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??

Apr 22, 2014

Back In My Day


Suze from Straight on the Ground found some great pics from back in the day, and decided to do a linkup so we could all share our awkward phase(s). Join Suze, Steph from Life According to Steph and I and share those awesome 80's and 90's pics!!

I was born in 1983, so late 80's/early 90's was my childhood. I was definitely more than an awkward kid. 

Yes, that's me on the left - ready for my first day of 6th grade! 

Luckily right before freshman year of high school (1997-1998) my parents decided I could get contacts, and I ditched those huge glasses. Of course, that didn't stop me from being a huge dork. Freshman - early junior year all I did was study and swim. I had friends, but we didn't do the normal "cool" things that all the popular kids did. Pretty much we hung in one of our friend's room, listened to CDs, and flipped through BOP and other similar magazines. Of course we would then cut out all of the "cool" words and decorate our notebooks. And all of the JTT posters were up on the wall of my bedroom (I know I have a pic of this and I couldn't find it!)  

Oh, and as a freshman, I got to go to Disney World for the first time ever. So of course I acted like a kid, and did all the pictures and all of the rides and all of the nerdy stuff.

Gotta love the choker! 

I studied a lot, read a lot, swam a lot, and continued to be shy little Stephanie for the first two and a half years of high school. I actually hung out more with my little sister those years than my own friends. Junior year I came out of my shell a little bit and widened my friend base. This included going to dances (I never went to a dance until the Spring Formal dance my Junior year - DORK ALERT). And in true 90's style, we piled that hair on top of our heads while we danced the night away!

I'm on the left, rocking some awesome bangs!

By senior year, I was pretty close to being one of the "cool" kids. This of course, was all due to the fact that I was dating a hockey player, and he was "cool." Either way, I loved it. I even got the courage to paint the high school rock one night. What? You didn't have a high school rock that was spray painted in the middle of the night? 

First and only time my name was ever on this rock. I was super proud. And I remember it actually stayed up for a few days before it was painted over.

The thing to do back then was drive around all night. You didn't want to be at anyone's house where parents could cramp your style. What style I'm not sure. . . all we ever did was sit around and listen to music. Most of the time we didn't have enough money to really do anything (although the occasional glow bowling game did occur). We would drive around town for hours, then go to Meijer at midnight and run through the store. Typically we would then buy junk food, and eat it in the car while driving around some more. I distinctly remember getting in trouble for putting 300+ miles on the car in one night (yes, because my dad was the one checking the miles each time I drove). 

I did have a cell phone, but it was technically my dad's, and I only got to take it when I was driving. It was the kind of cell phone that could only be powered on when you were making a call. It didn't have a good enough battery to be left on. I got phone privileges after I got lost on the way to The Toledo Museum of Art, and stopped at a McDonald's to use a payphone and call my dad. I answered his question of what streets I was near, and he calmly told me to get in the car drive down 3 miles, and call him back from a different pay phone. Ever since then the cell phone was with me while I was driving.

Then came prom. We only had one prom at my school - senior year. I remember the importance of finding the PERFECT dress, and getting one of these horrible pictures taken.

Completing the ensemble with white gloves worn by both parties.

I was more than happy when high school was over. College was a MUCH better time for me in every aspect. I actually have lots of pictures from college (they were pretty scarce from high school). I will leave you with this gem - a picture of me at my dorm room right after move in. I love the juice box on the desk . . . clearly it was my very first day on campus!!

What were things like back in your day? Make sure link up and let us know!!

Apr 21, 2014

Linkup Tomorrow

I just got back in town from a fantastic three days at my parents, including an a great Easter feast. I hope you all had a great weekend!! 

I want to remind you all to linkup tomorrow for "Back in My Day" with me, Suze, and Steph!


Apr 17, 2014

How Do You Do That?!

Today I'm linking up with Jackie for a "How Do You Do That" linkup

Jade and Oak

I thought this was a great idea because I'm confused about a lot of things in this world. I'm sure some of them will be similar to other bloggers, but these are things that I just don't get.

 . . . wear contact lenses for a significant amount of time? I used to be one of those people, but for the past few years I can't go longer than about 4 hours without wanting to gouge my eyes out. Time for some Lasik!

. . . wear high heels? Especially through the airport! Even when I was thin, I could only survive high heels for a brief time. I'm sorry but I'm not willing to stand around in misery for some fashion.

. . . use a hammer without hitting their finger. I like to think I'm fairly handy, and do a lot of stuff around my house. But there is NO way I can use the hammer and not hit a finger at least once. 

. . . speed excessively on the highway constantly but never get a ticket. I realize that we all go over the speed limit. But how do those people that drive at a constant 80mph never get tickets? I go 73 and seem to get a ticket.

. . . always look put together? Even when just leaving the gym? I'm sorry but I sweat. My hair is in a ponytail and there is no looking good going on. This occurs on Sundays when I clean my house too. I don't understand how you can stop by a friend's house when she is cleaning and looks perfect. Something I'm sure I will never look while cleaning.

. . . eat mushrooms? I can't get over the fact that it is a fungus. I have a similar issue with shrimp, since they are bugs of the ocean. In fact, if I think too much about any food I don't want to eat it. I wish I had the ability to just sit back and enjoy it!

So what confuses you? Make sure to linkup with Jackie and let us know! 

Apr 16, 2014

Humpday Confessions

Today I'm linking up with Kathy for some good old Humpday Confessions. 


Is it bad that I have never done the whole twitter thing? Well I decided to jump on the bandwagon today. Follow me!! @srjones03 but keep in mind that I really have no idea what I'm doing yet.

Also, I don't have twitter on my phone yet, because apparently my phone is full? How does that even happen?! Time to head to the local watering hole and buy my IT friend a drink so he can make my phone have space again. Yes, I'm the person that doesn't know anything about my phone, and I really don't care.

I'm super pissed about this cold snap. And it's so deceiving because the sun is shining and it's absolutely GORGEOUS outside. Until the cold hits you like a brick wall.

I've searched pinterest for hours and think I might have my Easter Brunch dessert picked out. I'm not even hosting Easter or have any other responsibility other than dessert, but I want it to be perfect. I'm thinking of doing this along with a classic pound cake. I don't know why but pound cake is my go to dessert for a brunch. 

Bunny Bait...popcorn, chex cereal, pretzel bites, M & M's, sprinkles & almond bark.  Yummy..........................

I'm also making these for the pups for Easter. Because why not? Plus, everyone in the family has dogs, so I won't be making the whole batch just for Cooper.
Freeze chicken stock, fruit and veggie purree or peanutbutter & pumpkin in Plastic eggs to make egg shaped pupsicles

Freeze chicken stock, fruit and veggie purree or peanutbutter & pumpkin in Plastic eggs to make egg shaped pupsicles

I discovered this website today and already have about 38 things on my wish list. Bringing out my inner geekness. 
Jem Sweatshirt

What are you confessing to this week??

Apr 15, 2014

More Gardening

Last week as I was writing my post about planting my garden, I realized I screwed it up. So this past weekend I decided to fix that, and I may have gone a little overboard at Lowe's.

The screw up was on the planting of the carrots. Although the garden is raised, you are supposed to make the carrot square even taller by building it up. I didn't do this the first year I gardened and the carrots were very short and small. Last year I mounded the dirt up and the carrots were one of my best harvests. Problem was, I didn't have anymore carrot seeds. So I went to Lowe's for those seeds, my potato and onion starters, and some yard waste bags. $50 later I was at home with lots more than that. 

The one square full of dirt is for the carrots. The other two squares that have sides, but aren't full of dirt are where I planted potatoes. As the potatoes grow and the sprouts come out of the dirt, I will cover up with more soil. I will do this until the little box is full to the top with dirt. I have no idea what this actually does, but I read it online, and it worked wonders for my potatoes last year.

Since clearly I bought more than the 4 items I actually went to Lowe's for, I went to town on my herb garden. For whatever reason I like my herbs in a smaller container on my patio. I can move them around from sun to shade, and it's a lot more convenient to walk a few steps out the door to get some when I'm cooking. 

The large container on the right has flat leaf parsley (the seedling I planted), along with basil. The smaller container on the left has oregano, dill, and cilantro. The small potted plant is catnip. What can I say, I'll buy anything for my furbabies. And finally I split all of my aloe plants and put the largest ones in the planter on the left. Also, I have no idea why I bought the flat leaf parsley as a seedling, and planted the others from seeds. Seemed like the thing to do. . . . I've grown basil, oregano and cilantro from seeds every year. 

Yesterday it was windy as hell, and it was supposed to storm, so I put the herbs and the planter under an overhang of my house. The aloe didn't fit, so I put it under my patio table. This morning the aloe was not a happy camper :( It was frozen and covered with snow. The herbs were OK, but I brought everything in. I know it was only out there for about 3 hours like that because I got up to let Cooper out at 4AM and they were fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the aloe survives. It is such a beautiful plant. 

By then my nails were disgusting, and I figured I might as well mow the lawn. And then after I mowed, it was apparent I had snow mold and the entire yard needed a good raking. I got the side yard done and was over it. I spent the rest of Sunday relaxing on my patio with my pup.

I feel like planting the garden is a sure sign spring is here (until today). Anyone else gardening this spring??

Apr 10, 2014

I Survived Another Flight & Thursday Thoughts

As I'm sure you all know, I hate flying with a passion. Unfortunately for me, I had to fly just about a month ago, and then I had to do it again on Monday and Tuesday of this week. YUCK!

The good news is that I survived. The bad news is that my life got thrown off for the entire week and I didn't get to blog when I wanted to. I am seriously the worst (airplane) traveler ever. I freak out about how all of my stuff (and me) is covered with germs, and I obsess about it. By the time I get back from a trip, I have to lysol wipe everything and take a long, hot shower. Then of course it's late at night and I don't get enough sleep. Then the next day I am tired, and well, you get it. 

But I am back today and actually pretty proud of how I handled the flights. I was super anxious and nervous prior to, but once the plane took off I was able to calm myself down rather quickly. This is a big step because typically I am sweating and freaking out for the whole flight. 

One thing I really struggle with while I travel is eating healthy. I am so nervous to eat from a restaurant that I have never eaten at before for fear that it won't agree with me. This means that I will typically get some sort of fast food that I know is OK with my stomach. I know - not good. But on the way out Tuesday night, I wanted a beer, and clearly Chick-fil-A isn't serving me one of those! I went to a sit down restaurant that I have never heard of, but there was a super healthy option for dinner.

Grilled chicken on a whole wheat bun, with sweet potato fries. 

Then of course, I come home to a house with no fresh groceries, or prepped food, and continue to eat poorly. Not only does this hurt my waistline, but my April Wallet Watch as well. I will have a full recap of how I did on May 6th. I can guarantee there were some violations this week.

In other news, I was able to get my cold weather veggies planted over the weekend. I planted two types of Romaine Lettuce, carrots, and spinach. I still want to plant onions and potatoes, but I have to go buy the starters for those (hopefully after work today). And then mid-May I will plant all of the warm weather veggies.

Planted and ready to grow!

I built the raised garden bed 2 springs ago. This will be my third year doing my veggies. All I did to prep the soil this year was till it all up, and remove any nasty weeds that somehow grow through the landscape fabric and cardboard I have at the bottom of the garden. Then I re-squared the box with twine.

I plant the "vine" veggies on the back row, where they can grow up the trellis (chicken wire).


Finally, I want to announce that SuzeSteph and I will be hosting a "Back in My Day" one time linkup on April 22nd. This is the first linkup I have ever sponsored and I'm super excited. Perfect timing too, because I will be home for Easter a few days before and plan to dig out those amazingly embarrassing photo albums. Be sure to dig out your pictures and link up with us! 


Apr 3, 2014

Spring Goals

Now that it is several days into spring, I am finally going to lay out my spring goals. My idea is that as soon as the season changes on the calendar (June 21st) I will have these goals done. I don't think I went too overboard, so we will see what happens!


Participate in April Wallet Watch. I've already laid out my rules here. My big area is the groceries. I swear I can live off my pantry and freezer for a least a solid month. So I'm not buying anything other than eggs, milk, etc. I'm really excited to see how this turns out!

Life According to Steph

Plan and plant my garden. The goal is to complete this task this weekend. I have a 4x4 raised garden in my yard, and section it off into 16 sections. Every hear of Square Foot Gardening? Well that's what I do. I have a plan from the past two years as to what goes where (you have to make sure you partner the veggies appropriately). So this weekend I will till the dirt, and plant some seeds. At this point it's only the cold weather veggies. Watching my garden grow is seriously one of the most amazing things. 

Exercise every day May. I have a bad habit of succumbing to the trap of the couch each evening. I'm going to try and be more active in April too, but since 2 days have passed and I haven't worked out, I would have failed that goal. So I will get used to it in April, and then do EVERY DAY in May.

Paint my Great Room. I have lived in my house for 5 years and haven't ever painted this room. I actually love the color (an off white, with a chocolate brown accent wall), so I'm going to keep it the same, but it needs a fresh coat. While I'm at it I will paint the ceilings on the entire first floor. I have already purchased the ceiling paint. The wall paint is a budgeted expense for April.

Once the great room is painted, I want to hang art. Yes, I've lived in my house 5 years and have nothing hanging on the walls in this room. I have TONS of stuff ready to hang, but I want a fresh coat of paint before I get nail happy.

Garage Cleanup. With the death of my Grandma last fall, I've accumulated a lot of stuff in the garage. I honestly have no idea what is even stowed away in all of the corners. I will do a thorough cleaning/organization/purge. Which leads to my next goal.

I already have a pile of donate/sell stuff in the garage. It's been there for over a year. I WILL get rid of it. Along with anything I find in the garage cleanup that needs to go.

I love the purging and cleaning of spring, but it doesn't like me so much. My spring allergies are off the charts, so another goal I have every year is just staying functional and not having to make a trip to the ER. 

So what do you have planned for this spring?

Apr 2, 2014

Humpday Confessions

I know I said I would be posting my Spring Goals today, but I figured that could wait a day. I've missed out on Humpday Confessions with my girl Kathy the past few weeks and I wanted to make sure I joined in today.

HDC button

I'm missing my mom a lot. She is in FL for about a month, and just knowing that I can't see her until Easter bothers me. Another reason why I will never move far away again. I like knowing I can see her in two and a half hours if I want to.

It's raining and gray here today and it immediately put me in a mood this morning. Yuck! I just want to curl up and go back to bed. I hate when I get in a funk like this.

I'm looking into getting a stroller or wagon to take Cooper on walks. I don't want to be one of "those people," but he loves going on walks, and just can't physically do it for more than a block anymore. And selfishly, I like the walks too and would feel like an idiot walking around my neighborhood alone. I need Cooper to keep me company. 

I already have a violation in my April Wallet Watch :[ I had to go out to dinner for work last night. We were meeting at a restaurant at 6PM. A few of us were there and ordered a drink and an appetizer to share. Then a half hour later we got a phone call that the rest of the crew hadn't left work yet, and wanted to change the meeting location. So I had to pay for my drink. Dinner was covered, and had we stayed at the location we were at, everything else would have been covered too. What are you going to do?

A masters water polo club started up in my area, and I would LOVE to join, but know I can't until I get back in shape. Because yes, I'm THAT out of shape right now (def contributing to my funk today). Did you know I played water polo in college???

I have been SO slacking on the workout front. But I've decided that I will workout everyday for the month of April. This works with my brain's way of thinking because I've only missed one day of the month. I'm committing to the rest! 

What are you confessing to today? 

Apr 1, 2014

Life Lately

I hope everyone had a great weekend and is enjoying this spring weather (finally!) I've been all over the place the past few days, so I'm going to lay everything out here. 

First, I watched Gravity on Saturday afternoon when the snowstorm of late March hit. Has anyone seen this? I have mixed emotions about it. . . at first I felt it was OK, but the more I keep thinking about it, I feel like the story was terrible. I don't know - maybe I just need to watch it again.

Sunday I went to this little guy's birthday party. Of course I lavished him with Superman gifts, and I was so delighted he loved them. Turning two is a big deal! 

My friend went all out, which was a feat in itself since she is 3 weeks from her due date of the second child, and has a 2 year old running around. Everything was so cute, and yes, that cupcake was awesome!

I rounded off the rest of the day Sunday with lots of errands (always fun), and did all of my food prep for the week yesterday after work. 

No, the dog treats weren't part of the meal prep.

I'm participating in Jana's Little House Book Club. I have great memories of reading these books as a child, and am very excited to read them again. I already started with Little House in the Big Woods. I'm actually able to remember how I felt the first time I read the book. Of course I have read them tens of times, but it's amazing how the written word can invoke such a strong memory. I will be doing the official linkup with my review on April 30th! 

I'm also participating the April Wallet Watch with Steph and Marla. This is awesome, because it's not an entire freeze, and you can make your own rules. I'm hoping this will really help me out with tightening the budget this month. 

Life According to Steph

My rules are as follows:
  1. My wallet watch will last from April 1 - April 30.
  2. Eat out of the pantry/freezer. Weekly trips for essentials are allowed (eggs, milk, etc.) but otherwise no grocery spending.
  3. No purchases other than budgeted. This means no "cute owl vase" I see at Target, no new clothes, shoes, nail polish etc. 
  4. No meals out during the week. This means I MUST eat my packed lunch.

Are you joining in on the April Wallet Watch? What else are you up to this spring? I will have a full list of my spring goals tomorrow so be sure to stop back!