even more challenging with Molly because, of course.  So basically, picture anything that involves Molly cooperating.  Okay, now picture her making that task as difficult as humanly possible.  And now repeat that over and over again all. day. long.  By about Noon I'm so exhausted from it all I could cry.  Or run away.  Or hide in the closet.  Or eat all the Halloween candy.  Typically it's that last one that happens ;)  And then she does something super cute because, look at that face!  And I decide I'll keep her after all.  It'sjustaphase.It'sjustaphase.It'sjustaphase...

In better news... shutters are up!

Love it!  The green was just kind of meh.  Green is green, at least it was tolerable, but not something I would choose.  I love the new color scheme.  I actually think it gives our house quite a facelift.

Here's from the other side so the garage is actually included.  My car was in the way of my picture taking.

Much fresher.

And a close up of the door:

It's actually not a great picture because the sun was blazing right onto the door and causing weird reflections, but RED!  The color actually turned out beautifully, I think!  The door looks really great in person.  We ended up doing 2 coats of gray-tinted primer and then 3 coats of Valspar Posh Red exterior paint.  If you're going red USE THE TINTED PRIMER!  Red is notoriously hard to get good coverage with and I feel like our system worked beautifully.  I've seen other people having to use upwards of 7 coats of paint when trying to paint with red.  That's just crazy. This tutorial was really helpful.

We also updated the hardware to an oil rubbed bronze.  No more brass!  The oil rubbed bronze looks awesome with the red, and bonus, it better matches our other accents (house number, mailbox, porch light, etc.), which we replaced a while back.  (Wow, that was 5 1/2 years ago!)

In other, random, news:

We've been nomming on some seriously delicious jalapeno jelly that I made and canned using some of our over abundance of jalapeno peppers.  Jalapenos seem to be the only thing I can grow, but that's not such a bad thing.

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Leftovers

Monday:  Chicken and Dumplings

Tuesday:  Turkey Apple Panini with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Wednesday:  Skillet Ground Beef Stroganoff

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Menu Plan & Updates - Week of October 26th

We've been busy bees as usual.  In addition to the every day crazy, here are some highlights from the last couple of weeks:

We went apple picking with friends.

Molly's version of apple picking is walking around the orchard eating an apple.

Jack decided we should use some of our apples to make a pie.  Done!

We've also made apple crisp and Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze (+ nuts and some extra spices, super yum!)  Mark was appled-out before we even made it through the apple crisp.  Lame.  More for me!

And for more fall picking goodness we also made a trip to the pumpkin patch.

The patch we visit charges by the armload, carried in from the field and across the street.  Hence the showcase of Mark's carrying skillz.

And pumpkins were carved. Mine is the happy one on the left; Molly's choice, Elmo, is next to mine; and Jack's choice, scary pumpkin, is next to that.  Mark's angry pumpkin is on the end.

Jack is super excited for trick-or-treat tonight!

We've been doing lots of home improving around here.  Well, maybe not "lots", but the focus of what little time we have available is on projects.  The bathroom is... a long way from finished.  2 walls have been dry walled and a new tub surround has been ordered.  *Sigh* It takes a lot longer than you would think to measure, cut, and put up dry wall.  See also: little time.

Last weekend I took advantage of some gorgeous weather and painted our front door.  Red!

Action shot of Jack helping.
I've always wanted a red door.  We replaced our garage door a few weeks back and we then had the ability to switch up the accent colors on our house.  Whee!

We also got new shutters, which was supposed to be an easy little swap project.  Buuuut it's a project around our house so of course it got very complicated.  Now we have no shutters.  ::thumbs down::  Hopefully the new ones will be up by the end of this weekend and I can share an "after" pic :)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have 40lbs of chicken in my kitchen waiting for my attention.  (Hooray for chicken!)

Sunday:  Family Gathering

Monday:  Grilled Burgers with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday:  Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Fried Rice

Wednesday:  Pumpkin Chili (Crock Pot) with Pumpkin Corn Muffins

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Menu Plan & Updates - Week of October 5th

We've had a busy couple of weeks!  I feel like we always have somewhere to be or something to do anymore and while it's nice in some ways it just wears me out in others.  I'm not the kind of person who likes to be overscheduled!  Thankfully, today we're having a hang around the house kind of day.  The weather is rainy and chilly and I have things that need to be done around the house so that's what we're doing today!

This past weekend marked one year of my being a doula and it has been an incredible year!  It was a big step for me to start doing birthwork and there were so many unknowns to intimidate me when I first began my journey.  A year ago I was sitting in a workshop thinking this is amazing!  But how am I going to do this?  Well, I'm doing it!  The right clients always seem to find me and even when I have moments here or there when I think maybe now is not the season in my life to be doing this type of (on-call) work... Then I'm there, supporting a mom in labor, watching a baby being born, and it just reaffirms that this is what I'm meant to be doing.  I love the work that I do!

I just attended my 9th birth as a doula and I somewhat unexpectedly ended up with 2 births within 1 week of each other.  Both were overnight births, which means that I've missed 2 full nights of sleep in the last week.  And being that there are no bonus nights or real naps (or fairy nannymothers) available I'm very much still catching up in the sleep department!  So, if I can still say this work is for me at this very moment... it's a good thing :)

In other news, 2 weeks ago we had new furniture delivered!

It was supposed to be delivered several weeks ago, but we were trying to sell our old-new couch with no interest.  We got to the night before delivery and were all, uhm... we're going to have 2 couches!  So, we rescheduled our delivery to give ourselves more time to sell, or at least figure out a spot for it.  The new furniture arrived and the old couch got bumped to the garage and just when I thought we would not sell it a few days later it sold!  I was so glad to be done with that whole process.

And then we decided we needed one more thing to do so we ripped the ugly faux-tile down that's in our only bathroom.

It's taken 8 years and selling our house on the horizon to drum up the courage to work on our only bathroom.  Have I mentioned it's our ONLY bathroom?!  It's kind of a necessity to have everything in there functional.  Ugh... Here we go.

We've also slowly been working on finishing up decor in Molly's room.  I added a rug and this cute little addition this weekend:

I DIY'd based on something I saw on Etsy.  The original inspiration is super cute, but as much as it might be worth the $39 + shipping for a handmade item you know *I'm* not paying that when it's something I could swing myself.  So I made my version out of materials I already had on hand, which makes it kind of free-ish :)

Here's what we're eating this week:

Sunday:  Mark made Chicago-style pizza - nom!

Monday:  Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese

Tuesday:  Turkey Pot Pie

Wednesday:  Autumn Salad with Acorn Squash and Pomegranate Dressing

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

Monday, September 22, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Week of September 21st

First day of fall!

Or... maybe not.  I think the autumnal equinox is actually tonight, which would make the first day... tomorrow.  So... first day-ish of fall!

Last week we had a new garage door installed.

As well as a new back exterior door.

I'm pretty excited about the garage door because it means our garage door works again - yeehaw!  A spring on our door broke like 3-4 weeks ago (boo!) and we decided rather than repair it we would use the opportunity as motivation to replace the old garage door, which really needed replacing.  So now, new, operational door.  I'm excited because a working garage door makes my life a lot easier!

The back door was obviously in desperate need of replacement.  Our house was built in 1961 and I'm pretty certain both the door proper as well as the storm door are original to the house.  Mostly you can see the lovely aluminum storm door there, but what you can't really see is that the door itself was in really bad shape.  We didn't bother with it for a long time because we don't even use the stupid door, nor do we see it all that much.  We use the sliding glass door that's just to the right of what's pictured.  The slider was added during a kitchen remodel at some point.  The door we just replaced is actually off our laundry room and is only ever used when we have to move washers and dryers around (read: almost never).  So, it does look better, but meh.  At least it's done.

Sunday:  Apps

Monday:  Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday:  Leftovers/Freezer Meal

Wednesday:  Sloppy Joes with Zesty Oven Fries

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday & Saturday:  Out

I'm linked at Menu Plan Monday hosted by