Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 is going to be a great year!

So I think it's finally time to explain why my blogging has sucked lately...

We're having a BABY!!

I'm currently 19 weeks pregnant and Baby E is a BOY! He should make his arrival around May 27, 2012 (Memorial Day weekend!) We are so excited (and nervous!)

I had a pretty rough 1st trimester as far as nausea and exhaustion (pregnancy is no joke!) But I'm feeling MUCH better now and I can honestly say I'm loving the pregnancy thing. Little man has recently started with some pretty strong kicks, which are awesome. Oh and whoever said that boys clothes aren't as cute as girls has obviously never shopped with me. He's not even here yet and this kid has several monogrammed and embroidered outfits that are to die for! Yes, we have a name picked already - but we're not sharing until he's born.

So I'm sure that many more baby blog posts are in my future. We just started our registry and are getting started on the nursery soon (much more on that later - our house is about to become a construction zone!)

I've journaled my pregnancy so far in a little notebook, so I may do a little catch up on the first 18 weeks and I'll post a few bump pictures as well. I started showing really early and it's slightly bizarre to have this baby bump already! Here's my bump from Christmas Day at 18 weeks:

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas List

Wow, I'm really sucking in the blogging department! I promise I'll be better in the New Year! Since Christmas is now 6 days away (WHAT?!?!), I thought I would share what's on my list this year. Tomorrow I'll share my favorite gifts that I'm giving this year.J and I decided we aren't really doing presents this year and will both just upgrade to an iPhone 4s right after Christmas. So excited - I think I'm most excited to pick out a cute case for it!Clarisonic Mia (in pink of course). I've heard awesome things about this little brush - and it's the perfect size to fit in my stocking!A calligraphy address stamper - love this one from etsy!I'm not a big coffee drinker, but I LOVE tea, so this is the perfect coffee maker for me and J. He can get his coffee and I can have my tea and oatmeal. A Kindle Fire - I'm all about the tech gifts this year!Yes, I realize it's almost 2012 and I'm asking for a pizza stone - we're a little behind the times on this one. But we realized that we eat a lot of homemade pizza!

So hopefully Santa will put some of these under the tree for me this year. What is on your list?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Outfit Help!

Being an OCD planner, I of course, like to decide on my outfit for the holidays far in advance. This year, we are going to J's family for Thanksgiving (we alternate every year), so there will be about 30 people there, of all ages. I love his extended family because all his cousins are around our age and it's fun to catch up with all of them!

Anyways, here's the outfit I have narrowed down for next Thursday:This dress - it's a sweater dress and super soft and comfy. Bonus that it's loose so I can eat as much as I want! EDIT - The dress is from Target! They have a ton of cute sweater dresses right now.
These boots - my knock off Frye boots from Target. I love these because the shade of brown is perfect, they were super cheap and look really cute.
To add in some more brown, this belt around the empire waist part of the dress.

My dilemma is coming in what color tights to wear with it. I'm thinking a fun color, such as navy or burgundy might be fun. But would that look weird? Should I go with brown? Or grey? Or even ivory? I'm not super good when it comes to fun accessories, so I need help!! What's your vote?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back from Paradise

So we're back from Puerto Rico. Bummed to come back, but we had a fantastic time! I would highly recommend PR to anyone looking for a quick, fun, easy weekend getaway. Since it's part of the US, you don't have to go through customs or take a passport. We had a 3 hour direct flight both ways - it couldn't have been easier!

Of course, we had awesome (HOT!) weather the entire time! It's funny how you forget what hot weather feels like when you come from the cold fall temps. It actually snowed back home while we were gone - we saw that on the news as we were laying pool side with fruity drinks!

Here was the amazing view from our hotel balcony:And here's what we did all day:Here's the amazing and authentic Puerto Rican food we ate:
(this is Mofongo, which is mashed plantains topped with shredded marinated chicken. It's a local specialty and was delicious!)

We also did some sight seeing in Old San Juan and walked around the fort there, El Morro:
It was a great and relaxing way to celebrate turning 30! And J celebrated his 32nd birthday while we were there as well, so it was a double birthday trip!

Now I can't believe how fast the holidays are coming up! Thanksgiving next week?!?! Craziness!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


On a jet plane! We are off to Puerto Rico to celebrate our birthdays with sun, sand and relaxation! Can't wait for 4 days of tropical beaches, Pina Coladas and good food!

PS - It actually happened - I turned 30. And the world didn't end. It's been a great birthday so far! I'm very blessed!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Countdown to 30!

I apologize for being a crappy blogger - I have no excuse this time except for pure laziness. Anyways, it's October, which means it's my birthday month. 21 days until the big 3-0!! That is insane to me, but I'm dealing with it. It helps that we are taking a long weekend trip to Puerto Rico for my birthday. We leave the day after my birthday for 4 days of sun and fun! I've also taken my actual birthday off from work so I can sleep in, get a pedicure and go out to lunch and dinner with J and my parents.

I decided that since I'm going to be 30, I probably shouldn't rock the bikini for too much longer in my old age. Plus, I'm pasty white and out of shape and I'm not sure anyone wants to see that much of me on the beach. So I'm currently on the hunt for a few cute tankini's to take on our trip. I love the strapless ones from J.Crew and Lands End Canvas.Love this green color from J.Crew!

I also found this cute paisley print from Target and I think I may order it this week. I'm a little worried it's too "momish" but I really love the shape and colors. I can always return it if it's a bit too granny when it arrives I guess.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for cute tankini's to wear when you are officially O-L-D?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

I can't believe we've been married for 2 years today - the time flew by! We had a wonderful 2nd year of marriage and I can't wait to see what's in store for the next 20+ years!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Kitchen: Budget Breakdown

Doing all the labor on our kitchen saved us a ton of money. Like thousands and thousands. I'm extremely grateful that my husband knows his way around power tools so that we didn't put ourselves into debt to re-do the kitchen. We are pretty frugal and obviously shopped around for the best deals we could find, while still getting the items that we wanted and not skimping on quality.

The bottom line dollar for the entire kitchen came to $4,993.33. The budget we set for ourselves before we started was $5,000 so I'm happy we came in under that - by 7 dollars! HA!! Here's an itemized list of the budget breakdown so you can see where that money went:

Flooring & Walls - $768.85 (this includes the tile, grout, thinset, backerboard, tiling tools, baseboards and all trim, spackle, paint, etc.)

Cabinets (stock white cabinets from Home Depot) - $1,551 (we lucked into buying the cabinets during Memorial Day weekend and they were having a 20% sale on all in-stock cabinets. We also opened a HD credit card the same day to get an additional 10%)

Cabinet Hardware, Knobs/Pulls and Screws - $134.54 (we ordered all the knobs off of Ebay for less than a dollar a piece, which was the best price we found anywhere)

Countertops - $1,862 (this includes the templating and installation through Home Depot)

Faucet - $197.00

New over-the-range microwave - $297 (again, we hit up a Memorial Day Sale at Sears for the microwave)

Lighting and Electrical - $249.94 (this includes the new overhead light, the pendant light over the sink (that hasn't been installed or blogged about yet), under cabinet puck lights (again, not installed or blogged yet) and random wiring parts.

Miscellaneous - $360 (this includes the beautiful shelf liner paper I NEEDED and the supplies for the fridge built in, shelving and desk that Jake built (which again hasn't been blogged about!)

So that's how we spent less than $5,000 on a brand new kitchen, from floor to ceiling. It was an extremely gratifying project and it made the months of eating off paper plates with plastic silverware all worth it. We cook SO MUCH more now and I'm baking up a storm as well. It makes me happy to walk into our house and see the kitchen. I told J we're never moving because I'm not ever leaving this kitchen!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Kitchen: More Photos

New overhead light = no more gross florescent glow! Good shot of the bamboo shade on the window - still trying to decide if I like it. I wanted to bring in some brown and some natural elements, but for some reason, I'm not in love with it.
In love with the new lazy susan corner cabinet (that corner is where the dishwasher used to be)
Amazing pull down faucet and super sleek integrated sink. Quite possibly my favorite part of the kitchen.
Close up of the countertops and knobs. The color is Talus Oyster and it's a solid surface (Corian). It's tan with flecks of white, browns and greys - it reminds me of the inside of an oyster shell. Corian is pretty amazing - very easy to maintain, inexpensive and there is not one seam anywhere on it. L-O-V-E
Right after the counters were installed, before any of our "stuff" was on the counters. The counter space to the right of the stove used to be where our fridge was, so we gained all that extra storage and workspace. Also, I don't know how I lived without an over the range microwave for so long.

Breaking down the budget tomorrow!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Kitchen: FINISHED!

Yeah, so it's probably pretty obvious that during my 1.5 month hiatus, we finished the kitchen. It's 99% done and I couldn't be more in love with it. I won't bore you with a ton of posts of installing the cabinets, waiting for the counters to be installed and all the last details. That's what July and August consisted of. I think our official end date was August 6th, which was when J installed the faucet and hooked the dishwasher back up. We started May 15th, so I'm pretty proud that less than 3 months later, we have a completely new kitchen.

I'm planning on doing another post with a TON of pics, but I'll leave you with a few sneak peeks. I'll also be doing a complete budget breakdown, as well as a post of the few small little projects we still have to do.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Kitchen: A Fun Surprise

Let's be honest - my husband is really the one doing this kitchen project. I help when I can, like handing him tools while he's underneath the sink cabinet and doing easy projects, (painting, grouting). But it's him who is leveling the cabinets, drilling the microwave into place, etc.

But I wanted one project for myself and I finally got started on it, now that our cabinets are in place (we're just waiting for HD to come install the countertops at this point). I decided that I really wanted to find some fun shelf liner paper to pop out against the white cabinets. A quick internet research led me to They have HUNDREDS of patterns and I easily found the one that I loved that went perfectly with our semi-beachy kitchen. I ordered it (4 rolls - and I may need more, eek!) and got to work with installing it. I'm about 50% done with the cabinets and drawers and so far, I'm in love with how it looks!The color/pattern I picked is called "Cross Me Seaglass" and it matched our wall color so well. I love the slight geometric print as well, it make it a little bit modern. Here's a close-up - it has various shades of teals, blues and greens with the white background.
Here it is in one of the cabinets - it makes me smile to open them to see this fun pop of color!

And even though installing shelf liner is not back breaking work like cabinetry, it's still a ton of work to measure, cut and smooth out all that paper! I ordered the option with the self adhesive on the back and I've been very pleased with the quality of the paper and how smooth it goes down.

So that's my "fun" contribution to the kitchen! I can't wait to start putting all our kitchen stuff back away in the cabinets!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Kitchen: Current State

Things are in high gear and we are making more progress. We're basically at Home Depot's mercy at this point, waiting for our countertops to be templated and then ordered. But here's a quick sneak peak at what you would see in the kitchen if you came over...Cabinets! Microwave! Finished floors! And you can't see it from this picture, but the fridge is in it's permanent spot and the water/ice has been hooked back up!

Hopefully the stove will go back in this week. We ordered amazing cabinet knobs and pulls from Ebay and they should be here Thursday. I think they will really make the cabinets look finished and I can't wait to see them! I also have 2 special projects to share - hopefully I'll be blogging about one of them this week.

We're in the home stretch!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Kitchen: True Romance

You know you are well into a renovation when you decide to be super romantic and surprise your husband by finishing all the grouting in the hallway while he's working late. I put my reno skills to the test by grouting all by myself and I have to say, I did a pretty darn good job! And J was SUPER excited and surprised to come home to all that work being done already. That frees him up to do more difficult projects tomorrow, like wiring (do you like my romantic gesture really being a ploy to get more stuff done?)

Pictures soon! It's coming together!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Kitchen: Grout

We have grout! We went with a light grey grout and I'm in love with it. We just have to do one more round of de-hazing the tile and then seal the grout and the floor in the kitchen is DONE. Of course, we still have to do the entire foyer and hallway, but I'm celebrating this as one big part of the kitchen being done. Cabinets should start going in soon, which is crazy to me. I really might be cooking in my kitchen by July!

Happy weekend - wish me luck, I'm running in a 10k tomorrow morning!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Kitchen: Scenes from a Holiday weekend

Pictures of us scraping old thinset mortar off the floors are very boring. So are pictures of us laying the new concrete subfloor and screwing about 10,000 screws to hold it in. But here's a quick photo montage of what we did on our kitchen project this weekend. We took full advantage of 3 days off to make some pretty major progress (and I still managed to make it to the pool and get some sun!) Upper cabinets have been hung and the tile floor in the kitchen is laid, it just needs to be grouted.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Kitchen: Floor Demo

Our first step in completely demolishing our kitchen was to get the gross floor tile up. They rent these machines at Home Depot that pretty much do it for you, but that would be far too easy. My wonderful husband decided to use a "scraper" to get up all the tiles manually - as in back breaking work. However, once he got started, it actually went super fast and easy. We got the entire floor up in 2.5 hours. Starting to scrape after we moved the fridge and stove out of the kitchen.

It started slowly and then all the sudden, we hit a major groove and it went really quickly. Progress!

Goodbye tile! We definitely filled 4 of those big trashcans with all the tile and grout.I was in charge of cleanup...And this was the state of the kitchen after 1 day of working for 2.5 hours. Not too shabby!

Next up - cabinet demo! And a trip to the commercial dump, which was an eye opening experience!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Kitchen: Before

So the reason I haven't blogged in a few weeks is because we have officially started our massive renovation of the kitchen. And I'm already over it. We're doing EVERYTHING ourselves, so obviously things move sort of slowly (even though I am impressed by how much we've gotten done so far). We are gutting everything and bringing in new floors, cabinets, countertops, lighting, paint, etc. Luckily we've been upgrading our appliances since we moved in and the only new appliance we will need is a microwave.

So here are our "before" pictures, so you can see the yuck we have been dealing with..Outdated Cabinets, gross white laminate countertops, nasty white tile floorsThe Floors - my nemesis. White tile with brown grout. We have a feeling the grout didn't start out as brown when it was installed. The tile was in super bad shape and never stayed or looked clean. We have it in the foyer and entry hallway as well, so it wasn't very welcoming. Close up of how gross our cabinets were. We scrubbed them down when we moved in 2 years ago and it didn't really help because there was so much grime and build up. The laminate counters were peeling away from the wall...lovely!

So that's what we lived with for 2 years! I'll be back with our current progress - let's just say the demo is already done and now we're just working on putting it back together...
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