Things You Should Know

Thursday, January 31, 2013
  • I'm in the midst of growing my hair out. Unfortunately, it grows at turtle speed and this has been a very long process. I cut it off to my chin January 2012 and I'm waiting for it to reach my chest. Currently it's hanging out around my collarbone and it seems quite content. I say, let's get a move on hair, I don't have all day. I need some you have any to spare?
  • I am currently obsessed with my little red book (with sassy gold polka-dots) that my sister gave me for my birthday. It's my new companion, ready at any moment to catch my thoughts. I think it's safe to say we may be inseparable.
  • Pete and I already have our future children's names picked out. It's true, we really do. 
  • I want to learn more about my DSL camera and how to edit my photos better. I need some camera/editing 101 or maybe I should find a class.
  • I want to find a thrift store here in Maryland and discover some hidden treasures there. I'm still searching for one. We'll see how it goes. 
  • I am very ready to get out of this boot (remember, from foot surgery). You see, this is the second go-round of foot surgery because the first one was not successful. So as you can imagine, I am a bit tired of having my foot worked on and the accompanying boot that follows.
  • Fresh flowers are one of my favorites. And recently I spotted a sign for a Farmer's Market a few blocks from the apartment...I hope Pete is fond of fresh flowers!  
  • I can never have too much clothing or too many shoes; the more the merrier!  
  • I know sewing basics, but I would like to get better and eventually have my own sewing machine.
  • Speaking of crafts, I love crafting and DIM so one day I would love a craft room. Pete can have his man cave and I can my craft room...that's fair, right?
  • I prefer windows to be open. So this weather has got to go. I am ready for some Spring weather and lovely breezes. 
  • I'm a little sad to see January go (time is going by SO fast), but I am excited for February's adventures and of course getting closer to that warmer weather!

Wedding Wednesday: Colors, Colors, & More Colors

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
You would think picking out your wedding colors would be a lot of fun. And that's because it is. But the hard part is actually deciding. If you're anything like me then you have a ton of color favorites, which equals plenty of options when putting together the color combo for your big day. However, I have learned that it's difficult to narrow down colors to just a select few. The good news, though, is that there are some methods to make this narrowing down process a bit easier:

  • Once you're wedding date has been picked you have a season you are working with. This means that there are certain color hues and tones that are appropriate and work best for that time of year.
  • Pick the one color that you absolutely must have and work from there.
    • What other colors go together with this color and compliment it?
  • Decide what colors you prefer in flowers; if you have some favorites these colors will become part of your color theme.
  • When it comes to bridesmaid dresses, know what colors look best on those lovely ladies. It could help you determine one of your main colors.
I have been using these guidelines to pick a palette of five colors for my October wedding. Since it's fall (my very favorite season!) I now what hue scheme I am going with. And I also know my two main color's a sneak peek:

Surprise Discoveries Make My Day

Tuesday, January 29, 2013
I made two discoveries today...two discoveries that I'm sure others already know about, but still tickled me when I found them out. First, if you are lacking vanilla extract for your baking needs, maple syrup does the trick! I was in the middle of making some simple homemade sugar cookies (simple = jiffy mix, milk, sugar, butter, an egg, & vanilla extract) when I remembered that I have yet to replenish my supply of vanilla extract. So I rummaged through the cabinets and opted to try out some maple syrup. I was nervous about the outcome, especially since tonight's guest will be eating these cookies. So of course, as soon as they were out of the oven I tasted them and was pleasantly surprised; the little hint of maple sweetness is delicious. Now I'm waiting for my fiance to get home with some cool-whip (add some vanilla pudding & you're golden) so I can put together a simple frosting and top with a raspberry.

But before dessert, we must have dinner, which is chicken pot pie (yum!). First things first the chicken needed to be cooked so I opted to bake it. As a final thought before slipping the pyrex into the oven, I decided to put enough water in the pan to come half-way up the chicken breast and then to cover the entire dish with aluminum foil. Forty minutes later the chicken is done and remarkably tender! I will have to remember this for another chicken dinner occasion and throw in some spices to pizazz it up! Let's hope the guest likes what's been cooking...

Home Project Week!

Monday, January 28, 2013
Today is the start of DIM ( week. And I'm not sure who is more excited, me (I get to decorate & design) or Pete (he gets to use powers tools). Either way, it's safe to say that we are both enjoying the handiwork and the time we get to spend together. We have four projects, three of which we are working on together and one I'm tackling myself. There are old photo frames, a desk Pete made during college, and pillows that are all undergoing a revamp and taking on a new look. The frames are being spray painted and hung on the wall in a collage, the desk is being painted an eggshell white, and the pillows are being recovered. The fourth project, a side table for the living room, is being built and stained. Can you guess which project is Pete's favorite, and which one I'm doing solo??

The pictures have been printed and the frames have been arranged.
They've been hung and next comes the frame makeover!
The desk in the beginning...
A man's desk, on it's way to getting a feminine touch...

After it's first coat...
Not too shabby, just a few more coats to go!
Coat #2 is now complete
Once it's finished, I'm adding some woven baskets to the shelves for some attractive storage!
The wood is just waiting for us to begin the table
I think it will be a good looking table if I do say so myself!

Birthday Extravaganza

Sunday, January 27, 2013
I love birthdays because it's an excuse to celebrate with the people you love the most and eat whatever food you please. And this weekend, my mom, sister, Pete, and I did just that. We ate from Friday morning until Saturday night. And we relaxed, watched movies, played games, and put a puzzle together. Turning 23 was better than I expected! 

Green Tea for me
We also did our own pedicures (Pete was at work and I'm sure he's thankful for that!) 
I got a surprise delivery midday (I LOVE fresh flowers!)
And these are the beauties Pete surprised me with! 
They went lovely together! 
It snowed too, that kind of snow that looks like it belongs in a snow globe, my very favorite!  

My birthday cake was a cookie cake! 
Baked by Lauryn...
Decorated by Pete (that's supposed to be us holding hands) 

HBA = Happy Birthday Astleigh  

London broil was our main course (with guacamole; if you haven't tried it you are missing out!)
Mouth-watering and so delicious  
Salivating yet??
Homemade Guac
Broccoli Salad 
Au gratin potatoes 
Pink Surprise with raspberries 
It was too pretty not to take another picture
Spinach Bacon dip appetizer  
My twin...okay, not really (my little sister)

A very happy birthday girl :)
The next morning started with orange juice...  

And Cran-Apple
Waffles were necessary too...
...and bacon and bananas
Then came the puzzle...
I love all the colors! 

And then it was done! 
The weekend wouldn't have been the same without our house guests!