Thursday, February 27, 2014

Spring Fever

Any one else out there tired of this winter? Everyone? Ok, good. Last weekend was so glorious but such a tease. I really do think everyone has been in a terrible mood this week because last weekend it was spring like and this week has been all winter. Spring Fever has set in for good.

I can't wait for...

Our annual day spent at the Fado St. Paddy's Day festival
 
Hubs photo bomb and a random stranger. That's skill!
Our pilgrimage to the Renaissance Festival where Pat is 5 years old again, and I try not to spend my whole paycheck on art from local artists
It was too perfect to pass up ;)
Nights spent on the porch of my favorite local pizza joint that look like this-

Fellini's and Sweetwater 420 = Perfection
Taking my brothers to a Braves game and giving my parents a night to themselves


Days spent out on a boat that look like this-


And this-


And most definitely like this-
'Merica and Mountains! Doesn't get much better 
For these little gifts from God to be back in season-



Relaxing on my back porch and enjoying my all time favorite spring time treat
That reaction is genuine, and I may be known to dance in the grocery store when it comes in from Louisiana 
Celebrating my love and the best year of my life so far
I'm shy and I was kissing in front of my parentals. I'm awkward.
Can you tell Spring is my favorite time of year?? Bring on the hydrangeas and magnolia blooms! I'm hoping for a lot more sunshine and less rain this year.


We're almost there, people!! Just a couple more weeks...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DIY Glass Jug Lamps

Y'all might think I'm pulling your leg when you see just how easy it is to make these babies. Not to mention how cheap it is. 

Maybe it's the love of all things rustic and southern in me, but I have been obsessed with glass jug lamps for awhile now. I looked around at multiple different stores, and I quickly learned that I was obsessed with their lamps but not their prices. There is no way I could ever rationalize spending $100-300 on a lamp. That works for some people, but I'm cheap. I'm not afraid to say it. I want to make our house a home, but I also would rather spend my money on things like traveling. Anyway, back to our originally scheduled programming...

Here is what you'll need-

Pat is using the apple juice to make apple cider in our basement
A glass jug, vase, container, whatever you want to make your lamp out of. We got ours at the local farmer's market (Dekalb Farmers Market) we go to every weekend. They cost $10 each. I have seen glass jugs in consignment stores go for $40 so buying these and using the apple juice to make our own apple cider seemed like a steal.

Lamp making kit and stoppers
Go to your local Home Depot or Lowes and go to the lighting section. There you should find kits to make your own lamps. The ones we got cost $11 each. We had to get rubber stoppers because the Home Depot by us didn't have cork stoppers big enough. When they get back in stock we plan on getting some because I just like the look of cork better. You can barely see the rubber now, but I know what's there... and well, you know once a woman gets something into her head it just stays there and festers until it's taken care of.

Here is an example of a good cork stopper to use- http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-9-Tapered-Cork-83668/202210188?keyword=cork+stopper

If you have kept up so far that means it only costs $21 to make each lamp!!! I got our lamp shades at Target and they were $20 each. I don't include that in the price to make the lamp because some people are just lucky enough to have some sitting around. I'm secretly jealous of you if you are one of those people :)

A quick step-by-step-

- First you will need to wash and rinse out the jug. Let it air dry over night.

- To drill a hole in the glass you will need a diamond drill bit. Since we have been building so much furniture and making these lamps we already had one in our arsenal of tools.
I don't have any pictures of us drilling the hole because I was holding the jug and Pat was drilling. It really is very easy! Place your jug in your kitchen sink and run water over the spot you want to drill your hole at. Run water over that spot the hole time you are drilling. Next, drill your hole, but do not stop drilling until you have drilled the whole way through the jug. Yes, your arms might hurt or tickle, but it will be over soon! It took us about one minute to drill a hole in the back of the jug. 

- Rinse out your jug after drilling a hole in it. This will get rid of all the glass pieces that have accumulated in the jug. Once again, let it air dry over night.

- Next follow the instructions on your lamp kit and put it in to your cork or rubber stopper. You will have to fashion a hole into your cork/stopper so the kit will sit firmly on top of the jug.

- Next put a light bulb in, put a lamp shade on and plug that baby in!

Bam! You have a lamp :)

Well, that turned out a lot longer then I thought it would. Bless you, if you stuck around that long. You are a good friend :) 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Taking time to stop and smell the roses

So to speak. This past weekend was one about just finding joy in all the little things, but also being able to get excited about some big things taking place soon. 

Yes, this post should have gone up yesterday. Yes, yesterday was the definition of a Monday. Look it up in the dictionary and my day yesterday would have been laid out for you. Just madness! 

Source
Thank goodness yesterday is over and I won't have to deal with that day ever again! Onward and upward :)

Friday was a night at home, and I couldn't have loved it more. We grilled out and just enjoyed each others company. This is how I know I have officially become an adult- I live for these kinds of Friday nights. They are seriously the best. You want to know what makes these kinds of Friday nights better? Getting one of those from the one friend you have known since you were two-
May 2015 can't get here fast enough!
I love Saturday's where we get everything we need done errand wise by lunch time. L-O-V-E it! We got to get our whole house cleaned, I got almost all of the laundry done (!!!!!), and I went for a run. I can't even describe what a big deal that last one is. Saturday night we got to go out and celebrate two new jobs in our family with Pat's parents. His mom has a new job as a pharmacist with the Army, and I got a promotion at work. I have known about the promotion for a few weeks now, but out of fear of things changing I haven't said a thing. I am so so excited, and it really is such an answered prayer of mine.
I can't rave about our food from Horseradish Grill enough. It's southern food with a little twist. So. Good.
Fried chicken and red velvet cake?? Good thing I went for that run...
You know we couldn't end Saturday without celebrating National Margarita Day just a little bit. I mean, if your mother-in-law asks who are you to tell her no?!
A mason jar AND a margarita?! Be still my heart...
You know what's really awesome? When your weekend DIY project is done by 9AM on Sunday. Bam!

I'll do a DIY post later this week on how to make your very own glass jug lamp. We made two of them, and we are both benefiting from them. I got new lamps, and the husband is currently making his very own apple cider in our basement. Win, win! 

One of the joys of having (uh, renting) a home is that we can invite our friends over for a home cooked meal. We only invite the really brave ones when it's something I have never cooked before. Chase got to be really brave on Sunday :) I cooked my first ever made from scratch Italian meal. 

We got a head start on our outdoor lighting./candles. Hence the wine bottles
The plates of the two guys were clean at the end of dinner so I think that means it was decent!

Annnnnnd just because I love y'all, and want y'all to get a good laugh in today. Here is a picture of our two toothed cat (Disclaimer: We adopted her that way. It was not for lack of care on our part. I have never seen a more spoiled animal in my life. Trust me.) -

I can't help it. I laugh every time one of her teeth is keeping one of her lips propped open. 
Happy Tuesday, y'all!! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dios Venezuela necesita de Ti.

I have never taken Spanish in my life. My elementary school taught us all French instead of Spanish, and I obviously decided to keep with it. Even though I never took Spanish the title of this blog post needed no translation for me- God, Venezuela needs You.

If you have watched the news in the past week I'm sure you have seen all sorts of coverage about the uprising in Ukraine. Here's a short version- the people of Ukraine want a new election and a more Democratic government, those in office do not. The government has essentially turned against it's people and is using it's own military to take down the protesters. That means they are shooting their own people- killing and wounding many. Praise God they are getting the international attention they need so the world will respond to the major human and civil rights issues that are taking place there.

Eerily enough a similar situation is taking place in Venezuela as I type this. I bet you haven't really seen any coverage of this at all on the news. Social media, yes. The television, no. Social media has become an important tool to the citizens of Venezuela to get the message out of what is really taking place within the country. 

As you may have noticed around here, I love all things international. I love learning about new countries and cultures, and I hope I can visit many more in the days and years to come. I come by it honestly. My dad was born in Trinidad and grew up in Argentina and Venezuela. Venezuela is a country I have heard about my whole life. It has always seemed like a magical place to me. I have heard about it's wonderful people and beautiful landscapes. My cousins and I have all dreamed of going to visit the childhood home of our parents for years. 

My dad (second from right) and his siblings in Caracas, Venezuela in the 60s

My grandparents, dad and his siblings- Caracas, Venezuela in the 60s
As news of what is going on in Venezuela started to trickle out, my heart broke. I'm sure many of you know that the government in Venezuela has been corrupt for years. Ever since Chavez passed away and his successor (who was elected in an election that was very corrupt and staged) took over it has only gotten worse. On their National Youth Day this year Venezuelan students decided to peacefully protest against their government. The governments response? Like Ukraine they turned on their own citizens, storming apartments and shooting those that "looked like they could be protesting," sniper shooting people who are in the streets, and destroying things to make it look like the students had done it all. This is a major human and civil rights issue. It is not okay that this isn't being reported worldwide. Like Ukraine, the people of Venezuela need our help and attention. Here are just a few images that have made their way out of Venezuela- 

Christian Veron / Reuters
Reuters Tv / Reuters
A TV station being taken over and off air
Jorge Silva / Reuters
Showing their hands in a peaceful protest. Note- they don't have weapons.

I don't feel comfortable showing the graphic pictures on here. Some of them are truly disturbing beyond words. Please read this article to get a better understanding of how everything changed in Venezuela over Wednesday night- http://caracaschronicles.com/2014/02/20/the-game-changed/ 


This video does a great job of describing exactly what is going on there right now. Warning- there are some images that are graphic.

I am not one to post my political beliefs in a public forum by any means. It just saddens me that this isn't getting more international attention. These people are standing up for what they believe in - their freedom and basic human rights. Please join me in getting the message out for them. Please join me in praying for the protection of the Venezuelan people and that peace is found there soon. Please join me in praying that the Venezuelan government has a veil lifted from their eyes so that they can see clearly what is happening within the country and how to give it's people their freedom back. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Time to step into the confessional

Alright, time to step into the blogger confessional. You know, when you talk about all of the weird stuff you do that you're pretty sure isn't normal. Or that you're just plain lazy about. Hopefully this will serve as something that can convict me and get more on top of things around the house. I've been lacking a little recently. 

Remember this Axe Commercial? Am I the only one who doesn't like the smell of Axe anything??
Source 

  • I hate loading the dishwasher. Hate. It. For some reason the thought of touching old food makes me gag. Solution- just put the stuff I just used in the dishwasher instead of staking it in the freaking sink 
  • I can only make myself do laundry on the weekends. This means we're always behind on laundry. (No, Pat can't do it because he can't fold clothes to save his life. Maybe he folds badly so he gets out of doing laundry ... hmmmm) Solution- designate one night a week where I at least do one load of laundry
  • When I find a new blog I read it from beginning to the present. Does that make me a weird stalker or something? I can't help it. I want to get to know everyone and understand all of the inside jokes on the newer posts. Solution- There isn't one. I probably won't stop doing this. Sorry for being a creep.
  • I'm always cold. It drives Pat insane because you will see me in our house mid-July with a down comforter thrown over me. Solution- Never ever move north of the Mason-Dixon Line ;)
  • I don't dust. I see stuff I need to dust and forget to do it. Solution- designate a weekend every month where I dust our whole house
  • I have some serious road rage. I think learning how to drive in Atlanta is the root of this problem, and I seriously think people who live outside of the city/state should never be allowed to drive here during rush hour. Typing that out makes me sound even more insane. Yikes! Solution- Pray for more patience and grace. It's a daily prayer of mine, but I really need to focus it on the times I am driving to and from work. 
  • I really need to work on putting. my phone. down. I always find myself at a table full of people I love, enthralled by something on my phone instead of focusing on the present. Solution- Leave my phone in my purse. Talk to others about implementing a new game- place all phones in the middle of the table and whoever uses theirs during the meal/gathering has to pick up the whole tab
  • I used to be really good about having "Quiet Time" every day where I would be in The Word, Journal, Pray, etc. I have gotten really bad about it ever since I have been out of college. I need to start taking time for it again because I can tell the difference in my mental health when I am not on top of it. Solution- Either wake up earlier or have a time every night where I participate in a "Quiet Time"
  • I generally have these grand dreams on a trip Pat and I can take together. I have one in mind now, but I have yet to do anything about it. Solution- Stop just dreaming. Put in for the time off, buy the tickets, save up the spending money and just go!
As you can see a lot of my issues have to do with laziness. Here's to quitting being idle, doing all of my chores so I don't get overwhelmed when I have to do them all at once, being more patient, being more present, and just going!

Phew, if you got all of that I'm impressed. Then again I think I might be the only person that reads this little blog of mine and that's just fine!! There really is something to be said about writing things out that convicts you but also give you a sense of freedom. This was more for me than anyone else. Who knows, maybe someone else learned something from my laziness :)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I'm the kinda girl who...

I have about a million blog post ideas running through my head, but I can't seem to focus on just one. This is where a link-up comes in handy! Hope y'all learn something remotely interesting ;)

I'm the kinda girl who...

... is always planning her next adventure

Barcelona, Spain with my Frenchie BFF
... is always trying to learn more of her Momma's famous recipes


... who dreams of being a dolphin trainer one day. 

Discovery Cove in Orlando, FL

... who dreams in French and longs for the day to call France "home" again

Lille, France. My other hometown

... who loves America with her whole heart. 

Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996

... who loves a good hike and mountain view

Blood Mountain with my little brothers
... who loves being in the water. At all times.

Our honeymoon in St. Lucia
... who lives for college football season (HAIL STATE!)



... who bleeds Maroon and White


... who loves being a Phi Mu and misses having 1,000 closets available at all times

Bid Day 2009- Our last one
... who fell in love with her high school sweetheart
Fall 2005

... and then married him

I hope you learned something at least a little interesting about me. Happy Hump Day, y'all!! It's all down hill from here for the rest of the week.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day: Part Two

Here's something I never thought I'd say- snow & ice threw some kinks into many Valentine's Day plans here in ATL. I figured Friday at work would be a day full of sweet flower deliveries just like every other Valentine's Day. Welllllll, we had two flower deliveries. Yes, two. One of those deliveries? Sent to a coworker from her ex-boyfriend. Awkward. I felt so bad for florists here and up north. Valentine's Day is their Super Bowl and they just got wrecked. 

Pat and I don't really like to go all out on Valentine's Day. I would rather us do small things through out the year so we can keep dating each other even though we are married. Now that doesn't mean we do nothing. He always makes sure to do a little something, and I always love it.

 We decided to go to downtown Decatur and try a restaurant we had never tried before. Every single time we go to Decatur to eat we always kick ourselves for not doing it more. If you're not from around here, Decatur is a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Downtown Decatur is known for it's phenomenal restaurants and boutiques.

A little taste of what downtown Decatur, GA looks like
 Since we both used to live in Europe and miss it like crazy we decided to go to a restaurant called Sapori di Napoli. This. Place. Was. Amazing. The owners had everything inside the restaurant shipped over from Naples. They serve authentic Italian food and desserts that are out of this world. We decided to split a pizza, and we each got our own appetizers. Pat got some cheese that he claims was really good, and I couldn't resist a Caprese Salad. I am a sucker for fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. Y'all even Pat ate one of my tomatoes. I can't even describe what an accomplishment that was for me!! 

Drooling just looking at that pizza
We decided to not get dessert because we had every intention of going to a nearby New Orleans Bakery for dessert. I say we had every intention because we happened to run into one of Pat's best friends (Chase) and his girlfriend on our way there. We ended up going to get drinks at a hole in the wall bar instead. What a great decision! We were drooling at all of the food they kept bringing out to other patrons and this was happening even though we were stuffed!! Needless to say, Brick Store Pub has been added on to our list of restaurants we must visit.

Brick Store Pub- How cool is that restaurant/bar?!

To me it was the perfect night for us to go out and eat just us two. It's so rare that we get to do that, and I was relishing every second. It got even better when we ran into an old friend and got to meet his newest lady friend. As many of you know, the south is a small world. It turns out Chase's new girlfriend is sorority sister of my cousin and they are in the same sorority family. Small world, I tell ya!

We ended our night back at home and survived  (HA!) the earthquake that hit just inside of South Carolina. My parents didn't feel a thing, but Pat and I did. I think it was because it was strangely quiet in our house and we were in the process of going to sleep. We actually thought it was one of our cats running around the house. Maybe it's a sign to put your animal on a diet when you mistake an earthquake for it running. Maybe.

I hope you all had a great Valentine's Day and a great rest of your week. The rest of our weekend is a post for another time. Have a great week, y'all! Kick it in the butt! 




Thursday, February 13, 2014

Atlantartica

I'm sure if any of you have seen the news you have seen that the southeast got it's second snow storm in two weeks. I don't even think I can describe how rare this is. This winter storm was worse than the last one, but the schools and government kept all of their people home. Thank goodness! That means that our streets are empty and no one got stranded like they did two weeks ago. It was extremely helpful that this storm started hitting late in the evening. That meant all of 50 of us who braved work on Tuesday got home just fine!

We didn't make it outside at all yesterday due to the terrible first half of this storm. We had almost all ice falling and a little bit of snow covering the ground. Thankfully Pat and I never lost power. My parents never lost power but unfortunately his mom lost power late last night. She lives in Augusta during the week, and they got the worst of the storm. Almost an inch of ice, and now snow on top of that. That inch of ice is supposedly record setting here in Georgia!

I don't know about y'all, but I am beyond ready for spring. This has been the strangest winter. I mean we are supposed to all be sick here in the south from it being in the 70s one day and then in the 40s the next by now!! Get it together Mother Nature!

One of the perks of all of this winter weather has been that we haven't been able to get out and spend any money. We are being forced to stay home and eat whatever we have here. No work, extra sleep and not spending any money?! I'm in!! ... Until tomorrow. I am getting out of my house tomorrow. I have to.

Snow Day Part 1- Husband made some great French Onion Soup in a Bread Bowl. My fave!
Notre maison sur le neige :)
Notre rue. Pas de conduite aujourd'hui.
Our sad attempt at a selfie in the snow
And just so you can see how crazy I am going....

Walking our neighborhood to see if I can get out for work. That's a NO!
 
Then Pat and I got stupid. Our cats always like to try and "escape" to explore right outside our house. I think we have finally cured them of that desire.


They were so mad. We didn't even have them outside for minute, but now they won't even get near the window...
Ignore our box from Costco
I think it's safe to say they won't be attempting to explore the great outdoors any time soon. 
And yes, one way to tell that I am really bored is that I start speaking and thinking in French again. I guess that's a blessing because it keeps my ear fresh so I never fully lose my French skills. I think it's time to make another trip back there :)

Today will be spent cleaning our whole house so we don't have to do it this weekend. I hope every one has had a great week. Hopefully you've been a little more productive then us!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Weekend in review : Valentine's Day Part 1

Well, this weekend I finally cashed in the one present I have had sitting in my back pocket for about 3 years now. We went to Medieval Times. Pat is a nerd and is proud of it. He has dropped just about every hint one could think of when it comes to going to Medieval Times. I just always seemed to come up with better gifts.. or at least that's what I like to think! I told Pat last Tuesday what we were doing this past weekend, and I'm pretty sure he almost cried. He skipped and danced every where we went Saturday morning. Seriously. Needless to say, he was very excited.

Saturday morning was pretty normal for us- Farmer's Market right when it opens, grocery store and then cleaning. Most of the time I wish I could work from home so I could get all of those errands/chores done during the week so I could just enjoy my weekends. Sigh, maybe one day! In the middle of cleaning I decided to open the front door to bring in some extra light. I looked up and noticed that we had one victim of what we like to call, "The Ray of Death."

Punkin was down for the count

The rest of our day was dedicated to Medieval Times. You have to get there at least 75 minutes early so you can get a seat in the arena. The rest of the time was spent by us having a drink or two and checking out the "museum" they had inside. I have to say, they really have those places set up perfectly, and I really want their fireplace. I didn't take too many pictures, but it lived up to my husband's expectations. He had a blast!

We got a pair of some fancy champagne flutes with our package ;) 
I mean that fire place... just amazing!
Ready for the show to start! Can you see the excitement written all over his face?!
And those are all of the pictures I took! The show was actually pretty decent. We decided that the knights are not former soccer players because they don't know how to dive and flop properly ;) All-in-all, we had a blast, and it was so fun to have a different type of date night. Thankfully I got a great deal on a Valentines Package so we could finally go. I've already been told the next time we are in Orlando we have to go to the Middle Eastern version, Arabian Nights. Oh boy!

We have started a tradition of making ourselves one pretty decent breakfast every weekend. I'm usually on bacon duty while the husband is on omelette duty. That just happened to be Sunday morning for us. It was great as usual!

I think food tastes better when you're eating at a table you and your hubby built together :)

We were supposed to go to dinner with my family Sunday night, but my step-dad came down with the flu. So this meant I had to miss Pat's soccer game and meet my mom halfway between Atlanta and our lake house. We were in charge or making sure my little brothers got up and ready for school on time this morning. I was okay with this because I got to meet our newest family member-

Meet Bode

He's such a sweet sweet boy! He's a miniature long-haired dachshund, but he doesn't look like a dachshund at all. Can't wait for them to get home so I can play with him again. Pat's a little upset at them for getting a dog because I am now in full on puppy fever. I may or may not have gotten the computer taken away from me last night so I would stop looking at puppies online. Whoops!

 We're gearing up for round two of a terrible winter storm down here in Atlanta. They're saying this one is supposed to be worse then our last one and saying it could possibly be a "historic" winter storm. Call me crazy, but that doesn't sound fun at all! I have a new found respect for all of you that deal with what I would call a "normal" winter up north and in the mid west. I don't know how y'all do it! 

I hope you all had fabulous weekends and have an even better week!