Friday, July 29, 2011


Image from pinterest

It's FRIDAY!  I'm taking today off work to catch up on rest and stuff around the house.  Between work and kidney transplants, life has been a bit hectic, so I felt like a day off is plenty justified!

On the kidney transplant-front, both brothers-in-law are doing great and will be discharged today and coming back to our house to recuperate.  My brother-in-law B who received the kidney has requested gazpacho at some point this weekend (he hasn't been able to have tomatoes for 18 months), so I'm going to go to the farmers market and pick up the ingredients.  If I can dig out my favorite gazpacho recipe, I'll post it here next week. 

I'm also hoping to swing by a fabric store at some point this weekend to pick up some fabric for curtains in the future nursery.  I'm thinking plain cream with some sort of embellishment, but we'll see if anything else strikes my fancy. 

Anyway, hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Maternity Clothes!

What could be more exciting than maternity clothes?  (That is sarcasm right there, by the way.)  Right now I'm finding myself in that really awkward phase--I'm too big for a lot of my normal clothes, but some maternity clothes are still too big and I end up hiking my pants up all day.  Plus most maternity tops are swimming on me, since my belly hasn't really filled out all that much yet.  I think I've found what works for now though--maternity pants or a skirt, with a "regular" top or tee.  Tops that kind of skim the body make me look pregnant as opposed to just fat, so that's what I'm going with now.

Anyway, in an attempt to look somewhat pulled together and yet not spend a ton of money on clothes that I'll only wear for five more months or so, here are the items that are (and will be) the foundation of my wardrobe:

Target leggings, $25
Gap tunic, $55
Old Navy jeans, $35
Old Navy denim jacket, $33
Old Navy fleece hoodie, $12 on clearance
Pea in the Pod black skirt, $50
Old Navy white tank, $9
Old Navy black tank, $9
Target black pants, $29

Of course, I'll need to supplement here and there with some dresses and colorful tops, but I plan to keep my wardrobe pretty simple over the next few months and use accessories to keep things from being too boring. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm back!

Sorry about that hiatus there--I'm back now!  Last week was my work week of craziness and I'm happy to report that I survived!  Ninety-one hours, most of which was on my feet, did a number on my body but I held up pretty well overall.  Nothing a massage can't fix.

Yesterday was the kidney transplant and I'm also VERY happy to report that both of my brothers-in-law fared just fine and are now recovering in the hospital.  They'll probably be there until Friday or Saturday and then they'll make the transition to our house.  It was a fascinating thing to be a part of and in many aspects it reminded me of flying in an airplane: it's something that is mind-blowing in theory to most of us, but to the surgeons and pilots that perform their duties, it's something routine and actually rather boring.  And boring is not always a bad thing:  I think you generally want "boring" when it comes to surgeries and flights!

So, anyway.  There's a brief update.  Sorry for the lack of pretty pictures and house projects lately.  It'll pick back up again in the coming weeks as life returns to normal.  Thanks for understanding!

Monday, July 18, 2011


...I've alluded to the fact that life is a bit crazy at the moment (and thus this blog has become LAME lately), but I haven't really gotten into specifics.  So, here's what's up: 

1) This is my busiest time of year at work.  This week in particular.  Four 18 hour days back to back on my feet, high stress and little sleep.  Good times!  Thankfully it's only 4 days and then after that, the work pace will slow down a bit to resemble normal people hours.

2)  During this time, we're gearing up for Kidney-palooza 2011.  What the hell is that, you ask?  My brother-in-law, B, has kidney disease and his kidneys function at like 15%.  He's been on dialysis for about 18 months and while it's great in that it, you know, allows him to LIVE, it's not exactly ideal.  He's stuck at a dialysis clinic 3 times a week for like 4-5 hours each time and then feels like poop for the rest of the day.  So, he needs a kidney transplant and my other brother-in-law, S, is donating the kidney.  Yippee!!! 

B lives nearby, but S and his wife and four kids live in Michigan, so they're all coming down next week for the kidney transplant.  They'll all stay with us during the surgery and for a few weeks afterwards during the recovery, so we've been busy cooking and getting the house in order for the 7 (potentially 8 if my mother-in-law stays with us) additional people staying at the house for a few weeks.  We're excited that this is all happening and hoping that we can manage to squeeze in some Fun Family Bonding Time (FFBT).  I don't think any of us are entirely sure what to expect though, so a lot remains up in the air until we have a better idea of the recovery time. 

And then that brings us to the final item on the agenda and that is Item #3:

Yep.  I've stopped working out.

Just kidding.  In our biggest home improvement project yet, we're expanding the family!  Baby K is due at the beginning of January and we're super excited!  (Grizabella's super excited too, as you can see above.)

This has been by far the biggest reason why the blog has become lame lately.  While I (blessedly) got through the first trimester without any morning sickness, I was plagued with exhaustion and hunger like I've never experienced before, leaving me with no energy to complete any projects or really do much of anything other than lay on the couch and watch episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix (brilliant show, by the way), while shoving my face with anything spicy and then complaining about heartburn 20 minutes later.

Anyway, I'm into my second trimester now (15 weeks) and beginning to feel more human again.  I even mustered up the energy to put the second coat of paint on that ledge in the breakfast room yesterday and did a little yard work while the weather was nice!

So, in a nutshell, that's what's up lately around these parts and that's why posting has been a bit sporadic and a bit lame lately.  Once we get through the next few weeks, we'll start working on the nursery and hopefully be completing a few more house projects prior to the arrival of our little one!  I'll keep you all updated of course as we tackle all of this stuff. 


Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Helllleeeew Friday!  I'm very happy to see you!

I'm going to have to spend a few hours at the office over the weekend, but I'm still looking forward to the weekend nonetheless.  Aside from work, I have a few things on my to-do list:

Rake the front yard
Replant the flowers in the front planters
See Harry Potter (YAAAAY!)
Finish painting the shelf-y thing in the breakfast area
Make a delicious dinner

That's about it!  Hope you have a great weekend! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A simple project taking an absurdly long time

I've gotten lazy.  I started painting this little bench-y thing in our breakfast area about two weeks ago.  It still only has one coat of paint on it.  It took about 10 minutes to do the first coat and for whatever reason, I cannot seem to get off my arse long enough to paint a second coat.  I will do it this weekend. 

Anyway, here's the before and after (just pretend the paint is even because I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to taking final "after" pictures, so let's just go with this, okay?)

Before, it was a weird green color.  The color alone wasn't bad, it just really didn't go with anything in the house:

And the "After":

Don't you love the little ant traps we have around the house?  We've had a bit of an ant issue this summer.  Ugh.

Anyway, the grand plan is to eventually stain the table top a darker color.  The honey color is okay and all, but I think it'd look better darker.  At this rate, you can look forward to that project in about 2015.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dresser Roundup

Erin at Elements of Style posted this dresser yesterday and I think I may have gasped out loud:

Image via pinterest

We eventually need to get a dresser to go in the future kid's room and I think a fun paint treatment would!  So after seeing the pink Union Jack, I headed over to Pinterest to see what other inspiration is out there:

Original image via House Beautiful

You've probably seen this dresser all over the blogosphere already.  It was in the Nick Olsen spread in the current issue of House Beautiful (an issue very much worth buying).

Image via pinterest

This is a cool way to use a map.

Original image via Design Sponge

This is also super cool.  Probably more pattern than I'm looking for, but still really neat.

Original image via Design Sponge

I looooooooooove this mustard color.  And a little piece that size would be perfect for our entry way.

Image via pinterest

This might be my favorite.  You could totally do this using those little pots of paint samples and spend less than 20 bucks to paint the whole thing. 

Anyway, I might just have to start looking for a dresser soon!  I'll keep you posted. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

White Chicken Chili

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  My weekend was good--busy but good!  A bit of relaxation, some work-work, and some cooking.  We have a bunch of family coming to stay with us at the end of the month, so I'm trying to get ahead by cooking a few things in advance.  This weekend I made chicken pie (I'll post that recipe later) and white chicken chili.

Unfortunately, I have no photos of it to share with you (it's in the freezer currently), but it was pretty tasty and really easy.  It's also pretty kid-friendly--it has great flavor, but it's not too spicy.

White Chicken Chili

3 (16oz) cans of great northern white beans
2 (4oz) cans of chopped mild green chilies
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (or you can cheat like I did and shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, finely diced
4 minced garlic clothes (or you can put your big girl panties on and use about 8 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken broth

Heat the oil in a large pot and saute the garlic and onions until cooked through.
Add chilies, oregano and cayenne and saute 2 minutes.
Add undrained beans and chicken broth, then bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and add chicken and cheese.
Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with sour cream and mild green salsa if you want a little more heat.


Friday, July 8, 2011


Sorry for the lapse in posts yesterday.  This is my busy time of year at work and I had only 9182730928 things to do yesterday morning and it appears blogging was just not one of them. 

Anyway!  Today is Friday and that means the weekend is a matter of hours away!  We've got a get-together to go to on Saturday and some house stuff to get done:  I'm painting this weird little ledge in our breakfast room and I want to finish that this weekend.  We also have a bunch of family coming into town at the end of the month for a few weeks, so I'm going to try to do a few make-ahead meals to freeze, like lasagna, pulled pork, and chicken pie.  Easy peasy!

Of course, we'll spend some time relaxing too before work gets even more hectic next week.  If posting gets sporadic again, I hope you understand!

Hope you all have a great weekend! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vietnamese Shrimp Sandwiches

On the fourth, we were stuck trying to figure out what to have for dinner, so we did what we do best: I pick something out in a cookbook and then Chris cooks it.  I never intend for Chris to do all the work, but I'd say this is what happens more often than not.  Eh, neither one of us seem to mind and it always turns out delicious, so we'll just stick with that plan.

Anyway, I was in the mood for something kinda spicy, something healthy, and something interesting.  I turned to the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook (which I'm turning out to LOVE), and there was a recipe for Vietnamese Prawn Sandwiches.  We had frozen shrimp and scallops, so we chose that instead of prawns and that seemed to work out just fine.

Chris made bread from scratch, but a few baguettes would be perfect too if you don't have a husband to make you lovely bread.  Then he marinaded the shrimp and scallops in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sriracha and sesame oil.  He threw those on the grill until they were cooked, then we served them up on the bread with shaved carrots, canned bean sprouts, cilantro, and spicy mayo (a mix of mayo, sambal, and lemon juice--sambal is chilli pepper paste easily found in the asian section of a grocery store).

Super easy, and super delicious.  It doesn't follow Gwyneth's recipe to a T, but close enough.

Neither of these are the best food photos, but that's what you get when the only thing between me and a delicious meal is taking photos.  Oh well!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Rug is Here!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!  I had a wonderful weekend: I spent some time at the lake with my cousin Katie, then came back and saw David Gray perform (he was wonderful), and then spent some time on Monday catching up around the house and relaxing.

In other news, our living room rug arrived on Friday afternoon!  Hooray! 

(We've got magazines stacked along one edge to coax the rug to lay flat.)  Overall, I'm very happy with it.  The pattern and color are just what I was expecting, and it feels really nice.  Plus, it was a great price!

Although the room still isn't done, here's a look back at what it looked like: 

Strange green walls and a HUGE red chair that I recently got rid of.  My mom and I painted over the green one weekend and it's now a soft cream.

I found a $100 sofa on Craigslist (and they delivered it for free!) and then had the sofa recovered in a peacock blue velvet.

And now here we are!  I still need two chairs to sit opposite the sofa, as well as some window treatments.  I'll add in some small furniture (side tables, and maybe a small chest) and some accessories and it should be done!  So, in other words, look for "After" pictures sometime in 2015.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Is anyone else completely SHOCKED that it's July already???  I feel like it was just my birthday, and that was several months ago.  Anyway, regardless of whether or not I can believe it, this weekend is the 4th of July and I'm very excited.  I'm heading to Lake Norman for a little bit to hang out with my parents and my cousin, who I can't wait to see! 

On Sunday, I'm heading back into town and the husband and I are going to see David Gray!  I've loved his music for a decade and I'm so excited to see him.

The rest of the weekend may hold a bit of shopping, a bit of cooking, and maybe a bit of painting. 

Also, this looks good:

I might have to make it (a smaller version).  Recipe here.
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