Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let the countdown begin

I'm hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow at our small townhouse with our giant family. Luckily, nine people can't make it so there will only be eighteen of us. Eighteen people. And only three of them are from my side of the family. That's what happens when you marry into a family of eight siblings. In a townhouse. It's not like I have a whole lot to cook, I only have to do the bird, throw some crescent rolls in the oven along with three boxes of Trader Joe's sweet potato pie bites. But just making sure the house and everything is in order is tiring. Our house is a mess most of the time, but when I'm having people over, it has to be spotless. Weird. I have a headache and I'm exhausted and I can't think right now, so I leave you with this:

I was on the phone with my dad yesterday and he said, "So what's for dessert on Thursday?" And I said, "Pumpkin pie, apple pie, and cookies." He didn't say it, but I know he was hoping a pecan pie would be making an appearance. He's from the south, and pecan pie is a staple there. So I trekked out to the store, bought a bag of pecans and some corn syrup and got to baking. Yeah, that's a homemade pie crust, no big deal. He should be pleased. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The music rut is over!

Ever get into a music rut? I love that feeling of finding an album or an artist that you're obsessed with and have on repeat 24/7. Lately I haven't been listening to much of anything. 

As cheesy and ridiculous as the movies are (don't get me wrong, I love them regardless) the Twilight movies always have the BEST soundtracks and always expose me to artists who are kind of under the radar. The Breaking Dawn pt 1 album did not disappoint. I'm out of the rut! Right now I'm listening to the band Sleeping at Last. So good! Most of their songs are pretty melancholy but some of them are more upbeat. But the lyrics, oh my goodness, the lyrics are soooo good and I find myself looking up the lyrics to every new song I hear. Just beautiful.

This is from their song "Turning Page", the song that's actually on the soundtrack:
If I had only felt how it feels to be yoursI would have known what I've been living for all alongWhat I've been living for
We're tethered to the story we must tellWhen I saw you well I knew we'd tell it wellWith the whisper we will tame the vicious scenesLike a feather bringing kingdoms to their knees

From "Birthright":
But what doesn't kill usMakes us stronger they sayBut our only birthrightIn this life, is the Breath that we take.

From "Tethered":
I'll be brave when you are frightenedYou'll be strong when I am weak in the kneesI'll be calm when you have had enough of these rushing wavesYou'll be the oxygen I need
You'll be balance when I waverI'll be warmth when you are shivering coldYou'll be patience when I've had enough of this waiting gameI'll be the anchor cast below

From "January White"
Well, we could let our guards down a little easier this time, We could trust that when there's joy, there's nothing dark behind. In spite of history, Hope is January white. 
From "Watermark" (this one feels particularly relevant to me right now for some reason):
Dive in with your eyes closedFor the life you were born to claimAnd the water will be paralyzedBy the courage you containAnd the flutter of your earnest heartIt will fill the silent seasAnd all will be restored in your memory 
Plus the album artwork is gorgeous and kinda makes me want to break out the watercolors.

I also discovered, and it's something I've been looking for a long time. You can type in a song you like and it will find playlists that people contribute that include that song. It's awesome for discovering new music. 

Disclamer: I just found out that Sleeping at Last is a christian rock band . . . nothing wrong with that, just not really something I'm typically into. I really wouldn't have guessed based on most of the lyrics, but whatever, I'm totally open minded!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Funday

Some good things about this Monday:

Baking pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and eating two of them straight out of the oven for lunch

Wearing sweatpants and Uggs to work (my dining room)

Blasting the Breaking Dawn soundtrack with no judgement

Having an eye-opening session with my therapist (I think everyone should see one!)

Frank not having night class this week and knowing it's a 3-day week

Have a good Monday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Living Room Redux

If  you've ever been to my house, you know that I can't leave a room the same color for too long. We've lived in our house for a little over two years and I've painted every room except for two of our bathrooms. And it's not like it was horrible to start. I just love how painting is a cheap way to totally change the look of a room. And I've become kiiiiiind of a pro after learning some tips from our friend who helped paint the hallways and two story stairwell (he used to be a professional painter).

So anyway, I decided I was tired of the two toned look of our living room, and wanted to lighten it up so it's nice and bright for the winter (hello, SAD sufferer). But once I had the room painted a very pale aqua, it was suddenly way too cool and bland looking. Enter Crate and Barrel and some cheap DIY tricks to add some warm orange accents. 

So here is the living room before:

And here is the after:

I did really love that bold teal color but it was a little TOO bold to put all over the room, and I was just over the two toned look. I am also not a fan of beige, and I think it casted a yellow tone on the room. So here's the rundown of the changes:

I kept the light blue trellis-patterned pillows (um yeah, just realized one is sideways. I'm not a photographer and I'm not an interior designer) but replaced the other ones with these bad boys from Crate and Barrel. They're just much better quality pillows and I like the more graphic and colorful look. Kept the framed vintage map of Paris above the couch. (PS - I want a sectional, BAD)

The color is totally off in this photo and doesn't really do this side of the room justice, I swear. We grabbed those rust orange pillows from JCPenney, which have the same burlap feel as the Crate and Barrel ones. And I love the buttons. See the wall art? I bought two cloth napkins from C&B that were on clearance for $8. Then I bought two square canvases from Hobby Lobby and stretched them on it, using a staple gun on the back.

I'm kind of in love with this antelope/gazelle/goat? head from Home Goods. Frank looked at me like when I was completely insane when I plucked it off the shelf and said, "I'm getting this, now," without any consideration. I think he kind of loves it now :) Plus I knew it would look awesome because I saw it's distant cousin here. I share the white ceramic animal obsession, it's a sickness

The lighted nook above the fireplace didn't change much, I just cleared some clutter and added this orange vase that I found at Marshalls.

Here's the surprise! I did paint this wall the light aqua color to begin with, but it felt like one big long blue room. So I decided to use some leftover brown paint to do an accent wall, in order to kind of separate the dining area from the living room area. I LOVE it! This photo really is horrible though, I suck at Photoshop. The paint is definitely warmer and slightly darker and really contrasts with the white chair rail.  

The artwork is the same stuff that used to be above the the loveseat. They are pages from an old atlas that I bought at an estate sale. The matting on it was white before, so to make it pop a little more, I grabbed some fabric that I already had and just wrapped the mats. 

And here's a picture of Little Man sleeping on the dining room table, because he has no manners.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taking a day off

On Wednesday, Frank and I decided we both needed a day off. Except I can basically never take a day off anymore, boo, so I woke up super early and did my "must do" work for the day and left the rest to handle the next day. After he woke up, we decided to take the pup to the dog park since it was such a beautiful day and almost 70 degrees out. Indian summer is just a cruel joke to me though. Mother nature is a lying B.

Wilbur made friends with some Pit Bulls and Boxers because he's bad ass like that. Some pudgy old lady beagle tried to sniff him out but he didn't have time for bitches. It's so funny to watch him play with other dogs. He doesn't like chasing, he likes being chased. So he just annoys other dogs until they basically want to kill him and finally chase him and then he's all like "weeeeeeeee!".

Then we had a picnic lunch including turkey (organic and nitrate/nitrite free) sandwiches, lite organic cheddar, spicy cilantro hummus, raspberries, and whole grain pita chips with hummus, ALL from Trader Joe's. We just got one close by, can you tell I'm obsessed? Look at me, being all organic and hippie, for cheap.

I laid in the sun on a bench.

And stared up at this: 

And then we went and got ice cream from Brusters. My pick? Half a scoop of pumpkin pie and half a scoop of caramel apple crunch. Please note my excellent iphone food photography skills. I definitely should have done some kind of vintage filter on that. 

My sexy beast of a husband got deep dish apple pie.

And Wilbur stuck with a doggie sundae and a milkbone.

But apparently getting his own ice cream wasn't enough and he begged for ours.

Then we went home, the end.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's been a rough few weeks. I got really sick, my anxiety disorder made a triumphant return (it was REALLY bad) and then I got sick again (well . . . it's the same thing as before because I stopped taking my antibiotic, which as it turns out, I was allergic to). I'm finally on a new antibiotic, and have crawled out of the hole that is panic disorder and anxiety disorder. I'm ready to get my shit back together. Winter is always really hard for me, I get the "winter blues" and can't STAND the lack of light in the evenings. In order to stay happy and healthy, I'm going to try a few things:

1. Cardio at least three times per week
2. Yoga twice a week
3. Lifting, twice a week
4. Meditation, once a day 

Yeah I know, meditation, weird hippy stuff. But I just downloaded an app so it's directed meditation and its all about relaxing and slowing your breath. The problem is that i usually fall asleep when i do it . . . so I'll have to get that under control. 

Plus I lost like three pounds when I was sick and I've been in the mindset that I can eat 5000 calories a day because I'm in the red. Probably not a good idea. They put a Trader Joe's in near my house and I've been eating their dried mangoes like it's crack. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I won't say much about it besides that I'm going through some serious, hard, shit right now.

Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.  ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whoa wait what?

I'm going to have to step it up on the blogging front because the impossible has happened. My husband started a blog. 

Let that sink in for a minute. It's the last thing I ever thought he would do. 

The only people that know about it so far are a few of his friends. Stop by and leave him a comment: it would absolutely make his day!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Don't mess with Texas or sinus infections

I'm back in cold, rainy Pittsburgh and recovering from a massive sinus infection that also spread to my throat. That was the diagnosis I received at the urgent care clinic I visited the morning after I wrote my last post. (Side note: There was also a guy named Kirk there waiting to get stitches. Apparently one of his friends threw a full bottle of Gatorade at his face and basically cracked his face in half. You wouldn't think a Riptide Rush to the grill could do that much damage, but you'd be surprised.) Luckily the combo of antibiotics, Mucinex, Vitamin C, and Advil kicked in quickly and I was feeling noticeably better by that afternoon. We drove around Galveston checking out some of the historical district. I was still feeling like crap so most of the photos were taken from the passenger window of a moving car, so they're not very good. That night I finally felt well enough to actually leave the hotel and eat dinner, so I got a steak (in Texas!) with a gulf view. Then I went to bed by 8.

On Thursday morning, I woke up ready to rock Galveston. I still didn't feel awesome, but I could stay awake for longer than 20 minutes and it was our last day there so I wanted to make the most of it. When Frank got back from his morning class, I convinced him to ditch the rest of the day. We drove around town, did some shopping and got an awesome lunch of crab stuffed shrimp (for me. He got something lame with chicken). The rest of the afternoon was spent laying at the pool and drinking Grey Goose and vodka (which is my new favorite). We also went for a long walk on the beach and I found the biggest seashell I've ever captured! Yes, I captured it. Honestly, looking for seashells is my favorite part of the beach and you can bet I brought this bad boy home with me. 

Frank brought this back for me when I didn't feel well enough to go to one of the fancy dinners:

The Hotel Galvez:

These are some of the houses/buildings we saw on our drive around the historic part of town:

The pool area was amazing, so was my view wink wink:

I could do this every day.

My boyfriend:

Me, back from the dead

My giant seashell:

I liked the sun flare

Pointing out grammatical errors on the beach

The view from my deathbed

(I started this post last week, but the shoddy hotel internet was cooperating, so I'm finishing it now.)

Here's the view from my death bed:

Amazing view, but it would be nice if I could go out and walk on that beach, not just stare at it from my bleached hotel sheets. I tagged along with Frank to a work conference in Galveston, which is actually an island off of Texas. Of course I started feeling weird after I stepped off the plane, and by last night I was feverish and had to call it a night before everyone else. Today has been miserable. I've been able to stay awake for an hour or two, do a little bit of work (even though I'm not at home, I'm technically still working because I didn't tell any of my clients I would be gone). Then I pass out and wake up in a pool of sweat a few hours later. Fever, chills, aches, and a little bit of a sore throat. I've missed a Mexican buffet and a gourmet dinner of seared salmon and who knows what else in favor of a 1/2 gallon of orange juice, some pizza flavored Combos and some gummy worms. I'm praying that today was the worst of it and I'll feel miraculously fine tomorrow. 

Galveston is a weird place. We're right on the ocean but there's not much of a beach. The hotel is gorgeous, but when you take a walk down the street there are boarded up houses, pawn shops, and fried chicken joints. We passed through a cute historic houses with gorgeous houses that look like they're right out of a magazine, but if you take a wrong turn, you're in the ghetto. 

Anyway, our hotel is pretty impressive. We're staying at the Hotel Galvez, 

One way to freak yourself out is to Google your hotel on a whim to find out if it's haunted, and then find out that it is indeed very haunted and has been the subject of many paranormal investigations. The story is that a woman's husband was away at sea and she was staying at the Hotel Galvez. She got word that his ship had wrecked and no one had survived. She was so distraught that she hung herself from one of the turrets. But it turned out that his ship had not wrecked and he returned a few weeks later. Apparently she haunts the hotel now. 

I will update later with more Galveston photos and any ghost sighting. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lunch time win

Sometimes I go a while without eating a salad because it just sounds blah and boring. And then I start feeling fat and decide to eat one and I'm like "oh yeah. . . that's good".

In the mix:

Garbanzo beans
Goat cheese
Bacon bits (no one's perfect)
Flax seed
Light Greek vinagrette

I could live off of chick peas and artichokes alone.

Yeah, I just blogged about salad, and I don't even think it's the first time. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ahoy Mateys

So I was sitting out on my deck working this morning, Macbook on lap, coffee to my side, sun in the sky (yes, insert jealousy here). I was writing an article about "wardrobe necessities" and the major pieces every woman must have in their wardrobe in order to be fashionable. Then I looked down and realized, I'm an effin' hypocrite.

I apologize for the quality of these photos, which were taken in Photo Booth, but I have no desire to take high quality pictures of me looking like a junkie. So here's the rundown, which i'll do in the style of a fashion blogger:

         On Emily:
         Pants: Target, possibly the maternity section judging by the wide waist band
         Frank the Tank t-shirt: from brother in law, meant to be for husband but too small for him, I       think it's from Steve and Barry's, which I'm pretty sure no longer exists.
         Shoes: UGGs, those are fancy.

Yeah, so the next time you're reading a fashion article, take it with a grain of salt. Because it could be written by someone like me, and there's a good chance the author hasn't brushed her teeth yet.

Anyway, later on I had to go to Nordstrom's to spend a gift card that I had from returning some TOMS's. (According to Google, I'm the only person in the world that gets crippling sciatic nerve pain from TOM's. Hopefully the needy children don't.) So I had to put on some fancy clothes, because Nordstrom's is fancy, yo. Here was the awesome outfit I put together:

I look like Pilgrims of the Caribbean. Seriously, wtf? But I went with it, because it looks weird and that's sort of what I was going for. Oh and also? This shirt is appropriate for temperatures ranging from 72 to 72.4 degrees. It's like sheer, yet long sleeved. 

On Emily:
BLOUSE: (yes I used that word) Old Navy, steeply discounted
Jeans: Gap (outlet)
Shoes: DSW

I even wore my hair up, which is a big step. I don't do that very often because I generally hate the look of my face and the surrounding head areas. My hair is generally the moneymaker.

So see, sometimes I wear real clothes.

Also, there were turkeys.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I touched a lot of goat this weekend.

This weekend was kind of awesome. Frank had Friday off and it was gorgeous, so I agreed to go golfing. I actually have a good set of golf clubs but have never used them. I golfed better than I thought I would AND I got to drive the golf cart, bonus.

Frank took some lame pictures of me, and I took an awesome one of him:

I spent the rest of the afternoon staining and painting the front porch and steps while Frank napped (can you sense my frustration?). He's not one for manual labor, or at least manual labor involving paintbrushes. We sat around until 9, when we suddenly both got the urge to go to the gym, mainly because nothing else was going on. He made me do some ridiculous cross-fit stuff until I felt like I was going to throw up. Then we went home and watched Something Borrowed which almost made me dry heave due to the cheesiness. Frank said he liked it though, he's more into the cheesiness than I am. I wanted to strangle both Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson, mainly due to their respective obnoxious laughs. The only redeeming part of the movie was John Krasinski and he didn't even get the girl in the end. Jim, you're better off without that cackling sloot.

On Saturday morning I went to the gym again and did some cardio and then took a yoga class. I'm really getting into yoga because all that downward dog is really strengthening my shoulders, yo. And did you see what I did right there? I told you that I went to the gym two days in a row!

Then we went over to Frank's sister's house to steal her kids for a few hours and take them to a fall festival. See, I love to do fall kind of stuff like festivals and pumpkin patches but Frank's not really into it. So if I use the kids as an excuse to go, he thinks I'm just being a good aunt. 

Izzy really wanted to ride a pink pony but she settled for this white one.

Zach said about the Carnie-zombie enthusiast petting zoo owner: "That lady was really nice for letting us feed her goats and ride her ponies."

And we waited forty. five. minutes. to get our faces painted because it was important. We were really impressed with the kids' patience and dedication for waiting in line for so long. You could tell it was really important to them. We, on the other hand, were not patient. Frank disappeared and came back with a beer a few times. He also almost had to throw down on some line cutters. (PS $5 for face painting? $10 if you wanted the whole face painted? I'm in the wrong industry.)

Also, this happened:

Every time we have the kids, we follow up by asking each other, "So did that make you want to have kids now or not want to have kids now?" We both decided we were neutral. We love those kids and have so much fun with them, but it's e.x.h.a.u.s.t.i.n.g.

After a quick nap (and a pizza to the face) I got ready and we went out downtown to celebrate two of our friends' birthdays. We got bored of downtown and ended up at the casino, mainly because of the cheap beer and priceless people-watching opportunities. When I started falling asleep at the casino bar (I can't hang anymore) we all went back to our house, made grilled cheese sandwiches and chili for everyone and passed out. It was a fun night.

Now it's Sunday night and I really have to buckle down and get a ton of work done this week. Why? Because next week we're heading to a beach resort in Galveston (a work conference for frank) and I would like to do as little work as possible.