Sep 3, 2014


It is always at the most inopportune moments that life throws the curve balls my way. But I guess if it weren't an inopportune time, it really wouldn't be that much of a curve ball. 

Suddenly, the end of August and most of my September have become full of travel dates. I'm not so sure how I feel about this. Considering I've already done one trip, and the mess that is my house hasn't recovered, I think it's going to be a long month. 

The good news is, the more things I have to do, the better I get with time management, and overall I accomplish much more. Case in point - I will be blogging on the regular. 

For now my brain looks and feels like this:

I complained to my mom last night that I didn't want to be a grown up and have to make decisions anymore. I then quickly realized that I'm 31 years old and it's a good thing to have to make decisions. Although, it really doesn't make them any easier. **Side note** My mom immediately pointed out the fact that I'm thinking positively. Something that wouldn't have happened even a year ago. I also would have never considered this decision for a second because of my anxiety. Maybe I am making steps in the right direction!

I am a creature of habit. Growing up, twice a year we would move our bedroom furniture around. By the time I got to about 8 years old, I asked my mom if I could just leave it one way. I've lived in my house now for 6 years, and never have I moved the furniture (other than to make room for the Christmas tree). I don't like change. So that makes decisions that will create big changes even harder. 

For now, I have a big decision to make. In true Stephanie fashion, I created lists - pros and cons. And I'm trying to convince myself that CHANGE IS GOOD. 

How do you handle change? Love it or hate it?

Aug 20, 2014

Another Year Older

I know it's been awhile since I've posted - I had a case of Summer. I was just too busy doing anything and everything that I seriously took a step back from blogging and technology. It was very nice to just go out and enjoy the summer! But now I'm back and ready to get back into the blogging groove.

For now, let me just update you on my summer. . . . 

>>>> I took some painting classes . . . . 

because my friend and I bought a ton of Groupons. Good thing I love to paint!

>>>> I enjoyed a couple of pool parties . . . . 

>>>> I went to the Ohio State Fair with my mom . . . . 

I had never been to the Ohio State Fair, and I had a BLAST. Of course I enjoyed food, pet a cow, saw the infamous butter cows, and got to spend the entire day with my mom! Later that night we went to a concert at the fair - The Beach Boys with John Stamos. We were too far away for me to get any good pictures, and I learned that I can NOT take selfies, but it was still a GREAT time. If you ever have a chance to see The Beach Boys - go! 

>>>> I went to the farmers market, and harvested lot's of veggies from my garden. . . . 

  • Top pic of green beans are from my garden, along with the head of lettuce at the bottom. 
  • Middle picture is a random creation I made one night that turned out fabulous. Recipe will follow next week.
  • I completely copied off of Stephanie's idea and froze corn on the cob to eat this winter. To see her instructions, click here.

>>>> I participated in Make-A-Wish "Walk For Wishes"

>>>> And finally, I turned 31 on August 4th.
It was a Monday, and I went to work, but I did enjoy a nice lunch out at a local Mexican place (I never go out for lunch, so this was a treat). I bought myself an awesome red velvet cupcake (in the pink box), and I had a few drinks with my best friends (including one pink birthday shot). 

My sister's birthday is August 8th, so just like every year, my family decided to celebrate our birthday's together. It was a real treat for me, because they came down to visit me, instead of me heading home. My dad even did all of my yard work for me :]

We then enjoyed a night out on the patio at one of our favorite restaurants. It was party on the patio night, so there was a band, and I surprised my sister with a cake and balloons. It really was a fantastic birthday celebration, and I was so happy to spend it with my family. 

So, what have you been up to this summer??

Jul 9, 2014

Confession is Good for the Soul

It's been awhile since I've linked up with Kathy and I def have some confessions this week. 

I confess . . . 

. . . I went to a concert last night for the first time in several years and am hating myself today because of it. Not because I drank too much, but because I stayed up too late. I just can't handle 4 hours of sleep anymore :( 

Gorgeous view of some of downtown Columbus. The weather was perfect last night.

. . . I did buy a beer at the concert and it was $9 for 32oz!! By the time I was half way through it, the beer was warm. I will remember to drink prior to a concert next time.

. . . While I spent all day Friday getting my house back in order, it only took me 10 mins to turn it back into a disaster last night. Why can't dishes magically do themselves, and clean folded laundry just appear in my drawers?
(I was going to post a picture of my kitchen table here, but I was too embarrassed)

. . . I recently decided to start watching Grey's Anatomy from the start on Netflix, and I'm suddenly binge watching. It's amazing how much you forget, and since I already know the characters intimately it is like watching from a whole other perspective.

. . . I have another packed weekend, and I'm kind of sad. I really enjoyed last weekend, the extra day was awesome, and the no responsibilities was perfect. I'm going to have to manage my time well so the house doesn't get out of control. Once my house is out of control I can't handle it. Everything spirals downward from there. 

What are you confessing to today??

Jul 7, 2014

Long Holiday Weekend

Happy Monday! I hope everyone enjoyed their Independence Day! I did exactly what I set out to do this weekend - cleaned and relaxed. 

Thursday night was spent at the local bar enjoying some cold beverages for a friend's birthday. 
He wanted to ride the bike, but was too nervous. So we took a picture of him on it instead.

Friday morning I hit the ground running on my house. I had been traveling for the past two weeks and my house was a disaster. I deep cleaned the kitchen, swept the whole house, cleaned cat world and finally unpacked. It felt so good to have some order back in my house. I took a nap, cooked an amazing late lunch, and then did all of the yard work. It was a perfect day, and the whole time I kept thinking about everyone that has fought for my freedom to do whatever I wanted that day. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any fireworks - I was able to see them last year, but the trees are too big now. I will have to venture out next year, because it doesn't feel like Independence Day without fireworks. 

Saturday was amazing as well. I woke up knowing that I had absolutely nothing to do, and had 2 full days to do it. I went to a local breakfast place and enjoyed the perfect weather outside.

Later that day I read a book outside with my pup, and then decided to take a nap. I'm pretty sure Cooper was enjoying life this weekend too.

Sunday was more of the same, but with laundry, grocery shopping and (minimal) food prep. Although I had all this fresh delicious food, the patio called my name and I spent way too long out there reading. Before I knew it, it was time to get ready for bed. 

I had great intentions for jumping back on the swimming bandwagon today after work, but mother nature has different plans. While I sit here typing this I need to turn on my office light because it's so dark outside. Hopefully I will get home and do my food prep, and not get lost in my book again. But it's so hard to resist a thunderstorm and a snuggle on the couch with the pup and a good book. Keep on the lookout for my book reviews later this week. 

How do you like to read? Snuggled up? Poolside? In bed?

Jul 1, 2014

Travel, Travel, Travel

Oh Hi! 

How have you all been doing? Clearly I've been absent, as I've had to travel for work the past two weeks. Last week was a planned trip to Atlanta (which meant flying), but the week before was an unexpected trip to my corporate headquarters in Chicago. 

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you will know that I don't travel well. Flying makes my anxiety go off the charts. In fact, just sitting here thinking about it freaks me out. Typically I'm OK once I get in my seat and see who's next to me, but up until then I will be a wreck. 

The bonus of my surprise trip was that I didn't have to fly (YES) and I didn't have to drive. So on the way into the city, I actually got a few pictures. I can't tell you how many times I've been to Chicago now, and I don't think I've ever taken a picture of the skyline. 

As you can see, it wasn't the greatest weather.

The trip to Atlanta went as well as can be expected. I freaked out before the flight, got on the flight, and then worried about the flight home for the next three days. Good news is that once the plane takes off I'm able to settle myself down fairly quickly. This is a HUGE change from last year. I flew last June and sweat bullets the entire 45 min flight. I remember thinking to myself I was going to die every second I was on that plane. So the fact that I'm only freaking out until the plane takes off is great. Maybe one day I won't be nervous to fly at all (maybe). 

This past weekend I was at my parents the entire time for several family events. First, we did a memorial service to place my Grandma and Aunt's ashes in a vault. It was hard bringing up all of the feelings again, but it was nice to remember them too. I shared my favorite memory of my Grandma:

I was terrified of dogs when I was little (I was involved in a dog attack). My grandparents always had a minimum of three big dogs, and upon arrival, they would bark and bark and jump around like hyenas. The absolute worst part of going to my grandparents for me was getting in the front door. But my grandma would always scoop me up and put me on top of the big chest freezer until the dogs calmed down. And then, once everyone had left the room, she would take me down and let me choose a treat from the freezer. The freezer was HUGE and seriously looked like the ice cream aisle at the grocery store. Anything ice cream related was in there, and I always got to choose whatever I wanted. In my little kid mind, this was the best thing in the entire world. 

Immediately following the memorial service, we headed to my dad's side of the family for a birthday party for my Grandpa. He turned 85 on Saturday and we all got together for a typical Jones celebration - lots of drinking and eating. 

I made a scrapbook of all of the Family Weekend Snowmobile trips that started in the late 80's.

He also got a "walking stick" that is about 7 foot tall. I guess he has been refusing to use a cane, so my uncle figured this was a little more dignified. Unfortunately, it's very clear that he needs something to help him with his balance lately. It's really hard watching my Grandpa get old - he was the man that rode the jet skis just 4 years ago. But luckily for us, he is still great at his favorite activity - drinking. And with that comes the good stories. The memories of me visiting and having a few drinks with a lot of stories and laughter will be with me forever. 

Typical picture of my dad. His eyes are ALWAYS closed.

I didn't get back to my house until Sunday evening, and as always, there are about 200 things waiting to be done. But that should conclude my travels for the summer, and I plan on getting all aspects of my life back on track this week and next. That means better eating, swimming after work, blogging regularly, keeping up on housework, and trying to enjoy some of my summer. As for now, I think I'll get all of the inside chores done tonight. While the grass is extremely long, it's raining once again. It has been like Florida here - raining every day. No wonder the grass always needs cut! 

What have you all been up to? 

Jun 16, 2014

My Dad

I will have a full recap of the Ohio Bloggers meet up tomorrow, but I wanted to take some time to talk about my dad today. There are 2 people in my "real life" that know about my blog, and they don't know what it's called. So the likeliness of my dad reading this is extremely rare, but I wanted to write it anyway. Especially since I didn't get to spend the day with him yesterday.

OSU vs that team up north - in the shoe, 2012

My dad and I are exactly the same. This means that we don't always get along - I want to be in charge of everything, and so does he. Luckily for me, he is really laid back, and 90% of the time he deals with me. 

I have always looked up to him in every aspect of life. He is smart, hard working, and built a company from the ground up. I wanted everything he had. He went to OSU, I went to OSU. He bought a house by 25, I bought a house by 25. He had a family by 30, and I'm . . . well . . . not quite there. 

My first Christmas - 1983

So lately I've been thinking about everything my dad has done, and how awesome his life has been. Then I start thinking about how I feel like my life has been not as awesome. And the more I think about it, the more I know that I have to stop comparing myself to him. He is the best father there is (other than his constant farting), but he isn't me, and I'm not him. He is a great role model for me, but I need to write my own story. 

My prom - 2001

So while I absolutely love my dad, and I will always look up to him, I'm not going to try to be like him in every single way. But, I am going to continue to do my best to follow these characteristics:
  • Be frugal (although let's be honest dad, I will always have to have more than 2 pair of shoes). This also means being smart with all investments.
  • Do my own yard work. While it may be easier to pay someone, it's not money well spent, as the feeling after working your butt off in the yard is amazing.
  • Keep up on all the scheduled maintenance for my car.
  • Cherish family, and visit as often as possible.
  • Love the Buckeyes and attend as many Buckeye sporting events as possible.
  • Remember that a cold beer at the end of a long day does actually make things better :)

I leave you with this amazing picture that 100% sums up my dad. He is always happy with himself, and never cares what anyone thinks. 

How was everyone else's Father's Day? 

Jun 12, 2014

Thursday Thoughts (Randomness Everywhere)

Thanks to everyone for the condolences for my family friend. It was an INSANE weekend at home with lots of family in town. That included SO much food, lots of catching up, and of course some drinking. I hate to say we had a good time, because there were many rough times, but it's always good to see family that I haven't seen in awhile. 

I had an amazing time at the wine tasting last Thursday, and ended up buying 4 bottles of wine. I don't even like wine! 

I look more drunk than I was. And I need to learn to not put my hair in a ponytail!

Two of them were for my mom (she asked me to buy them), one of them is the only kind of wine I really like (Riesling), and the last one I bought because the bottle looked cool. I have full confidence that it will consumed by one of my friends before the summer is over.

The last bottle is the cool one. Although you can't tell in this picture.

Luthor's birthday was on May 18th, and I just got around to giving him his birthday treat (canned food). He is modeling his gorgeous haircut in this picture. As my friend says, "The hit with a lawnmower look." I cut his fur with scissors because he freaks out over the noise of clippers, and about every six months I have a meltdown over his extreme amounts of fur that is all over my house, so I chop it off.

I took the plunge today, and ordered my very first Erin Condren planner. Or, I will once I can get through on the website. I've been piecemealing my planners for years, trying something new each year, and hating it each year. I never have EVERYTHING I want in one place. I always end up with extra notebooks and envelopes full of stuff. I'm beyond excited for this planner, and can't wait for it to arrive. I hope it is the planner of my dreams! 

I'm going to my first blogger meet up on Saturday. I'm not nervous yet, but I'm sure I will be once I have to start getting ready. I've never met anyone that I've only known on the internet, so this will be interesting. But, this is one of the reasons why I wanted to start a blog - I loved the idea of the blog community. Plus, it will be the last time to meet Shane before she moves to Australia. If you are in Ohio and are a blogger, you should consider going. It's at a brewery, so it's right up my alley :]
 photo edca80a7-31eb-4d0f-816d-0627cc613ea4_zps80b5ae1c.jpg

What are some of your random Thursday thoughts? 

Jun 5, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

I absolutely HATE the gas station in the morning. I mean I hate the gas station at all times (who wants to pay $3.99 for a gallon of gas!?) but in the morning it's sooooo much worse. I swear everyone in the world stops at a gas station in the morning. They get their coffee, or their cigarettes, or their breakfast, or their gas. And since ALL of the people are there at once, it's difficult to get in and out without being worried about someone crashing into you. Yes, I forgot to get gas last night and had to endure the three-ring circus this morning. Hopefully I won't have to do that again for a LONG time.

It rained and rained and rained yesterday, and now everything is super green and gorgeous. Plus, because I had to go to the gas station this morning, I drove to work the back way and enjoyed the scenery even more. Baby cows even made an appearance, meaning my mood was instantly changed.

Fresh spinach from my garden! 

I'm going to a wine tasting tonight with a friend. It's at a restaurant we really like, and they are bringing in the winery people. Only thing is, I really don't like wine. But my friend's birthday is tomorrow, so I will endure it. I just hope I don't have a killer headache tomorrow morning.

Yesterday was "National Hug Your Cat Day," and while I did hug them both, I didn't get a picture. I figured that was too dangerous while hugging Kal-El since he tried to chomp me. Luthor of course snuggled into the crook of my neck and purred. 

Luthor - my snuggle bunny.

Unfortunately a close family friend passed away Tuesday. I will be heading up north tomorrow for the funeral. The family all lives in Florida, and will be staying at my parents house. I know it sounds terrible, but it will be nice to see everyone. In today's super crazy world, I don't get to visit with people that mean a lot to me as often as I would like. I need to re-prioritize some things in my life. 

What kind of thoughts are you thinking this Thursday? Did you hug your cat yesterday?

Jun 4, 2014

The Memorial

Spring of 2002 was my first spring as a college student. That spring was also when I joined a sorority, and the first year I went to The Memorial with my dad.

The Memorial is Jack Nicklaus' golf tournament. He designed the golf course, and it sits right here in Central Ohio. 

Side note: The house I grew up on was on a golf course. This golf course hosts an LPGA tournament every year, of which I have been to almost every year. I even volunteered a few years. I started golfing when I was about 6 years old. My dad is a huge golfer, and has been since he was 11. We would compete in parent-child tournaments every year. There is a history of golf between my dad and I. 

I think this was first place my freshman year of high school.

That first year I went the tournament the weather was absolutely terrible. It was raining and actually cold out. But I had the best time of my life. And ever since then, my dad and I have gone to the tournament every year (I even made the trip home when I lived in PA for two years). This year was no exception, and the weather was perfectly fabulous. 

One of my dad's college friends works for the PGA, and a few years ago he moved back to the Central Ohio area. Ever since then we have not only gotten tickets into the tournament, but access to some of the hospitality houses on the course, which include food and drinks. 

Yes I took a few bites before I remembered to take a picture. 

They are super strict about pictures - if they even THINK you are trying to take a picture they will take your phone. So I don't have any pictures of the actual golf, but I was brave enough to take this one while I was relaxing a bit.

Yes, I have super pasty white legs.

This picture was taken about the time I saw Jack Hanna. He and his family rolled up on an 8 person golf cart and went into one of the houses that was behind me. I wanted SO badly to go say "hi" and meet him but I didn't have the guts (read: Not enough alcohol in me).

We walked around the course for a solid 4 hours and saw lots of golfers, some at multiple holes. It was a perfect day, and I felt like I got a solid workout in since that course is nothing but steep hills up and down. And although the beer was free, I only had a couple, because the sun was cooking me (yes I applied sunblock twice), and all I wanted was cold water. I actually paid $5 for a bottle of water. In my defense, I thought I was going to die of thirst, and was having hallucinations of ice cold water, so I kind of HAD to buy it. 

I had a great time, and I love spending the one-on-one time with him. Seriously this tournament is about the only time we do something together that doesn't involve my mom or sister, and I love it. Plus it's always nice to spend an amazing day outside watching world class golfers.

Have you ever been to a golf tournament? What did you think? 

May 29, 2014

Life Lately

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend, and remembered to thank the vets and active troops for the freedom to have a BBQ and do whatever we want for three days. 

For me, it was a MUCH needed break. The past two weekends were packed with events and scheduled things to do. This long weekend really got me back into my normal mode. 

Friday after work I enjoyed a bonfire at the neighbors. Of course this involved lots of kids and s'mores, but to my amazement, Cooper was on his best behavior. And by best behavior, I mean he only stole one graham cracker (thankfully without chocolate or marshmallow), and didn't poop in the yard without me noticing to pick it up. Unfortunately that bonfire set my allergies to insane, and Saturday was not a good day for me. But it wasn't a big deal, because I had 3 days to get everything done, I took Saturday to lay around with my allergies and watch movies. 

Sunday I did all of the yard work, and went for a swim (more on that next week). Then Monday rounded out the weekend with deep cleaning my first floor. A lot of work, but it feels SO good to have everything clean! 

A lovely (and slightly blurry) shot of me, but super cute of Luthor. Every time I sit on the couch, he is in my lap in less than 30 seconds.

I'm seriously looking into a cleaning company to come clean my house. I'm not sure the frequency I want yet, but I DREAD coming home and having zero time for myself because I have to clean. It's not terrible in the winter because there really isn't anything else to do, but when it's nice out, I just do not want to spend my time inside cleaning. I have to find a good place that will have someone who can deal with Cooper. Do you get your house cleaned? How often? Keep in mind, it's just me and the animals, but it gets dirtier than I like quicker than I like. 

I do have real posts coming - I've been working on scanning in old pictures so they aren't so boring :]  Thanks for hanging in there with me! 

May 20, 2014

May 20th???

I seriously do not know where time goes. 

The day starts and I feel great about what I'm going to accomplish. I have lists and I have goals that I need to make some progress towards, and I'm ready to kick some ass. 

By the time I arrive to the office, I usually have about 30 emails to go through from the night before. So I enjoy my breakfast while I deal with that, and before I know it, it's time for our daily meeting at 9AM. 

For whatever reason after that meeting until lunch time seems to disappear right before my eyes. I honestly don't know how this happens EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

One email leads to another issue to another issue and so on. I feel like I have ADD the way I bounce around things at work. But I feel that's part of the job - deal with it as it comes up. 

Anyway, the point of this post is that I need to find a way to keep on schedule everyday, and still put out all the fires that pop up. 

And along those lines is blogging. The past two weekends, along with my evenings after work, have been booked 110%. This weekend - NOTHING. The goal is to get caught up on everything (including housework - yuck!) 

I love blogging and all of the people that I have met so far. I am going to continue to work on this blog and do my best to have regular posts. Just don't expect it until next week. I found out yesterday afternoon I have to make a trip to Cincinnati on Thursday. 

Until next week, I leave you with a diaper cake I made for a friend's baby shower. This is my third time making it. It's not has hard and time consuming as you would think. Next time I will take pictures of the process so I can do a tutorial. And I'm 100% sure there will be a next time, since all I seem to do these days is go to baby showers and kids birthday parties. 

Have you ever made a diaper cake before? For whatever reason, I don't like the 4-wheeler for girls. Do you have a version of a diaper cake that's good for girls? 

May 14, 2014

Blogger Swap

Today I'm linking up to reveal the results of my latest blogger swap. 

Brew Mama

From time to time I find these swaps, and I decide to join in. it's a great way to meet new bloggers, it's always fun to get something in the mail, and it's even more fun to shop and send a package of goodies to someone!

I entered the Diva swap (because fitness is the absolute last thing on my mind), and I was paired with Lindsay from Cowboy Boots and an Apron. She got married the weekend before we were paired up, and from what I could tell from instagram, it was an awesome wedding! She isn't blogging much these days but you can find her on instagram here. A real sweetie, with a love for Kiki LaRue and her two furbabies. 

The Diva swap was open to anything for the swap, and as I discovered quickly, Lindsay shared my love of notebooks, post-its, and pens. It turns out I shipped her some of the same things she shipped me!

See that super cute tissue paper? That's what she packaged my gifts in. It was wrapped all nice and cute, and I felt like such a smuck for using the smallest box possible, and using airbags for packing material with zero concern for presentation. And this is strange, because if you know me, any gift you get from me will be the best wrapped gift in the room. Note to self - make future boxes look cute.

Anyway, it was full of fun stuff!!
I LOVE notepads and post-its. I don't know where she found the puzzle piece, but it's perfect! I can't wait to use it.

Pens in fun colors, and that write amazingly. 

And the essentials - nail polish, snacks, and a mason jar for my drink. 

Not pictured was a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. That was the biggest thing for me - I LOVE getting and reading magazines, but I won't spend the money on them. I can't wait to sit on the patio and enjoy reading it. 

Overall it was great getting to know Lindsay, and a super fun swap. Thanks to Candra and Alicia for hosting such a fun swap - I can't wait to do it again! 

May 7, 2014

How to Drive Me Nuts

I'm linking up with Kathy for Humpday Confessions again today. Today I'm laying it all out there, because I'm going to tell you all of the things that drive me INSANE! And yes, I'm fully aware that after you read these you will probably think I'm a huge bitch. In reality - I am. Once I am comfortable with you, I tell it like it is - every single time. My dad once told my brother that I hated my roommate. My brother quickly questioned him because I lived alone. My dad said, "exactly." 

Vodka and Soda

>>> when stopped at a stoplight, don't keep inching forward, getting closer and closer to the car in front of you. Newsflash - you aren't going anywhere until the damn light changes. Just sit there!

>>> USE YOUR BLINKER. Don't be an asshole.

>>> don't make noise when you breathe. If I'm sitting next to you at a meeting, I will have to restrain myself from slapping you. If you need to blow your nose or clear your throat, please do so, and stop making noise!

>>> this goes with clicking pens constantly. I'm not above grabbing the pen out of your hand and not letting you have it back.

>>> If you want to help with chores, fine, but you better wash your hands before you put away my clean dishes, otherwise don't bother. You also better was your hands after touching anything gross (trash) before you touch anything else in my house. And don't worry - if you can't remember I will remind you. 

>>> Do NOT put the laundry basket on the bed. That basket has been all over the house, and may have made a trip to the laundry mat. Don't put all those germs on my bed.

>>> Don't stand in the kitchen and expect me to hold a conversation with you while I'm cooking. You want a delicious meal? Then get the fuck out of the kitchen and enjoy the appetizers out in the living room.

>>> The smell of coffee grounds. I've learned to tolerate the smell of coffee, but the grounds afterwords - gag me! I just can't stand it. 

>>> Vomit talk. One of my biggest fears is vomit. Doesn't matter if it's me or someone else - I hate vomit. I don't want to talk about it, I don't think it's funny, and I don't need to see it on TV. When vomit is involved, I check out.

>>> Talk about a pet passing, and how Cooper is getting old. Do you think I don't know that?! I fully realize it and think about it often - I don't need you to remind me!

I think I'll leave it at that today. And although I sound (and am) super bitchy, I'm really not THAT bad. What are you confessing to? 

May 6, 2014

Hello There!

After a super crazy weekend I'm back among the land of normal. I actually even read some blogs today and left comments! 

My job is kind of crazy, and when stuff happens, life stops and I have to deal with it. Unfortunately that happened Friday night. Normally it's not a big deal, but it was especially crappy this weekend because my parents were in town. We were wrapping up dinner when I got the call. It didn't really ruin Friday night, because we almost done eating, but I knew it was going to screw up Saturday. 

My parents came in town to help me with yard work. I have a TON of flowerbeds and mulch, and I HATE doing all of the work myself. I was going to hire someone to do it this year, but my dad (being the yard work nut that he is) said he would come down one weekend and help me. My mom said she was coming too just to see me. So I had an awesome Saturday planned, starting with an amazing homemade breakfast for us. 

I woke up early and started my work, not to get done until 11:30. So, breakfast was not made by me, and my parents did half of the yard without me. Luckily I have the most fantastic parents ever, and they understood, but it still sucked. I was able to get outside and help them for a couple of hours before they headed back to their place. While typically they stay the entire weekend and never have a set time to leave, they had to leave by 3PM Saturday because of a golf tournament my dad had to play in early Sunday morning. So while I sat at the kitchen table working feverishly, they were out moving mulch. 

I have to do something really amazing to pay them back for this. They really aren't the kind of people you can buy a gift for. I'm headed home in two weeks for a baby shower, and I was thinking of cooking them a super awesome dinner and inviting my sister over so we could have a family meal. But, if you have any other suggestions, I more than welcome them! 

I actually have some scheduled posts this week on stuff other than linkups and me blabbing on (stunning I know)! So be sure to come back and check it out. Until then I leave you with this super cute picture of Cooper sleeping while I was working on Saturday. 

May 1, 2014

Little House Book Club Linkup

Jana from The Townhouse Pioneer started a "Little House Book Club" where we will re-read the entire Little House on The Prairie series - one book per month. Then on the last day of the month, we will linkup and do our reviews.
The Townhouse Pioneer

This month the assignment was the first book in the series Little House in the Big Woods

Let's start with a little background about me and the Little House stuff. I was OBSESSED with anything and everything Little House on the Prairie. I even dressed up as Laura for Halloween once or twice. I searched high and low for that picture with no luck. I have asked my mom to look in the photo albums at home. Before we are done with all of the books I will share that gem with all of you :]

So naturally, when I found out about this book club I was all in. And I didn't have to go any further than my basement to get my old copy. And I don't just have a copy of each book in the Little House on the Prairie series, I have copies of the series that were written in the time of Laura's daughter, I have picture books, paper dolls, cookbooks, and anything else that had Little House on the Prairie on it. Don't worry - you will get to see some of this amazing stuff in future posts. 

I have a vivid memory of getting this book from the library when I was a child. I was a huge reader and would read 2 or 3 books a day and would want to go back to the library every other day. My mom realized I needed something more challenging. I have no idea how old I was, but I remember her asking the librarian for suggestions and she suggested this. I remember my mom saying I was too young for Little House on the Prairie, but the librarian said Little House in the Big Woods was a much easier read and appropriate for my age. When I looked up where the book was, I grabbed Little House on the Prairie and read a few pages thinking, "I'm not too young to read this book!" And as soon as I was done with Little House in the Big Woods I went right for Little House on the Prairie and never looked back. I really didn't like people telling me what I could and couldn't do. In fact, I still don't. 

Now onto the review. . . . let me say, other than clicking how many stars I liked the book on Goodreads, I have never reviewed a book in my life. I honestly can't believe I have never really done a book review with all that I read. Oh well - first time for everything!

There were parts of this book that I remember reading as a child. Like them playing with animal organs as toys . . . I remember specifically being very grossed out about that then, and when re-reading it now. I remember thinking how boring it would be to have to sit around all day on Sunday. I also remember thinking how cold it must have been to ride on the sleigh to her grandparents house, and quickly thanking my lucky stars for a heated car. 

Overall, re-reading this book transported me back to childhood. As a child, this was one of my first exposures to how life was back then. Laura writes with great detail on how every chore was performed. It almost made me feel that I could just go out and do some of the things from her description. 

What do I think of the book today? It seems like a million years away now, as opposed to the almost 150 years that it actually is. But, I believe the book is written with a child reader in mind, and I believe it is written well. I hope that my niece will take the time to read these books and get a feel for how life was like in the pioneer days. 

Do you remember reading the Little House books when you were little? What were your favorite or least favorite parts?

Apr 28, 2014

Happy Monday!

I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again - I suck at remembering to take pictures! 

I had an awesome weekend, full of yard work and chores, mixed in with a little bit of fun. Of course I have ZERO pictures to account for this past weekend.

I do have a picture from Thursday evening when I did another wine and painting class - super fun as always! 

Work in progress - notice my beer? No wine for me please!

Final product

Great night with a great friend!

Thursday and Friday were two of the longest days of my work life I've experienced in awhile. I'm super happy to say that is behind me (hopefully). It's so hard when everything is going fine and then BAM you have 89483 gazillion things that need done in 24 hours. But we all survived, and as always are ready for the next round!

Most of my weekend was spent outside. I took Cooper on a walk that was very short lived :[ He just can't keep up like he used to. But I'm excited to announce that on Sunday I found a wagon for him at a garage sale. It needs a coat of paint, so be on the lookout for my next DIY project.

I also did LOTS of yard work, and have LOTS more to go. My parents will be in town this weekend to help me out, so I need to focus on cleaning the INSIDE of my house tonight :]

So after having my hands in the dirt all weekend, my nails and cuticles needed some help. I had to go grocery shopping anyway, so I decided to look and see if there was anything that could help me out. I found this stuff and am IN LOVE!

Seriously - if you have dry cuticles this stuff is the magic cure. I put this on last night when I went to bed, and it absorbed quickly, and I woke up with near perfect cuticles. And I'm telling you, mine were BAD - dry and cracked to the extreme. I was going to take a picture of my nails now, but since there is nothing to compare them too, it just looks like a stupid picture of my hand, so I will spare you. Just trust me - this stuff WORKS!

So, what were you up to this weekend? 

Apr 23, 2014

Humpday Confessions

First, I want to thank you all for participating in yesterday's linkup! You all shared some amazing pictures and brought back great memories for everyone. This linkup is open for another 8 days, so if you haven't already, feel free to join in!! 

Now, since it's Wednesday, you all know what that means . . . . Humpday Confessions with Kathy.

Ryan button

Let's start with the big one . . . I have completely failed and thus given up on the April Wallet Watch. I'm still planning on linking up on May 6th to spill the beans why I failed so miserably. If you are still in it - keep going!! And remember to linkup! 

Life According to Steph

My lawn is already overgrown. I knew it was going to need mowed when I got back from my parents, but DAMN has it grown! It's going to take me a good 3 hours to get it all mowed and looking nice. And I absolutely HATE yard work.

And I'm going to let it grow for a few more days, because I have commitments after work until Friday. And then I'm pretty sure I will want to drink some beers after work and not mow my lawn. So by the time I get to it on Saturday Cooper may have disappeared! 

Super long grass. And nasty flower beds that need edged. 

I'm still eating leftovers from Easter and I don't intend to grocery shop until the weekend. If I need food I will just have to go out (another April Wallet Watch Fail). It of course helps that my awesome mom took me to the hometown grocery store where she loaded me up on my deli favorites before coming home. So I'm not just eating candy and ham for a week :]

I did make the "bunny bait" I wrote about last week here, but as usual I completely forgot to take pictures. I made a slightly different version of what I pinned, and it was DELICIOUS. I plan on making it again soon and taking pictures and doing a whole post on the recipe. Because yes, it was that good.

Since my brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew were out of town for Easter, there were no little kids around for Easter fun. I decided to make some homemade doggie treats. All of my aunts and uncles have multiple dogs, so I knew it wouldn't be a waste. And for being my first try, I don't think they turned out so bad. 

I also dyed Easter eggs, because I felt that it wasn't really Easter without colored eggs. What can I say, I like to go all out for holidays!

So what are you confessing to this Wednesday??