Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Midweek Rendezvous (if you know me then you know I had Google how to spell that)

To celebrate good ole hump day my pal, Lacey, invited me to have a cocktail with her and watch the sunset.

I thought that sounded quite enticing so I agreed.

After a watching the sunset we ventured to Spring House Restaurant for dinner and vino.

Awesome. Wednesday. Night.

Good food, good friends, beautiful setting. Only  one thing could have made it better-- If it were a Friday night instead of Wednesday... because waking up this morning and getting going was tough!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Porch ReVamp (In Progress)

As I mentioned last week Ryan and I took on a project to improve the curb appeal of our humble abode. 

Our front porch tends to be where everyone ends up when we have people over during the Spring and Summer months. So we felt like it was past due to give the porch a much needed RE-VAMP!

I started with a trip to my local Sherwin Williams. After explaining the porch project I left with the paint and stain samples I would need. 

I wanted the porch ceiling to be light blue. Our house is really old. Like for real. Old. The porch ceiling at some point had been painted a really dark red color (ugh) but where it was chipping you could see that prior to the red it had been blue. 

I loved idea of taking the ceiling back to the blue that it once was. (I mean, come on, it's my fav color). 

Back in the day in the Deep South people would paint porch ceilings blue to ward of spirits that haven't moved on from this world. It's an old wives tale.   

So blue it was! Bathe Blue to be exact. 

As far as the actual porch, it needed to be stained. We went with a solid stain in Grey Birch. 

Here's the porch as we began our journey to creating more enticing curb appeal:

It needed help. 

BEFORE. Humble Sanford Abode.
Look at that nasty red. It's dark, uninviting and dirty looking. No good for me. And I doubt it's keeping the spirits away. It was scary enough that spirits were probably telling each other about this great scary porch where they should hang out. 

Let's not even get started on the fact that the lighting is simply a light bulb. 

We have done a lot to the inside of the house... painted every room (three rooms twice), painted all the ceilings and trim, and made it our home.  BUT THE OUTSIDE HASN'T FELT THE LOVE-- UNTIL NOW! 

I hope to buy our own home in the next couple of years, but while our home is here I want it to be loved.

 STEP ONE: Pressure wash the porch. Ryan was the man for this job!

STEP TWO: While the porch was drying (the stain stipulated that after washing the porch it would need to dry for 24 hours) we began sanding the chipping paint from the ceiling. Oh look, Ryan was the man for that job too! 

Oh yeah! Notice the blue paint starting to show. 

After one of four coats of blue. It was tough covering the scary red.
Ryan adding coat number two. I will have you know I pulled my weight on the project. I was in charge of cutting in and trim work. It was 50/50, although Ryan has tried to say it was more like 70/30. Don't be fooled. I am a team player/boss!

STEP THREE: On Day Two we painted all the trim work and poles white and we stained the porch grey. 

Deidra likes the new porch!

 Here's a closer look at the BEFORE and AFTER: 

In a perfect world I would have had plants in my planters and the wreath on the door. It's a DIY Project in the works. So I'm getting there.

I still have to do the following: 

  • Touch up the paint on the swing
  • Plant flowers
  • Get a cute side table to replace the one we have
  • Paint the lattice work in the front (next to steps)
  • Remove house numbers and replace with something more stylish 
  • Trim shrubs

Maggie thinks it is a great REVAMP. 

Oh look, I got an outdoor ceiling fan to replace our more "rustic" approach to lighting we had prior. You can't see the ceiling fan until you're on the porch. This little added touch (which in Design Blog world ceiling fans are uncool, which lets be honest... they are cool) has made sitting on the porch so nice. 

Feel free to stop by for a glass of wine with me on my newly improved porch! We'll sit on the swing and talk about life. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

O.T.W Spring is here

What a gorgeous weekend in my neck of the woods. It was awesome and I took full advantage of the two gorgeous days.

Friday night Ryan and I went to see HUNGER GAMES! It was GREAT. We absolutely loved it. I am a big fan of the books and the movie did them justice. Unlike Twilight in my opinion. At the core I think the Hunger Games are vicious and intense and the movie reflected that.

Saturday morning I tossed on the ole bikini for the first time of the season and headed to the pool. I spent my day lounging pool side, enjoying a few cocktails, catching up on gossip magazines, and snacking on a turkey sub from Subway.

That sandwich looks like one big mess, but it was good!

Sunday was just as beautiful so I tried to be outside as much as possible. I went for a jog, sat on the swing, and eventually rode down to Deidra's family cabin for more outdoor fun.

Blooming Dog Wood Tree

Maggie enjoyed hanging outside with me too. She likes the shade though.

Lake Martin
My cousin, Ashley, has a convertible BMW for sale that I couldn't help but want to take for a spin. So with the top down we cruised around town.

It was a relaxing, beautiful weekend. A great start to Spring!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Healthy Stuff

I feel the need to share a few healthy items or food I've recently discovered.

I'm not a health nut by any means. I more of a "I wish I looked like this super model but pass the Doritos" kind of gal.

But in the last couple of weeks I've discovered a few healthy lifestyle goodies that I think I should share.

First up, Quinoa. Now, I realize lots of people probably eat this on a weekly basis. It's probably old news to many, but like I said I like Doritos and cupcakes... all in moderation but that's where my heart is.

I love cooking and I'm always looking for healthy recipes to try out for Ryan and I. Ryan just goes along with me.

Back on track-- I saw a blog post where two trainers were stocking up on health food at Whole Foods before a trip. The photo they shared of their grocery cart contained a Quinoa and Black Bean Salad. I was intrigued.

A little research via Google and I was on my way.

I tried out this recipe which is only 74 calories per serving when cooked as directed.

That might look gross in the pic, but it was on my  phone. Trust me. It is good!

I did make a couple of substitution. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable broth, added a red bell pepper for more color, some chicken,  and chopped up an avocado for added yummy-ness.

I was unsure of where my culinary concoction would take me, but we ended up in a good place. Ryan and I both loved it. In fact, that's what I'm having for lunch today! Raise the roof if you love a healthy recipe that is also delicious and filling!!!

My next healthy discovery was the iPhone App Fooducate. While grocery shopping this week I was having difficulties deciding eactly which type of Oatmeal (High Fiber or Weight Control) was really better for me. I was tyring to compare the labels, which in all honesty who knows what the heck is going on with the labels. I'm good with serving size and calories, but you lose me with additives and stuff.

So there I was studying away when a lady tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Hey. I think you would love this app. You can just scan the bar code and it will rate the product for you."

Awesome. I had it downloaded in a matter of minutes. 

Scan the bar code.

It gives you a Grade for the product as well as the reason it ranked high or low. 

I was sad that this one got a C, but the great thing is  that I can just  click to see "alternatives" and it gives me different, healthier options.

I may or may not have scanned the majority of items in our pantry that night.

And my last new healthy product is my new shampoo and conditioner. How is that healthy? Well, it says on the bottle it's 100% Vegan. So that's healthy right?

I recently read an article that stated naturally curly hair tends to frizz due to all the sulfates in the shampoos we use. Who knows if it's true, but I rushed and bought L'Oreal's Sulfate Free Bodify Shampoo and Conditioner.

I have had one person tell me my hair looks great, but I think it's because it was freshly washed  that day (as opposed to a few days old) But I like to think it was my Juniper and Mint Sulfate Free Vegan Shampoo.

Keep it healthy, America. (or at least semi-healthy)

I'm off to scan the Greek yogurt I packed with my Quinoa for lunch while allowing  my Vegan hair to flow freely.

Monday, March 19, 2012

O.T.W. St. Patty's and A Project

Ryan and I busted our butts this weekend working on a little project I conjured up.  We worked on our little home's curb appeal. It was time consuming but it was well worth it.

I'm going to do a post detailing what all we did as well as sharing a few before and after shots in the near future.

We had to do some major sanding and I was sure the paint we were sanding had lead in it (our house is old) so I took the necessary precautions. I'm not sure Ryan could take me very serious.

It was so nice to spend each day outside with Ryan just working away. Maybe even a little romantic? I mean, look at me.

Friday night I met up with my sweet friend, Kaci, who was in town for the evening and Deidra for wine and tapas.

Saturday night we celebrated St. Patrick's day. I'm Irish so I am obligated to party.

Here's to a week of awesome weather and being trapped behind a desk! Sad face.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hot Pants

I busted out my leopard print skinnies for cocktails and tapas Friday night.


Monday, March 12, 2012

O.T.W. Farm Weekend with Family

Over the weekend Ryan and I headed to my family's farm for a weekend with the cousins! There was nine of total. It wasn't as grand as one of our ski trips together, but it was great all the same.

Over Christmas we mentioned getting together for a weekend at the farm, and Leslie took the initiative to set a date that worked with everyone's busy schedule, plan the menu, and coordinate the details.

We can always count on Leslie. She's the planner.

Saturday the weather was perfect for our afternoon and evening outside. Sunny and warm with a slight breeze. It was a day made to be spent outside.

The guys played corn hole, Ryan and I rode the four wheeler around the farm, we grilled hot dogs and enjoyed spending time with one another.

*I forgot my good camera, so the only photos I captured were on my iPhone.

The Donkeys

Celinda was sweet enough to bring everyone Strawberry  brews! Ever thoughtful. 

Ryan and I riding the four wheeler. He's a handsome lad.

Robin and Brad checking out a pic.


We got a little low on wood for the camp fire so we hopped in the Kubota and gathered a bit more!

Although the weekend started out a bit slow   ;) I'm kidding. It was an awesome weekend with the fam!
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