Saturday, January 10, 2015


Hello, 2015!

I’ve never been one for sticking to those New Years Resolutions you hear most people talk about.  To be honest, I never really hold myself accountable and nobody else can hold me accountable because they don’t know what my goals are.  But before I look forward, let me wrap up 2014 because in a nice bow for you all.

In no particular order, here are some of the high points for 2014:
  • Got my first stamp in my passport- BVI
  • My sister and brother got married.  Not to each other, duh.
  • We put down a deposit on our very first home
  • Learned how to crochet
  • Spent much needed quality time with Mom and sister at the beach

Now looking forward to 2015 I have some pretty big plans
  • We are buying a house and making it a home
  • Go on a vacation
  • Build my blog (which means more blogging)
  • Commit to my yoga practice.  I’ve been attending classes regularly for 18 months but I haven’t committed.  I see all these yogis on Instagram and Facebook talk about their practices and how much it has changed their lives and I want that.  The only way to get there is to commit!  
  • Stick to my budget.  There are things I want to go and do and the way to get there is to stick to the budget.

And finally- work on me.  Talk about a loaded statement.  There is so much that I feel I need to work on.  I really could make a very lengthy list and I’m not very proud of how I am some times so I am definitely going to work on me.  Be more patient.  Talk with a softer heart.  Judge less.  Be more peaceful.  Be less reactive.  Be kinder.  Love more.  

And thats all the “internal” work…..  The external is a whole other ball game.

I’ve always battled with my body image.  I’ve always compared myself to other but that needs to change ASAP.  I always complain but never take the steps to make it all a reality.  The gym just hasn’t been a place that I enjoy but I know that if I don’t change my opinion and thoughts on it, nothing will change.  Not only do I have to show up, I have to put in the physical work and clean up my eating.  All in due time, right??

One of my intentions last year that I am going to roll into this year is possibilities.  I have the tendency to shot myself down before I’ve even really started trying.  I don’t really believe in myself and that has to change.  

What is your intention for the year??

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Jacob and Nancy's Rehearsal Dinner

My Mom, sister and I got to throw my brother, Jacob and his bride their rehearsal dinner.  We held it at Romano Vineyard & Winery which was just awesome.  They are my Mom's neighbors and have turned the land my family used to farm into a vineyard and winery.  They tore down a dilapidated tobacco barn and built a beautiful building that will host their  tastings and events.  It is really exciting to see something so good in Prince George’s County.  The Romano’s couldn't be better people; we are really lucky to have them as neighbors.  Check out their Facebook page to get all their news and upcoming events.

Thanks to Pinterest, we got lots of idea for details.  To me, that’s what really pulls things together and represents what the event is really about.  

So, you already saw the wine cork craft my sister and I put together.

I made them an “Almost Married” banner that was hung on the bar.  I’ve made several of these types of banners before and they couldn’t be easier.  

The centerpieces were mason jars that Mom jazzed up with lace, blue ribbon and scrap book embellishments.  We got the flowers from Weavers Flowers and they were perfect; they lasted for just about a week (I got to take an arrangement home- thanks Mom!) which is almost unheard of for flowers!  The pictures- I got most of them from Facebook pages and got them printed at Target.  The acrylic frames are from Christmas Tree Store.

Other than wine, the only other beverages we had were iced tea, lemonade and water.  Easy-peasy.  I just love how the tea and lemonade look in the dispersers.

For dessert we were baking fools!  I made Brown Butter & Sea Salt Chocolate Chip cookies (chocolate chip cookies are Jacob’s favorite) and Mom made Will you Marry Me cookies, and Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate.  Then there were cupcakes….  We made Pumpkin and vanilla cupcakes.  To pretty those I made fondant flowers to add to the frosting.  

Here is a tip for the Brown Butter & Seal Salt Chocolate Chips cookies: make them ahead of time, roll the cookies in balls, and freeze them!  If I remember correctly I got just about 35 cookies out of each batch I made so I made 2 batches.  The day before I hit the road, I took them out to thaw and just baked them off.  I didn’t have a mess in my kitchen when I already had a lot to get organized.

That big picture you see in the picture above??  That is an engineering print I ordered via Staples.  It was less than $2 then Mom and I glued it to foam board.  

You can’t see this detail but I also printed out a bunch more photos of Jacob and Nancy and hung them up with small close pins and hung those between the windows and door of the room.  

We were busy bees but I am so glad that we got to do this for them.  I think I have missed my calling as a party planner because I sure do love it!!  

Oh- we ordered the food from Chipotle.  They don’t deliver so we enlisted the help of family to pick it up.

Mom and I set up as much as we could the night before and Laura, Jon and Michael did the rest the day of because Mom and I had to go to the rehearsal.  They did an awesome job of putting it all together (I tend to micromanage).

We played the Shoe Game, too.  Laura came up with some great questions.  And Landon and I got to break-in the Jenga game we made for them.

I hope everybody enjoyed themselves because I am really proud of what we put together for them!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wine Cork Craft

I’ve been so terrible at keeping a regular blog schedule.  Truth be told, the last thing I want to do when I get home is sit at a computer when I’ve been sitting at one for most of the day.  What I should do is get a bunch ready on the weekends and then just post them during the week.  

Anyways…. so as we all know, my brother got married a few ago and my Mom, sister and I put together their rehearsal dinner.  So just like the Jenga game we made, I started with Pinterest to get my creative juices flowing.  I created a secret board that only us girls could see and pin to.  We wanted to keep as much of the details as a surprise as we could and I think we pulled it off (which is pretty difficult because we tend to get excited and share).

One of the first ideas we had was a wine cork craft.  My sister and I have been collecting corks and we got quite a lot from family friends too. 

First, I bought a “J”, “&” and “N” from Michaels.  They were a couple bucks each.  

I then painted each of them navy blue.  In hind site, 2 coats would have great.

Once they are dry, its time to pull out the hot glue gun and just start gluing down the wine corks.  

I just started at the top of a letter and worked my way down and around.  In the end there were spots were 1/2 a cork would fit perfectly.  

To cut a cork in half is pretty difficult so thank to Mom’s searching on Pinterest, she found a tip to just soak the corks in hot water and then cut them with a utility knife.  They weren’t cut cleanly but definitely helped.

I’ve seen these hung up with ribbon on front doors.  They used them at their wedding as more decoration which was awesome!!  

My hope is that they use them in their home one day.

Pretty easy craft, just takes some time and lots and lots of corks.  Start saving them now wine-o’s!!  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Jacob and Nancy Engagement Photos

This time last year my youngest brother got engaged.  My husband and I took him to Robbins Diamonds in Delaware one weekend and he picked out her ring.  If you haven't heard of Robbins, its a great place to ring shop.  They don't hassle, harass, or really bother you unless you need some help. Mike went there to get my engagement ring and I couldn't be more pleased with their customer service!  I had my ring in there the week before we got married and it was fixed just in time- we picked it on our way to Maryland for our wedding.  No, this isn't a plug for Robbins.... anyways.....

Jacob asked if I would take some pictures for them soon after they were engaged.  I wanted a      location that was close to home because our time was limited so I called up a family friend of ours, who owns a sweet little place on the river.

The next morning we woke up super early to get some sunrise photos around my Mom's house.  We are super lucky to live on a farm!.  Jacob and Nancy were champs because it was pretty chilly for a fall morning.

Here are my favorite photos.  They even used one of them for their save-the-date and decorations for the bridal shower, reception and guest book.  Now, I am not a professional photographer just yet, but I am really happy with how these turned out.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Just about a month ago my youngest brother, Jacob got married.  I thought long and hard about what I wanted to get him because he is one of my favorite people in the world.  I didn't want to just get them something off the registry because that's lame for your brother.

So off to Pinterest I searched.  My search terms were something like "personalized wedding gifts", "awesome wedding gifts" and "nontraditional wedding gifts".  There were some really good ideas that popped up but there more I thought about Jacob and what he get use and fun out of, one idea made the most sense.... Jenga!  Jacob has made a couple corn-hole games for himself and others and he and his friends like backyard games so I thought it was a no brainer.

I found a couple links that were really helpful...
Home Depot's Jenga Instructions 

So because I am not the most handy gal out there, I enlisted the help of my other siblings and my hubby.  This was a huge project!!  First, Danny cut 2x4's into 10.5" boards.  Then I sanded the crap out of them with my Mom's very handy palm sander (which reminds me... I need to order more sandpaper for her).  

After each and every board was sanded and wiped down Laura and I branded all the boards with Jacob and Nancy's initials.  Laura got their initials from Brandin' Buddies. It took us a few tries to figure out how the best way to brand the board.  We found that getting the letters too hot or not hot enough is not good.  Keeping the brand hot makes for quicker and cleaner work.  The brands don't hold heat for long so you can't get multiple applications from one heat-up.  We found that lining up multiple boards helps in a couple ways.  1. the letters line up more evenly 2. it made for much quicker work.

Once the branding is done, it was time to stain and polyurethane.  I chose a stain color that was light cause I wanted the letters to stand out.  

I lined up the boards, and with my hubby's help, applied two coats of stain. Now this takes time because they have to dry between the applications.  

This is after 1 coat of stain.

Then came 2 coats of polyurethane.  And that takes more time because it has to dry over night, then has to be sanded with a fine grit sand paper which has to be done by hand because if you use a palm sander it could take too much off.

Dry, baby, dry!

And here is the final product!!

To say I was excited to show Jacob what we did is an understatement.  I hope he and Nancy get many years of fun out of this game.

Here is Jacob's junior groomsman playing it at their rehearsal dinner.

I played with him and it was a draw.  We both wrote our names on 2 of the boards.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lets Start at the Very Beginning

I don't know what I am so afraid of... this is just a blog.  Something that is on the internet for all of the world to see.  I read blogs everyday and for the  most part, they seem to be harmless.... right??  We shall see how this goes.

The beginning is a very good place to start, according to Maria (Sound of Music).  I am just a girl from southern Maryland living above the Mason-Dixon line with my hubby of almost 3 years, our pup Sadie and my cat Bono (I didn't name him; I got him that way).  I guess this be considered a "lifestyle blog" and I hope its enough to keep you all captivated.  

There will be lots of pictures, ramblings, perhaps some recipes, crafts and all that life has in store for me.

This isn't my first blog.  Some haters ruined my first try but I am hopeful that this will go MUCH better this time around.  Mostly because I chose not to have those kind of folks in my life.  It's amazing how much one person can really change in a few years.  Would that be considered growing up?  Meh, who knows.  Either way, upward and onward!!

So lets start with some introductions.  To start us off, here is Sadie, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  She is the first dog for hubby and I and let me tell you something- I was NOT a dog person until we got her.  Most days she is what gets me through my day at work.  She is nothing but sweet, loving and just plain awesome-sauce.  She doesn't listen, barely follows simple commands like "sit" (that's really the only one she does do consistently) but when she  wiggles her hiney when we walk in the door it makes up for all her non-listening.  She is perfect addition to our little family.  

Sunday, March 17, 2013

She grew up in the country, one hundred and fifty miles away from where she would one day meet him.

He grew up in an equally un-urban place, ninety-one and a half miles away from where he, would finally meet her. But he grew bored, and enrolled in a college, 300 miles from where he would first hear her voice.

She then moved into a small apartment in the city, where she was unknowingly just eight miles from where she would find him.

When his time in school ended and he again found himself bored with his life, he took a job in the city and lived in a terrible apartment, overlooking the expressway. Every time he laid in bed listening to the traffic below, he never knew he was only twelve miles from where he would first see her face.

Then, one day after years of the the universe expanding and contracting, and their proximity from each other shrinking and growing, the distance between them finally reached inches and they met.

In the days that followed, their paths kept crossing, almost intentionally, until they found themselves on the same path. Together.