July 25, 2012

We've moved! (mostly)


Last weekend we moved our bed to the townhouse we're now renting, so it's official - we have moved! I have been trying to find the time to get some pictures of the new place (boxes and all!), but clearly I haven't yet. Things have just been so busy! Since we didn't take off any time from work, we are doing our best to make the most of the weekends and weeknights, amidst all our other "life" stuff. The kitchen cabinets are organized, and our bedroom closet is at least functional, so that's a start! There is still so much to do, but so far we are LOVING being in a townhouse. It really is just so different from living in an apartment! We have a little walkway to the front door, a brick patio out back, and a window over the kitchen sink. I'm in love with it all! Unfortunately there is still a few odds and ends we have to pick up from the apartment, and we also need to clean the place before we turn over the keys - ugh. Our lease ends Saturday so at least I know it will all be over by then! I'll be working my butt off the next few weeks to get everything in order, and hopefully posting some along the way, so keep an eye out for updates!

July 20, 2012

Blogging lessons


Over the past year and half that I've been blogging, I've learned so many things. I thought I'd share with you a few that I wish I had known right off the bat:

1. Be yourself. As cheesy as it sounds, it is so easy to fall into the trap of comparing your blog to others' blogs. Because you are a unique individual, your blog is going to be like no one else's. And that's okay - just go with it! One of my favorite things about blogging is following people who are so different from me, people who I might not have met otherwise. I see other ways to do things and different insights on life, and I get to peek into their lives and even get to know their cities. I wouldn't want to follow 50 blogs exactly like mine because that would be so boring! I love that there is so much uniqueness and creativity out there.

2. Blog about what you love, not what you hate. Unless you're going for a sarcastic, snarky blog theme or you're doing a product review, don't constantly rant about things you dislike. It's negative energy and honestly it's not that enjoyable to read about (at least for me). I love hearing about others' interests, not their ranting about things they hate. Same goes for commenting. I have seen way too many mean comments on blog posts and it's just rude! Don't say something in a comment that you would never say to someone's face. Everyone has a right to share what they want in the blogosphere, and if someone's blog bothers you, don't follow it. In the words of the little rabbit from Bambi (which was also a house rule for my family growing up), "if you can't say somethin' nice, don't say nothin' at all."

3. Blogging is a community. I truly did not know this going into it, but blogging is all about community! All those blogs you see out there are owned by people, and people crave to be in community with each other. I have started to make "blog friends" with people whose blogs I follow, and vice versa. It sounds crazy, but it's true! If you want to join the community, get out there and comment on what you read. I wish I had started doing this sooner. I have followed a number of blogs for over a year now and didn't really start commenting until this past winter, mainly because I didn't know to. It's crazy what people want to talk about and what they'll share with you! Same goes for those who comment on your blog - respond somehow, some way. Either respond to their comments through email, hit reply on your blog post, or head over to their blogs to comment on their posts. You will most certainly miss out if you don't communicate in this blogging world!

That's all I've got for now. I'm sure I'm leaving out a slew of other things, as I am but a mere blogging amateur, but that's what was on my mind right now. What other blogging tips do you have for me now, readers?

July 19, 2012

Fun things

Here are some fun things I've run across in perusing for home ideas amidst our move...

in love!

would be oh so perfect in my kitchen,
considering my deep affection for fresh bread

not so sure this would work well in my living room but I like it

guest bedroom bedspreads?

recovering a box spring in fabric
I so want to do this for our bedroom. thanks Pinterest!

for our little brick patio

Can you tell I'm excited to decorate? I'm also just excited to experiment with the things we already own - arranging them in a new space, trying different combinations, and maybe a little DIY to freshen up some things. We have been cleaning and taking loads of stuff over all week, and Saturday is official moving day! You might expect me to say I'm exhausted, but I really love this sort of thing! Moving to somewhere different, finding new ways to organize things, and making brand new memories in a new (to us) home - this all excites me and actually gives me energy! I'll start with the updates as soon as we're not living in two different places :)

Happy Thursday, friends!

July 11, 2012

Two Years

Today is our anniversary! That's right, 7/11. Go get yourself a free Slurpee to celebrate!

Tonight we'll be celebrating 2 years of marriage and over 5 years of being together. It seems so crazy that it's been that long already. But at the same time I feel like we've always been together, and I really couldn't imagine my life without my sweetie. We are seriously so blessed. Looking forward to a romantic dinner out and reminiscing on one of the most important days of our lives!

photography by Bella Pictures

July 10, 2012

Where have I been??

So there hasn't been much activity on the blog lately. I blame that on a few things:

1. Summer - something about the weather makes me just want to relax, have fun, read, and spend time with people. Hence, no time sitting at the computer!

2. Long days, short evenings - it stays lighter later, so I think it's still "day time" at 7 pm. It's usually already 9:30 by the time I actually start being productive with my evening.

3. Oh yeah, we're MOVING in the next couple weeks! Official moving day is next Saturday, but we will start bringing stuff over starting this weekend. Eeek! It is seriously stressing me out. I'm just ready for everything the be moved and have a place in our new home! And I can't wait to share everything with you! I may be a bit absent in the next couple weeks as the craziness commences, but I'm going to do my best to take before and after pictures to share here. I have also already had some luck with finding some items from Goodwill and Craigslist, which I'll have to post about soon. Love me some majorly discounted second-hand furniture!

Of course my living room is starting to accumulate boxes...

That's just the dining room/china cabinet. Yikes.

Oh but I did find a nice packing tip to share with you. I had a red candle that I didn't want to stain whatever it was next to in the box I was shoving it in, so I wrapped it in cling wrap! Worked like a charm.

Only one room down and I'm already wishing the packing part was over. Unpacking is so much easier in my opinion. Any packing tips you'd like to share with me? I'd love to hear!

July 2, 2012

Chili-Pasta Skillet

This dinner out on our balcony was actually a couple weeks ago. We wouldn't have been able to stand the heat this past weekend - it was a hot one, pushing past 100 and almost breaking a record! Instead we mostly spent our time in the blessed AC. We had absolutely no plans going into the weekend, so we were able to spontaneously join friends at the pool on Saturday afternoon, where I discovered that 105 degrees is the exact perfect temperature for optimal pool relaxation. We also joined them for dinner downtown that night. It was so nice to not have a schedule and just truly relax. I delved into a new Elizabeth Berg novel (one of my fave authors) and pretty much did nothing else. We're moving in 3 weeks, so it was nice to enjoy the freedom and relaxation now, since it will get busier as moving day approaches. It was glorious to say the least!

Here's a little sampling of a yummy meal that is so easy and quick to make if you have all these canned goods in your pantry. Feel free to use the pasta measurement as a guideline, not a rule. Clearly I added a bit more! Hope you had a wonderful weekend :)

Chili-Pasta Skillet

1 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 c. chopped onion
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, black beans, or red beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 4-oz. can diced green chile peppers, drained
1/2 cup dried elbow macaroni or other pasta shapes (2 oz.)
2-3 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar jack cheese

In a large skillet cook meat and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat. Stir in beans, undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, chile peppers, macaroni, chili powder, and garlic salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until macaroni is tender, stirring often. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand about 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

source: Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook