Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween! We are having a wonderful weekend. Last night we enjoyed our first neighborhood party. There was tons of food, treats, drinks and good company. We met all sorts of neat neighbors. We spent a good deal of time talking to a couple who are original owners and have lived here for over 50 years. Erma is 95 and Art is 88. They were both sharp as a tack and quite entertaining. Erma invited herself to our wedding and I'll be glad to have her there. She is adorable. It seems as if the neighbors range in age, with us being on the youngest end of the home owners. Most folks have lived here for many years and just absolutely love it. Everyone is friendly.



Today, Erin came over. I had already picked out my pumpkin but she hadn't. So we headed down to the local grocery market to get her a pumpkin. There is not a pumpkin left in this neighborhood. So we picked up 2 pumpkin spice lattes and decided to just share my pumpkin. I cleaned it out, she carved a spider.


Then Josh and I took Honey to a "pet blessing" at the Franciscan Renewal Center. They have a huge event that showcases all of the avenues of pet adoption. There were a million different kinds of dogs, many looking for a good home.


Honey got blessed.



I really wish that we could adopt and add another doggy to our family, but I know that Honey is happiest as an only dog. She just has no interest in other dogs. She was miserable living with Cash and still this day howls when she sees him.


Now we are just waiting for trick-or-treaters and discussing what scary movie we might watch tonight. Josh really want to watch The Exorcist. I've been doing my best to talk him out of that. I need "moderate" scary not "I can't sleep for 3 days" scary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mom is coming for Christmas


I'm so happy!!!! My Mom just booked her ticket to come down to visit us in Arizona for Christmas! Yay!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wedding plans commence


I never really thought about what my wedding day would be like until I met Josh. I think that in some ways, I wondered whether or not I'd ever find that special someone and never really wanted to imagine something that may or may not happen. Having said that, Josh and I have been together and knew that we would marry for quite some time. So I've had plenty of time to think about how I can craft our special day.

We decided on a date that seems quite far away, 11-5-11. There are a few factors that weighed heavily in making this decision. We want to have our wedding in our own backyard, during the day. So it is important to choose a time of year when the Phoenix weather would be not too warm or too cool. We just moved into our new home, so we need time to get settled. We are on a limited budget and I am a big fan of diy. So I wanted to have enough time to not only enjoy the big day but also all of the fun project days that lead up to it.

Today, my best friend and maid-of-honor helped me pick my wedding planner. We went to Borders and in true Erin and Sara fashion, we thumbed through each and every option, chose our top 4 and then weighed the pros and cons of each. Does it sound at all like we over complicate simple decisions? Yes, we do! Picking a place to have breakfast can sometimes be a complex task. At any rate, I ended up choosing "Emily Post's Wedding Planner" (fourth edition) by Peggy Post. Who knew that there would be so many options? I certainly didn't. I finally decided on this specific planner because I liked how it is organized. And, it surely doesn't hurt that Emily Post's name is synonymous with "good etiquette".

"The attributes of a great lady may still be found in the rule of four S's: Sincerity, Simplicity, Sympathy and Serenity." - Emily Post

She sounds like a very wise woman and I am glad that she'll be guiding me through the details of wedding planning.



A link to our wedding website can be found at the very top, left side of our blog if you should happen to want to return again for updates. Please note that there is a "guest book" to sign and you are more than welcome to leave us messages there.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Winter roses in Arizona make me happy


Our roses are starting to bud and bloom in our new yard. There is a sea of red, peach, pink, yellow and white. We have huge rose bushes. I haven't counted, but I'd guess that we have at least 10 bushes. Although we don't see the leaves change here in Phoenix, it sure is nice to have winter roses.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I do!



I just love weddings, I do! Jaime and Mark's wedding was very special since I've known and loved Jaime and her entire family for so long. Sedona was the perfect background to what is sure to be a long and wonderful marriage. I haven't been to Sedona in years. It was nice to get out of town, indulge in some fresh air and amazing scenery.


This year has been so busy, from house hunting to house buying to house painting to house moving......we have just been swamped with housework. It was excellent to see some close friends and catch up on their lives. I haven't even spent time with my best friend Erin (pictured above) because we've both been so busy.


Jaime was stunning. Her dress was just as she described it to me. It was dramatic with a big long train and detailed bead work. Her earrings were the perfect accessory to her gown. I was quite impressed.


I bawled like a big baby. I just love her so much. I'm really happy that she found such a patient and kind person to marry. Mark is a gem.




There were lots and lots of unique touches to the wedding. I love that. It is nice to enjoy unexpected surprises while still embracing common day tradition. Mark designed the cake. It was very tasty. 


 I love my friends. It was so, so, so nice to see them. Marietta was no exception. She is busily working on a degree and is often short on time to visit. So we quickly caught up.






Jaime's nephews were very amusing on the dance floor. They spent a few songs break dancing and it was so C-U-T-E that I could hardly stand it. 


Josh and I took our time this morning. We slept in. We stopped and got coffee and visited a bead shop in Sedona called Bead Heaven. I bought a strand of turquoise to make a piece of jewelry to commemorate our first trip to Sedona together. We took in some scenery and had brunch at a local bakery. Sometimes it is nice to not rush around or have anything in particular to accomplish.




All in all, it was just a very nice trip. Even though it was short, it was very sweet and well deserved after all of our hard work this past few months, we needed some rest and relaxation. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dinner Party


If you know me, you know that I love to entertain. So it was really nice tonight to have Josh's granmother and mother for dinner. We still don't have our kitchen even close to unpacked, so we kept it simple with spaghetti, garlic bread and lemon meringue pie from the frozen food section. I broke out our fancy paper plates, plastic forks and cups! It wasn't spectacular but it was definitely good and boy did it feel nice to sit around our table, eat, chat and enjoy each other's company.



Tomorrow, Josh and I head up to Sedona to see my good friend Miss Jaime Froehlich become Mrs. Jaime Lawless. I think that it is going to feel very refreshing to get out of town for the night. 

We accomplished a few little projects around the house last night. It is amazing how important bathroom doors become when you have a guest. So those got hung pronto. We also hung up the drapes in the guest room so that Jeanne could have a little privacy. Everyone seems to really love our paint colors.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Plants from Josh's Mom!


Petunias
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade


Far Left - Ceasar Basil
Full Sun or Full Shade

Middle - Coleus 
Prefers Shade or Filtered Sun
Needs a new pot

Far Right - Butter Crunch Lettuce
Full Shade - Maybe Morning Sun
Harvest leaves from outside - It grows from the center!


Tradescantia pallida
Can be inside or out.
Morning Sun - Afternoon Shade

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Appliances...the good, the bad and the ugly

It was another busy week in our new home. The main goal for this week was to get our washing machine and fridge into place in the kitchen. This meant at least 2 coats of paint on our concrete floors and 1 coat of paint on the walls that sit behind or to the side of each appliance.

Good!

It will be so nice to not have to go outside and into the garage just to get a cold beverage or snack. We made the best of it, but I think that we are both quite happy to have an indoor fridge now. Next, Josh will put a 3rd coat of paint on the floor and then I can paint the rest of the walls in the kitchen and laundry room.

Bad?

We found that the washing machine is quite loud, but seems to do the job. It also overflows if we use it on the "super" sized cycle. Oh well, it was and affordable option to get us by. As with all older homes, there are all sorts of quirks that we found when installing our appliances. For instance, what appears to be the drain for the washing machine looks as if it has never been used and has cap on it that was impossible to remove. It appears as if the former owners decided to just drain the water into the mud room sink. Not our first choice, but it will work for now.

Ugly?

Also, the plug for the dryer is screwed into the wall just a little too high for us to plug our dryer into it. So Josh came up with a temporary solution of putting the dryer on brick legs to make it tall enough to reach. Although this is not a long term solution, it seems to work so far. I am a little fearful that this temporary solution is dangerous, but I'm at a loss at what else we can do, most laundry pedestals run between $200-$300, which is more than we paid for the used dryer. That just seems silly. Josh talked to his dad about building some sort of affordable solution.

To get the appliances in the back door, we had to take the back door off of its hinges, so I took that opportunity to paint it and all of the bathroom doors as well. Now, I've painted every door in our new home except the front door. It is amazing how much fresh paint can do for a room or a door. In some cases, it feels like night versus day, or more appropriately new versus old. 



Doesn't that just look fresh and clean? The laundry room is going to be a bright white, which I think makes it feel cheerful.

And finally, a project that was really easy that I've been wanting to get to since we had our ducts cleaned. I spray painted the old air vent covers bright white to match our trim. It is a little improvement, took almost no time or money, but will make a huge difference in each room. 



Tonight, we cooked our first homemade meal. Yes, it was pretty basic but was one of Josh's favorites, macaroni and beef which his family calls goulash. I think I'm really going to like our gas stove. I don't think I've ever had a gas stove before. I can't wait to get a grill/griddle for the middle burner. Don't let this fool you into thinking that we've unpacked the kitchen. Not yet! I still need to tear out the old contact paper and clean the cabinets before I'd ever dream of putting our dishes away. 


This week brings our first guest, Josh's Mom. She will be visiting for the Fall Plant Sale at the Desert Botanical Gardens. I organized our guest bedroom so that she can at least have a bed, but I made no promises for much more than that. Boxes, frames and beading supplies line every wall of the room. 

And next weekend, we'll finally take time off to go to Sedona to see one of my closest friends get married. I am so excited! It will be great to dress up and feel pretty. I have to admit, all of this work has left me looking and feeling pretty drab. I could really use an evening in high heels and sparkly jewelry. Of course, I love LOVE. So I'm always happy to attend a wedding. And this one is extra special because I've known the bride and her family for such a long time. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rich brown


We were finally ready for first coat of paint tonight. So we headed down to Home Depot and picked out "rich brown" in Behr Concrete Paint. I taped and Josh painted. 

Main Bath

Laundry room

Kitchen

Kitchen

Here is the living room in its current state. It is a total work in progress. Check out the great drapes. I really like them. 



Remember what these rooms looked like originally? They have come a long way! I really love this house.

Living room before

AND

Original flooring

So things are coming along, a little at a time. We'd really like to get the floors done so that we can get our washing machine and fridge moved into the kitchen and laundry. Hopefully that can happen this weekend and we can move onto the walls cabinets and office. 


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