Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Do You Blog Frog?

I started noticing The Blog Frog on a few blogs that I read when I got back into the blogging world. I decided to add this cute and colorful widget to my blog. I have so say, I am loving it. I really shows you what kind of blog traffic you get and from your favorite blogging buddies. If you haven signed up already or added it to your blog, give it a shot! It's so cute. You can find the widget instruction on my blog frog to the left. Enjoy!

Take care,

A Tour of Shaq's New Cleveland Shack

I have to be crazy but I am a true Cleveland Sports fan. I have had my heartbroken by the Browns in the 80's, by the Indians in the 90's, and hopefully not by the Cavs in the 00's. That is why they have brought Shaquille O'Neil to town this year to give our beloved LeBron a hand and finally bring home a long awaited championship to Cleveland. Shaq has bought himself a Shaq size home in the Cleveland area and I had to show all my home decor fans how a seven foot tall man decorates! I have to say he has done a great job, enjoy!

Take care,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Show Us Your Life: Desserts

It's time for another post from Kelly's Korner, "Show Us Your Life". Today's post documents Dessert recipes. I admit to be cheating a bit on this post, this recipe is actually one of Kelly's own from her Recipe Blog, however, I have been wanting to try this dessert for awhile now and I can't stop thinking about it. Yum!

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
Whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well chilled.

In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool slightly. Add the strawberries and pour over the cream cheese mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Few Updates this Summer

I have made a few small changes around the house this Summer that I wanted to share. Nothing major but a few things I have been wanting to do for the last few months. We bought yet another set of bar stools, this is the fourth set we purchased and brought home, second set that we have actually used in this space. I don't know why this was such a difficult decision for me!! I am finally happy though, it only took two years in the making. I really like the banana leaf texture against our light granite counter top.

Here is the before:

I also changed out the cream and brown drapes with nickel grommets to a chocolate brown drape with black grommets. I think the black curtain rods and grommets seem to create a nicer contrast with our paint color than the cream drapes did. Don't get me wrong, I love these drapes, they have just been moved to the brown and blue guest bedroom where I think they are better suited.



I also purchased this cute tall vase with the sticks at Marshall's. I think it looks cute in the entry way for now, I am thinking it is ultimately going to end up in the great room since it is red but it looks nice in the space for the time being.

I also bought this cute banana leaf serving tray at Target for all of the Summer picnic's we had this year with the neighbors. While the tray is not being used to transport drinks and burgers, it has found a home on our coffee table to better organize our magazines and remotes.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Nursery Homework is Done!

One advantage of living in a new construction development is that you certainly have a lot of home decor and paint color ideas right at your finger tips. On our evening walk around the neighborhood, I noticed a home that is just about finished, had it's door wide open. Of course, I wanted to go check it out and see what options they had picked out so far and came across two painted little girls rooms. One room was painted pink and the other purple. They are so adorable, apparently this family has two little girls! I quickly ran home and got my pink paint chip to compare to the paint color on the wall of the pink room. I really liked the soft, light color of this particular pink so I wanted to see how it compared to Benjamin Moore's Sweet Taffy, the color that I was close to choosing as our paint color. It was pretty much a comparable match which confirmed my decision even more to go with pink paint color instead of green. I think the soft, light pink color will go well with the bedding, I will probably end up accenting the rest of the room with dark pink, white, and green.

What do you think?

Here is the purple room, maybe for when she is older?

I also like the look of this room I found on line with the Pottery Barn "Penelope" bedding. The pink walls and the pink and green bedding are so adorable. Our room will be a little lighter than these pictures:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Day in the Life of my Neighborhood: Cluster Homes

Cluster homes are ideal if you are looking for a maintenance free life style. Landscaping and snow removal are included in a cluster home purchase, however, for a higher monthly homes ownners association fee. This home just sold so I wanted to snap a couple of pictures before the new neighbors moved in. It was originally built as a spec home, not a decorated model. I loved the paint colors, granite, and rubber bronze hardware that was used in this home. It had such a warm feeling inside!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

25 Weeks and Our First Baby Gift!

I came home from work on Thursday to find this waiting for us on our front porch. My brother and his wife in Arkansas bought us our high chair! We were so surprised and so tickled to receive our first baby gift in the mail. It really made it seem real for us that this was actually going to happen! Wow, our house with an honest baby item in it. We are so excited!!!!!!

How far along? 25 weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 19 lbs. I swear half of this is in my boobs, they have literally tripled in size. I have bought more bras then I ever thought I would. Thank God for for cheap Target bras.

Maternity clothes? I finally broke down and bought two pairs of GAP jeans. They are a part of their new 1969 collection and not only are they trendy and cute, they are quite comfortable. My mom also surprised me with a great pair of black work pants from Target. Target is always so hit or miss with their maternity clothes so I was so grateful she found a pair that fit great. Thanks Mom!!!!!

My neighbor has also been very generous and lent me a few of her maternity clothes. I have been wearing her t shirts and long sleeve tops around the house which has been so nice, at least I don't need to buy too many casual tops. She really hooked me up.

Stretch Marks: Still none to report, woohoo!

Sleep: I always get up at least one night to pee, recently, I have even gotten up more than once! When I do get up, I notice my little peanut is awake and she starts moving around when I crawl back into bed. So I lay there waiting for her to move again and then my mind starts to wander to what I want to get done at work that day and then it's just all over and I can't fall back to sleep. I am definitely in boot camp sleep deprivation training for when she is really here. It's apparent she likes to be up at 3am!!!!

Best moment this week: Jeff finally felt her move on Sunday night after a Blizzard run at Dairy Queen. She loved the ice cream, I have never felt her move so much! She made it very easy for her Daddy to feel her. It was so cool!!!!

Movement: I feel her at least once a day now, usually around 4:30 while I am sitting at my desk and laying in bed at night. I was so worried about being able to feel her for so long and now all of sudden I can't remember not feeling her. It's wonderful!!!!

Food cravings: I have been on a cereal kick lately, between milk and ice cream, she definitely likes her dairy!!!

Gender: Girl!

Labor Signs: Thankfully none so far. Keeping cooking peanut!

Belly Button in or out? their is no mistaking my outtie now, it gets to the point where I am noticing it a lot in the mirror when I workout and I really need to start thinking of how I am to cover this thing up before it takes some one's eye out!!! Any tips on how to cover this up????

What I miss: I still miss my diet pop, drinking wine with the girls, and my strength training classes. I have gotten back into working out more and have recently began to use the elliptical machine. There is no aerobic impact and it's a great workout. I was getting bored of just walking all of the time.

What I am looking forward to: stalking my baby registry. My baby shower invitations were mailed this week!!!!

Weekly Wisdom: I had book club this week with the girls. A lot of them are seasoned mother's and they advised me of what baby items I need and what baby items are a waste of time and money. Jumperoo's, onsies, and pack and plays were at the top of the need list. The controversial wipe warmer came up again and they advised me to remove it from my registry. They claimed all it did was burn out half the wipes on the bottom if you are not careful and it's pretty much a pain to deal with. It has since been removed from the registry....again. They also claimed they didn't use their bottle warmers too much and mostly used the microwave. I am still leaving mine on there, I know my sister gets a lot of use out of hers.

Milestones: Making it to the viability stage. She actually has a good chance of survival if she decides to come today!! I can't believe we are here, I am actually starting to refer to how many weeks I have left instead of how many weeks I am. It's just so good to be here and to be making progress.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Home Made Chunky Salsa

I was in the mood this weekend to cook up something that I have never made before. I decided on some delicious homemade chunky salsa. I am a salsa addict, I think it's because it's a mixture of all the fresh vegetables that I love. With a little kick. I found a recipe on line and altered it to my own taste. You can easily change up this recipe too to satisfy your own salsa craving. Enjoy!!!

One thing you can always catch me doing while I am cooking in my kitchen is watching "Get it Sold" on HGTV with Sabrina Soto. This show is my crack so to speak. No, we are not trying to sell our house, Sabrina is adorable and I just love all of her staging and design tips. I love a properly staged home, even if you are not trying to get it ready to sell. I DVR this show every day and enjoy having it on in the background as I cook in the evenings or on weekends.

Home Made Chunky Salsa

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 green bell peppers, diced
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
1/3 cup of purple onion
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, for garnish
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix tomatoes, green bell pepper, garlic, onions, cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno chile pepper. Dash lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving. Serve with your favorite Tortilla chips!!!!

For a little prep tip, I found chopping up the jalapeno, onions, and green pepper with my OXO Chopper really cut down on the prep time.

As a side note, I decided to come up with a weekly poll for my readers. This weeks poll features the debate on whether or not to get the H1N1 vaccination. Since I am expecting, it's a little closer to my heart than it normally would be. At this point in time, I don't think there is enough evidence about the vaccine yet to make me want to get it. I am only going to have a little over two months left of my pregnancy when it is available and scientists are still in the testing stages of the affects on pregnant women and their unborn babies. It's just too up in the air right now for me to make an educated decision. I have several pregnant friends right now and some of their doctors have recommended it and some of them have advised against it since the vaccine is so new and not enough evidence is available yet on affect to the unborn babies. I would certainly advise all of you to make your own decision on whether to get vaccinated, pregnant or not. At this time, I am just going to avoid schools, overly crowded public places, and just wash my hands constantly.

Take care,

Monday, September 07, 2009

Band Alumni Night

As much fun as I had on Friday with the girls, it was a hard decision to make to attend Lynne's shower. I originally had plans to go to the Band Alumni night back at my old high school. Our band director of 35 years, Mr. Lydecker, is retiring and a huge Marching Band Alumni night had been planned at the home football game. I was on the Royalaire drill team back in high school and loved every minute of it. Our high school band was seriously good, I am not just saying that as an alumni. People didn't go to our football games to watch football, they went to see the band. We won state every year when I was a member and they only got better as the years went on from what I have heard.

My whole family attended the event that night so I did get to live vicariously through them. The marching band includes two drill teams, the Royalaires and the Royalettes. I was a Royalaire (flag team) and my sister was a Royalette (dance team). My brother also was in the band and played the snare drum. My brother went on to become a member of the Ohio State Marching Band and my sister was a member of the Ohio State Dance team. The Marching Band has been a big part of our family for many years in both high school and college.

Luckily for me, I found a lot of coverage of the event on YouTube and Facebook. Here are a few video clips and pics of the event. Enjoy!!!

The NRHS Marching Band with the 350+ Alumni who attended. I used to do this march up the hill every Friday Night before the football game!!

A song from the halftime show with the combined high school and alumni marching band members. My sister is down there dancing in the front. She was very sore the next morning!!

My sister before the half time show. I can't believe she just had a baby!

Ahh, those were the days, that was me, um, 15 years ago?

My sister in the far bottom right hand corner with the name tag and hands on hips:

The NRHS Marching band and 350+ alumni marching out for the pre-game show:

I guess it wouldn't be a proper band event if Mr. Lydecker wasn't rolled sometime during the night. I still can't believe they did it! Leave it to tradition....

Take care,