Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lucky Me.

Have I mentioned how WONDERFUL my husband is?

Thank you Adam.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Thank God for Polyester

Adam and I were able to get away this weekend and attend a family wedding over on the east coast of Florida. We had a great time and enjoyed spending time with A&D. (annette and doug)

We were also very fortunate to have my friend Tara actually come and stay at the house to take care of our dogs. This is always the reason we don't up and leave on spontaneous trips anymore. Moving to Tampa has put Adam 45 min away from his dog sitters.

Tara had informed me that Bruiser had pooped in our bedroom at some point in the night, but she took care of it. He does that from time to time-and it's a pretty easy clean up. When we finally got home around 9 p.m. I went into our room and looked around-I smelt the familiar stench. UG! And there was the familiar stain at the base of our drapes.


Yep, he relieved himself on our "faux silk dupioni" drapes. I'm angry and i mean LIVID seeing as i had just washed ALL the guest bedding the weekend before for the same reason.

He was promptly scolded and put BACK into the cage-knowing right away what he did wrong.

I have never had a boy dog in all my 6 dog life so this peeing on stuff is very new to me. Plus I’m a girl and I don't have the whole need to "mark my territory" gene. After last weekend-I was so fed up I called the humane society and booked him his "appointment". As I’m scrubbing the carpet and taking down the drapes I tell the little guy he's lucky he has his appointment scheduled otherwise I’d be doing it myself.

Struggling to remove the drape I'm crossing my fingers it doesn't say "dry clean only" on the tag. I don't dry clean-ever. So either I'm chancing ruining my new favorite curtains or we're getting new drapes. Luckily I see the "Machine was cold...blah blah" and happily toss it in the machine. 30 min later I pull it out of the dryer fingers crossed it isn't shredded or 2" shorter than the other drape. Voila! We have a clean drape-pee free!


Life Lesson 1: Polyester "faux silk dupioni" drapes from Kmart, (because we can't afford anything better) are a pet owners best choice. No large upfront cost. No expensive Dry Cleaning bill. No shrinking. and Yes, virtually no Ironing :)

Life Lesson 2: All male dogs should be neutered A.S.A.P. Sorry Buriser, but the balls are coming off...TOMORROW!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Our "New to us" Kitchen

Back in the summer of 2008 I decided I wanted to update my kitchen. I had the original 1982 everything-with the exception of the wallpaper which my mother had painted over a yellow and added a floral border. I was never a big fan of it-but it was better than what was there; she's a good mom :)

oh gosh-I forgot how ugly that floor was!

Luckily for me I had this boyfriend who was very handy. So for weeks I scoured Ebay and craigslist for inexpensive upgrade options.

I had decided I wanted the backsplash tiled with white subway tiles and white countertops. Then I started looking for accents. I looked at a gazillion shades of gray for the walls and Adam & I stripped down the 30 year-old paper and repainted.  Also I found an inexpensive glass tile seller on EBay and selected a subway layout using various grays and white. And after losing at least 6 auctions I finally got my new faucet.

So my amazing boyfriend worked a couple of weekends tiling and re-laming my counter tops, installed a faucet and put hardware on my cabinets. It looked super....except for the matching almond range and refrigerator. Unfortunately that was not in my budget and until they kicked it they were staying.

Fast forward to this March. It was the Monday we were informed of our pay cut & work situation, Leanne was staying with us and we were playing cards and having some cocktails. Adam noticed that the ice (from the newly installed ice machine) was melting. Hmmm and then we noticed the fridge was making a weird noise.

Oh crap.
As we checked our fully stocked freezer we realized the food was half thawed.
Oh. No.
The fridge decided today of all days to lie down and die.
Adam began vacuuming the coils and unplugged it......we crossed our fingers but I was already on line looking for the cheapest white fridge.
Then I called a good friend who I knew had some extra white appliances. She, my angle, said she'd sell it to us for a really good price. We took it.
(our fridge began working again and has taken up residence in our living room until someone on Craig’s list comes and rescues it)

Now we had this new Side-by-Side white refrigerator with water and ice in the door, which by the way I have NEVER had and have wanted since I can remember my first visit to Aunt Sandy's house in the BIG CITY!
The only thing was that this had been sitting in their garage for a few years and the handles had yellowed-bad. I did some research and a trip to the Depot and $4.50 later Adam masked everything off like a pro and spray painted all the yellow spots. It looks BRAND NEW!
Skip forward a month.
Adam is at work and a friend (who had been storing appliances in their warehouse) asked Adam if he knew anyone who needed a white glass top stove. Adam spoke up-how much? For you? Free.

W. T. F.

Last night Adam brings home our "new" white range-GLASS TOP!-and we move out the old one...next to our fridge! Luckily we have a friend who needed a new range so we gave ours to him-talk about Pay it Forward.

Our kitchen is now updated (sans the hood-which Adam will paint) except our cabinets. They are actually nice quality oak-but I have always loathed the stain. My father refused to let me paint them white when I bought the place and now that I have this white/gray kitchen I'm thinking white might be a bit to sterile. I am not a sterile person.

So here it is: me the Architect, needs design advise! If, and when I decide to undertake the daunting task of refinishing the cabinets, what stain/shade/style should I do?!? Part of my just wants to head to IKEA and buy some cheap modern doors (seeing as this is not our dream house and we want to move as soon as the market allows us.)

Is it even worth it? Do I REALLY care? I know Adam doesn't. And I know he doesn't want to strip all that wood, but for me he would.

Well for now-we're happy with our "new-to-us" Kitchen.  The next job will be to update that hideous light fixture.  I've already got my eye on a new fixture.

Tonight I’m going to try out the new stove for the first time-fingers crossed all works well.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our Niece!

On April 20th Adam & I became Uncle Adam & Aunt Stephanie. 

We are over the moon and so excited to meet
Ms. Kylie Jean

Soon after she was born.

Mom and baby are doing good and we hear dad is pretty helpful and changing diapers.

She has already melted our hearts- and all we've seen of her are blurry text message pictures.
But they are the best text messages we've ever gotten.

Going to her 1st Dr. Appointment

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Toy

Adam and I went shopping yesterday for a new toy-a Crockpot cookbook. After success with pot roasts and a few other things people suggested he wanted to get more recipes. So with a gift card the big bookstore we headed out on the rainy Sunday to Borders.

We laid out about 10 different books, all with slow cooker recipes, and began going through the recipes. Our requirements were lots of 8 hr+ recipes, lots of one pot meals, and low prep time. I am the one who will get it started before work and I don't want to have to get up early to "prep". I barley have energy to prep myself in the morning.

After a good 20 minutes we finally decided on the biggest and most expensive book; it has 1400 recipes!

I pull out the gift card and start to laugh. It's for Barnes & Noble. Whoops. We put the book back on the shelf and drive the 3000' down to the correct bookstore. Luckily they had it (one!) in stock.

On the way home Adam begins looking through it and marking recipes that look good. I tell him we have lots of chicken in the freezer. We continued this over our dinner and tagged aprox 15 meals-all of which look easy and contain ingredients we already have! Bonus!

I love that he is excited about cooking and planning our meals. For tonight he chose Thai Chicken...he thought it sounded good-but I’m weary of the salsa & peanut butter sauce.....we'll see when we get home.

And on a side note the other big change this weekend-haircuts! It was Adam's 1st since before the wedding. He was long overdue. I jumped into the chair at the last minute decided I needed some sprucing up too.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2007

It was a Saturday. Hot, sunny, blue sky’s...a perfect beach day. My roommate Richy and I had headed to the beach early, we met up with Tara and Monica. We enjoyed frozen drinks and cabana service from our favorite cabana guy at Caddies.

We were discussing our evening plans. A mutual friend, Kody, who was in the midst of a renovation project, was hosting a "Red Neck" party. He used it as motivation to complete the house in time for his next party "half black tie". So after leaving the beach as late as we could we headed to Wal-Mart to meet up with Monica's husband who'd been helping out his friend tile his house (now my friend "City").
What a hoot we had at the store finding the trashiest outfits for the party. Even Richy was getting into it. Heading back to Tara's to get ready, Jimmy said he'd pick us up in an hour. With temporary tattoos placed in all the correct red neck places and our trucker hats in place we were ready for the party.

The party was fun, franks and beans, cheese in a can, Budweiser cans lying on the front lawn; it was very RED NECK.  I had decided I needed a redneck name so I adopted Kris+Al (pronounced Crystal) and picked up a southern accent. I was having fun with my new found persona and just went with it. An hour or so after we'd been there the front door opened and two guys I'd never seen before walked in. One had a mouth full of bubba teeth and the other was tall, dark, handsome and carrying a case of Pabt’s beer-in one word HOT!

Tara walked over and started talking with them; she had met them a few weeks earlier. She waved me over for an introduction. With my eyes on the guy with the Pabts I strolled over and said in my southern accent(something of this sort) "You brought my favorite beer" (I was wearing a Pabt's shirt). "Hi, I'm Kris+Al"  he chuckled and replyed: "Hi, I'm Adam".

The rest, as we all know, is history.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Visitors Galore

Adam and I have had a plethora of visitors over the last few months. Some who stayed with us and others we traveled to see. Spring break is always a busy time in Florida and living near the gulf we've become a popular destination.

My parents came for a visit at the end of February to bring my grandma back to Michigan. They were here around 5 days and we made our annual visit to the Renaissance Festival. Dad, Adam & Uncle Doug also installed an Ice Maker in our 30 year old fridge (which we just replaced!). And mom took dad to see Wicked (her 3rd time). It was a nice visit as always and having the extra room sure does help!

My Aunt Sandy and a friend came over for dinner one night on their Florida vacation then they had a change of plans so they came and stayed with us for a couple of nights at the end of their stay. We were treated to a yummy steak dinner one Monday night after work. mmmmm It's nice not to have to do the cooking :)

A few days after the Grand Rapids ladies head back up north we picked up Adam's cousin Leanne who had flown in from Milwaukee. We had a packed weekend of fun with her-which began with the Tampa Bay Downs Festival Day. I think I won $10 on my horses and Adam won big once, but more importantly we had a good time.

We took her over to Orlando and saw Ben Folds at the House of Blues one night, to our friends John & Ivee on a lovely Sunday afternoon for a pi(e) party and of course we took off a 1/2 day to celebrate St. Pat's in true American style. All had great time.

Leanne left us on Thursday to visit some more cousins and on Saturday I headed 1 hr south to visit with Felicia who was in the area for a short weekend. Adam stayed behind to do some work. Felicia, Ryan & I had a lovely day at the beach (my 1st of the year!) and a very nice visit. They will be married in 2011 and this was my first time seeing her since their engagement. I'm her matron of honor so lots of wedding planning was discussed. (poor Ryan).

The next weekend my cousin Beth and her family arrived at their condo on the gulf. So on Saturday I packed up and headed over to enjoy a weekend with them at the beach; Adam was away at a Frisbee Tournament. We had fun mixing daiquiris and grilling out. Sunday was rainy so we headed to the largest flea market I’ve ever seen. 3.5 hrs later, 2 pairs of knock off sunglasses and Beth’s dozen fake “Fende's” later we headed back. I definitely got my work out there.

Adam and I went over two more times during the week to visit before they left and we had a great time eating, drinking and playing cards. It's always nice to see the Baesch's.

The following weekend (Easter) Adam and I had invited my godson Logan up to go to Busch Gardens. He's tall enough to ride the coasters now....but after his first trip on the Mantua-he was good. Maybe next time. He had fun playing Wii, getting soaked (Adam) at Busch Gardens and building a fire at John & Ivee's later in the evening. We defiantly wore him out.

This past weekend Adam & I had no visitors, no plans, no obligations or invitations. It was MARVULOUS! We cleaned, we played, we ran errands and watched movies. We enjoyed each other’s company for 48 hours straight and it was by far the best weekend... ever. I love visitors and I love family. I love having plans and going places, but for once I loved not having all of that. We had a well needed relaxing weekend-which I have a feeling it will be the last of those for quite some time.

Enjoy the quiet when you can.

P.S.  If you're ever in the Tampa Bay area we'd love to see you! We have a bed with your name on it :)