Friday, April 29, 2011

Gotta do it

With my obsession with weddings did you really think I wouldn't post about the Royal Wedding today? Please. I live for this shit. This is my super bowl times a million.

I was up at 5:30am to watch the festivities. And yes that's earlier than I got up on my own wedding day.

Quick thoughts on everything:

-Kate = STUNNING! I mean seriously, girl made a gorgeous bride.

-The dress- I heart her dress big time. Beautiful, classy, timeless. Well done. Very similar to Grace Kelly's dress which I also loved. Not that that should be a surprise since I wore a lace dress myself.

-Prince William- not a fan of the red suit, I think he should have gone with black like Prince Harry.

-Pippa- LOVED LOVED LOVED her dress and I'm so glad she went with something more modern than some poofy monstrosity.

-Westminster Abbey- Gorgeous church. Really beautiful. Though I don't get the whole audience facing the aisle seating. Can someone explain that to me? Personally I wouldn't have wanted to be there, most of those guests couldn't see a thing.

-Ceremony- I really enjoyed watching them exchange vows and the ring (wish William had a ring as well) but once all the music and readings started I went to take a shower.

-The Kiss- I missed this because I was driving to work but thanks to my faithful DVR I will watch it later.

-Titles- so the newlyweds will now be titled with Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Personally I wish they could just go by Prince William and Princess Catherine but I guess there are rules and shit. To me she'll always be a princess.

Overall I thought the wedding was beautiful and I can't wait to hear about more of the details of the reception/after party. Yep I'm a sucker for royal weddings.

Did you watch?

*images via Google Images

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weekly Rants

--This weather is ridiculous, who the hell pissed off Mother Nature? Tornadoes? Really? In VA? And I'm so sick of rain, I get the whole April showers blah blah blah but I'm over it.

--As a sister rant to the weather...traffic has been an evil, ugly bitch this week. I understand that it won't be as light as last week was because of spring break but good Lord, it's worse than it's been in months. Did people just forget how to drive or something. And I realize the shitty weather doesn't help matter but adding another 15 minutes to my already hour long commute is unacceptable.

--I would like just ONE night of good sleep. I haven't slept well in about two weeks. I fall asleep fine, sleep for about 2-3 hours, wake up and toss and turn the rest of the night. I'm over it and just want a solid 12 hours of sleep. Is that too much to ask for?

--I am desperate for a vacation. I haven't had a week off since my honeymoon last May! But due to my husband's lack of vacation leave and our lack of money looks like I'll be staying put. I could do a "staycation" at home but I would be so bored after 3 days I would beg to come back to work. There is only so much daytime t.v. a person can watch.

--I'm so sick of the "hurry up and wait" mentality. Everything is such a rush until you need something from them and then you sit around for days/weeks waiting for them.

--Bills. No explanation needed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Recap

Our Easter weekend was very nice and I was fortunate to see several people I hadn't  seen in a long time.


-Had the day off work and spent most of it on the couch relaxing and watching t.v. perfect for a rainy day.


-Went to the animal shelter on the never-ending hunt for a dog. There were only two there, neither of which we were interested in. This whole getting a dog thing (and not paying $600 for it) is harder than we thought.

-Went to visit my friend and MOH Krista and her husband at her dad's house in MD. They were in town for the holiday and I finally got to meet their daughter Abby who is already 6 months old. She is such a sweet little girl.

-My oldest brother came over to grill out and get some dating advice. He and Kristian then went out to some of the local bars to try to find him a woman! Unfortunately it was an unsuccessful mission.


-We decided to go over to my in-laws house for Easter lunch. We originally hadn't planned on going (long story) but decided to after all. The food was awesome and we were able to see some extended family we hadn't seen since the wedding last year!

-That night I ate a bunch of leftovers while watching all the specials on TLC about the royal wedding.

**Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from Easter, my MIL took a bunch but hasn't sent them to me yet. If I ever get them I may post a few. It was about 90 degrees on Sunday and my hair was a frizzy mess so we'll see.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday more like Great Friday

Today I got an unexpected day off for Good Friday. Normally we don't get holidays like this off, we stick to the "big" holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years etc. So I was thrilled when on Tuesday my boss came into my office asking me how I felt about us being closed on Friday. Uh I felt GREAT about us being closed on Friday. Two of my coworkers were already on vacation this week and everyone else didn't seem to be overly busy so she said we could close the office. Unexpected three day weekends = Win!

So I'm spending this lazy Friday on the couch, watching cheesy daytime t.v., surfing the Internet and reading magazines. Oh and checking my work email a few times to make sure things keep moving (I'm such a good little worker).

As for Easter, we're still a bit up in the air about our plans but I suspect we may spend it together just the two of us.

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring is in Bloom

Not only have we had a lot of updates and changes to make to the inside of our house but there are many changes we plan to make to the outside as well, primarily in regards to landscaping. Because of what Kristian does for a living and the people he's worked/friends with we have a great plan for both the front and back of our house and thanks to some hook ups we should be able to get everything for relatively inexpensive.

However we need to get our plans approved through the HOA and then we can get started hopefully in May with all the landscaping. In the meantime our house was looking pretty drab and boring so this past weekend we Kristian went to Home Depot and bought some plants to help brighten things up a bit. I leave all the planting/flowers/landscaping to him, not only because it's part of his job but also because I can't even keep a cactus alive.

There's still a lot to be done but the small additions already make the place look better from the outside.

Here's the front doorway. I LOVE our red door (though it needs to be repainted) so I think having the red flowers in the blue pot really help bring out the colors in the house.


Couldn't tell you what these flowers are called. But I like them.

He also potted some flowers and herbs to keep on both the upper and lower decks in the back.

It's amazing what a few plants can really do to the outside of a house. I can't wait to get all the landscaping done and add a tree or two out front.

Have you planted any flowers this season?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

House Tour- Dining Room

Our dining room is currently one of my most favorite rooms in the house. I think that's partly due to the fact that is the room that it's the most complete and the only one that currently has paint on the walls. Unlike in the condo, where we rarely used the dining room, we actually get a lot of use out of this room. We actually eat most of our meals in here. It helps that we can see the t.v. in the living room from the table.

Below are two pictures of the dining room before we moved in. Pretty standard. Nothing special.

Below are the 'after' pictures. Please pardon the shitty quality. We still haven't gotten a new camera so you're stuck with phone pictures.

Here's the view of the whole dining room from the stairs. When you enter the house, you pass the kitchen then walk into the open space that includes the dining room and the step down living room.

We had red walls in the condo and loved it. Cliche color for a dining room. Perhaps. But we like it so that's that. The only new things we bought were the picture frames that are on the wall to the right. Everything else we had already.

Here's the view you see when you first enter the open space from the entry hallway. As you can see it's open to the living room which gives everything a nice flow. Eventually we would like to get a larger table that can accommodate more guests but for now this works.

We switched out the old light fixture with the one we had in the condo. It matches everything much better. We'll probably try to sell the old one on Craig's List.

Here's the matching wine rack. We have pictures of both of our families from our engagement party on top.

This is the view from the wine rack wall. Kristian wanted to paint this wall red as well but I thought it would be too much. We agreed this wall would be painted the same color as the living room eventually since it flows right into it. We plan to paint both a light gold similar to the color in the painting. Something light so that this whole area isn't full of such dark colors. That doorway leads down to Kristian's 'man cave'.

Here's our photo collage wall. I've been wanting to do this since we first moved in. I really wanted a spot to display a lot of our wedding pictures and I love how the black and white looks against the red walls. Per Kristian I was not allowed to use ALL wedding photos (though most are) so we have a couple honeymoon, engagement pics, rehearsal dinner picture and one photo from our Jamaica trip mixed in.  It's probably a bit narcissistic to have a wall of photos dedicate to yourself but I paid a lot of money to get those pictures taken, damn right I'm going to display them!  I'm sure as time goes on and once we have a kid we'll switch out the photos and update this area. We may also add a few more photos to the right and below to really fill the wall up.


The next two are closer shots of each side of the wall. Since the camera on my blackberry sucks it was hard to get these to come out well. The one on the top left was a Christmas gift from my mom, it's one of those prints where they spell each letter of your name using an inanimate object that looks like that letter. The photo below that is a picture of us exchanging rings with the text of one of our readings from the wedding called "Blessing of the Hands". **I stole this idea from my girl K.Law who had the same reading in her wedding and a similar photo frame in her house.

So that's our dining room. I love the way it's turned out so far and I'm happy that at least one of our rooms is pretty much complete.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Budget Bitch

One of the hardest adjustments of being married has been merging our finances and coming up with a realistic budget that we both can stick too. With purchase of our new house, we're still trying to adjust and figure out how much all the new bills will add up to each month. Thankfully with Kristian's new job it makes bill paying much easier however I still continue to feel like it's impossible to stay ahead of the game and not be constantly worried about money/bills.

We both agreed that I would be in charge of paying the bills, watching the accounts and the budget etc. I'm just more organized and anal retentive with it comes to that stuff. But that also means that I'm the one constantly looking at the bank account and watching the money come in and more often go out and it's stressful, especially a few days before we're set to get paid again and the funds are running low.

You see I really don't like going below a certain amount in either our joint checking account or my personal checking account.  I think it's important to have some kind of buffer in there for any unexpected bills or expenses and I hate the idea of having to live paycheck to paycheck (though we more or less are). Don't get me wrong money gets put into savings immediately when we get paid but once it's in savings I consider it gone forever because it's not money we plan to use for a while.

So with all that said I can't help but feel like the budget bitch. Kristian is really good about always asking me before he makes any "unnecessary" purchase, to make sure there's enough money in the account for it and so that I won't get pissed when I see it unexpectedly show up online. Since he knows I'll see it on the account there's no point trying to hide it. And I do appreciate that but I also always feel bad when he calls wanting to buy something (usually right before we're due to get paid again) and I have to say no or tell him to wait a few more days so that the account won't get too low.

He says he doesn't mind and he appreciates that I'm watching the money so closely but I don't ever want him to feel like he's in prison or that I'm a stingy parent who won't ever let him buy anything fun with his own money.  I also hate feeling like a nag by telling him "okay try not to spend too much the next few days" or "do you really need to buy that right now?"  I try to factor miscellaneous purchases into the budget each month for such things but it's amazing how quickly that gets spent. It's a hard responsibility to have and I'm fortunate that he doesn't give me a hard time about it, but I still feel bad.

So I'm curious how it works in other relationships. Are you the one in charge of the finances? Do you have to put spending restrictions on your partner? Am I the only one that feels bad having to say no?

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Internet vs.

At lunch my coworker was talking about a segment she heard on the radio about what people would rather give up for a year the Internet or  _______.  For instance they asked:

-Would you rather give up alcohol or the Internet for a year?
For me I would give up alcohol no problem. I'm not a big drinker to begin with so it wouldn't be that hard. I think most women could do this since they pretty much have to if/when they have a baby.

-Would you rather give up the Internet or brushing your teeth for a year?  Based on the poll apparently more men would rather give up brushing their teeth. Why am I not surprised? It would be tough but I would have to give up the Internet, at least if I wanted to keep my husband. Now if mouthwash was allowed I may change my mind...

So what would you be willing to give up for a year in order to keep the Internet? Booze? Hygiene? Shopping? Sex???

Friday, April 8, 2011

$700 worth of cuteness

I got this text from Kristian the other day:

"10 weeks old. Little girl. I want."

Kristian is DYING to get a puppy. He asks me almost daily if we can get a dog. You would think he was a little kid. I keep telling him I want to wait until we get the back part of the fence built (we just have the two sides we share with the neighbors). I also want to get a little more money in the bank because pets are expensive and we already have two cats and a turtle. He keeps saying one day I'm going to come home and find a puppy. I told him I would prefer to help pick out our future pet. That's not the kind of thing I want to be surprised with. 

We both really like Dachshunds (his parents, sister and uncle all have dachshunds) and we would prefer a girl and also really like the red heads so really this little puppy fits the bill. However it's also $700 at the pet store. No thank you. I don't really want to buy a dog from a pet store or breeder, I would much prefer adopting from the animal shelter or rescue.

I'm not gonna lie if he had found this little girl at the shelter and she was more budget friendly I may have actually agreed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My two new obsessions

Did anybody catch the new show on TLC Extreme Couponing? I got sucked into this last night and it was fascinating. Even Kristian couldn't resist watching this insanity and he normally hates all of my reality shows.

The show follows various women and their families as they take part in these monster grocery shopping expeditions (that last for HOURS) where the bills will total into the hundreds, even the thousands but thanks to their coupons and in store deals that they have obsessively researched they end up spending only a few bucks for everything.

I have to give these women credit, the amount of time, energy and organizational skills is quite impressive. It's not something I could or would want to do.  From what I can tell most of these women are stay at home moms who spend several hours everyday working on this. It's essentially their job and they talk about saving $40K a year from doing this.  I personally would rather have an office job that gives me a paycheck and be able to shop like a normal person.

The thing that gets me is that these women are essentially hoarders. They have stock piles of food and household items filling every room of their house. The amount of items they have would last them for years and with the exception of one family that has 7 children (the mother referred to them as her litter!!) there isn't any apparent need for all of this stuff. It's honestly become more of an obsession and OCD issue than about saving money. They even talk about the anxiety they feel at the register and the high they get from it when they are done. It's kind of sad. But I guess I shouldn't knock it, after all I'm lucky if I'm able to save $5 off my grocery bill each week.

My second new obsession is Pregnant in Heels on Bravo.

I watched the first episode the other night and I'm hooked.  I've gone from watching crazy brides on Bridezillas to now watching crazy pregnant chicks on this show.  Guess that's the direction my life is headed in (and NO I'm not pregnant). This show follows Rosie Pope who is a self proclaimed "maternity conceierge".  Basically she works with uber rich pregnant New York women with whatever they need, from decorating a nursery to baby proofing their house to helping them NAME THEIR CHILD!!! Yes in the first episode she was tasked with helping a couple pick the "perfect" baby name for their unborn son. **Spoiler alert, they ended up picking the name they liked all along that all the focus groups and their friends hated. And yes I said focus groups! They had freaking focus groups discussing their baby's name. Does it get any better?! I think not!

Has anyone else seen these shows? Thoughts? Please tell me I'm not alone in my love of mindless reality shows.

*images via Google Images

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

House Tour- Where the Magic Happens

  Next stop on my house tour is our master bedroom or as they would always stay on MTV Cribs the room where all the magic happens. As with our other rooms there is still quite a bit that needs to be done in this room like- painting, buying curtains, replacing the ceiling fan, adding a rug and hanging photos/art. So nothing major but definitely some more decorative touches to make the room complete.

Here is the room from the entry. Our bedroom is at the top of the stairs and has double doors which I love! It makes the room feel more grand in my opinion. We also have high ceiling which adds the feeling of more space. 

 Check out our LARGE window. Finding blinds and/or curtains is going to be a bit more of challenge due to the extra large size which is why they are still bare. Fortunately our bedroom is on the third floor and faces the woods so we're pretty good on privacy in that respect. Kristian even talked about leaving them bare so as not to hinder our view but on the weekends when the sun starts coming in at 6am I'm wishing for window coverings!

Here is the view from the entryway into our bathroom of our new bed, new duvet (which is still wrinkled from the packaging) and new nightstands. We had those lamps already. I want to get one or two more decorative pillows to accent the sage color and find some art to put above the bed.

What may not be as apparent in this picture is exactly how high the bed is. It's REALLY high. I'm only 5'0 tall barefoot and I literally need to jump into bed or step on the footboard to get into it. I really need steps like you get with dogs because the top of the bed comes up to my chest area. Yeah it's ridiculous but I love being up high and I love the two extra drawers on either side at the bottom of the bed.

Here is the view from the wall with the bed towards my dresser, the t.v. and the entry into our bathroom/vanity area (which I'll talk about in another post). I love having my big new dresser and mirror. Originally we planned to hang the t.v. on the wall where the dresser is now but seeing how that was the only wall the dresser would fit on we hung the t.v. at an angle in the corner and it worked out perfectly! We just need to somehow hide those wires and hang a shelf underneath to hold the Cable box and DVD player.

Here is the view from the wall with the windows looking down the hallway into our office. On the left side of the hall we have the linen closet, then the guest bath, followed by the guest bedroom/future kid's room. Kristian got the tall upright dresser which I organized for him. He loves that he's now able to actually find the t-shirts he's looking for. We also need something to go above this dresser to help fill the empty wall space.

And here again is our view from the bedroom window of the woods and the river. It's so quiet outside and in the mornings you can see the crew teams rowing down the river and watch all the animals playing around in the trees. It's very peaceful.

Right now the room is still very bare and kinda bland but hopefully we can perk it up a bit with a little color and art on the walls. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Local Getaway

It's hard for me to believe but next month (May 22 to be exact) will be our 1 year wedding anniversary! This year has absolutely flown by! With our anniversary fast approaching I really wanted to have something special planned. Originally I thought of just making Kristian plan something, after all I planned most of the wedding, so it seemed only fair. But let's be honest, I'm a little bit of a control freak and a lot bit of a planner and as much as I would love to sit back and let him take the reigns that's just not gonna happen.

Ideally I wanted to go on vacation somewhere to keep up with our tradition of heading out of the country in May (Jamaica in '09 for my birthday and St. Lucia in '10 for our honeymoon) but alas our funds have been dramatically depleted from buying the house and since Kristian has only been at his new job a few months he doesn't have the vacation time built up yet.

So I figured maybe just a long weekend somewhere not too far away. I asked my mom if she could use her timeshare to book us a room at the same hotel where we spent our wedding night. It was her timeshare that we used last year to get the room in the first place. Unfortunately there was nothing available there.

However, my fabulous mother came through and booked us two nights at The Wyndham National Harbor. This is the same hotel where I stayed with my mom and her friends during this weekend back in December. So I know how nice the hotel and the surrounding area are.


We have a two bedroom suite for Saturday night May 21 and Sunday night May 22 (our anniversary). It's only about 30 minutes from where we live but it will be so nice to get away for two nights and have a fun little local vacation. There are a ton of nice restaurants and cute little shops right in that area and we may try to check out this place Saturday night and then spend our anniversary Sunday in Old Town Alexandria right by where we got married, followed by dinner at the place where we had our rehearsal dinner. Maybe this year I won't be too nervous to eat and enjoy my food!

As fun as an exotic vacation somewhere would be it's kind of nice spending our first anniversary close to where it all went down last year.