Thursday, April 26, 2012

Washing Berries by the Pot

I moved from a really large office (3 floors - 2 bathrooms and a kitchen on each floor) to a one floor, 5-person office (same company, different location). While there are many perks to this new location, there’s one thing I just can’t stand. Meet our kitchen.

This beaut seems to serve its purpose. There’s a mini fridge/microwave combo, an “honor system vending machine” and a table filled with old gossip magazines, but wait… something’s missing… no sink! What’s a kitchen with no sink? That’s right, a break room. Dangit. I lost my work kitchen and now I have to go to the bathroom to even make a cup of coffee. Gross.

I took it to a whole new level today. I brought strawberries to work & forgot to wash them at home this morning. If you know me at all you know I eat every 3-4 hours, or every 2-3 if I’m bored, so not eating them wasn’t an option. Enter: washing berries by the pot. I had to wash my beautiful strawberries by the porcelain king today. Better to get fecal bacteria or poison from cleaning supplies in my mouth than a few pesticides?

Apparently in my own self-destructive state of hunger I thought so.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time to Celebrate!

I’ve tried to start this post a million ways and can’t quite seem to capture how I feel in my heart. My parents mean the world to me and always have. Their love for each other is evident to everyone who knows them and it absolutely warms my heart to hear someone say, “Man, you can tell they’re still in love after all these years.” 30 years to be exact. That’s right. Today, they’re celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. They only dated four months before my dad popped the question and the rest is history. Mom & Dad – I hope you have a WONDERFUL anniversary! We love you so much!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Ryan & I headed to the Upstate (yes, again) Friday night. We met my parents at the Saluda River Grill in Piedmont. I couldn’t believe this place; it was absolutely gorgeous! The owners turned the old town mill into an industrial-decorated restaurant, preserving the original brick walls and wooden beams.

They serve anything from crab cakes to steak, and yes, grits. The food was pretty good, but company, well, second to none.

The four of us woke up early on Saturday morning & headed even farther up state to Long Creek, SC. I’ve never visited this gem (probably because I don’t own a pair of Chaco’s), but it really is a beautiful place. We were drawn in by a Groupon that came out a few months ago for a Zipline Canopy Tour. Anxious to prove that I could hang on a hiking trip or anything outdoors with my dad, I suggested we buy this little adventure. It quickly turned cold outside and we never had a chance to use our Groupon. Just a couple of weeks ago I got an email from Groupon reminding me to use it because it was expiring in May. If you know me at all you know I’m not going to waste a dollar… especially not $150! We figured out a Saturday that would work for all four of us and our mini-adventure was planned.

My mom prayed for rain. Hard. She was scared to death to go on this trip. I’m so glad she didn’t back out because we had more fun than I ever imagined we would. Here are a few pictures from our zipping escapade.

To get up on the first platform, you have to be hoisted up into the air by a rope. Oh. My. Gosh. This was the scariest part of the day for me!

Once you got up so high, the post ran out & you were just left dangling there. Just hanging out...

Coming in from the first zip - pretty easy!

Here's one of all four of us on one of the platforms. What do you think - Bob the Builder or a family of coal miners? 

Here's one of the tougher bridges - my short legs barely made it across that second gap!

Ah, you know, just hanging out 40 feet in the air. I think they thought they were in a tree house.

Mom taking off on one of the last zips. (And this wasn't even one of the highest ones!)

Here comes Ryan!

Dad coming in - looking like Tarzan.

Just wanted to leave you with this flattering shot.

I've you've never done a zipline tour - do it! I promise you won't regret it and you'll be looking forward to your next one. Have a great week!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Glass Front Cabinets

Lately I've been obsessing over our kitchen, and the fact that we still have green counter tops. I made the mistake of reading a post from February where I talked about my vision for our kitchen. I really thought back in February that our kitchen would be complete by this Summer. Now, I'm hoping for the Fall. I have so many ideas, but right now we're pouring all of our resources into the office. It'll have to wait a little longer, but mark my words that this WILL get done. One day. :)

I know I want a light cabinet color (maybe a white with a hint of almond - sounds like it would be good in my coffee), but I'm still struggling over counter tops and back splashes. I know I have a tendency to love trendy things, but I promised myself I'd stay timeless with this kitchen. I want to love this design 10 years from now.

Our kitchen is pretty standard, just builder grade. I think I found a way to jazz it up, though. While mulling over pictures on, I started to notice lots of my favorite kitchens had glass-front cabinets. Not the scary kind where the entire upper half is see-through, but just a couple, just enough to make it interesting. I love the three examples below.

I want to make the two cabinets on either side of my sink glass-front. I got the slightly OCD gene of organization that my sister has (although we're not quite sure which parent it came from). I can just image stacking colorful plates & glasses in these cabinets to add an extra element of style to our kitchen and it makes me so excited!

Pennsylvania Farm House traditional kitchen

causey kitchen island traditional kitchen

Our Projects: Kitchens contemporary kitchen

I'm tempted to rip the doors off tomorrow and take them to Hobby Lobby to get them fitted for glass. (Yes, I know I can't do that and I'll have to hire a professional), but I'm so tired of waiting! Until then, I'll dream about my glass-fronts and occasionally browse the isles of TJ Maxx hoping for some beautiful pieces.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Birthday Girl

Last weekend I got to go to the Upstate for girls night. Some of my closest college girlfriends get together once a month for dinner. I look forward to this night every time it rolls around. This time we got to celebrate this fantastic girl.Laura was celebrating her 26th birthday!

Here's Ashley & Rebecca's little one, Whitley Grace.

Laura's cake!

Strawberry-lemonade from Strossner's!

I think 26 candles may be too much for the smoke detectors! Happy Birthday, sweet girl. We love you!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Shaping Up

We’re getting back in the habit.

No, not that habit. This habit.

Ever since we moved and I had to quit working out at 9Round, my body has been craving exercise. Working out at 9Round made me love exercising and I’ve missed it so much. There’s a 9Round close to my work, but if I leave at 5:00 and try to make it over there (Harbison Blvd = Columbia’s Mall = my version of H E double hockey sticks) I won’t be able to begin my work out until 6pm. (Mind you – it’s about a 7 minute drive from my work to 9Round if there’s no traffic. That’s how bad it is at 5:00).

There are a few good gyms in Lexington and some people suggested a place called the Body Shop, which seemed great, but I love classes, so we wound up here:

I know, I know. I hate big franchise gyms too, but they have awesome classes and they have this:


It’s a fairly dark room that plays great movies. You can use the treadmills, ellipticals & bikes in here for as long as you’d like and you have a great movie to watch. I’ve always found I can run much longer when I’m distracted. This room may become my new best friend.

When we went to join last night (around 6:30pm) we put on our pristine workout clothes and set out to conquer our laziness. We left the gym at 7:30 with a contract in hand and an appointment with a personal trainer. Crap. How did that happen? First thing I knew we were talking to this juiced up New Yorker about how he moved to SC to be with a girl and the next thing I knew my name was on his calendar for Monday at 5:30 and Ryan’s on Tuesday at 6:30. Shoot. He better not check my BMI! After we realized we had talked to him for over an hour, we decided we needed to eat, not workout. Well, I decided it. It was past my supper time and I couldn’t work out on an empty stomach, right? I didn’t think so. We decided to tackle it the next day.

As we were discussing our new gym membership over chicken wings and fries (yes, this really happened), we decided to give working out early in the morning a shot. We decided to go to bed at 9:00 and wake up early for the 5:30 class.

Fast-forward to this morning. My alarm went off at 5am. I snoozed until 5:15, and then threw on my workout clothes (again). I grabbed some Gatorade because I needed to dominate this class like Michael Jordan would’ve, and Ryan and I headed over to the gym. I convinced him to do the class with me because there were other guys in there. The class was called “Body Pump” and was taught by a guy named Rine. Should’ve been a sign. Everyone in the class was so nice & they came over to help us get our equipment set up – I guess we stood out as first-timers. After the class-regulars and instructor introduced themselves we got rolling. It started off great and I was really feeling the burn. Rine had a Britney Spears mic that he used and abused. Imagine this.

About half way through, Rine shouted out “Amy and Jason we’re so glad you joined us today!” I lost it. Jason? Where did that even come from? Through the pushups and lunges he called Ryan “Jason” about six more times. I couldn’t quit laughing. After the class, one of the men made a B-line for Ryan and said with a smile, “It’s Bryan isn’t it?” Ryan said, “No sir, it’s Ryan.” The poor man hung his defeated head and walked out.

It wasn’t a complete fail – we got a great workout and I already can’t walk very well. I think we’ll go back, but if Rine keeps up with the “Jason” thing, I’ll eventually have to correct him. I can't handle a whole year of trying to keep a straight face with that man.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Trends for Spring & Summer

I love clothes and I love trends, so when the bright, fun colors started popping up everywhere for the Spring I couldn't contain my excitement! Last spring, neutrals were really big (what a drag) and after Fall & Winter I want nothing more than to throw on some color & paint the town. Here are a few trends that I'm loving for the warm months ahead.

I've always been a fan of summer dresses (and still am), but shorts have made a comeback in a big way. They're popping up everywhere - including my new favorite show, Fashion Star. Here are two examples of how they can be dressed up or down, depending on tops, shoes & jewelry that are paired with them.

Hello! I was born in the 80's, so I nearly died when I saw neon was coming back. It's being done in such a fun way that I really want to get in on this trend.
If lots of neon makes you nervous, start small with just a top or a bold necklace!

Colored skinny jeans made it big in the fall & the trend has carried over in the spring. I MUST HAVE these two colors to carry me into the summer months. (Yes, white is a color and just happens to be my favorite!)

I think I'm making this a trend. I've seen some amazing clutches floating around & I'm bound & determined to down size my carry-alongs so I can start using them!

Again, this is nothing new, but it is a bit trendy. Statement jewelry is back & better than ever. It can totally change or update a whole outfit!

Majority of these pictures are from a boutique called Page6. You can find them on facebook. My horrible best friend introduced me to this shop a few weeks ago & should be locked away. I'm on a quest to start eating ramen noodles again so I can spend all of my money in this store!
Happy Spring shopping - GO BOLD OR GO HOME!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Basement Bathroom Redo

Sunday afternoon Ryan took off for a few hours to play a round of golf. I decided (for once) not to waste away a Sunday afternoon by clearing out my TVO and decided to tackle the basement bathroom. I must preface this remodel with a couple of points:
  • We moved from a 1 bathroom house to a 3 and 1/2 bathroom house. In our old house I was forced to stick with traditional, neutral colors.
  • I have a hint of hippy in my blood and sometimes tend to lean towards a bohemian style.

Here's a couple of shots of the bathroom before. The powder blue color just didn't work for me. It actually looked more aqua in person.

Aaaaaannnnnd.... AFTER! I pulled the wall color, a muted sea foam green, from the curtains (Christopher Lowell is somewhere clapping his hands furiously.) I knew I wanted something in the green or blue family for the walls, and when I saw these curtains from World Market, I immediately fell in love.
It's actually just one curtain. I couldn't stomach spending $70 on curtains for a bathroom that's rarely visited, and I knew my window wasn't very wide, so I came up with the idea to buy one panel, cut it in half and hem the sides to make two panels. One $35 panel is much more my style.

I folded the panel in half, then cut straight down. I wasn't particularly careful about my line being perfectly straight because of how well these curtains hang.

I had hemming tape, but opted for this hemming glue instead and it worked perfectly. Plus, I like the name. Liquid Stitch sounds like an awesome band.

I let the curtains dry over night (mainly because I got tired of working and wanted to watch my recorded shows.)

Here's a close-up of the curtain detail. Again - I love World Market!

One last picture of the "after." There's still a lot of work to do... rugs, new hardware, light fixtures, a toilet that isn't broken (thanks, Baker), but it's a good start & gets me motivated to work on the rest of the house!