Posts Tagged With: summer

Work, work, work…house work.

I haven’t been posting as much as I did a few months ago because we’ve just been so busy around our new house. Things are finally starting to look better and I can’t wait to share them with you all!

I do have some semi-exciting news, my new blog is the works!

And it’s going to feature all sorts of fun posts about our house!

Excited?

Me too!

(If you said “no,” too bad.)

(Actually, if you said “no,” I’m sorry, because I want you to stick around and be excited with me. Please tell me what I should write about that would make you excited next time!)

Anyway, here’s a little preview of some of the things we’ve been working on around the house.

This is what the wall in my office looked like until yesterday. After pictures coming soon. Any guesses on which color I chose?

Yes, we had a purple bedroom. But it’s not purple anymore either…well, except for one wall…which is soon to be transformed, too. I hope. (We also have boxes and boxes on still-unpacked stuff.

This is the crazy pile of stuff to sort through and unpack and move in that’s in my office. Yikes.

 

And this, ladies and gentlemen (or mostly ladies…) is the mess of a bathroom we currently have in our hallway. Make you feel any better about the states of your bathrooms? 🙂

So there you have it, guys, a little sneak peak at what’s been keeping me so busy and not-blogging. I miss you all, but my house needs me more right now.

You understand, right?

And just think about all the awesome before and after shots I’ll be able to show you on my new blog soon!

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Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Right now…

Right now I’m sitting on my couch wearing workout clothes, but I haven’t worked out today.

Right now I’m finding other things to do than make the work calls I need to make because it’s Friday afternoon and I’m just not motivated, even though I have a mid-week deadline next week and still need a lot of information to make it.

Right now there’s a pile of clean laundry in our bedroom that keeps getting bigger. I’ve started to walk by it and say, “I’m going to fold you today,” sternly and point at it. But it’s still not folded. It’s been two WHOLE days, people. Yikes.

Right now I’m hungry only an hour and a half after lunch because for the second day in a row all I ate was some homemade vegetable lo-mein noodles that are no where near as good as the stuff I’m craving. (Shout out to that little place in Fayette, where I went to college, that had the best Chinese food in the entire world, apparently.)

Right now I’m staring at a pile of coupons I just cut out that need to be sorted and put away. There’s also a pile of grocery ads I need to go through to price match our grocery list for this week/month.

Right now I’m wishing Hubs was home. Today’s not an anniversary or anything, I’m just feeling a little sentimental and lonely as I think about how much a love that man.

This table is no longer in our living room, but even when it was, this home has been a happy one. We’re so blessed.

There’s a glimpse into my house on this Friday afternoon. What’s up in your corner of the world? Come on, tell me. I told you about the pile of laundry I’ve started talking to…

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BBQ Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Twice Baked Potatoes

It’s been awhile since I posted a new recipe for you guys.

Partly because we were out of town and moving and remodeling and stuff so I haven’t been cooking as much…

And partly because I was too lazy (or too hungry?) to stop and take photos while I was cooking and eating.

Either way, when we got home from working at the fair for 2 weeks at a restaurant that only serves beef (called the Beef House, no doubt), Hubs and I were ready for some variety in our diets.

But…we’d brought home a few leftovers from the restaurant to use up.

So I decided to take 2 left-over baked potatoes and put them in the oven to make twice baked potatoes. (Did you know that already baked potatoes work super well for that? Well, you do now.)

And then I went a little crazy and decided to make BBQ Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Twice Baked Potatoes.

Then I went REALLY crazy and ate the whole thing all by myself and didn’t share any with Hubs.

Just kidding.

That would make me a not-so-nice wife, huh?

I shared with him, I promise.

Anyway, here’s how I did it.

First, I heated up the potatoes in the oven for a few minutes. While I was doing this, I boiled the chicken and fried up some bacon. I didn’t take pictures of any of that because I was pretty sure it was all self explanatory.

Plus, who wants to see a photo of boiling chicken?

After the chicken was done, I chopped it up in small pieces and added BBQ sauce.

We used Zarda BBQ sauce, as it’s Hubs’ favorite, which is exciting because we now live so close to one!

Then, I scooped out the middles of the potatoes and added butter, ranch seasoning, and some french onion dip to the inside part and mashed it all up in my mixer.

Pretty simple.

Then I put that part back in the scooped out skins.

If you didn’t need photos of this, I don’t care, it was fun to document.

And then, I patted it all down flat.

Again, how simple.

Then, it’s time to add the chicken.

Starting to look yummier.

And then I added cheese.

All we had was American cheese, but it still worked out ok.

And then I put them back into the oven.

Yum. (And I LOVE my new oven.) Look at how beautiful those potatoes look in there!

And then I put the bacon on top.

Yup. Definitely delicious.

 

Make it. Enjoy. Let me know what you think!

Categories: Food Fun | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Back at home

Well, guys, did you miss me?

If you did, I was missing you, too! And if not, well, I wasn’t thinking of you at all either. So there!

Just kidding.

I missed you all.

Anyway, the past 2 weeks were crazy busy for us newlyweds as we worked 12+ hour days at the fair and went crazy smelling steaks and onions at god-awful hours of the morning. I wrote more about that here. 

I also went a little crazy missing out new home.

I spent the last 2 weeks at my parents’ house, sleeping on a (rather comfy and brand new) guest room bed. Hubs was there for most of those nights, but came back to our house to go to work for three days in the middle of it all.

By the end of the two weeks, AKA yesterday afternoon, I was never so homesick in my life. I was counting down minutes and half minutes until we’d get there, ready to sleep in our own bed, see our half-painted walls, deal with the mess we left in our half-finished remodel project…and the mess Hubs made when he was here for three days without me in the middle of the week.

It was surprisingly hard to be away from this house that we’ve lived in for such a short time. I was amazed by how much it already felt like home when I had to leave it, even though we’re far from feeling “settled in” here…

And now we’re back.

And ready to get back to work!

After we rest up and get better, as we are exhausted and both seem to have come down with some sort of summer cold. Ick.

And we have internet at home!

That means I can talk to you guys while sitting at home in my jammies instead of getting dressed and driving to Panera every time I want to check my email, write a blog post, or you, know, do some actual work.

(Which is what I should be doing right now.)

So, I’m just here to say, Hi! I’ve missed you. What’s new in your life?

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what’s up!

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Home…away from home

Well guys, it’s that time of year again.

Fair time.

For some of you, the state fairs in your respective states come and go with no chance in your daily life. Not me.

As the daughter of a beef cattle farmer, I’ve spent about 2 weeks every August working in a steakhouse at our state fair that’s run by the Missouri Cattlemen Association for almost as long as I can remember. We serve more than 1000 steaks a day, not including burgers, BBQ brisket, and all-beef hot dogs. It’s a frenzy of feeding hungry, tired and hot people for 12 hours a day in the heat of the summer. Luckily, we’re in an air-conditioned restaurant instead of one of those little stands that sell corn dogs and funnel cakes.

Yup, it’s fair time again. Beef House, here we come…

Still, it’s a crazy time that I’ve come to enjoy in a unique sort of way, and after I got married and moved to Kansas City, I thought my days at the fair were pretty much over. Of course, last year at this time I was pretty much unemployed so I came to work to earn some extra money. And now I’m self-employed. So I “took some time off” to come stay at my parents’ house for the next couple of weeks.

It’s a like a vacation.

A vacation where I work 12 hours a day standing on concrete next to a giant grill.

How relaxing.

But the money will be a good addition to our savings account after it took such a hit with the down payment for our house.

And it’s good to be home…away from home.

Last night was the second night at my parents’ house without my husband, and while I miss him (miss him a lot!), I have to admit how nice it is to spend time with my parents.

Moving away, even though we’re only an hour and a half or so apart now at our new house, was hard for me, as I’ve always been a family girl.

I went to a college about an hour away from home but came home most weekends because I wanted to see Wyatt and I was still involved with so much in my hometown. Seeing my parents was something I grew very used to, even after I “moved out,” per say, and I even took it for granted I think.

Then I got married, (which is great!) and moved away, for real this time. Which was awesome and hard all at the same time. Harder than I thought it would be. And more amazing to live with my husband and best friend.

Kansas City became our home.

But then again, this house that I grew up in will always be home, too.

It’s my home away from home, I guess you could say.

I love that the rooms are all so familiar and even the furniture holds memories. Last night as I sat on an old couch my mom wants to get rid of, I was reminded of the night I cried, sitting there with Wyatt, because it was the night after we’d gotten engaged and it all finally hit me. (I didn’t cry at all the night he actually asked me. I think I was in too much shock…and just so happy!)

In a happy shock after our engagement, how can I not love the house that holds so many special memories?

I love that my mom stocks her shelves with all the foods I used to love when I was living here. It’s a treat to have all those loved snacks that Hubs and I don’t buy for ourselves on an everyday basis.

And I’ve enjoyed building a project with my dad, going through old boxes of stuff for a future garage sale with my mom, and just talking with them about more than just, “this is what’s new with us.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love our house in the city, er, the suburbs now, but I also love it here. And yes, I am counting down the hours until I’ll see Hubs again, but I’m also thankful for every minute here.

There are no views like this in the city, that’s for sure. This place will always hold a special place in my heart.

What about you? What do you love about coming home? How do you cope with being away from those you love? What are your favorite memories of the houses you grew up in.

And

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Moving Madness

Sorry I’ve been posting less lately, guys. It’s just that we’re moving so soon and I have so much to do and our apartment is a mess and I just am too tired to write a blog post with all this other stuff going on right now.

You understand, right?

Of course you do, because you’re all kind, nice, amazing people, right?

Right.

Well, I’ll start by giving you a quick description of what our apartment looks like right now.

The floors are nearly covered  in boxes and bags and such, both packed and ready to be packed, leaving winding trails of walkways to get from room to room (all 4 of our little rooms…). The piles of packed stuff are getting larger and I realized last night it might have been smart to not put them near the door so that Hubs and his brother will have a harder time getting all the big stuff out of here as us women and older folks are carrying all the millions of boxes and such down the three flights of stairs….ugh…I’m dreading it already.

Guess I’ll work on moving some stuff around today.

The thing is, other than moving in here, (which we did a little bit at a time for my stuff, and Hubs didn’t really pack any of his stuff, just loaded up everything as it was) and moving into the dorm an back home three years in college, I’ve never really moved. So all this crazy packing stuff is a first.

How do I even pack silverware? Or plates? Or frozen foods? And how can I pack it ahead when we’re still using it? Are we supposed to just eat at Wendy’s every meal for the next few days?

I’m also unsure how to pack the stuff in the bathroom. What if I decide I need that certain kind of lotion tomorrow and I have it boxed up in some giant tote of random lotions, soaps, and sprays, never to find it again? What if I pack all the towels and then spill an entire glass of water on the floor/wall by our bed so I have nothing to mop it up with? (This may or may not have happened this morning…)

How do I pack all our clothes so I won’t go crazy with wrinkles and having to rewash everything when we get to the house?

What about the remote for the TV? The laptop charger? I need those things to be out where we can use them!

Someone help me!

Anyway, wish me luck guys. If we survive this week, and the next few weeks of crazy at the house while we’re unpacking, moving in, painting, refinishing, scraping, sanding, building and cleaning, we’ll be good to go.

The finish line’s never looked so far away, though…or more worth it.

Happy homemaking, to anyone else who’s dealing with this stuff! And for those that are already settled into clean, beautiful, comfortable homes, send me lists of your secrets, coupons to Wendy’s, and plates of cookies and chocolate.

After all, I had to eat all the candy in our apartment because it was easier than packing it and then having it melt in this heat, right?

I thought so.

🙂

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What do you want for dinner?

Last week was a busy one.

With trying to pack up our apartment and paint our new house, we’re running out of all the essentials for weeknight dinners.

As in our fridge has ketchup, fresh zucchini, and water inside it. That’s it.

Yikes.

(Ok, there’s more than that in there, but still, it’s pretty empty. So is the pantry.)

On Thursday, I had no idea what to make for dinner. I was tired and hungry and kind of cranky. Plus, we needed to go to the store to get supplies for some house projects. Hubs got home, late because he’d had a work thing, and I asked him what he wanted for dinner. He didn’t know.

He could tell I was worn out from working all day (I had a busy week freelancing last week) and wasn’t feeling very inspired for coming up with something for dinner.

So he, like the fabulous husband he is, went to the kitchen and started opening cabinets, looking for something to make.

“What do you want for dinner, honey? I’ll make it,” he said.

But he didn’t find much in there to work with either.

And pretty quickly decided…”Let’s grab a bite to eat out somewhere before heading to the store.”

I jumped on that suggestion and out we went.

Now, normally, we don’t eat out…like ever. Especially on a weeknight.

And  normally, I’m fine with that because we’re trying to save as much money as possible, and that doesn’t leave a lot of room for overpriced restaurant food. Plus, I really do enjoy making dinner for the two of us.

But sitting down and ordering an appetizer (free with a coupon) and an entree to share, where someone cooked and brought me my food and then cleaned up after me when I was finished was exactly what I needed to refuel in the middle of an exhausting week.

I thankful for how Hubs saw that I needed help to get out of my funk, and how he’d taken such a simple approach to solving the problem. He’s so quick to offer his services for the benefit of others–myself or someone else, and I love that about him.

I’m thankful I was able to see past the normal boundary of eating out of a weekday to know that this would improve my mood considerably. I’m thankful we live so close to some restaurants that are ready to feed hungry, cranky wives who can get stir crazy after being inside all day while they work from home. I’m thankful for a husband who senses when I need to get out of the house.

And honestly, with our coupon and because we shared everything, it really only ended up being like $15 dollars or something…which fit pretty well into our budget after all.

 

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Being in over my head…

It’s happened more this past year than ever in the previous twenty-one or twenty-two years…combined. At least, it feels like that.

Why?

Well, because until this past year, I guess my life was pretty safe, stable, and some might say…easy.

Ok. I said it.

I had an easy life.

Not that I was spoiled, but I was never in need of anything, or forced to do anything really scary or over my head.

Until I got married.

And moved to a big city.

Where I knew pretty much no one.

And for sure had no idea how to get around up here on my own.

All while trying to find a real job.

And then we decided to try to buy a house.

And finally ended up doing just that.

(insert mini celebration here)

But there are a lot of things that have been, and still are, overwhelming about all these exciting developments. In fact, sometimes I find myself feeling so overwhelmed that I don’t even know what’s overwhelming me…just that I’m in need of some sort of organization and solution to…well everything.

And in times like that, I make lists. Usually in my head, sometimes written down. So here goes:

1. We know pretty much nothing about fixing up a house. It’s frightening when both of us have no real opinion on a matter and yet have to make some sort of major decision anyway.

2. There’s a million and one paint colors out there, for each brand of paint. How will I ever choose which ones to buy and put on our walls?

3. We have very little furniture to fill all these new rooms.

4. We don’t have a big enough budget to buy furniture to fill all these new rooms…not even thrift store furniture. Yikes.

5. I still don’t have a REAL job.

6. Maybe my real job is being a freelancer. Maybe I should work on getting more jobs and more clients and try to really make this work…so many what ifs there.

7. WHY WON’T ANYONE HIRE ME????

8. How are we ever going to get packed up, loaded, and unloaded in this 110 degree heat?

9. Will I ever run again? Why am I too tired in the morning to get up to do this? Why is it too scary for a woman to run by herself at night? Stupid crime and stuff…

10. What will me not having a job mean when it comes time to start paying bills for the house?

11. What it Hubs has to start traveling more for work?

12. My kitchen is so messy. So small, and yet so messy.

13. My dining room is so messy. So totally and completely impossible to be used as a dining room right now.

14. My living room is so messy…you get the idea, right?

15. The new house is in a state of un-wallpapered walls, mostly-painted ceilings, messy floors, piles of tools and supplies, tarps, drop cloths and messes everywhere.

16. My car is still making a funny noise, and we can’t ever find time to take it anywhere to get looked at…

17. Hubs’ car is too hot to drive in this weather.

18. We REALLY don’t want to have to buy a new car right now…

19. We have nothing in our cabinets to make for dinner.

Phew.

Ok, I’m done now.

Thanks.

Now that I’m finished organizing my overwhelmed-ness (?), I can move on to solving some stuff, right?

Or I can just sit back on the couch and wait for Hubs to come home and help me.

Or I can start wondering why he’s almost 30 minutes late getting home from work.

Oops, there I go again.

Note: Please don’t mistake this post as complaining about my life with Hubs. I’m blessed and I know it. I’m just feeling scattered and overwhelmed with all the stuff going on right now in my head. This was just my way of admitting to the world how un-put-together my life is…as I know that sometimes blogging about good stuff, conflict resolution, and happy times can make it seem like I have it all figured out…when in fact, I most certainly do not.

🙂

What about you, friends? What’s overwhelming you? What in your life is totally and completely unorganized right now? What messes are you cleaning up or trying to figure out how to hide if company suddenly comes over?

 

Categories: Everyday Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Birthday Blessings

Well, guys, for those of you that didn’t know already, Saturday was my 23rd birthday.

Around here, at least for me, birthdays are a special occasion.

I try to make them a special occasion for Wyatt, too, but he just doesn’t get as excited as I do about these things.

Luckily, Hubs was (finally) home from Boston, where he had been on business since Tuesday morning. Ick.

I hate these little trips he has to take away from home. I know, I know, he’s providing for us right now, and he’s moving forward in his career, but it still sucks to be away. I don’t care how often we end up doing this. I’m going to hate it every time.

Every single time.

But…

Moving on.

On Saturday, we had extra to celebrate.

Not only was it my birthday, but it was also the day after Hubs got home, and it was so close to our anniversary, that we spilled it over and celebrated everything all in one.

We started our day off right by sleeping in. It had been a busy week for both of us and we’ve spent early mornings working at the house for the past few weekends.

It started out with a heft dose of sleeping in…because who doesn’t like sleeping in on your birthday…or any day…?

And then Wyatt made this for me.

I’d say that’s a good start to the day…

After breakfast, we went back to bed. Yup. We’re lazy and awesome that way.

And then we got up and went out bargain-hunting. Since buying our house, I’m obsessed with thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, and all that awesome stuff so it’s what I requested we do.

However, we went to like 10 places around KC and didn’t buy anything. Darnit.

But then, we came back to our apartment, got all cleaned up, and ready to go out again.

We looked something like this:

Yes, the photo is dark, sorry guys.

And Wyatt gave me the present he’d brought back from Boston and wrapped himself.

I love presents!

It was wrapped so perfectly! Look at those corners!

If a man can wrap a good present, marry him, ladies. 🙂
(Just kidding.)
(Sort of.)

And it was a great present, inside!

A Boston Marathon workout shirt! It’s yellow! (And I’m going to go with the “inspiration to run a marathon some day, not “faking like I ran the Boston marathon” way of thinking about it)

And then, finally, we went to Melting Pot for dinner!

I’ve wanted to go there for years, and it was totally worth the wait…and the price tag, as it was a triple celebration, after all!

First, we dipped wonderful things in cheese.

Bread, chips, fruits, and veggies. With spinach artichoke dip. Yes please!

And then we ate salad, but let’s face it, that’s not what any of you want to see, is it?

So I’ll skip to the next good part, the raw meat.

A feast for two!

 

And the sauces:

So many choices. I liked the teriyaki best. (Is that how you spell that?)

And then we cooked everything in our pot of boiling delicious broth.

I got to eat all the mushrooms, since Hubs doesn’t like those. Thank you!

But then, the part I had been waiting for all night:

Yup, that’s me holding a rice krispie treat dipped in s’mores chocolate sauce. Oh my heavens. Yum.

It was amazing.

 

Some dessert dipping options. We requested more bananas and rice krispies. But the brownies were also heavenly.

And after eating all of that, we waddled around on the plaza for awhile enjoying the city at night, the fountains, the people, the bright lights. The warm night. (I thought it was perfect. Hubs was a little hot.)

And then we went home and promptly headed to bed.

Of course, we stayed awake long enough to see out the very last moments of “my day,” cuddled up together, all happy and content.

And I thought back to how we’d spent my last birthday… on our honeymoon, in Chicago, at a Cubs game (which they lost! Go Cards!) and then went back to the hotel and ordered a giant apple dumpling, which I ate mostly by myself.

Yes, I know I look awfully “pretty” to be on my honeymoon, but to be fair, I was on antibiotics for a UTI and had spent all night at a very hot, very crowded Wrigley Field.

When I think about all we’ve done this first year, and how blessed I am in this married life, I’m almost overcome with gratitude to the One who wrote this beautiful love story for us, to our parents for both bringing us into this world (Thanks, mom!), and for helping bring us together by raising us to be who we are today, and to Hubs, who so patiently forgives me when I mess up and celebrates our love with me every day in the silly, simple, and sweet ways that are so special to us.

Happy birthday, indeed.

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

We bought a house! Let’s celebrate…later.

Remember back when I made that long-awaited announcement about our “big news?”

Well, then remember how all my friends and family have been begging me for a picture of our new house?

Well, you guys might not remember that because most people that comment on my blog do so in non-blog form. In other words, I’m always hearing things like, “Hey, I saw on your blog that…, I think…”

I’m all for communication, whether it’s in blog form, in person, or even a thoughful text message. Heck, if you really want to make my day, write me a letter. So I’m responding to all you well-wishes here, even though you didn’t leave comments on my super-awesome post that told you we’d bought a house.

So, without further ado, here are some updates on how the new house is going so far.

Closing wasn’t as scary as I’d thought it would be. By that time, the giant check with our down payment on it had already come out of our account, so the emotional damage had been done. This was all about getting through a huge stack of papers before having breakfast.

Yup, we signed all those. Yikes.

Hubs is just as happy about this new house as I am, even though he doesn’t have a blog to tell the world how much this house makes him want to jump for joy, smile a giant goofy grin, scream happy thoughts, and basically look like an idiot all the time because he’s so ridiculously happy like I did…oh wait, I hadn’t admitted that to you guys yet, did I? Oops.

But he’s still happy.

Ok, so this smile is a little forced, but trust me. He’s happy.

The real estate office where we closed even had a special message up on their board for us!

They even spelled our names right!

After all that signing, we’d worked up a pretty big appetite so we went to Wendy’s for breakfast. It was practically free with all the coupons we had to use.

Yum. Hubs is happy here, too, even though the biscuit is hiding his smile.

I went crazy and celebrated with a decaf coffee…

My first “coffee” in months. I’ve been almost entirely caffeine-free since August (Chocolate doesn’t count–we’re talking caffeine-added beverages, here.), and it was delicious. Does that mean I’ve forgotten what real, good coffee tastes like? Probably.

We’ve already started working on it, which is an enormously costly endeavor! How come no one warned us about all the added expenses you have when you own a house. Things like garden hoses and spray nozzles, trash cans, brooms, tarps, painting supplies…the list goes on and on. I sit at home and think scary thoughts about being self-employed, part time, all day as I dream big dreams for this house.

Anyway, our first project was changing out the knob and lock on the front door.

It went from this:

Dirty, old, and sort of broken…

To this:

Shiny, bright, and new!

Oh, and you wanted to see a picture, right?

Are you sure?

Well, ok.

I guess one little picture won’t hurt.

We are trying to wait to have lots of people see inside until we get some projects done. Even though it’s not a “fixer-upper,” we want to wait until we’ve made it our own before we have a house-warming party, and there are plenty of projects on our list already!

So, for anyone who’s curious, here’s our new home!

Hi, house!

We can’t wait to live there, guys, and to invite you all over to celebrate with us.

In the meantime, though, we will be accepting house-warming gifts in the form of Lowe’s gift cards.

Just kidding.

Seriously though, check out my tweets from yesterday (over on the side bar over there) for an update on how our first full day of “house work” went!

 

Categories: Adventures | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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