Monday, October 3, 2011

Swan Song

We threw that term around quite a bit this weekend at our house.  It was kind of a disappointing weekend for us, I have to admit.  We hosted our annual Oktoberfest party on Saturday.  We had invited about 60 people.  We had positive responses from about 24.  8 showed up.  Of those 16 who didn't show up, only 8 notified us earlier in the day that they couldn't make it. 

So Matt and I decided that this year was the Swan Song for our Oktoberfest party.  Why should we bother to make the effort when no one else does?  It was a lot of work and a lot of money that we invested into that party, only to be pretty let down when no one showed up. 

But that's not really the point of this post - to bitch about our lack of guests at our Oktoberfest party.  The point of this post is that this will be my blogging Swan Song.  I have really enjoyed blogging for the last (almost) 2 years, but I kind of feel like my blogging juices are running dry.  I rarely have time to write, or topics that I want to write about.  And while I like the Man-Candy Mondays and the Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays, I don't want to be one of those bloggers who only blogs the memes.  But I don't feel enough creativity to keep it going. 

So I'll be signing off.  I just feel like lately I've been neglecting my blog, and the pressure that I keep trying to put on myself to be a "better" blogger is just kind of silly.  I never set out to be a regular, long-time blogger, and rather than try to force myself to be something that I'm not, I'm just going to let go. 

I still plan to read all of your amazing blogs.  My Google Reader is chock-full of all your wonderful-ness.  Thanks for always reading.  And all the comments.  Although I was not a comment-responder most of the time, I swear that I really did appreciate each and every one of your comments. 

Take care, my bloggy-friends.  Come follow me on Pinterest, if you want! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh, How Pinteresting!

No theme this week.  Just randomness.  I'm too preoccupied with a) getting all my work done so I'm not leaving my colleagues with a lot of stuff to do when I'm off on Friday, b) getting our house ready for Oktoberfest, and c) getting rid of this stupid cold that I caught yesterday.  Seriously, guys, my throat is killing me.  And my nose won't stop running.  I am pretty sure I slept for about an hour last night.  Most of the night, I was lying awake, trying not to swallow and cut the hell out of my throat with the razor blades that someone apparently shoved back there. 

So, for purposes of trying not to think too much today, here is just a random smattering of some stuff I pinned recently!

I love that each little tab-thingie (technical term, you know) is more lyrics from the song.  Hysterical.

I knew it!

Nerdy kitty!

So these posters are so freaking awesome, and I really really want one.  The columns that make up the background?  Yeah, those are all the words from the novel.  The entire book is printed on that poster.  How amazing is that?

I am completely in love with this nursery.  I really want to do an "alphabet" theme for my baby shower.  Whenever that happens.

I may have to make our future pregnancy facebook-official with a photo like this.  I just love it.

Link up with Michelle over at The Vintage Apple to see lots more pinning!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Few of My Favorite...

Geez, I have neglected the blog a bit recently.  I realized today I haven't done a 10 Day You in weeks.  And I missed Man-Candy Monday this week (again).  And I haven't done a Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday in weeks, either.  So...this week's


Are just a few of my favorite things.  People, movies, music, sports...whatever. 

Death Cab for Cutie


So You Think You Can Dance - the Butt Dance!

Batteries Not Included

My Pitt Growl Towel.  I miss being a part of the Panther Pitt

Steelers Football.  Hines Ward.

Michigan Football.  Charles Woodson.

Savion Glover.
If you haven't seen Batteries Not Included, you really should.  It's 80s cheese, but super sweet and a lot of fun.  And you should check out some videos of Savion Glover tap-dancing.  He's amazeballs, you guys.  I got to see him in person in his Broadway show Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk, and I was absolutely, totally, completely in awe.  The guy has more talent in his pinkie than I ever could in 25 lifetimes combined.  Have you seen Happy Feet?  That's him doing the taps for Mumble.

The Panther Pitt is what we affectionally call the Student Section at Pitt home games.  I loved going to the games, and I miss it terribly.  Matt and I keep talking about going out for a game, but it just never works with our schedule in the fall. 

And yes, I live in Pennsylvania, grew up surrounded by Penn State fans (blech!), and went to Pitt.  But I am a Michigan football fan.  It hasn't been easy in the past few years, but - hey - we are nothing if not loyal.  Charles Woodson is - hands down - one of the best players to ever grace the field at UM Stadium, if not the game of football.  He's incredible.  Along with Desmond Howard, Jason Avant, Tom Brady, Chad Henne, Braylon Edwards....just to a name a few.  Michigan's produced some pretty stand-out players!

*all photos from my Pinterest

Sunday, September 18, 2011

More Projects

Yesterday, I told you that I was going a little bit, um, nuts around the house.  Today, I finished my final project.  For now.  I'm still convinced I'm going to repaint our kitchen and paint the cabinets.  Some day...

This was my inspiration picture.
I went to Michael's and checked out the canvas/styrofoam.  Both were considerably out of my price range in the 12x12 or even 9x9 options (even 12x12 styrofoam was $5 a piece - no thanks!).  I had just about given up, when I came across some hidden packages of 4 6x6 canvases, on sale, for $12.  I picked up 2 packages, plus an extra single 6x6 (also on sale for $3).  I went nuts in the scrapbook paper aisle.  No, literally, I went nuts.  There were so many options, I had no idea what direction to go in.  I really like the monocromatic look in the inspiration photo, but they didn't have enough paper in one color that I really liked.  So, after about 35-45 minutes of picking paper, putting it back, picking it up again, laying it out in the store....I decided to mix it up a little.

I got it all home, and since the canvas is wrapped around and stapled into wooden frames, I thought I could do the same.  I got out the stapler, and, lo and behold, it worked!  I wrapped most of them last night, then hung them this morning (after running back out to A.C. Moore to get the picture hangers, oops!).

I'm really happy with the way the whole thing turned out.  Hanging them was kind of a PIA, but it was worth it.

Matt got home today and loves all the new decor.  Yay!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Is it Possible to be Nesting...

When you're not even pregnant?  Maybe it's all the time I've been spending on Pinterest?  I don't know.  I just don't know how to explain it, but I am just completely obsessed with decorating and crafting.  I'm redecorating our entire living room.  And doing it completely DIY.

I've recently been feeling like we need to make our home more "grown up."  We've had photographs on nearly every single surface in our home since we moved in.  Not that I don't love photographs.  But it was starting to feel very dorm room to me.  Not 30-something married couple home.

So, this weekend, while Matt's in Hershey and I'm stuck at home on-call, I took matters into my own hands.  I went to Michael's, Target, and the dollar store, and stocked up on decorations - hurricane glasses, candles, scrapbook paper, canvases, wreaths, flowers, spray paint....all kinds of good stuff.  Wanna see what I've been up to?  I got a lot done today, so I'm super-excited.  Tomorrow, I'll show you what I get done tomorrow.

Up first, a project I worked on a few weeks ago.  My anniversary gift to Matt.  I know that paper is the modern traditional first anniversary gift.  And I was going to go full tradition.  But I fell in love with this idea
...and so I'm bending the rule a little.  Technically, I know, canvas is fabric, not paper, but since I painted on it, I treated it like paper,'s paper.

I painted lyrics from our wedding song on a 12x12 canvas.  12 lines, 1 inch each.  I have just the spot in our bedroom that we'll hang it, too.  I hope he likes it as much as I do.

Ok, so here's what I worked on today.  First up, I really wanted to do something about our door.  We have some seasonal wreaths, but our autumn was is totally falling apart.  I pinned this a few months ago, and finally decided to tackle it.
I got the wreath and flowers from Michael's.  And instead of getting numbers, I got a letter.  I don't have the "I" painted yet, but I edited it in so you get the general gist of what I have here.

Ok, next?  We used to have a chalkboard/magnet board/key holder hanging on the wall next to our front door.  I was really starting to hate it.  It looked messy and I just couldn't stand it anymore.  So, after seeing pictures like this on Pinterest...
I picked up some scrapbook paper, and dug out some old, unused frames.  I printed out the letters, using various fonts, and attached them to the scrapbook, then threw it in the frame.  I bought the shelf at Target, and the flowers are from our closet.

I really love it.  I sent Matt a photo of it and he's thrilled.  Yay!

Last but not least, our new fall centerpiece.  I totally loved these pictures.
I got the hurricanes from Michaels and the candles from the dollar store.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find candy corn or whole nuts anywhere (I know, can you believe it?!).  As I wandered around the aisles of Target, I had an epiphany...

Reese's Pieces!  They're automatically fall-colored, and they're made my Hershey!  Bonus!  So I put together this little tablescape, and I really like it.  Tomorrow, I'm going to roll the two brown pillar candles in epsom salt so they get all sparkly and pretty, like this one!
One more project that I started today and hope to finish tomorrow.  I'll show you that one soon! 

Have you ever had a transition period in your house?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Man-Candy Monday

Been a while, hasn't it? Yeah, sorry about that.  It's Man-Candy Monday again, and this week, I'm bringing back a blast from the past. 

Scott Foley.  Matt and I were watching the season finale of True Blood last night, when all of a sudden...

...he appeared!  And I couldn't help myself, I blurted out, "Noel!"  Because no matter what other roles he goes on to play, he will always be Noel Crane to me. 

Scott Foley

Once worked at Mrs. Fields cookies.  At the time, he was so broke, he lived on the leftovers.

Was married to Jennifer Garner (they met when she played his high school girlfriend on Felicity).  In 2003, they divorced.  He is now married to Marika Dominczyk and they have a baby girl.

Notable roles:
Cliff Elliot, Dawson's Creek
Roman Bridger, Scream 3 (he was nominated for a Teen's Choice Award for Choice Sleazebag for this role)
Noel Crane, Felicity (he was cast as Ben, but they couldn't find anyone for Noel, so they asked him to take the role of Noel so they could find a different Ben)
SSG Bob Brown, The Unit
Jeff, CougarTown
Patrick Devins, True Blood

I'm anxious to see how his role peters out on True Blood.  Too bad I have to wait until next year now!  UGH!

Link up and enjoy the pretty boys!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


My last semester of college.  About to graduate.  About to go out into the world.  So excited.

I woke up and took a shower.  In my towel, I went down into our living room to turn on the tv and check the weather forecast.  My usual Tuesday routine.  Only this time, I turned on the weather channel to a quick local report, then "But we'll get you back to New York, now, since we know you're all wondering about that"  Wondering about what?  They switched over.  The first tower was on fire.  What the...?  Put on CNN.  The second I found CNN, the second tower exploded.  In that instant, I knew - our country was under attack.  A gut feeling.  I just sensed it.  One plane is an accident.  But two?  That's pure malice.

I was glued.  I missed my first class while I watched the towers fall.  Finally, I got dressed and drove to campus.  Went to class.  No one could pay attention.  Professor dismissed us in 20 minutes.  I went back home.  My roommates were there.  We sat, together, in our little house, watching the news all day.  I called my sister - she's fine.  I called my dad - he's fine.  I couldn't get through to my mom, who was traveling.  She finally called me.  She's fine, just "worried about my little social worker and her big heart."  It was true.  I was devastated.  All that loss.  All that fear.  All those poor families.  I burst into tears.  My roommates and I cried together.

The days that followed were sad.  Scary.

The weeks that followed were confusing.

The years that followed have been sad.  Scary.  Confusing.

10 years later, and the images have no less affect on me than they did that day.  I weep for the families who still mourn.  My heart swells with pride in the policemen and firefighters who drove in while everyone else ran out. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hershey in my Heart

Not sure if you've heard the news, but Central PA is under water, you guys.  Lots of water.  Feet of water.  Here are a few pictures from around Hershey, my hometown.  My heart aches every time I look at them.

Hershey is surrounded by a few very small creeks.  Small creeks that have now completely overflowed and spilled into...well, all of Hershey.  I spoke to my dad last night, and he said downtown Hershey is basically an island - you can't get in, can't get out.

Here are some pictures from Hershey Park.  And ZooAmerica, which is the small zoo attached to the Park.  The zoo staff actually had to euthanize 2 of the buffalo yesterday because they were drowning.  The flooding started so quickly, they couldn't get them out in time.  They thought euthanizing them would be more humane then letting them drown.

This is a road I took every single day of my life while I lived in Hershey.  It's literally falling apart.

And this is pictures from my in-laws' house.  The first is of the "road" out front.  The second is of the parking lot of the KinderCare day care next door.  And their driveway.  In between the two, is a storm ditch that is about 8 feet deep.  It was meant to hold up to a 100-year flood.  Fail!

Matt's parents' basement flooded.  And their sewer backed up into the basement.  ICK.  My mom and step-dad, and my dad, are all safe and have no damage.  My friends are all ok.  Thank God.  This is completely unprecedented for Hershey to have this much flooding.

Sending love, prayers, and virtual hugs to all our friends and family in the area....