A Place to Call Home!!

As of today, Paul and I officially purchased a house together!! We still own Paul’s house in Tallahassee, but this one is one that we bought together, and has both of our names on it!  We made this decision together, and we prayed about this together.  It was the answer to a dream we’ve had since before we got married.  God could not have made this decision more clear for us!


After we move this week, we FINALLY have no plans of needing to move in the near future! We can settle in!  We can call this home! We can DECORATE AND MAKE IT OURS! Finally the years of watching HGTV will pay off!  (Can you tell this REALLY excites me!) Aubrey will have a place to grow up and call home, and I pray that we have MANY years of happy memories in our new home! Bring on the never ending house projects in the life of a homeowner!

God has truly perfectly orchestrated each and every part of this process!  He is so good!  (I’ll share the story at a later date – right now I’m just too excited…and also busy moving!)

Whirlwind of a Weekend

About 2 weeks ago, we had a crazy busy, and absolutely amazing weekend!!!  On Friday, my Mother-in-Law and our niece, Charlotte, flew in from Virginia.  We grabbed lunch, took Charlotte shopping for her upcoming birthday, and then we headed out to take our maternity pictures.  Since I have zero patience… here is a nursery sneak peek with some of my favorite maternity pictures!

IMG_7410 IMG_7407

On Saturday, we headed over to my mom’s house because she threw us a baby shower!  It was so much fun to see everyone, and to celebrate Aubrey!  I was absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of love I felt from everyone there as we all shared in the excitement as we anticipate her arrival!  We received so many generous gifts, we honestly could not be more thankful for each and every one! Can we also take a look at the decorations and the food?!  Apparently my mom and sister are pros at baby showers that look like they took them right off Pinterest!

IMG_7329 IMG_7350

IMG_7328

IMG_7321 IMG_7316

IMG_7323

Also fail for me… I had my mom and my mother in law in the same place with me at once and failed to get a picture with them both at the same time!! These photo opportunities are not easy to come by when your Mother-in-Law lives 11 hours away! So mom and mom, keep this is mind for when Aubrey is born!! I want a picture with the three of us (we can even have Aubrey in it!!)

After the shower on Saturday, we had my dad and another couple take my mom out to dinner for her 50th birthday!! Little did she know, while they were out, we were transforming the house yet again for a surprise party!  Again, I failed at pictures.  I wanted a picture with my family, and a picture with Paul’s family, and I got neither.  Too much excitement I guess.

IMG_7344

IMG_7340 IMG_7336

Sunday, we finally relaxed a bit!  We headed over to Nana’s house in New Smyrna, and afterwards we headed to the beach.  It was a gorgeous day out, and it was so fun to just relax and spend time with family.  After the beach, we headed to dinner.  Paul’s parents and Charlotte, were not in town long enough, but fortunately it won’t be long before they’re here again… this time to meet their newest granddaughter!! 🙂

IMG_7354 IMG_7357

So that was it.  One amazing, eventful, exhausting weekend with the ones we love that wasn’t quite long enough!!

Build it Yourself

Since Paul and I have been married, we have not lived in a house we’ve planned on staying in very long.  It makes it really hard to decorate, because a lot of times when you move, you have to adjust some of your decorations/furniture to fit the new place.  Since we are currently renting we were trying not to do too much to make it easier on us when we moved.  Well then I got pregnant… and then I started nesting.

When I started nesting I wanted our entire house decorated.  I feel like a well decorated house is just so much more welcoming, and that’s when it starts to feel more homey and less bachelor paddish.  So obviously Aubrey’s room was taken care of first, but then I focused on our guest room.  I’m not sure why that took precedent, but I can only assume it’s because I spend 85% of my day in here since it doubles as my office, and it also is where we’ve been storing the last few boxes of decorations, that we just didn’t have anywhere to put.  So I needed it to fall into place.

My guest room wish list consisted of:

  • Matching bedspread/sheets/pillows
  • Console table/bookshelf
  • Headboard for the bed
  • Curtains

Well now I can mark the first two off the list!  This weekend, Paul and I spent some quality time together building a console table.  Not your idea of quality time?  We had a blast, and then started dreaming of the next things we will be building for our house!  Seriously… we have a list now, and this time it isn’t just my list!

I wanted a cheap shelf/bookshelf that we could place the TV on, and that we could add some decorations to so the room itself would feel less cold and bleh.  All the shelves I’d seen at stores were way more than I wanted to spend, and Craigslist had a lot of really cheap things that weren’t made out of all wood.   So I scoured the Ana White website, and found this console table.  Price estimate $20-50.  Perfect!  *Sidenote – ours ended up costing WAY more, because we are currently building up Paul’s tool collection, so unfortunately $50 was not the price… BUT it would have EASILY been $25-30 max if we did not need to buy clamps and a Kreg jig. (we could have bought the $20 kreg jig for this project – but we know we will be using the other tools in the kit in the future, so we ended up buying the whole set which made this project more costly).  

Now our house has taken on a rustic/contemporary theme.  So I saw this wooden table and figured with the right color stain it would be perfect for the guest room.  Paul was skeptical, but he humored me.  So our Friday night started out looking like this…

IMG_7272

These 2x4s actually turned into a table within a couple of hours!  We even modified the plans and added a shelf to the bottom, which I think really adds to the piece.

IMG_7282

After it was fully built, Paul spent some time really sanding it down to make it smooth. Then we stained it.  We choose a Weathered Grey stain to match the decorations in our guest room.

IMG_7284

By Saturday afternoon, we had this thing built, sanded, stained and moved into the house!  We were both so excited!  We built our first piece of furniture ever, and it obviously came with a learning curve. It was the perfect beginner project.  It’s definitely not perfect, but we learned from some of these mistakes so next time we will be even better.  I absolutely love looking at this table knowing that Paul and I built it together, and for that reason, I’m pretty sure we’ll never be able to get rid of it.  Now it has sentimental value.  Which is kind of an exciting thing for the furniture in your house to have. 🙂

IMG_7296

The First Sunburn of the Year

I’ve lived in Florida for about 21 years.  You would think with that much experience I would be an expert at applying sunscreen… except you’d be wrong.  I do ALWAYS apply sunscreen, but it is always that first beach trip of the year that gets me.  It’s like I need a reminder on just how dang powerful the sun is… even when it is 75, foggy, and slightly chilly.

IMG_7027

This past weekend at the beach, it was absolutely beautiful.  We got there and got set up and I noticed Paul had his shirt off.  I immediately walked up to him to tell him to put on sunscreen (in my defense, he usually doesn’t do it until he’s forced), and to my surprise he had already applied it and asked me to get his back.  So I did.  So we all settled in and enjoyed the gorgeous day.  Then randomly, out of absolutely nowhere, fog settled in.  In all my years of living in Florida, I’ve never seen fog settle in in the middle of  a beautiful sunny day.  It remained foggy for an hour or so and then lifted again.  It was crazy to see, but with the fog and the breeze it actually got pretty chilly.   I noticed while we were sitting and chatting that the tops of my knees and feet were burning.  Paul also had a strip along his back that looked like it was burning,  so I reapplied sunscreen about 4 times to those areas, but the damage was done.

By the time we got home and showered, we realized we both had really great splotchy sunburns, and we failed miserably.  My feet actually swelled they were so burnt, and walking physically hurt.  Putting shoes on is a joke – I’m not leaving the house.

IMG_7037

On Sunday, Paul and I wanted to finish the dresser for Aubrey’s nursery, so we were in and out of the garage, which left our feet absolutely disgusting because neither of us would put shoes on our burnt feet.  Then I showered and cleaned up my feet, and went back into the garage.  Genius move.  So my wonderful husband cleaned my feet.  Isn’t he the sweetest? 🙂

IMG_7039

We were quite the pathetic mess on Sunday. between Paul’s back and my feet, we were a sight to see.  I’ve also officially decided that the spray on sunscreen is only to be used, after you’ve applied lotion.  New methods, better protection.  One day I’ll figure it out.

IMG_7028

Finally Friday [3.20.15]

It’s finally FRIDAY! I’m doing a happy dance over here! I’m also letting some of my random thoughts spill onto my blog today.

1.  I was up until about 2 am and woke up at about 5:45am.  Insomnia is getting the best of me, but it won’t keep me down!  I’ve got big plans for this weekend!  Which brings us to numbers 2 an 3! 🙂

2. My best friend from Tallahassee is in Orlando for the weekend to celebrate her 2 year wedding anniversary with her husband.  So tonight we are meeting them for dinner at Cheesecake Factory.  She is the only person who will eat their avocado egg rolls with me.  I haven’t decided if I will get a real meal tonight or just eat the egg rolls and cheesecake…  Avocados are healthy.  If I get original cheesecake with strawberries, then the strawberries are healthy… I’m just saying that may or may not happen tonight.

3. I’ve been ITCHING to be in the sun!  The weather is so incredibly gorgeous!  Sunny and 75, and working indoors all week is cramping my style.  The walks we’ve been taking at night with the dogs aren’t enough, so I begged Paul to take this [huge] pregnant girl to the beach (PS If you know my husband, convincing him to go to the beach is not hard).  Well then our friends invited us to the beach with them tomorrow, and excited doesn’t cover it!  Except for the whole bathing suit part… which brings us to 4.

4.  I went bathing suit shopping last night.  It was rough.  However, I’m not feeling any of the maternity suits, so we’re gonna flaunt this big ol’ belly with the most precious little girl in it, and we don’t really care who sees.  But the ONLY bathing suit that covered my girls, is not very cute.  It’s not a pattern I would normally choose, and I’m going with solid black bottoms, BUT the sun is calling my name and that is all that matters!  Target to the rescue again. Disclaimer: The image below is NOT what this bathing suit looks like when you’re 7 months pregnant.

Capture

5.  I may or may not have ordered the most adorable cloth diaper for Aubrey.  It took everything in me not to also order it in a swim diaper of every size so she wouldn’t grow out of it for a while.  Self control.  Working on self control!  So seriously, Charlie Banana, I love you for your ADORABLE patterns.  I cannot wait for Aubrey to be here so she can wear this.  I can almost guarantee I will have her running around in just diapers frequently, just because her diapers will be so cute.  So this Peony Blossom pattern had my heart melting, but even this picture doesn’t do it justice.  I stumbled across the pattern on their Instagram, and let’s just say there was no going back!

CB

6. We’re planning on finishing our dresser redo this weekend as well.  I am so excited to get it done, and moved into the nursery so things will start to feel like they are getting put together!

7.  I’ve been thinking about Lucky Charms for a good week now.  I think I mentioned them to Paul while we were in bed last night about 3-4 times.  If it wasn’t after 11, I would have gone to get some.  So I contemplated going this morning.  I ALMOST went to Publix at 7am… I mean I was up anyways.  Oh the strange things you crave when you’re pregnant.

Happy Friday!!!

On the Menu – 3.2.15

So I haven’t posted our menu lately, not because I haven’t been meal planning, but Paul was traveling like crazy.  Like I’ve said before, I just fend for myself and  eat random food when it’s just me.

As always, first I’ll review the last meals I posted:

  • Garlic Baked Shrimp – Neither one of us enjoyed this.  I think it was more of a texture thing, but we wiped off all the bread crumbs to eat the shrimp.
  • Chicken & Vegetable Bake – This was so incredibly easy to make, and so, so tasty!  We used peas instead of green beans, but it was so good and we will definitely be eating it again.
  • Shrimp, Tomato and Spinach Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce – This was really good.  I believe Paul said it was one of his favorite recipes I’ve made yet.  A little bit of prep time, but nothing to crazy.
  • Balsalmic Vinegar Chicken – This was just not what I was expecting.  I don’t recommend it.  We won’t be eating it again, I’ve deleted it off my Pinterest board.
  • We also ended up making Chicken Enchiladas one night when my brother and his girlfriend came over for dinner.  We all LOVED them!  I made some refriend beans to go with, and I also added Rotel into the chicken mixture.  I’m so glad we made these when Travis and Victoria came over, because otherwise we would have had leftovers for DAYS!

Now that my husband is going to be in state for longer than 3 days at a time, we have a menu!! After I gained 3 lbs in one week, I kind of got nervous and decided to clean up my diet.  I was planning on it after Aubrey arrived, but lets be honest, it’s really important for me to be eating healthy right now while I’m making a person!  The healthier I eat now, the easier it will be after she comes, and I feel less guilty when I crave those sweets!  So Paul and I are going to be “clean eating”, but we have to find a balance that works for us so we don’t eat really well for 3 weeks, and then eat like crap for a month.  So our plan is that breakfast, lunch and snacks will be clean.  Dinners will vary.  This way we get a balance in there, and don’t feel like we aren’t eating the foods we want.

  • Taco Lettuce Wraps
  • Chili in the Crockpot
  • Steak with green beans and red potatoes
  • Lasagna

The only experiment this week is the taco lettuce wraps, mainly because who eats tacos without tortillas?!  Apparently, I do.  Happy eating 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day… Help Me Choose!!

I’ve never been big on Valentine’s Day.  I think it can be cute, but to be honest, I feel like it’s an excuse for people to spend an excessive amount of money on food/flowers/candy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love showing Paul that I love and appreciate him on Valentine’s Day, but neither of us feel like we have to have some crazy expensive date night, and if he sends me a $100 bouquet of roses he knows very well that he will have a response along the lines of, “Oh honey that is so sweet… why the heck did you spend $100 on FLOWERS?! They die! Go to Publix!”  (He knows this so well that the last time he bought me flowers, he bought flowers at Home Depot that we could plant in our yard!)

So our Valentine’s Day usually consists of us making a nice dinner together at home, some cards, and of course some chocolate.  I usually spend the day doing sweet things for him like making his favorite breakfast and cake (someone once said the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach… I guess I really believed them!). That being said, we’ve never bought presents for each other.  So this year, I didn’t think anything changed.

This year, we decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day early.  We have friends coming into town this weekend, and we didn’t want to deal with the rush anyways.  So on Thursday, we had plans to go to dinner.   Nothing crazy.  That’s how excited we get about Valentine’s Day!  So as usual, I got Paul a card, and Reeses, and I left him cute little love notes in the shape of a heart on the mirror telling him all the reasons why I loved him (cheesy I know, but so fun to do!), then I made his favorite cake and was ready to call it a day.

Well, to my surprise, we exchanged cards and Paul made me go first.  I opened the card and inside is a note, “Cirque du Soleil or Orlando Ballet Battle of the Sexes – You pick!” I got so excited I cried (dang pregnancy hormones.)

Now let me explain how this came about… I subtly started hinting around Christmas time that I hadn’t seen The Nutcracker in years, and I wanted to see it… my subtle hints were apparently too subtle.  As the dates of The Nutcracker neared, I asked Paul if we had any plans or if he had any surprises for me… he looked at me like I was crazy.  (Such a girl thing to do – hint, and then ask for it!) Then not long ago, we met some friends at Downtown Disney for dinner, and we walked past Cirque du Soleil.  I looked at Paul and said, “Since you missed my Nutcracker hints, let me just tell you.  I WANT to go to Cirque du Soleil, so if you want to take me there, I won’t be mad”.  He just laughed at me and gave me a kiss.

So much to my surprise yesterday he came through, and now I have to choose!! The problem is I have no idea how to choose!

Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba – I saw this show about 7 years ago with my mom and sister.  It’s absolutely amazing. If you’ve never seen a Cirque show – GO! Seriously! They are absolutely phenomenal and there is no way you can leave disappointed!  I’ve also seen “The Beatles LOVE” and a traveling show I cannot remember the name of for the life of me.   I honestly think of the 2 options, Paul would enjoy this much more than a ballet.

The Orlando Ballet – Battle of the Sexes – After reading Misty Copeland’s autobiography, I’ve been dying to see a ballet.  I guess reading it reignited how much I love dance in general  After reading it, I asked Paul to take me to a ballet in New York.  He laughed, it’s currently not an option.  So I settled for the Orlando Ballet, but I really want to see a classical ballet like Swan Lake or Firebird.  So even though I’m sure Battle of the Sexes is great, I want to see a classic.

So now you see my problem.  I have no idea how to choose! Help!

The Downfall of Pregnancy

Weight gain is an inevitable part of pregnancy.  So far, I’m on track to gain the recommended amount of weight, but apparently the last few months those numbers can escalate quickly.  That being said,  people always say the cardinal rule for a husband, is not to talk about your weight while your wife is packing on the pounds.  Call me abnormal, but this doesn’t really bother me.

Paul noticed he put on a few “sympathy pounds” in the last 5 months (by a few I literally mean a FEW and not some huge weight gain), and since then he has become super motivated to get back in shape.  He’s been drinking water, snacking on fruits and veggies, and been increasing his workouts.  He used his “blow money” (any Dave Ramsey fans?) this month to purchase an Adidas FitSmart Heart Rate Monitor.  So now seeing how many calories he’s burning, has made him more motivated!

This is all great!  I’m proud of him – I feel like I should add that bit in before I go into the point of this post.  In his motivation, he’s motivated me, and this can be something we do together.  Except for that one MINOR detail… I’m pregnant, and definitely GAINING WEIGHT!  No big deal.  Give me about 6 months or so to pop out our little girl, and be cleared to workout again, then let’s get motivated! This is what bothers me!  In his weight loss talk, I want to do it to!  Except, I shouldn’t be losing weight right now.

Regardless of the minor detail, and the fact that I will not be getting in shape anytime soon, he has successfully motivated me to get back in the gym, and keep myself from gaining an exorbitant amount of weight.  I’m honestly not that worried about my weight gain, I just don’t like the thought of having to try and lose it after she comes when I’m sleep deprived.

I guess it’s just frustrating to watch him get excited to see the number on the scale go down, while my number keeps going up.  Excuse me while I sit in the corner eating Oreos and binge watching Netflix to make myself feel better… Ironic right?

I guess the downside of this whole situation for Paul could be that he thinks I’m trying to sabotage his weight loss by keeping our house stocked with Oreos, Heart Reeses (because the holiday ones are the best), and random sweets.  I definitely wouldn’t do that… but Aubrey would 🙂

On the Menu – 2.2.15

So last week, my meal planning was a complete success.  Thanks Pinterest!!  Here is a review of the meals we ate:

  • Grilled Jerk Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers – I used a store bought marinade to make this easier, but they tasted great, and I assume it was much quicker than making the jerk sauce.
  • Skillet Herbed Chicken and Tomato – I wasn’t crazy about this, but Paul loved it.  I thought we would have leftovers, but he successfully finished it!
  • Tortellini Spinach and Chicken Soup – Not a huge soup fan, but this was good!  It was a rainy gloomy day when I made it so it definitely was a good day for it.  It was filling, and tasty.
  • Cajun Chicken Fettucini – I think this was the biggest hit of all.  It is definitely NOT good for you, but it is definitely good to eat.  I left out the goat cheese, because I’m not a huge fan, and I’m not supposed to eat it while pregnant.  We had a lot of leftovers for this, but we didn’t mind.  It lasted us a another dinner and some lunches.  You could definitely cut this recipe down for 2 people.

On the menu this week we will be on the slightly healthier side (keyword slightly), and cutting out so many servings of pasta.  Let’s face it, I’m pregnant and want pasta, but I (and my husband) can’t keep downing pasta or we’ll be massive by the end of this.

Happy Cooking 🙂

On the Menu – 1.26.15

So I recently decided to really start to work at meal planning, and when I decided to start my husband disappeared for basically two weeks for work.  So I didn’t feel like there was a reason for me to cook these fun meals for me to eat by myself.  So I basically ate my normal “Paul’s out of town and I’m not cooking for myself” food… cereal, grilled cheese, hot dogs.. the usual.  Really delicious stuff I tell ya!

So in my last post about meal planning, I only made 2 of the recipes, but they were both successful, and Paul said they should be made again.  That’s a win!   The shrimp scampi was great, and definitely a lighter pasta since it was an olive oil sauce and nothing creamy.  Then I also made the Skillet Sausage Pasta, which turned out really well, but when I make it again I will definitely cut down on the amount of chicken broth it calls for.

I have no idea how women functioned prior to Pinterest… Seriously, it’s great.

So this week, our menu consists of the following meals… and you may notice a pasta theme… we’re blaming that on Aubrey…

Eventually I’ll let you all know how these turn out, and which ones are worth trying out yourself!  Happy Cooking 🙂