.hello. lovely (WW)

When I saw this online today, I knew right away it would be my Wordless Wednessday for this week. After all, what more can you say?

.hello. yard crasher

Leave it to me and Ran to be the last ones this time of year getting anything done. We buck trends. Why work on your yard when at the beginning of the summer when you can enjoy it? Nah! Not us! We’ll wait til the end when it’s literally so out of control it nearly kills us. lol This past week RJ’s gran had the NICEST tree guys to come out and cut down 3 dead trees in our backyard that have been threatening us miniceningly for going on 3 years now to fall on our house. One bad storm and we would have been an insurance claim. So after the trees came down and with a huge storm coming in a couple of days something just HAD to be done. Now let me just say, most people can cut their grass and it not be an issue in the slightest. We are not those people. We are the people who when you drive through our neighborhood people are like, GEEZE! They need to cut their grass, then follow it up with, my GOD that’s a big hill! You see, our yard is not a yard at all. It is a cliff. Literally the top part of our yard is flat and then it just drops off to this awful hill bank thing that can only be gotten with a weedeater. It’s pulling teeth to get RJ to work on it.
We are the kind of people who to get us to get anything at all done, a fire has to be put under our butts. Grandmother came over today and did just that. Let me just say I’m not a yard girl by any means. My mother LOVES to work in the yard. It’s probably her favorite thing in the world. Ran’s mom is the same way. We did not get those genes. In fact, we don’t go outside unless we have to. Hence our Casper like appearances. She brought over all the goods and Ran knocked the yard out in a few hours. We have what she calls ‘Privet” bushes (I call them bushes from the depths of hell) that line our entire fence and she was determined we knock them out. These bushes are thick at the base and grow out TALL and wild and crazy. There is no trimming them up. There is no taming them. They are everywhere and they get huge. There has been one on the corner of our house in the back since we bought the house going on 3 years ago. It took up a good half of the back of the house, covered two windows to our bedroom, one on either side, and stretched around the side making that side rarely used and often forgotten. I asked her, if we’re doing this, could we please get that one down first. So. We. Did. And it was amazing. Not only can I see a whole new part of my yard and that awful thing is gone, but the feeling of accomplishment and instant gratification was quite fantastic! I’m actually excited about finishing the other ones! I’m just so glad that big one is GONE!

Isn’t it huge and awful?! This is only half of it. I forgot to take a before picture before we started hacking into it.

TIMBER! When that thing fell it was such a great feeling!

I hated that huge ugly thing!

SO much better! I can actually see the forgotten part of our yard!

Now, I’m going to share with you in these photos, probably the ugliest outside of a house of any lifestyle blogger you’ve seen. I mean, we’re suppose to have cool houses filled with lots of projects and craftiness, and I do somewhat, but I’ve always hated the outside of our house so much, that I just let it to crap. I’m so uninspired with the place and when I’m not motivated, I just won’t do anything about it. I hate that about myself, but it’s the truth. Maybe you guys can give me some tips on some ‘curb appeal’ and I’ll keep you guys updated on the (slow slow) progress we’re trying to make. We’re about to extend out the driveway to the side of our fence so we have more parking areas and you simply must excuse our hoarder-esqe carport. We had to get everything our of our off site storage building very quickly and it all just ended up there. Keep in mind, I’m a crafter and a photographer and the props I have out there are huge. I’m also a hoarder. lol We’re currently in the market for a building for our backyard. When we bought the place we were lucky enough to get a house with a huge cement pad out back perfect for a building…. just no building on it. We have no storage in the house (seriously, no attic, no basement, no workshop, no closed in garage, not even a pantry. NO storage) and we are literally busting at the seems so it’s become quite the family emergency. Once that little issue gets solved though, it will no longer be an issue, and we can stop being ‘those’ neighbors!

Gotta have a sexy yard hair shot! Have we established yet that I have no shame?

What is your favorite part of working in the yard? Any landscaping tips? What projects have given you a total awesome feeling of accomplishment?

.hello. chances (WW)

Ran and I have been having a few revelations the past few weeks that we aren’t happy being settled where we are. We are happy, but we are stagnant and we just want so much more while we’re still young enough to make the mistakes and bounce back. We’ve realized it’s no ones fault that we’re at this place in our lives, but it’s also no one’s fault but our own if we don’t do anything about it. So here is to making mistakes, taking risks, and finding new adventures!

Making mistakes is just another way of learning who you want to be.

.hello. chalk paint dresser

So my hubby is king of spotting free furniture on the edge of a road. I mean, a mile away! He gets it honestly too, his mom is the same way. Once she tried to get us to meet her outside of a CVS so we could get a shelf thing they’d put out by their dumpster. For fear of the cops, I lovingly declined. You see, while the hubby spots the furniture, I’m just too worried to pick it up. Once when we first moved into our house we had an outdoor glider his parents had given us and before we could move it to the backyard a big storm came up and knocked it down our hill to the bottom of our drive way. I saw it that morning on my way to work but I was running late so I decided to just drag it back up when I got home. Yeah…. someone picked it up while I was gone to work. I was so upset! I even rode around the neighborhood trying to spot it so I could get it back. (I still miss my glider!) Since then I’ve been scarred from picking up peoples tossed out treasures.
We have a neighbor, that no lie, has to clean out their entire house once a week. I mean, they have a huge pile of stuff all the time waiting for the garbage man. I don’t see how they have anything left! A few months ago while driving home the hubby pointed out a small dresser/large end table tossed out among their other various throw aways. We drove past it and straight home but for hours I couldn’t get it out of my head. Finally, after talking myself through the fact that it was obviously being thrown out since it was on top of piles of cardboard boxes, various old blankets, and random broken kitchen bits, I told RJ we simply had to go back for it, and we did. It’s been sitting disheveled in what I hope will eventually be the reading nook in my room, looking very sad, but full of so much potential. There was not a thing wrong with this guy other than needing a little love and some knobs. Today I’ve been feeling restless and antsy (blame it on the rain and my last day of freedom before rehearsal and holiday season starts) so I decided to pull out the piece and go to town on it!  I’ve been reading about chalk paint for a while now and as soon as I saw it I was in love…. with everything except the price tag. Yeash! Enter- pinterest. After a little research and some time down at Home depot I came home with everything ready to create a master piece with DIY chalk paint! The best thing about it? No sanding or prep work required. I know right!? Perfect for those lazy crafters like myself!

Please excuse the crappy process photos. I actually started painting at 7:30 at night because I just didn’t want to wait for morning for the best light! I chose a deep teal color after seeing so many pieces of furniture online that color that I’d fallen in love with, grabbed some plaster of paris and went to work! Making the paint was so super easy and I’m planning on repeating this process several times over on various pieces around my home. Nothing is safe anymore!

Sorry about the lack of good before photos. I was dying to start on the dresser and started painting at 7:30 at night!

We painted the dresser a wonderful muted teal/turquoise with chalk paint and then distressed it to show the black underneath.

Our new teal/turquoise dresser with mercury glass knobs and a crystal pull distressed to perfection and the chalk paint ball jar I did with the dresser in mind. Imagine someone throwing this guy in the trash!

Have you refinished any furniture that you are extra proud of? What about picking up furniture off the side of the road? Have you done it? What project did you complete from it?

Linking up at: DIYhomesweethome, Keeping it Simple, Be Colorful, Brassy Apple, skip to my lou, making the world cuter, sumos sweet stuff

.hello. neverland

You can just call me Curly! Lost boy of Neverland! Cast list came back this past week and we had our read through and first rehearsal. Life is about to get very very busy, but oh the fun we’re gonna have! The songs seem easy, the characters are fun, the script is gonna get there when we bring it to life. I got to hear RJ sing as a pirate and man oh man was he great! I’m so proud! I’ll keep you guys updated on the journey as we go through it the best I can!

Tomorrow we’re going to the zoo with the bestie and her husband (after we go to the farmers market of course!)! I’m going to wear one of the fabulous dresses I found thrifting today. I racked up on dresses at the thrift store! I found a brand new with tags Oleg Cassini sun dress reg $128.00 and I got it for 6 bucks! I also found a dress simple grey dress from Gap with the sweetest folded simple bottom, a grey one from American Eagle that is strapless with the most amazing trim and boudoir bodice (it’s going to look amazing with a jean jacket!), a beautiful black strapless one from Menora that would look amazing at a wedding or even dressed down with the right shoes and jewelry, and one from Old Navy that is just like one I got years ago that I wore OUT! And all for under $20! It’s the best thrift day I’ve had in a while!

So anyway, I know this was quick and I promise I won’t go this long without a post again. It’s just been busy and I’ve got to get a chance to organize my thoughts out enough to blog about them! HA!

.hello. farmers market

Every Saturday from May til Oct in the college town 30 mins away from us there is a farmers market. 2 weeks ago was my first time going, and I must say, I’m hooked! Fresh fruits and veggies everywhere you look, jams, jellies, baked goods, and friendly people round out the entire experience! We found some amazing vendors who have made a huge fan out of me! Our first week be bought a jar of salsa from WW Farms (on Saturday morning mind you) and it was gone by Sunday night. It’s fantastic! The best salsa I’ve ever eaten! In fact, it’s what I used in my delicious salsa chicken! Wake and Bake Pizza and Coffee was there grilling pizza! I had a fig and smoked sausage pizza. Amazing! We also ran across the Purple Figwith the most fantastic vintage and organic aprons, potholders, snack mats, market bags, and other kitchen eye candy! They make heirloom children’s clothes too! I fell in love of course! I also got to try some amazing breadsticks and a fabulous blueberry french macroon from the Bread Brothers over at Artisanal Baked Goods! Not only can these guys bake, but they’re sweet to boot! I can’t wait til their shop opens!

If you have a farmers market in your area, you really should check it out! I’m thinking of having my own booth next year. I’ll spend the fall working on new jam and jelly recipes and see how it goes. I think I’d have a ton of fun and a little extra money never hurts anyone! 🙂 Are you ready for some major eye candy? You’re welcome! 😉

The Purple Fig and they’re amazing-ness

Wake and Bake creating pizza on the grill!

Baked Goodness from Artisanal Baked Goods and Jamie and Shea!



Jams, jellies, herbs, and more! That down in the corner is the greatest salsa of all time!

Go support your local merchants this week! It’ll make you feel good and you’ll have some amazing food to go home and good with!

.hello. the magic of theatre

I have an audition tonight for Peter Pan the musical! I’m nervous because I’ve been sick since last week and my voice is completely gone, but I can only do the best I can. I really want the part of Mrs. Darling. For me, she is the picture perfect mother. I’ve found her enchanting since I was small child. Her soft nature and steadfast loyalty to her children shows her to be a lovely English lady with underlining strength that sets her apart. I adore her. I started acting in front of crowds when I was 9 years old and before that I’d put on plays in the solidarity of my own bed room. In middle school I played Portia Brutus in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in high school I was awarded the part of The Queen of Hearts in the stage production of Alice in Wonderland. That is where I fell in love with community theater. In college I played Raina Petkoff in George Bernard Shaw’s Arms in the Man and I was also in Suessical the Musical! After college I took a break from theater for a while, (5 years to be exact) before I found CharACTers Entertainment in Rainbow City. I was working a modeling camp where I met Santana, the VP and dance instructor for the group. I ended up doing her engagement photos where I met Cody Carlton. CharACTers’ director. When they told me Beauty and the Beast auditions where just around the corner I knew I had to be there.
Beauty and the Beast was SUCH an amazing experience for me. Getting back on stage after 5 years was such a rush. I remembered why I fell in love all those years ago. When I was 8 years old I saw a production of Beauty in the exact same venue we were preforming in. It was there I knew I had to do that too. It was symbolic of me to get back on stage in the show that sparked the love 16 years before. Acting is in my bones. It’s something about me I’ll never truly be able to get away from. You work so hard for months to bring a show to perfection, then on opening night to hear the stir of the crowd, to see the laughter, the tears, to hear the roar of the applause at the end of the night, to be gifted a standing ovation, it’s an addiction. You just want to do better the next night. Make them laugh louder, make them cry more, make them clap harder, inspire someone else to get up on that stage the next time.
After Beauty closed we immediately began working on Legally Blonde the Musical in which I played Enid Hoopes! Enid was such a fun role! She was my first time playing comic relief and it was a joy! It sounds odd but mostly enjoy playing the villain. It’s so truly out of who I am. The Queen of Hearts has been my favorite role so far. She was so over the top! I truly hope I get to reprise that role one day! Ursula in The Little Mermaid is a dream role for me as well. (Can you tell I love Disney?!) As is Lucy Van Pelt in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
Tonight I will be focusing on Mary Darling. Peter Pan is my all time favorite stage show. It’s so enchanting and magical! Ran and I went to see it at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for Christmas a few years back. I was surrounded by children, but when Tinkerbell died, I was the one crying. When we were all clapping and trying to bring her back, I was on the edge of my seat chanting “I do believe in fairies, I do! I do!” and clapping loudest of all. I didn’t care. The show moves me. There is something so special about never growing up. About never letting yourself get jaded. About always keeping that child’s spirit inside of you. That is the magic of theatre.

.hello. salsa chicken

It’s been quite a fun activity for me during the week to find new crock pot meals to share with you for Slow Cooker Sunday! Last Sunday I was looking for something that I could use the salsa in I got at the Farmers Market the day before. Let me start out by saying, you can use any kind of salsa you want, but this salsa is the best salsa I’ve ever had. Seriously! I don’t like hot salsa and though she can make it hot, this was mild, thick, chunky, and fresh! I can’t get enough of it! I’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn every Saturday from now on just to go by and pick up a jar! I love it! This recipe was super easy and exactly what I was looking for for the craving I was having that day! I just can’t get over how good it was!

Salsa Chicken
8 frozen boneless chicken tenders (or you could use 4 breasts!) *Note, these are frozen, if you use fresh chicken you need to adjust your cook time!
1 (10 oz) can of Cream of Chicken
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1 packet of taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup sour cream

Spray the bottom of your crock pot with nonstick spray then line the bottom with your chicken.
Sprinkle the taco seasoning packet over the chicken and coat it evenly.
In a separate bowl combined your cream of chicken soup with your salsa. Mix well and pour over the chicken.
Cook on low for 6-7 hours.
Once your chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it with 2 forks. Place it back into the slow cooker and mix in your sour cream.
Serve over rice or on a warmed tortilla!

If you want to know a quick cheat that I did. Instead of buying seasoning, tortillas, and rice separately, I had a burrito kit on hand and used a little of the seasoning on the chicken instead of the taco seasoning, cut up and baked the tortillas to make them into chips, and cooked the rice and beans then added butter and sour cream to them. I ate mine over the top of the rice and beans mixture (and it was amazing!) and the hubs ate his with the tortillas and rice on the side! He licked his plate clean and finished the pot! I’m gonna have to start doubling these recipes! 🙂

I think this recipe would also be great with a drained can of mexicorn added in so if you try that, let me know!

.hello. current me (August)

Loving: The time I’ve gotten to spend with some of our close friends lately. I am also loving how motivated I’ve been to cook at home and clean my kitchen. That was one thing we’ve struggled with for a long long time. We ate out all the time and just threw money away by doing so and our dishes would pile up to the point I’d get so overwhelmed I wouldn’t even go into the room. Over the last month cooking and cleaning have really been a joy for me. It gives me a since of accomplishment I didn’t know it would and I really feel like I’m taking care of my family which is always a great feeling. I’m also loving the time I’m getting babysitting Ace. It just feels right having a baby in our house. I’m ready for our own to make an appearance. 🙂

Reading: Okay, okay. No judgement from you! I’m still working on last months book. It would be the quickest, easiest read, but it was the first read on my Kindle and I just can’t do it. I don’t know why it takes me so much longer. I can usually devour any book in a matter of a couple of days at most, but I find myself disinterested in reading when I’m on it. I guess because it feels like another screen I’m on and I mostly work from my computer so it just feels like another job. I did just buy Bared To You because I heard it was a great follow up after you read 50 shades. I haven’t started it yet though. I’ll review it once I’m done.

Watching: Dawson’s Creek. Oh my word. I was 11 when the show came out so I never got into it. I’d never seen an episode until I was at my friend Laura’s house a couple of weeks ago. Now I’m half way through season 3 and if I don’t get a couple of episodes in a day, I get super antsy. It’s so bad it’s grand! It’s so dramatic and annoying and I LOVE it! BTW, I married Dawson in case you are wondering, but instead of movies mine is obsessed with computers and electronics. Otherwise, personality wise, they are one in the same.

Thinking about: Sabastian’s ear. My eldest son (My 7 year old Maltipoo) has a hematoma in his ear and he needs surgery to correct it. That’s all fine and dandy but at his age and in his health we are terrified to put him under anesthesia. It has to be done to correct the problem, but honestly I’m not sure how worth it it would be to correct if there is a chance he wouldn’t wake up. It’s a big decision. One I feel like I’m too close to the situation to make, but never the less we have to do something. He’ll be going to the vet this week. Prayers please! 🙂

Anticipating: Well, we’re suppose to be starting the IUI process in September but I don’t know yet if that’s going to happen. It all depends on when RJ goes to the doctor and if we can get him fixed up in a timely manner. If it does happen though, that is what I’m most anticipating.

Listening to: A lot of Tyler Hilton. His CD has not left my car since the concert. It’s just so easy going, breazy, and catchy. I love it!

Working on: A financial budget and monthly meal plan. We need to get on top of things and see where all of our money is going. It feels like the second we get paid it’s straight out the door and we have nothing to show for it. No more! I want to know where every dime is going so it can be accounted for and we can start saving for the things we want instead of being able to only afford the things we need. I also don’t want to wake up everyday wondering what to cook for dinner. My goal is to plan 31 different meals for the entire month and buy groceries for them all so I can mix and match days and we never have to wonder what we’re in the mood for or what’s going on the table that night. Does anyone have any budgeting or meal planning tips? I’ve been getting really inspired by the posts over at Blissful and Domestic! She shops once a month for everything they need that entire month AND they live on only 14,000 a year! AMAZING! Truly amazing. Such an inspiration!

There were more hours in the day. There are so many people I’d like to see, so many things I’d like to do, and so many places I’d like to go, but alas it feels like every day is booked solid with no time for it. Also wishing for you guys to have a fantastic month of August. I’m sure it will fly by like the past 7 months have this year. HOW are we in August already? Wow!

Thank you to Danielle for the inspiration to the currently posts! You rock!