Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting Crafty: Mason Jar Candle Holders

Hallelujah for a holiday weekend! I'm off work tomorrow (Friday) to capitalize on the July 4th holiday. Plus hubs is off and it's nice to spend some time together running countless errands relaxing.

Tonight, hubs headed to the Orioles game, so that means I have the house to myself. Which translated to sushi, reality TV and a trip to Michaels. Which resulted in a mighty fine craft project, if I do say so myself. And now, I shall bestow this creativity on to you. 

I made these lovely little candle holders that I'll use on the deck. Or I could hang them outside in the trees for our BBQ on Saturday. 

Pretty, right? And really easy. I purchased everything at Michaels. You'll need:

  • A mason jar ($1.99)
  • Small glass votive holder ($.99)
  • Votive candle ($1.69 for 6)
  • Ribbon ($.99...I got lucky and found this in the sale bin)
  • Pebbles/gems/sand/whatever strikes your fancy (sand would look great for a beach themed party or luau) ($2.49)
Fill the jar with pebbles, tie a ribbon around the top, drop in the votive and the candle and you're done! So easy, but definitely pretty. Happy Fourth of July! I'm testing out a no bake cookie recipe for Saturday, so if that goes well, I'll have to share. Because baking and me, don't exactly play well in the sandbox, so the less I can bake, the better!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Guess Who's Going on Vacayyy?

That's right, friends. It's been 4 long years since hubs and I have had a "real" vacation. So we're booking it. One last hurrah before we get down to bidness and make some babies. We've been throwing around destinations. First it was Europe, going to France, Italy and Ireland, but then we figured it would be too stressful to do all that travel. 

Then we were thinking Spain and that was on our list for a while. But now? We've settled on...

Costa Rica!

I'm pumped because I convinced hubs to do an all inclusive again! So much less stress. And the resort looks amazing. We went to one in Mexico for our honeymoon and loved it. We signed up for all of the excursions, but guess how many we made? Nada. They were early. We liked our sleep. Can you blame us? But this time around, we're going to do snorkeling and possibly to the zip line through the rainforest. That is, if I don't crap my pants from fear.

The flight is slightly longer than I thought. About 6 hours. Which reminds me, I need to call the doc for some Xanax, pronto. Hubs is going to have to deal with a drugged wife for the flight there. Which is much better than insanely anxious, panicky wife. Trust me. 

We're hopefully going to book this week for the end of July! Time to start shopping for vacation clothes and counting down the days (and worrying about the flight there...because I need at least 3 good weeks of worry before takeoff.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Let's talk about running. You might remember that I tried it last year. I started with the Couch to 5K program and began on the treadmill. Fine, it was working for me. Then I went outside and it was like a whole new world. All my training on the treadmill went right down the crapper. 

Then, hubs went overseas and decided to take up running. I mean, no offense, but he hadn't ever ran a mile. And then, I decided it was time to try again. Outside this time. No treadmill for me. 

So, here I am, Week 2 of Couch to 5K. Am I running a mile? Hell no, are you crazy? I'm doing the classic run/walk. Because here's a few things I've learned about running:

1. It hurts real bad. All kinds of muscles hurt.

2. You have to drink a LOT of water to make those muscles not hurt. Just learned that yesterday. Guess I should invest in a giant water bottle. Also, someone told me to cut back on coffee because it dehydrates me. Never. Nevereverever.

3. You need something else to focus on other than everything on your body hurting. Hence my newest iPod workout list. That might include everything from Justin Bieber to The White Stripes.

4. Running shoes are really important. And I don't recommend Adidas. I almost busted my ass in them.

Let's hope my drive and determination keep this train running. Because I'm signed up for a 5K at the end of August (Free to Breathe for Nana! Deets soon.)

Source: None via Valerie on Pinterest

And I'll end with a quote from my dear, sweet friend Katie (after I was bitching to her about how hard running is):

"Heather, if running were easy, everyone would be doing it." 

So true, Katie. So true.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oh, Baltimore, You're So Cute - Says Owl City

Saturday night, hubs and I attended a concert together...which we haven't done in several years. Mostly because he keeps telling me that we'll end up there with a bunch of screaming tweens. However, for some reason, he agreed to go see Owl City and Mat Kearney with me. Hubs loves him some Owl City. 

We arrive a little early and immediately, I knew hubs had predicted the future. The concert venue was filled with tweens, angstful teens and even young children with their parents. Also, many of them were wearing their Owl City tshirts, which enraged hubs. Parenting Lesson #1 for our kids: "Don't wear the band tshirt to the band's concert. Wear a tshirt of another band in the same genre. This says 'I respect your music, but I'm not desperate.'" This will be a life lesson given from their dad.

Most of the first hour, hubs and I spent people watching. Commenting on teen trends that made us feel old and grumpy. Like cotton candy colored hair, short skirts, ripped leggings, piercings. Which led to a parenting discussion. Note: Hubs says he doesn't care if our kid has hot pink hair. Mmmkay. This girl does. But, that's a discussion for the future.
Ready for concert viewing.

Now, we do love Owl City's music. It's pretty much one guy (Adam Young) who plays a crapton of instruments and electronic apparatuses to make sweet music. Although he's added a singer, cello player, violinist, drummer and some guy who does stuff on the computer. But as soon as he came out and starting talking, we knew this guy had some issues. As hubs said, he has Ricky Bobby syndrome. Remember in Talladega Nights when Will Ferrel is doing the interview and he doesn't know what to do with his hands? That's this guy. So he does awkward things like fist pump and spirit fingers. So.not.rock-n-roll.

He also rocks one of my favorite hairstyles. Emo hair.

Then he said things like "Oh Baltimore, you're so cozy." or our personal fave, "Oh Baltimore, you're so cute." WTF? Really? Cute? Come onnnnn. I just took your man card. But I still love your music. 

Anyway, I guess that should be expected from an insomniac who made music from his parent's basement. Sometimes the most talented people are a little off their rocker. 

Also, Mat Kearney is ah.may.zing. Seriously. He's now on repeat on the iPod. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lessons Learned from Dad

Happy Father's Day! Perhaps next year, hubs and I will be celebrating his first Father's Day? Let's hope so. 

In honor of Father's Day, I'd like to take a minute to recap some of the lessons learned from my daddy-o:

  1. "You don't know what you don't know." - Seriously peeps, this phrase rang through my house growing up pretty much every day. I hated it. Hated the words as soon as they came out of his mouth, while I stewed in my teen angst thinking that my dad knew nothing. But, he was right. When I was younger, I didn't know shit. I learned a lot. And usually the hard way.
  2. Get renter's insurance BEFORE you move into your apartment. - Again, advice from dad I ignored. We got it after we moved into our first place. Which didn't kick in until AFTER the place burned down. True story. I'll share more on that someday.
  3. You won't get what you want unless you work for it. - Dad owns his own business, so a good work ethic was instilled in me as a kid. My sister and I are both workers, and have never expected to be handed things in life. My dad works more hours a week than anyone should, but he owns a successful business and he didn't get there sitting on his ass.
  4. Pay yourself first. - Take a designated amount of your paycheck and put it into a savings account. If you never have that money to begin with, you'll never miss it.
  5. Coffee is a helluva drug. - Seriously, this man drinks coffee like it's going out of style. Although in recent years, he seems to have cut back, in his hayday he took a GIANT thermos to work. And probably got an additional cup or two. I hated coffee. Until I was forced into the working world. Now, I can't survive without it. Sad, I know.
  6. If your kids don't listen to you the first 15674 times, time for drastic measures. - Like the time I refused to hang up the phone after being told three times. Dad's solution? Cut the cord. Or how about when I slammed the door after being told not to. Take the door off the hinges. Had to hand it to him, he got his point across. 
Happy Father's Day, dad! Thanks for teaching me lessons, and making me the huge smartass I am today!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Last Week: A Photo Essay

I may have mentioned my crazy life last week. I've decided it's better show you how it went in a photo essay...

My week started out with visitors from out of town! We drove down to the Dogfish Head Brewery for some beer tasting and brewery touring. 

Hubs (sweet fro, huh?), Ace, Tony and Jen tasting some free beer.

The hubs and I. Like his shirt? I got it for him for his birfday. Pug lifffeee!

Then we packed our crap up and headed to PA for my sister's wedding weekend!

Amped up bride.

We needed serious caffeine. 



Me and Momma

Sisters <3

Cake smashhhh!

Seriously. Stunning cake. 
Hubs and I bringing in the night with some cocktails.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Virtual Playland of Visual Inspiration

Perhaps you’ve been planning your wedding or looking for new home décor ideas. Or you just want to fill your mind with images of cute puppies and cuddly kittens. You hop on Google images and search for on your topic for photos to provide you with inspiration. But your search returns a mish mash of images…some relating to your search and others way in left field (how does a search for blue-striped décor return you an image of a circus clown?)

If this sounds like you, then you need to visit my new favorite addiction website, Pinterest. Many of my blogger friends started displaying images they found on Pinterest, so I decided to check it out. And after requesting an invitation and conducting my first search (for painted wine glasses), I was hooked.

Think of a topic…any topic. There’s images that will match it. Find an image you like? “Pin” it to one of your “idea boards” that you can personalize. Suddenly, all the images that give you inspiration in many facets of your life are in one location. Plus, you can follow others with similar tastes. See what they’re pinning and maybe you’ll be even more inspired (I know, it’s a lot of inspiration from one website.) All the photos are linked back to their little corner of the Web, so you can see where they came from. This is particularly good for items you’d like to purchase or recipes. Let's have a look at some of my pins, mmmkay?

When I have a baby, he/she shall have their little photo taken just like this.

My initial. I think I'll paint it on something.

Dave Matthews quote. A. It's true. B. I think I'll paint that on something too.

Teehee! Cute puggy quote.

A girl can dream, right? Too bad my laundry is in my basement. But I like the setup.

See all the inspiration that awaits you on Pinterest? It’s addicting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now, go follow me (, so I can follow you too! Happy pinning!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just When You Thought I Was Gone...

I'm backkkk!

You thought I left you, right? Nope. You're not that lucky. This past week has been crazygonuts and I'm finally back in my own house enjoying some peace, quiet, and a buttload of unfinished chores. 

We had a wonderful visit with out of town friends last week, that was centered around booze. A tour of the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware (awesomeee!) and Boordy Vineyards here in MD. Our trip was both educational (because learning about making alcohol is indeed education) and delicious. We enjoyed a delightful picnic at Boordy and the next day dined at the Dogfish Head Brewpub, which was delicious. If you're ever there, make sure you order the pizza. Seriously. Do it. It's the best pizza ofalltime. And also order the chocolate bacon cheesecake. Yes, you heard that right. Sounds weird, huh? But it's heaven. Hubs ordered it and of course I needed a few bites. Delish.

Right after company left on Friday morning we headed to my sister's wedding. She's hitched! I gave my toast and didn't get booed, so I chock that up to a win. No one threw up, got into a fist fight, or had a serious injury, so also a success. Pictures to follow in a future post whenever I get my shit together enough to upload photos.

Then, Sunday night, I went right to our nation's capital for a conference on writing for the web. Which was actually very informative. Hey blog friends...did you know you can go to this website ( and they'll give your blog a score? It's based on search engine effectiveness, posting, images, links and the like. Pretty cool! Also, insider tip from the instructor, you do NOT have to enter your email to get the report. 

And now? I'm looking at the massive laundry pile, an empty fridge, unpacked bags and a disaster of a kitchen (because Hubs' definition of clean and mine don't exactly jive.) So it's time for me to get my life back in order before I head back to the office tomorrow. Orrrr I'll just catch up on my reality tv? Hmmm...

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Life Lately

Phew! I've been a little MIA as of late. It's been busy here at mi casa. And it's about to get busier. 
  • First and foremost, hubs is home, so I've been spending some QT with him.
  • I've been busting my butt working out. I'm **trying** to take up running again using the Couch to 5K program. I'm on Day 3, but have been going to the gym in between to increase my endurance. Running sucks. I don't like it. But I really want to do a 5K, so I'm going to do my best.
  • I have some new responsibilities at work in the realm of social media (yay!) and next week I have a writing conference for a few days in DC.
  • We have friends coming in from Texas and NJ tomorrow night, so I've been trying to get the house in order and do some pesky cleaning I've been putting off. And get rid of the random stink bugs that keep popping up everywhere.
  • My sister gets married on Saturday! And I still need to write my toast. I have a start, but it's in my head, and I definitely can't do this thing on the fly, so tomorrow I need to finish it up.
  • Having a house means a never-ending to do list. Tonight I ripped up some flowers, planted new ones, weeded, watered and the like. Thank God hubs is back to do the mowing. Because I have a feeling there's more than one Mr. Slithery around.
  • Hubs and I have also been trying to plan a vacay. We've decided our grand adventure around Europe would be too much for us, so we're trying to narrow it down to one place. Right now, we're thinking perhaps Spain or Belize (random, I know but someone suggested it.) But we really need to get on it because this girls needs a vacation.
That's it for now, but that's all I need. I just need to get through tomorrow then it's 3 days off work for fun and 2 days for a conference! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Welcome Home, Hubs!

After 3 very long months, I FINALLY have my husband back! I picked him up from the airport this morning and he had a lot more hair and a lot less weight than when I saw him last. His thick, curly hair is growing wild and now has a tinge of red, thanks to his red-headed mama. 

And apparently, working overseas is a great way to lose weight. He looks fantastic and is back down to his college weight. He admittedly didn't watch what he ate, but he did work out for a staggering 90 minutes a day about 6-7 days a week. Perhaps they should ship me overseas and I'll get back down to my fighting weight. My 45 minutes on the elliptical/treadmill at the gym feels like 4 hours, so 90 minutes might send me over the edge. And I certainly don't work out 6-7 days a week. I always strive for 5, but 4 is usually my average.

He also came home to a brand new house. And a body clock that's completely out of whack. He's been sleeping since 2:30 PM, it's now 8:15 PM and there are no signs of him even stirring. I tried to wake him up to see if he wanted to eat, but he just made a series of grunting noises and went back to sleep. I'm sure it will take a few days for his body to readjust. And for me to readjust to him being home. I'm used to being by myself and my own routine, but now I have someone else to worry about again. 

I'm so thankful he's home safe. Plus, that means I finally have someone to do the yard work...and take out the trash...and do the heavy lifting...and help take out the dogs. My bathrooms might be dirtier and my living room more cluttered, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Welcome home, hubs :)