Holiday Home Link Parties

I realize I have been a terrible blogger lately.  My holiday season so far has been a combination of mind-blowingly busy and sinfully lazy, but I have been enjoying every minute.  My Christmas decorating has been going slower than anticipated…We do have the main tree up now, but our secondary tree is still in the box, the outdoors have not been decorated aside from a fluffy white wreath I snagged at Lowes for under $10, and my house is a general mess of boxes of decor that have not yet been sifted through and unwrapped gifts.  Not pretty.

On the bright side, my sewing desk and table have been moved to a corner of one of our spare rooms, and after the holidays, I plan to start organizing and decorating that space to make it my own…FINALLY!  Only a year late…  But we tend to take our time around here with big projects.

However, I am excited about the upcoming Holiday Home Link Parties!  And I am pretty sure I will be able to share something for each party.   That’s my goal anyways. Care to join me?

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A Jumble of Thoughts and Goings-On…Brought to you by Hurricane Sandy

It’s a very quiet day around here today.  At work, most of our clients and colleagues are based in NYC, so many of them are quite understandably spending the day preparing for Hurricane Sandy and not concentrating on sending me stuff to do.  Nice change of pace for the day, but it can get a bit boring.  However, I am definitely thinking about all of my many family, friends, and colleagues who are dealing with this Frankenstorm.  Please stay safe, all you North-easterners!  Having been through the Florida hurricane-palooza of 2004 (Charlie/Frances/Ivan/Jeanne), I know it can be scary!

We were not planning on dressing up for Halloween this year, which would have been kind of sad.  But a friend of ours put together a last-minute party about a week in advance, so we had to scramble to figure out costumes!  We decided to do the reverse of what we did 5 years ago.  In 2007, I was an angel and Tadd was a devil.  This year, I got to be the devil!  And Tadd was an angel (although let’s be honest, he’s no angel…ha!).  I reused his pitchfork and the red cape from my Little Red Riding Hood costume from last year and found a $5 set of horns, bow tie, and tail.

Here we are in 2007:

And here we were last Saturday (sorry about the poor quality…as you can see from my friend’s reflection behind us, it was taken with a phone in dim lighting):

Tadd and I went on a date night to one of our favorite Park Avenue dinner spots last night, but beforehand I was able to convince him to take me to JoAnn Fabrics!  I spent way more than I should have, but I got all kinds of stuff to make a few Christmas presents, and what I hope will be a Thanksgiving wreath.  So stay tuned!

I did get started on a new sewing project last night, but something in my sewing machine malfunctioned and it just was not working correctly.  Tadd is going to try to fix it tonight.  I hope so, because I was almost finished with what I was working on.  It was frustrating to be so close to finishing without being able to finish.

And in the spirit of Halloween, I will leave you with this:  At work, one of the executives’ wives is an amazing baker.  Their family had a Halloween party over the weekend and the leftovers were brought to our company breakroom for us to share.  Incredible!  There is a brownie graveyard, a haunted castle cake, a huge cauldron of candy, adorable cupcakes, etc.  I know I shouldn’t have, but I took one of the cupcakes and a chocolate oreo kitty.  How cute are these?  That little knife in the “bloody” cupcake is actually a tiny cookie!

Buy all the things!

I had promised myself that I would pull out all my fall & Halloween decor last night, but I got something in the mail that I had been waiting for, so that derailed me for the evening.  However, I have now re-promised myself that TONIGHT will be the night!  Tadd and I stopped by JoAnn Fabrics on the way home from work yesterday and it was Halloween-palooza!  They have some freakishly adorable Halloween stuff.  I wasn’t as keen on their fall stuff this year, but they had one aisle where I seriously wanted to BUY ALL THE THINGS!

I bought a few items, but will probably go back for more.  And I need to stop by Dollar Tree.  Even though I REALLY don’t need anymore Halloween decor.  I think I have a problem.  I started shopping for this season hoping for more fall stuff and less Halloween, but for some reason I am always drawn to the Halloween stuff.  Go figure…

I didn’t buy any of this stuff, but I wanted to!

I also bought some fall fabric, which I am HOPING to turn into something pretty.  My idea is simple, but since I am still fairly new to sewing, I sometimes worry that constructing something very simple on my own (without a tutorial) will still conclude in failure.  But I don’t know until I try, so I suppose we will see.

I bought about $54 worth of stuff, but only paid $18 out of pocket, thanks to my favorite shopping combo: sales + coupon + giftcard (I still had $10.78 left on one card from my birthday).  Tadd was impressed with how much stuff we got for so little.

All that rambling to tell you that hopefully I will be able to share my new purchases, and some of my old items in new ways starting tomorrow!  Bring on the fall decor!

Looking forward to fall.

I can’t believe it’s the last day of July!  I am happy though, because that puts us another month closer to my favorite season, fall!  Florida summers can be brutal.  High temps in the mid nineties, crazy humidity, and violent thunderstorms almost every day.  They are also way too long…Our summer weather patterns sometimes start in April and can last well into October.  It can be really tough to do anything (comfortably) outdoors during this time frame, which can be quite limiting.

So, to make these last several weeks of summer a teensy bit more bearable, I am thinking about some my favorite things about fall!

Top 5 fall-related things I am looking forward to (in no particular order):

  1. Yankee Candle Boney Bunch Preview!  This event is THIS coming Saturday morning, August 4th.  I was good and skipped this last year during my No Spend August Challenge.  But this year, I will be going back and I am psyched!  I always love Yankee Candle’s fall and Halloween items, and the sneak peek pics I have seen so far show that this year is no exception.  There is even rumor of a Boney Bunch kitty character in this year’s collection!

    My Boney Bunch haul from 2010.

  2. Long & Scott’s Corn Maze. My friends and I conquered the maze last year.  It wasn’t a very fall-like day (hot!), but we had fun working together to solve the 6-acre maze.  Hopefully this year we can go on a day with crisper temperatures. 
  3. Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Disney events like this one make me feel really lucky to live in Central Florida.  This is always one of the highlights of my fall season every year.  It’s not a cheap day (each tasting item costs an average of $4-5), but there is something really fun and enjoyable about getting to stroll around World Showcase, trying different food and beverage items from all around the world.
  4. Fall crafting. Fall tends to be the time that I really get into crafting.  For some reason, it sparks my creative side.  I actually hope to get started on this very soon!  Last year I made a cute “SPOOKY” sign, a Halloween-ified vase, and got together with my girlfriends to make candy corn wreaths.  This year, I am planning on some fall sewing projects.
  5. Halloween!  I love all holidays, especially Halloween.  Tadd and I are starting to toss around costume ideas for this year already.  Last year we dressed up as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf!

I heart fabric shopping!

Hope your weekend was great!  I finally got out to spend some of my birthday gift cards yesterday.  Of course, they were almost all for crafty-type places.  I ended up with quite a haul of fabric for future projects!

Fat quarters were on sale for $1 each, so I got a ton:

And there were a few others on the bolt that I couldn’t resist.  The linen (at the very top of the pic below, above the Star Wars fabric) was a pre-planned purchase.  I am thinking about trying some sunglasses cases with that.  The rest will be used for about a million other projects I have floating around my head.  I wish I could sew full time so that I could get done everything I want to do!

Isn’t that yellow floral awesome?  I’m not sure why, but I have been really drawn to the yellow/black/white color combo lately.  I actually love how it looks with that black & white check fabric…hmmm…

Oh, and the Star Wars fabric is for Tadd.  He wants me to make him a wallet out of it!  We’ll see how that turns out.

Porch Envy

When Tadd and I were house shopping back in late summer/early fall 2009, there were a few houses that I fell in love with that just didn’t work out for one reason or another.  They all had 1 thing in common, front porches. While all of the houses we looked at were newer (less than 10 years old), my favorites were always the ones that were built in the style of an older house.

We put a bid on a house just like this, but blue. I love the L-shaped porch and the graduated columns!

The house we ended up with is great, but there is no front porch, which is something I often regret. When Tadd and I carpool to work, we pass through the Eola Heights neighborhood in Downtown Orlando to get to and from his office.  It’s a neighborhood FULL of charming older houses (mostly Victorians and Arts & Crafts style bungalows),  many with beautiful front porches.  There have been many times when passing through that part of town where I have turned and said to Tadd, “My next house WILL have a front porch!”

We do have a screened in back porch that we both really enjoy.  Our property backs up to a cattle ranch, and we have great views of the cow pasture and the lake beyond from our back porch.  And we get to see all kinds of neat wildlife (aside from the cows and horses from the ranch, we see tons of deer, wild turkeys, sandhill cranes, etc).  But as I’m sure all you other “front porch people” understand, it’s just not the same.

Below are some of my front porch inspiration finds from Pinterest.

Source: OldHouses.com

Source: The Selliken Group – Portland Real Estate

Source: TheHouseDesigners.com

Source: Gant Construction

If you have a front porch, do you use it?  If you don’t, do you have porch envy like I do?

First Blogiversary!

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since I started this blog!  I started just a few days before I turned 30 with this post.  I wasn’t sure where I would go with it or what I would write about or who would even read it.  I have learned a great deal along the way, and even met a few new friends.

Some fun facts and stats:

  • In the past 12 months, I have made 183 posts.
  • Of those, the most popular by far has been the post about making your own coasters from terracotta pot saucers.
  • An oddly large number of people run across my blog when searching for info on Chili’s blackberry iced tea.  It’s my most popular search term.
  • The Facebook page for this blog currently has 59 followers, which thrills me to death!  I’d love for it to keep growing!
  • I have blogged about four out-of-state trips this year, which for me is a lot.  I have blogged in Massachusetts and Vermont, South Carolina, Tennessee, and back to Massachusetts again.
  • The blog that I get the most referrals from is addicted2decorating.com!

Although I know I am not the most skilled or prolific or compelling writer, I truly enjoy this hobby of mine.  I love the outlet of personal expression, and I love getting to share things with people.  It’s a great way to connect, destress, and it makes life more fun!  I would like to encourage those of you who are interested in blogging to just give it a try.  You can start your own blog for free at wordpress.com, which is exactly how I started.  It’s really easy and user-friendly for those without experience.  And if you need help, please feel free to reach out to me.

Excited to start year 2 at Sunshine And Some Tea!

Instagram Link Party: Cats!

It has been awhile since I talked about my furkids.  Thought I would share some pics.

Logan just turned 8.  He’s the “old man” of our family.  He knows he’s handsome, and is our most easygoing (read: too lazy to care) cat.  He is also enormous (22 lbs!).

Stella is 2, and is the scrawny runt.  She is sweet and snuggly, and is often terrorized by her brothers (poor thing!).  She enjoys sitting on Tadd’s shoulder like a parrot.  She also loves going out on the screened porch to watch birds and butterflies fly around.

Jacoby is the baby.  You might remember when we rescued him from a Publix parking lot back in July.  He is almost 11 months old now!   He is rambunctious, but sweet and happy all the time.  He also has the shiniest fur I have ever seen.  We call him “sparkle-cat”!

He has come a long way from this!:

 

 

An Instagram Hodgepodge Post!

I realize things have been kind of slow lately around these parts.  Work is still crazy, and it’s still leaving me mentally exhausted every night when I get home, although it’s starting to calm down a bit.  At least for now.

As tired as I am today, I need to go shopping for 1) sewing project supplies and 2) Easter basket stuffers!  So after work I will be swinging by Starbucks for a jolt of caffeine, followed by a trip to a few stores.

I thought that today I would just share what I have been up to lately via my most recent posts on Instagram.  I guess you could say that this is in honor of the brand new Android app that Instagram released yesterday.  I am an iPhone girl, but I am happy that my Android friends can now join in the fun!

Last week I decided to try a tutorial I found that promised 3 cosmetic cases using 2 fat quarters.  I only had 1 matching zipper on hand, so while I cut out the pieces to make 3, I only actually sewed one.  And while I love the prints I used and the size, my own botching of the construction left a lot to be desired.  Still working on getting used to sewing with zippers!  You can’t really tell how badly I screwed this one up from the pics, since my hand is artfully covering it.  Still, at least it’s usable…Just a little wonky.

Saturday we drove over to my parents’ house to do our taxes (procrastinators, I know…), and I spied their lovely poinsettia plant still blooming away in their yard.  I know it’s almost Easter, but how pretty is this?:

Sunday night was dinner with the girls!  We ate at Sushi Pop in Oviedo, which I have discussed is one of my favorite quirky local places.  My favorite beverage to order there is the raspberry saketini.  It’s sake mixed with fresh raspberry puree served in a frosted martini glass.  So yummy!  I also love their truffle salt edamame, and the Oviedo chicken roll!  It’s was 80’s pop star night (every night is themed at Sushi Pop), so the wardrobe of all the waiters/waitresses was very sparkly and bright.  Perfect for girls’ night!

Monday night, we went to the Wine Room on Park Ave in downtown Winter Park to support my friend Lara, who was hosting trivia!  Tadd and I love any excuse to have a relaxing evening on Park Avenue, so I picked him up after work (he even got out early!) and we strolled around Central Park a bit before going to trivia night.  This is the main fountain in the park.  It was so peaceful and nice in the shade (but too hot in the sun!).  Incidentally, the Wine Room’s mushroom truffle flatbread is amazing.  As is Southern Tier’s Mokah Stout beer.  Yes, I had beer at a wine bar.  But it was REALLY GOOD beer!

Follow me on Instagram!  I’m “sunshineteablog”.

A quick (but exciting) shout out!

Work has been brutal to me this week.  I have not had the energy to do much of anything after work aside from try to regain my strength and sanity.  It’s always tough to get posts out everyday or even every couple of days when I have weeks like this.  So thank you for bearing with my lack of posts the past few days.

I did make it out Tuesday night for an impromptu date night with the husband.  We went to Macaroni Grill and had TERRIBLE service (our complimentary bread wasn’t brought until halfway through the meal…I asked for chicken marsala and they tried to bring me mushroom ravioli…also, they served me wine in a water glass?!?!), but as always the company was lovely and made up for the lackluster meal.  You know how they encourage you to draw on the tablecloths?   I was looking at the menu, not paying attention to what Tadd was doing, and when I put the menu down, this was next to my place setting:

Awwww…Sweet guy.  I’m a lucky girl.

Anyways, the main purpose of this post is to thank Kristi at Addicted2Decorating.com for featuring my DIY terracotta coasters on her blog!  I can’t say how honored I am.  People seem to be really excited about this project on Pinterest too.  Exciting for me and my little blog!  If you haven’t checked out Addicted2Decorating yet, you should.  Lots of great ideas!  Especially the hallway project she has been working on for awhile.  She hand-painted her own beautiful argyle on the wall!  Stunning!