April 24, 2011

Tape it, Danno.

Okay so it's book it, danno. But that popped into my head. Happy Easter everyone! I am exhausted after spending a day running around with our niece and nephew and eating a lot of chocolate. So this post will be short and sweet and to the point. The point is for this post- I Helped! And we even have photo evidence. I am sort of on the edge of whether or not to post said pics, because I am in sweats and not looking my best, but alas, I was doing work on our kitchen and legit had my  hands dirty. After all the drywall went up, we had to tape the drywall. That means basically close off all the seams. I asked if we could skip this part of the process since the cabinets will cover everything, but J told me bugs can get in. EWWWW. I hate hate hate bugs.

Here it is in process.

Surprise surprise, look who is wearing 10 year old ripped jeans for this project? But, this is a really messy job so these $7 jeans (confession- I have no idea how much this pair actually cost) were probably appropriate.

Look! There I am! Nice old sweatpants. But none the less, there I am. Standing on a chair to "tape" the drywall of the ceiling. I was quite good at this, actually. It looks really messy, but it is a relatively exact art.

Here's the room all taped up. Do you notice that little red line around the top of the room? That line is being emitted from the hands down coolest tool I've seen yet. I didn't even know we owned it. J told me nicely with his big brown puppy dog eyes that it was "more expensive because it's the good kind". It is a level. But the coolest kind. I'll get into that in our next post... because guess what else?! We have CABINETS hanging in our kitchen now!! Not all of them, and not perfectly, but some are up. And I'm proud. We're moving along. Our deadline of May 14 might actually happen!!

Happy Easter! Hope the bunny visited your home!

Heart Melt City.

Just for the record, this makes my heart melt into a little blob and reminds me why I married J. This is our niece Hazel, and watching him play with her and gently and quietly talk to her is the cutest thing I've ever seen. It reminds me what a great dad he will be, and that's one of the best feelings in the world. Just needed to state that for public record.


April 23, 2011

Kitty Prozac and Pheromones?

I have heard of prozac use for irritability before, of course. But in cats? The vet says Dexter is a "very anxious" kitty and that he might need a few doses of prozac. He actually said in a very calm voice "your cat may benefit from fluoxetine". I replied, "you mean prozac?". Very nice vet, and very knowledgeable. But hello, prozac is so much more of a user friendly word. I digress. So it actually wouldn't be a few doses. It would be f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Umm how much does this kitty prozac cost? We are waiting for blood tests first to make sure that there isn't some other sort of illness going on. But if not, we were recommended to give the prozac a go. I imagine Dex looking like this:

And Feliway. Now, feliway is a cat pheromone that helps relaxation. Feliway comes in spray form, or in difusers that plug into the way. Fantastic, so instead of Glade Linen scents, I can have cat hormones pumping through my house. Just what I was hoping for. I can't help but imagine Dex as a human being, taking prozac for irritability, and hormones for infertility. Poor thing. This cartoon is spot on what I imagine Dex going through, even though I 100% know pheromones do not equal hormones and that does not equal infertility treatment. None the less....
Okay, also I realize I am crazy cat lady now. But once this traumatic stretch is over, I'll return to house renos, furnishings, travel, and love. Wait, I don't really post about love that much, but I will work on that. Maybe. Probably not.

My last concern is this: If I get thiiiiiis worked up over my cats, what sort of parent will I be?! I think I need to let J lead the traumatic times on that front. Here's to hoping that the cats have a UTI, a thyroid issues (yeah that's not nice, but meds would fix it pronto), or that if that fails, the prozac does the trick.

What is my life coming to?

Jeans vs. Duvets

Remember when we discussed Jamie's jeans here? Right, so J is a saver and a methodical spender. But, sometimes, when you least suspect it, he is totally cool with splurging. It makes me laugh.

Let's revisit the jean scenario real quick. J owns some nice pairs of jeans, one of which was purchased when he forgot pants on a trip to Ohio to visit me. No joke, he cannot pack for himself. Many good qualities. many, many, many for which I am grateful. But good thing he married an organized packer, who starts to prepare a week prior to trips. Hawaii could have been a disaster. So, he does have some nice jeans. But, he buys these cheapy jeans and would really be completely satisfied with wearing only those pairs I think. I would say that 99% of the time, J would be happy in $7 jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. Fantastic, right? Since I said I'll take the extra for some of these babies:

Speaking of Sevens, anyone know where to find the super old school kind we all wore in college? My last pair has finally bit the dust and I just don't love the new versions.  My friend Kelly had on the classics when I saw her a few weeks ago and it made me long for a brand new pair of the old favorites.

But, when it comes to bedding, J follows that whole "we spend so much of our lives in our bed" belief and should be in that video from the movie Uptown Girls. You remember, right? This one.
Sheets of Egyptian Cotton.

Sad. Blog world won't let me put the video into this post, so there's your link. Go to minute 1:31. Nah nah nah nah nah sheets of egyptian cotton!

Here's the story. We own three duvet covers. Three nice duvet covers. The one I love most, J says is "crinkly". He actually calls it the Cracker Barrel duvet. Then we have another beautiful one that is dark tan and white square Hotel bedding. But, nope, that one isn't good enough for right now either. Our third one was the one we bought when we first got a king bed. 100% cotton. White. High thread count. That is the one we use all the time. White is not a good color when you have pets. Even if you do laundry a whoooole lot. But J calls it "the cloud" and to be honest, it does sort of feel like one.

Well, this morning, our lovely little buddy of a cat decided to vomit on the bed. Twice. Gross. I am now totally done with that duvet. But could we use a replacement one from the linen closet? Sure couldn't. We ordered a 100% cotton, 600 thread count, all white replacement cloud.

$7 jeans, but high thread count 100% cotton duvet covers? What are we? Royalty?
 Lucky for me, I found a great duvet on overstock that didn't break the bank. And coming home from work on a long day to a nice fluffy could iiiiis sort of nice. Let's hope the replacement is as good as the original cloud. So I'm certainly not complaining about getting a new duvet, but I would just like to say, that in support of jean shopping, you also spend 40% of your life in your jeans.  A new survey told me so.

(Okay, no it didn't, but it is probably true). Sweet dreams.

April 20, 2011

Sometimes... I get wedding withdrawal.

I was emailing with my videographer this week and emailing with my photographer... we should have our final versions of our full video and album soon. I am soooo impatient; they are both lucky I appreciate a good product. And that J is super patient and tells me to be patient too. By the way Rob, if you are reading this, I sent someone your way today... does that mean I get 51 pages?

Then today I was reading my friend Laurie's blog, and was re-watching her "preview" video of her wedding and found myself in tears. I forgot that her husband, Joe, added to her vows, "and I promise to never be late again". hilarious.

You see, in a matter of three months, I got married, and saw three of my good friends get married.... I showcased Sarah and Kelly's weddings on here, and Laurie got married a mere two weeks before me. She and her new hubby Joe actually flew back from Africa the day of our wedding! Can you say jet-lag?!

Anyway, all these wedding related activities make me miss it. Sometimes. Last year, I was living alone in my little (but amazing) Columbus, Ohio apartment g-chatting with my girls about our newest etsy finds, our dreams of weddings, our trials and tribulations of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride dresses, mother of the bride decisions, save the dates, invitations... the list goes on.

Some days, I think our house projects replace my wedding projects. Other days, I would give anything to wear my satin gorgeous wedding dress again and ignore the pile of dust that is currently our kitchen. I think that my other in place of wedding planning dreaming and daydreaming is dedicated to planning upcoming vacations. Thank goodness Sonoma is on the brink, and I am attempting to plan a mini vaca for J's birthday this summer. But... still... my poor wedding dress sits in a closet (cleaned, but not preserved because at one point I had visions of doing a "trash the dress" shoot).  Now, I realize I cannot fit this body into that dress due to a 2 week pre-wedding streak of eating crackers and water from stress and motivation to my very healthy pre-wedding diet to ensure the dress would zip. Let's just take a look at how beautiful she was:
I remember when I saw this dress across the room... It's from the Bliss Collection of Monique Lhuillier. By from across the room, I mean on another bride parading in front of the mirror. I asked my bridal consultant to grab it. It didn't come with that belt. That's a Lazaro belt I had seen a few weeks before and I just knew I had to find it to add it to this dress. Ah, perfection.

Anyone else ever dream of the days of wedding planning, wedding dresses, and dreaming of a fairytale wedding?

April 19, 2011

I really wanted a skylight...

This weekend, J's friend, Jeff, called to ask for a ride home from the car place. Little did he know he was in for hours of work creating a new ceiling in the kitchen. Sorry Jeff, I know you were not quite up for renovating a kitchen in your fancy pants shoes and bachelor party hungover self, but you were a trooper and now you make the blog. See how nice I am?

So in order to create a new ceiling, we had to tear down the old one.
Ugh, so many problems. The ceiling didn't cover the whole ceiling. Yep, that's an issue. The light is sooo ugly and it is just hanging on. So that got removed and we will get a new light fixture at some point, in addition to our recessed lighting that J has planned. Also the ceiling had cracks and patches and was just plain ugly.

My parents were here again (surprise surprise, they are the kitchen heros), and my dad, J, and Jeff did most of this work. My mom and I only lent a hand to help hold up the drywall to the ceiling. Okay, so my mom did. I am too short. I could not even come close to reaching. J had to climb into the crawl space and so he got to dress up in a fantastic costume for this task:

And this was the place he had to look forward to exploring...

Smashing down the ceiling from above was the only way to go...

Love this photo. J crawling through the crawl space destroying the ceiling...
See this is where my mind started to wander... I was thinking, wow those crossboards actually look awesome... and I loved the slanted ceiling above. I was begging J to just cut out the boards and put a skylight in the ceiling. But the biggest issue is that we really don't have the time for that. And it is a lot of effort. A whole lot. And we are running out of that, too. So... I suppose it will have to be covered, and be a normal looking ceiling. But now I know in our next house I want high ceilings in my kitchen with some sort of funky design. Such as these:

It's good to dream, right? And it is also good to see that kitchens eventually are completed. Sigh.

Moving on to our boring no love low ceiling normal height ceiling, we eventually did get it installed.
It took 4 people... plus 1 to take photos. Also, random side note, J has more orange clothes than anyone I know. Orange you glad you know that? Hahaha. Sometimes I crack myself up.
Leave it to Jeff to use the power tools... It is amazing how clean and white this room looks right now. But I really can't wait to get it completed. I'm starting to feel a little antsy about it being finished. Here are some shots post ceiling-ing work.
Okay so currently it sort of looks like a room people are sent to in a straight jacket. It is dying for the cabinets to be installed and the pretty tiling to go up.
We had to move all of the base cabinets out of the kitchen for now to do all of this work... but they are back in there now. We are going to work on building our cabinets the rest of this week and weekend I hope!

Here are some dreamy pendant lights I am perusing for the kitchen:

Really different looks, and I don't like the kitchen in the bottom pic at all, but I do love the rustic bronze oiled pendant they are hanging on.... Just some things to contemplate for now.

So excited we have a floor, walls, and a ceiling. All the basics. But, now I am ready for beyond the basics and a functional kitchen. One month countdown until our deadline... Yikes!!

April 18, 2011

The Walls make Walls!

Last weekend while I was in Connecticut, and this weekend while I was in San Antonio, J did some major work on the kitchen. Well, J and my fantastic dad, who I think has made more trips here in the last month than in the last two years. Thanks, dad.

Well the kitchen went from looking like this:
To this:
Yay completed floor... and walls! Look at those brand new walls. I cannot say how excited I was to have this look like a real room again... and to have no more holes in the walls and the floor where the kitties might fall through.

Speaking of cats, let me go on a mini crazy cat woman tangent. Since we started this project, our cats have been having little tiffs. Last weekend while I was in CT, they started having brawls. Dex even escaped outside and was crying this horrible noise when I rescued him from under a bush. Since that day, anytime we let the cats come in even somewhat close contact, there is hissing, biting, and full on cartoon style cat fighting. We've had them separated and tried the slow introduction thing, but they keep fighting. I am sad because I'm afraid we will have to give one away. Anyone have any brilliant ideas about this? How do I make them stop fighting? We are bringing Dex to the vet (hopefully this week) to make sure he's okay, but other than that we are at a total loss. Poor kittens are crying if we close them in a room, but fighting if we let them out! Help. please. Blog world, someone MUST know an answer.

Here are some more pictures of the kitchen, the actual project you came here to visit:

Amazing. I know, I know, to the lay eye it looks like it is still a mess. But to me, it is beautiful. that is my dishwasher still covered in plastic. I love dishwashers. We didn't have one when we first moved into this house, so I am in love with this brand new one. Love at first sight (oh yeah, it has a cabinet door cover so it blends right in!).

If any of you are brilliant house renovators, you will notice (as J did) the ugly ugly ceiling and light. That clearly had to go. This weekend when I got home from SA, Sunday was kitchen day. And by kitchen day, I mean my mom and I seeded new grass and mulched outside in the sunshine and occasionally lent our hands at the kitchen ceiling. The ceiling was no pretty venture. That deserves its own long post (and a big thanks to our friend Jeff for capturing those pics).

Here are some yard pictures. Now, picture about a week ago this yard being covered in the trash from our kitchen demo and reno. When my mom told us it looked horrendous, we knew we had to do some work.

Here is a bunch of the trash (dry wall, random boards, etc) all piled up next to the garage. [side note: I am in our "man cave" right now with one cat and can hear the other crying like a baby to get in. wouldn't you think they'd figure out to stop fighting and we can all love each other??]

Here's our backyard with some grass seed and a little bit of love. Oh, by the way, sometimes I forget how pretty our backyard is. We so rarely spend time back there because of all our time spent on renovations when we are home. But it sure is nice to have some space. I can't wait to set up our new patio furniture out there!

Can't wait to be able to use our backyard this summer! Stay tuned for the very messy ceiling update. And please somebody find a solution for my stupid cats!

April 17, 2011


Before I get to the house updates, which I will tomorrow with two (long) posts, let me skip back a few. Last weekend I took a road trip up to Connecticut. This is no unfamiliar trip. In my childhood days (I sound so old and wise now, don't I?) we took this trip at least once per month, sometimes once per week. I can tell you every burger king and mcdonald's along the way, and in the past few years, I have also started charting the Starbucks, my much preferred stop. We used to make the trek from PA to CT with our bags packed of toys, our black lab dog pushing us over so she could cuddle with us on the ride, and my mom and dad dicing things up by telling us there was "craaaaazy gas" in the car and swerving. Okay, in retrospect, maybe crazy gas was not the safest idea ever, but it sure was fun. As we got older, my brother and I liked to take our own car so we could blast music and keep the sunroof open. One time, he made me listen to Harry Chapin's "Taxi" 32 times. He kept saying "second verse same as the first.... thirty second verse same as the first".

So I was actually not dreading the drive to CT this time, and had my mom to keep me company. My original reason for the trip was a grad school mini reunion, but we side-stepped to grandma's house. My cousin Jenn and her little guy, Hunter were there.
Could those chapped lips be any cuter? I think I sported the same look circa the 1980s.

After a quick visit with gma and clan, I headed to reunionize with my favorite girls. Kelly was hosting this little get together, and her apartment is gorgeous. I am so so mad because I didn't take pictures. But get this, Kelly has a rule. Don't buy furniture unless it can store things. Nothing open. Everything with drawers and doors and baskets. So smart. I am going to follow this rule from now on. I did take pictures of our outings.

 Kel and Sar sat next to each other, so Elisabeth was my pal in my photo. I wish I could see these two more often. They make me laugh and they make my heart happy.

Only half related, we watched the movie, Charlie St. Cloud, later on. Please someone who actually liked that movie explain it to me, because I feel like I lost 2 hours of my life watching the half dead half alive relationship that this weirdo movie was. That's my official review.

Thanks Kel for hosting and thanks grandma for sending me home with some leftover food (okay so you sent it home to give it to my dad, but guess what, he left it in my fridge. Points for me!)

April 14, 2011

The Interwebs Take Flight with me!

I started this blog last night... and then today... I got on my (southwest) plane and WIFI! Woohoo. But here is the thing, I am almost freaked out by the fact that 30,000 miles in the air (wait, is that really how high we fly?) I can be connected to facebook so I don't miss the random chick I'm not really even friends with from college's baby's first smile on the playground that is not their usual playground. Hey Alyssa, I don't mean you. You wrote me blog love mail, and you (and your adorable Ryan) have won my heart for that.

I digress. Here's my post from last night. Don't worry, I am watching over you from wayyy up in the sky.

Let's discuss my thoughts on flying. Because, well, I am still mixed on them myself. And tomorrow morning, I get on a flight to Texas for a conference. By myself. Every time I am preparing for a flight, I get butterflies the two days before. This is bizarre for a number of reasons, but most of all because I am not actually afraid to fly. I realize I could crash to my death at any minute that my chances of getting in a plane crash are minuscule and that I am way more likely to back my car into the garage door get in a fender bender a mile from home, but something in me gets all hyped up. Another reason this is somewhat bizarre is because I fly a lot. And alone alot. Last year, I flew almost every other weekend. The year before for residency interviews, I flew a whole lot. And to random places. Like Denver Colorado but in the middle of nowhere, and I also found myself sun-bathing at the pool of a Hilton in Miami when the temp read a mere 71 degrees. Most of all though, I LIKE flying. But none the less, every time, I am wishing someone could give me a shot and make me pass out until take off. See, that's the other thing. I don't mind once we are in the air... or landing... or getting off the plane.

I think the truth is, I hate the packing, the organizing, the waiting. I get nervous that if the traffic is bad I will miss my flight, but I pair that with the smallest margin of time (45 mins) at the airport to check in and get to my gate. Crazy I tell you. I can't make up my mind. I also think the other part I hate the most is the unknown of who might sit next to me. I did much better on my flight to Hawaii knowing J was the only person by my side. In my days of traveling, I have, no exaggeration, sat next to:
1. A very large smelly man whose shirt was soaked in sweat.
2. A chatty kathy who saw my wedding magazine (sigh i miss those days) and proceeded to ask me every detail of my wedding, including how many carats my engagement ring is, who was paying, and where I would get my shoes.
3. A drunk dude who puked 10 minutes into the flight.
4. In front of a small blonde child with curly hair who screamed bloody murder and kicked my seat.
5. A very attractive guy who was so perfect looking and put together that I was afraid to ask him if I could get up to pee because I might disturb his gelled hair and guccio shoes.

**Update: Today I am sitting next to a minor who proceeded to tell me her entire story of where she is going and why. But now she is quietly playing angry birds. So I'm safe.

I realize this is a total stream of consciousness and that you have probably all stopped reading by now. Hopefully my flight tomorrow will be smoooooth sailing. I will say I am really excited to get to San Antonio, see some of my old colleagues and good friends, and enjoy some sunshine - even if it's only a few hours after the conference ends each day.

Southwest, I also sort of love you for this in flight Wi-Fi. For only $5. Sure it would be better if it were free... but I think $5 is a pretty good deal. So next time you're ready to take off flying, remember a few things:
-If it's after 10 am you can indeed have a cocktail (my 8 am flight was a bit too early)
-I'm pro-make yourself pass out if your next door neighbor is weird-meds.
-If you fly SW, check in early. Get an A boarding pass.
-Maybe if you pray a lot the night before, you won't get seated next to a weirdo (worked for the most part today)
-Bring snacks if you are like me and turn into a monster when you're hungry. The peanuts/pretzels don't cut it.

I'm off to enjoy a mid-morning nap since the plane is lulling me to sleep. I committed a major sin and forgot my camera (I know, horrible blogger, right?!) so I won't be able to share the beauty of San Antonio, but I'll be back (maybe on my flight home) to update on my few days in the great big state of Texas.


April 13, 2011

Roma Revival + Reunion

Many moons ago, my friend Steph and I graced Rome with our presence for a summer abroad. This Saturday, we met up with our favorite Temple girls from our trip and had a mini Roma Reunion at Ristorante La Buca off of Washington Square in Philly. Now, before I get into our reunion and how Regina almost made me pee my pants laughing, I want to relive the days of Roma for a few.

Oh, did I mention we went through Temple instead of PSU, thus making our grades not count? Awesome.
This is our school building in Rome. You could catch the bus to the left of this pic or walk past the pastries and eat one of those on your way to school. Guess which one I picked.
Let's just say our trip to Roma started with a bang. I somehow managed to win $100 on 97.5 on my drive to the airport. I kept screaming "I'm going to Rome!" as if the $100 was going to fund my trip. Negatory. The Tuohy parental units were taking that responsibility. I also still remember what I was wearing on my flight to Rome, which is so absurd. White puma sweatpants, blue gap shirt, and I had my bright green (then clean, now disgusting but still used) Vera Bradley bag.

Oh wait, maybe I remember what I was wearing because I had to wear it for 36 hours. Our luggage got lost. Figures. Steph and I were ready to buy all of Rome to replace our outfits, until we realized all of Roma looked like the 1980's neon party had exploded. I fell victim to the hot pink fashion later in the trip, but not yet. We stayed at Residence Medaglie D'oro. The best story from our apartments is that our roommate, Jess, who we now love, love, saw us and our (very late) luggage and told her other friends we were all "pink and pearls and sorority". Which is hilarious because Steph may be somewhat, but I think I own like one pink item.

We had the summer of our lives in Roma. We ate tons of food. We especially loved late night snacks in campo de fiori. We also loved the food market there. We frequented Magnolia Bar and imbibed in one too many one too few BBC's, we strolled Piazza Navona, we looooved the outdoor markets including Porta Portese.
Navona, I miss you.
Porta Portese- the usual brilliant colors and packed streets.
I guess I was a bit more adventurous when we lived in Roma. We also woke up bright and early to navigate the bus systems to San Giovanni market and the Underground market, not far from Piazza del Popola. We shopped and ate. a lot.

It is amazing how many years have gone by and how clearly I can picture the walk from my apartment to the school, from the Vatican to the metro, and down every shopping street there is (including the Fendi on Via Del Corso near the Spanish steps). I was absolutely in love with the city, the food, the people, the shopping. And then we went to Ventotene and I knew what love really is.

Gorgeous water and rocky cliffs-- that we were stupid enough to jump off.
Beach  + Restaurant in hill we ate at.
Ventotene was a dream. It has almost no population, and consists of small businesses and restaurants to fuel the tourism. It is gorgeous and breathtaking at every turn. The tiny streets reminded me more of Venice or even Athens, Greece. Twisty and turny and yet, you only could lead yourself to the beach or to one of the many unce unce bars the only bar in sight on the island, built into a cave. I think Ventotenians must have a grande love for tequila, because we certainly did those nights. The pink house in that picture above is a restaurant. We ate the best seafood of my entire life there. Squid and octopus and other gross things that were unpleasant to look at but if you could stomach, you'd be thrilled.

My days in Italy are sorely missed to be honest. I returned the summer after my senior year in college on a backpacking tour. I'm pretty sure every time I got on a plane to go to Europe, my mom had this little bit of her brain that kept saying, "she's never coming back". I had that part too, sometimes I still do... Maybe J and I will have to move to Italy at some point in our lives, after all, Milan is opening an ING Direct.

So after years of not all being in the same place, our leader Jess booked us reservations in Philly for a Roma dinner. The food was authentic and amazing. Our waiter was this little old man who barely spoke English. Score 1 for Jess. But better than the food was the hilarious conversations, the discussion of our lives progressions, and the amazing fact that years later, I can sit down at a table with 6 other women and be in awe that it feels like it was yesterday we were in Roma together being harassed by Italian men, cooking food in way too much oil, and living off of Nutella and $2 market jewelry. But, at the same time, it was incredible how much has changed. Most of us are married, Bridget is a MOM (looks like she never had a kid- lucky), we're on our way to substantial careers, doctorates, being doctors. Our crazy college day versions of ourselves had morphed into adults.

Sort of. Regina still tells stories that make us die laughing, like the time there was a hurrican in St. Lucia on her honeymoon- the first one in over 20 years- and how she decided to make a hideout under the sink in the hotel room with pillows for protection. Our friend Kerry actually asked if Regina and her hubs are "accepting children" because she'd like to live in their house. Jess still judges us for our fashionable pink and sorority matching anthro/nordstrom's blazers and boots. Honor and Bridget can tell us stories about people we've never met before and I can declare them crazy. So yeah, we grew up, but (forgive me for the sentimental moment) I am pretty sure we all left a piece of our hearts in Rome... and with each other. We planned our next reunion already and I can't wait to pull out my Roma scrapbook for this one.

Every time I go to Rome I do indeed throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, because hey, legend has it you will return to Roma if you do. And who wouldn't want that?!
Ciao bellas! xoxo

April 7, 2011

Do not come home with new tattoos please.

J is participating in the Tough Mudder run on Saturday. A ridiculous 10 mile race with obstacles that were creating by special ops teams. It is dubbed one of the most difficult courses in the country. Of course he is participating, he loves adventures. In fact, if we get lost driving somewhere, he calls it an "adventure."

Anyway I am proud of J for all of his athleticism things, even if this Saturday while he takes the physical challenge (Double Dare, anyone?!) I will likely be indulging in pedicures and cocktails with my friends.

So my mudder runner puddle jumper obstacle courser is heading to Allentown with a few guys from work to take part in this event. Now, I was a sport and ran the half-marathon with J in Philly this fall, but this is not something I think I could ever tackle physically. So I am letting him go on his merry way.... with all of my support of course. I am curious how this will effect the kitchen progress... what if he can't walk for 5 days because he's sooo tired?

So at the end of a race you get a free shower (J please take one) and if you want, a free but very permanent tattoo (please hubs, don't participate in this).

Here's the News Video Tough Mudder. For some reason it won't let me put it in here. Oh well.

Good Luck to the Tough Ones this weekend! 

April 5, 2011

Box of Life Lessons for Girls: A Baby Gift

Every once in awhile, old Meghan sneaks up on me. The Meghan who spent 12 hours watching Felicity re-runs with Jess scrapbooking. The Meghan who spent my hard-earned camp counselor money at AC Moore picking out paper that was juuust right. The Meghan who whipped up some bridal invitations for Sarah's shower. Current Meghan is a) very busy b) spends money on shoes and my house and c) forgot how much amazing craft items I own until my friend Rachel recently requested my help.

She called me a creative genius and offered to buy me dinner if I came to her rescue. Hello, Rach, you know me all too well. Rachel has a baby shower coming up, and she wanted a more creative gift than the usual off the registry. When J's sister was pregnant this fall, I created her a tower of gift boxes, each with a special meaning. My personal favorite was this onesie I had created on etsy:
In case you can't read it, it says "A Nino & Emily Production: Version 2.0" since Hazel was to be baby #2. I think at some point I must have told Rachel about this or she just remembered how talented I am... so when she asked for my help, I decided to create a box of life lessons for a girl.

I ordered some items from Etsy and went to work. I made a card for each gift and wrapped it up with a title, so that they all together made up a whole bunch of life lessons.

This cute glitzy pacifier is of course an etsy purchase. So darn cute. And baby-safe. Sure, it will more likely be used as decoration than the calming vice for the new kiddo, but it's pretty. I like pretty. And here it is all wrapped up and ready to be placed into the box:
Next we have books. Seeing as I went to school through the 22nd grade as I like to tell my patients, I am a big fan of books. A big fan of kids learning to read. And I also am a strong believer that men actually like smart women. So I decided this new baby should be let in on the secret.
And here it is all wrapped up with some ribbon:
Next up we have a necessary picture frame. I know it's not as creative as the others, but I think lives should be photographed and put on the internet displayed for all to see kept for keepsakes over the years.
Behind the frame you can see the box that this will all go in at the end of the project... I sort of want to keep it for myself, but I digress.
Then.. dun dun dun... we have the predictable items on the Meghan creativity list. Shoes and clothes. Hehe. I think I gave little Hazel shoes when she was born with the same message too...
"Too many shoes" does not exist. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. True story. Sometimes J tries to tell me, "You have to many pairs of shoes". I say "I can't hear you. What? I think you are speaking another language," because let's be honest, those words are not real. You can't have too many pairs of shoes!

Which brings me to my next point, you also need some cute outfits to go with the cute shoes. So, my secret is this: Marshall's sells designer baby clothes. Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, one time on a good day, I even found a pair of toddler true religions.
Who wishes they had that little yellow dress in adult sizes? SO CUTE. So here is the packaging to go with this one:
After I wrapped all the presents up, I arranged them into this box that I bought that I loooove.
 And while this box looks so cute standing open like this, that's not realistic for transporting. So I decided to make the top look just as inviting as the rest of the gifts. This is what I came up with.
The ribbon on the top looks totally craaaazytown here, but it's cute, I promise.

So there you have it, my baby-to-be gift that I created for Rachel (well really Rach's prego friend). Tomorrow night, Rachel and I are rendezvousing so I can collect on my payment of a free dinner. This seems like a pretty good deal to me. If you want to know where I snagged any of the other items, give me a shout. Until then, Happy Baby shopping! Maybe I should start a new career? Hmmm xo
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