Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New layout

In honor of all things black, white, grey and greige .....a new background!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No gain

I'm hoping I will look back on this in several months and think "I'm glad that doesn't happen anymore."

I've been running for the last few months trying to convince myself that I can do this. The excitement from my previous post is fading as I'm dealing with shin splints? At least that's what I'm hoping it is, I'm going to the doctor early next week to get checked out. Hoping, meaning I'm hoping it's not more serious like a stress fracture or something.

I was fitted for shoes by one person who said "You need a mild stability shoe", OK, I said, and a $100 later I have stability shoes.....shins still hurt. Went to a running expo, guy from Cleveland Clinic said "I think you need a cushioning shoe", now for the bargain price of $79.95, I have cushioning shoes on their way.

I see pictures of people, and, if I had just seen the pictures I would have thought they were a clever marketing technique, but I've also seen them in real life, and they're running and they look like they're enjoying themselves. These people don't look like they're in pain...I long to be them, running on a beautiful jogging trail through a lovely tree filled park.

This is my dream...c'mon cushioning shoes let me fulfill this dream.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Born to run....maybe Bruce was right

I did it! I did it! I'm not usually one to pat myself on the back...I'm the kind of person who always thinks I (and the people around me) could have done better. I'm not quite sure why that is..nature or nurture? But not this time...turn around back its time for a pat!

Saturday I ran my first 5k. I've been running for a couple of months now and planning and training for this 5k. I've read some blogs on what your goal should be for your first 5k and most said just finishing without having to walk and feeling good at the end was goal enough. Ok, but what about time. I thought if I could run it in 30 minutes I would be very happy and I did. I came in at 29.45, a PR (personal record for me). I had been running 3 miles in about 30 minutes.

It was a great feeling to see my name on the results post (you need to page down more that halfway for the 40-44 female age group) and an even better feeling to know that I finished in the top half of the people in my age group.

I can see how running can become addictive..I didn't think I would wake up at 5:55am voluntarily, but yesterday I did. I knew this was the only time I could run yesterday and I did it. I have to say it felt great, it was a great way to start off the day.

I definitely want to continue and hopefully run farther distances and more races!!

Monday, April 20, 2009


I've found that I really enjoy cooking for people and trying to do new things in the kitchen. Being from a small family I never had the opportunity to have a house full of people and cook large or even semi-large holiday meals. But now that I've married into a large family I have this opportunity and am having a great time. I love hosting holidays and always offer our house as a gathering place. My big project for Easter was cupcakes, daisy shaped cupcakes, and it wasn't difficult but definitely more time consuming than I expected. I was coloring icing late into the evening and even enlisted the help of my husband to get things finished. I must say, I was very pleased with the result.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A test of patience

The house that we live in is pretty typical new construction..not new construction as in brand new house new, but new construction circa year 2000. I've found that living in the midwest means oak, and lots of it, from cabinets to trim to vanities...all medium oak. I've painted some of the rooms and I keep looking at them and thinking something just isn't right. I change things such as area rugs, accessories, hang pictures and still something just isn't right. It's the oak. The trim is calling out to me to be white, the vanity in the powder room, black, the vanities in the master bath and kids bath, white, the kitchen cabinets white or black ( I can't decide, big surprise huh honey!!) I am daunted by this task..will it look good..will it look cheap and painted..will it add value to our house making it unique from all the other houses I see in this area on it take away value from our house making it unique in a way that everyone thinks is bad.


These thoughts have taken up alot of my time lately. I know if I take this project on it will take awhile to complete, not words I like to hear. I've read many posts about this on The Nest and the main consensus is that you must take your time, concentrate on one room at a time, don't try to rush or it will look sloppy. Am I up to the challenge?!?

I've decided to start with the powder room, the vanity to be exact. I've liked the color combination of black, white or cream and vibrant green for awhile now. I've accomplished the green walls, I have the accessories..but that oak vanity just made everything seem off. So today I've started... off with the cabinet doors, hardware, tp holder and off we go.... Here are some before photos...

Stay tuned for in progress shots and after shots including new mirror, new light fixture and accessories and maybe white trim depending on how the vanity painting goes.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unhappy about the "happy weight"

After reading the post from Lisa over at High Heels and Sweatshirts I'm motivated to get on the fit train. I knew I had put on a few pounds but yesterday morning when I got on the scale YIKES! it was more than I had suspected. Lisa referred to it as "happy weight" get married, you're happy, you eat more, more of the wrong types of things and then before you know it 15 pounds of "happy" has been added to your body.

So, I'm motivated to lose this weight in the next couple of months and get back to my "bride" body. I've also been running for the last couple of months getting ready to run my first 5k this spring. My goal is to make running part of my long term fitness routine and not to only exercise when I want to lose weight.

Thanks Lisa for the jumpstart I needed..seeing your positive results and seeing that you did it the healthy way has made me motivated to change my eating habits and jump on the fit train.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Goodbye my friend.....

It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we had to say goodbye to Abby this past weekend. She was a great friend and her unconditional love will be missed each and everyday. Abby lived a very long life (over 14 years) and she was healthy, for the most part, up until the end. Abby we love you and will miss you more than words can say.

It's hard for me to believe how much my life has changed in the 14 years that she's been alive. I always wondered what she was thinking. I'm happy she got to live the last year of her life as a family dog and all of the love that brings, even if that means she had to get her picture taken with a sticker on her nose.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rooms that I love

If only white were a practical color with two kids, two dogs and two cats........

Friday, February 20, 2009

If I could have one dress from the Oscars....

It would be this one that Penelope Cruz wore at the 2007 Oscars....
Everything about it makes my heart go pitter patter. The color, the cut, the fabric..everything.

My other favorite dress of all time is this...
My girl, SJP, this is one of the most incredible dresses I've ever seen. I miss Sex and the City, the girls, the clothes, the cosmopolitans....even when the clothes were wrong they were so right....
I can just tell you if my abs looked like that, I'd be rockin that outfit everyday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Warmer days are coming?

I know I'm not the only person that feels this way, but jeez its been a LONG winter! I've had it with the cold and the snow. I know I live in the mid west and this is how it is, but c'mon already. Today, it's snowing...again. My doormat today..

I'm dreaming of sunny, warm, long, hot days. I'm waiting for the day when I open the door and feel the warm air hit my face instead of being pelted by snow and ice. These memories are getting me through....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Plans are made to be changed....

It's been an interesting week here. Thursday I was on my way to Pittsburgh and my car died. And of course, it died not here in Ohio but in Pittsburgh. Ugghh!!!! Sitting in the turning So, to make a long story car towed to repair shop..parents brought me back to Ohio..found out car needs new transmission...$3500. Ugghh!! This car has been the ban of my existence not to mention my wallet for awhile now and I've been wanting to get rid of it but not sans transmission.

Looks cute and fun sitting there but just try to buy tires, replace your headlight or get an oil change. Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching. What I've learned from this car purchase. Unique = expensive. Honestly, at this point, after how much money we've put into it, I would love to set it aflame and roast marshmallows while watching it burn but for obvious reasons that just can't happen.

Ok, I'm done ranting. So, cut to the chase, I need a car. Saturday we cancelled our Valentines day dinner reservations and headed to Pittsburgh to try to buy a car. We couldn't get the deal closed with the dealership so back we went to Ohio with not much accomplished. Searched auto trader and thought we would go out Sunday in Ohio and see if we could find anything as a backup while waiting till Monday for the dealer in Pittsburgh to get back to us. And then,

It was love at first sight. Cross your fingers I won't feel like the deal is closed till I'm driving it off the lot but hopefully that will happen in the next day or two.
I will be so excited to have a car thats easier to maneuver in with the kids and I don't need to worry whenever I see a snowflake in the sky. Oh please, oh please I promise I won't ask for anything for a very long time (ok, so we both know thats not really true) but I need a car!

By the way, Happy Valentines Day honey, I don't know what I'd do without you. Our takeout Chinese complete with candlelight and wine was the perfect Valentines day dinner. I love you, thank you for helping me get through the last couple of months with that piece of junk and helping me get a new and hopefully more reliable and less expensive vehicle.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach

I'm not sure if this old adage is true or not. My husband has been looking at me like I'm a little crazy lately as new menu items keep popping up on our dinner table. I blame this on my new job (at the cooking store) and finding all these products that I've lived my food sheltered life without. Last night it was a frittata, or as my husband called it a western omelet.

I haven't had much of an opportunity to cook up until now. I've always thought of cooking as a social experience, spending time with the people you love, catching up on the day. In my mind it isn't fun to make something great if there isn't anyone to share it with. So, with all that said, I never thought I could cook but to my surprise I can. I'm not saying I'm up for my own Food Network show but there have been more successes than failures. And that, to me, is a huge success. I'm going to keep on experimenting....tart anyone?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

To spend or not to spend...THAT is the question

I've been thinking alot about money lately, especially my spending habits and what I choose to spend my money on. I know I'm not the only one, everyone goes to work everyday with bated breath wondering if they themselves or their coworkers will have a job at the end of the day. What is important, what will enrich my life, and by enrich my life it may be as superficial as will these boots make my days this winter a little happier. Today, in this economy, is it ok to be superficial or should we be restricted to the necessities? I received my March issue of Real Simple yesterday and this question seems to be a very relevant topic. This magazine is my absolute favorite. It puts a smile on my face when I pull it out of the mailbox. One of my favorite parts is the editors note page which always strikes a chord with me and this month was no exception. Here is an excerpt...

I don't know about you, but I'm having a really hard time figuring out how or when to spend money these days. Almost every one of us has suffered in some way from this recession, but one weird fallout for me is a new cognitive dissonance that goes something like this: Everything is on sale! I should be taking advantage! versus Do not spend a single unnecessary dime, because the amount of money our family spends on food alone every week nearly gives me a panic attack!

I went through this same back and forth with myself yesterday in Target. I had been eyeing up this pair of boots for most of the winter and there they were on sale and not just any sale a 75% off sale. They had my size and I put them in my cart with a smile on my face...$8.54..what a deal! As I made my way around Target checking out the home decor, an argument was going on inside my head. The old me, who would have never given a second thought to $8.54 boots, was now confronted by the new me, who was questioning whether I needed another pair of boots no matter what they cost. I tried to ignore this "new me" but somehow I couldn't, she was probably right. I went and put the boots back on the shelf and smiled knowing that I had made the right decision.

This months issue of Real Simple is about how to live your life on less. How it's not necessarily about sacrificing but making smart putting the boots back!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Settling in for the night.....

Nothing makes for a better evening than an inexpensive bottle of wine, a fire and a new episode of Lost. Its been a snowy last 24 hours here with about a foot of snow piled up. No school for the kids and we were stuck inside for the better part of the day. But now the kids are in bed and its Paul and Kathy time....
and the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815

Monday, January 26, 2009

When you wish upon a star

We are starting to plan our summer vacation to Walt Disney World. This brings back so many memories for me. This was the our vacation of choice pretty much every year when I was a kid. I've been there as an adult too but I've never taken a child there. This will be Luke and Ella's first trip to the Magic Kingdom and I'm very excited to see everything again through their eyes.

I didn't realize planning this vacation was going to be so difficult and have so many options. There are park plans, meal plans, so many different plans that AAA is actually having a webinar tonight to help you plan your vacation. I'm gonna fly solo though and tackle it myself...I've been online last night and this morning plotting out our options and I think I have it figured out. Hopefully everything will still be available when we are ready to finalize our plans.

Update on Luke and Ella's room redecorating..I've painted both of their rooms and started moving the furniture around in Ella's. I still have her dresser and chest to paint white and I need to accessorize both rooms. Note to self....when you have kids things take much longer than originally thought.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

How important is your name in deciding who you are ?

I found this on My Sweet Savannah's blog and thought it was interesting. My name describes me quite that just a coincidence? Here's the description...
You Are Smart and Curious
You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.
You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.
People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Workforce reductions...

Just like so many companies, the company I work for had "workforce reductions" yesterday. The current economic climate has not been kind to fact, it has been utterly brutal. I feel incredibly lucky to still have my job and my heart goes out to those who have lost theirs. I've worked in retail for many years and most of the people I've worked with genuinely love what they do and want you to have a great experience in their stores. All I ask is that when you are out shopping please be kind to the people working in the stores. Please have patience and understand that they are working hard and are stressed and understaffed. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today is a new day!

It is the beginning of a new era for this country and for the world. It is impossible not to be inspired by this man who makes us all believe anything is possible. I'm completely taken by him and his family and the ideals that he shares. I hope anyone that has doubts will put them aside and believe that if President Obama succeeds we as a country win.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Productive weekend!

I'm feeling good since we had a productive weekend. Paul and I both had 3 days off and we managed to get alot accomplished. We started out Friday night by going out to dinner (just the two of us) to The Bistro.
I had the Shrimp D'Agnese with a side of linguini. It's one of their specialties and was yummy! We also went to a local winery for a nightcap.
Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and went to Jeffersonville outlets and Polaris place. Our mission is to redecorate Luke and Ella's rooms. We got both of them new furniture, bedding and accessories for their rooms. Luke's room will be based on a sports theme and Ella's room will be girly and flowery with lavender and green. Sunday we finished up shopping for them and watched ( I should say I watched, since Paul is a Browns fan he refused to participate ) the Steelers win the AFC Championship. This morning we cleaned up around the house, put up Luke's headboard, went to Sherwin Williams to get paint samples. Whew!! I'm really excited to get both of their rooms updated.....stay tuned for pics.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What I'm thankful for today.

As the temperature dips into the single digits and below, I'm thankful for a fireplace and a warm fire. There's nothing like snuggling in front of a fire on a cold winter night.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!

Its been an incredible 6 months being married to you. I know I can be hard to put up with sometimes but you take it all in stride. You make me happy truly are the love of my life.

Here we go!!!!

I must say I'm missing my hometown a little right now. I never thought much of the city itself when I lived there, and I always said I would move away whenever I could, but I miss the electricity of the city right now. The feeling in the city when its Steeler's season is indescribable. The entire city comes together with one common goal in mind..cheering the Steelers on to victory. I wear my Steelers shirt with pride even though I live in Ohio and my husband is a Browns fan. Sorry honey, I know it makes you crazy when I wear my Steeler shirt to the grocery store but I love my team! Go Steelers!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let it snow!!

We woke up today to a bunch of snow and it keeps on coming!! This is the most snow we've had so far this winter. Time for the kids to go outside and play in the snow.

Ella making snow angels

Luke and Ella helping shovel

Friday, January 9, 2009

Ask and you shall receive...maybe not always, but sometimes.

Yesterday I purchased my first piece of Le Creuset.....

and at a bargain $60 (gotta love that employee discount)!!! And the first meal I cooked was chicken parm with leftover spaghetti on the side. Yum!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What I'm coveting right now.

I've been thinking alot about food and cooking lately. I blame this on my new job and my New Year's resolution of eating healthier. I'm wanting some new cookware and I want something thats going to last for years to come.

A beautiful dutch oven....I know I could make the best meals in this.

And a wonderful set of All Clad cookware....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Seize the day!!

Today is the day that the exercising begins. I started running last year but became sidelined because of trying to push too hard too fast. I thought how hard can this be..I can do this. Well, it's hard..much harder than I ever imagined. Paul is an avid runner and my inspiration. He has made running a part of his excuses.
I have an image of him and I on vacation (somewhere warm and fabulous) and us going for a run together. That's part of my motivation..the other part is to accomplish something for myself. Its been awhile since I feel like I've set a tangible goal for myself and accomplished it. For anyone who is interested in starting as well here is the plan I'm following...I think I'm going to start with week 2.,7146,s6-238-277-278-0,00.html

Monday, January 5, 2009

I feel like it's the first day of school.

I started my new job today. I'm a manager at a well known kitchenwares store. I was going to take a photo of myself in my newly purchased outfit but I couldn't figure out the timer on my camera. I haven't been working full time for almost a year now so I was really nervous. I have a new found appreciation for people re-entering the workforce after taking time off. Even though my hiatus wasn't that long...I still feel a little rusty. I've been working there part-time for the holiday season and a position opened up and I expressed my interest and the rest is history. I'm hoping this job works out with our family life...being a stepmom and working full time is something that will take some adjusting but Paul is very supportive and that makes all the difference. I'm hoping this will also improve my cooking skills and give me the courage to be more adventurous and try new techniques and recipes. I will keep you updated on my progress and include photos and recipes that I've tried and liked. Day 2 is tomorrow...wish me luck!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's time to stop the madness

I will admit it..I have eaten just about everything in sight for the past couple of weeks and it's time to zip the lips and start my (and I'm sure most other peoples) New Years resolution to eat healthy and workout. But today, being of course the last day to eat with reckless abandon..I did not disappoint..

Brunch..after church

We took the kids bowling and had pizza..For dinner take-out Chicken Marsala..and I will finish it up with this baby after the kids go to bed..
And then Paul and I can officially say that we have rid the house of all junk food!!