Things I am excited about this spring.

I was just sitting here thinking about all I have to look forward to this spring.  I thought I would share.

St. Patrick’s Day at Epcot

Click for source...The Official Disney Parks Blog.

Epcot Flower & Garden Festival (click for source, wdwinfo.com)

When I saw that St. Patty’s Day fell on a Saturday, I knew we had to take advantage and do something fun.  What better place to celebrate than Walt Disney World?  Especially Epcot!  Chances are there won’t be anything big or special going on for the occasion, but I hear they might have some kind of small celebration or acknowledgement in the UK pavilion in World Showcase.  Even if they don’t, we will be wearing green and drinking Irish beer in a multicultural atmosphere.  Works for me!  As a bonus, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is going on right now (through May 20).

Easter

It might sound dorky, but Tadd and I exchange Easter baskets every year.  It’s something I always have a lot of fun with.

Visiting friends and family!

We have a couple of short trips planned to see some of our favorite people this spring.  One trip for family and one trip for friends.  I can’t wait!

Star Wars Weekends

We got to meet Warwick Davis! Remember him from the movie Willow (Harry Potter too)?

Another one of our springtime traditions.  This is a special event held every year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  It includes chances to meet celebrities, cute photo ops with the characters, and a great parade.  It’s fun to see everyone all geeked out at the parks.  We pretty much always go the first weekend, which is almost always right near my birthday, and it usually marks the last time we go to the theme park until mid-August (we skip visiting Disney during the summer, too hot and crowded!).

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

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More from my semi-productive weekend.

The weekend is almost over.  It seemed so much shorter than normal, even though it’s only technically shorter by one hour.  I don’t know about you, but daylight savings time always takes several days for me to get used to.  I am a much bigger fan of “Fall Back” than “Spring Forward”.

We have continued our weekend of doing not much of anything.  We did get out and run some errands this morning, which was nice.  I get cabin fever if I am cooped up in the house too long.  One of our stops was at JoAnn Fabrics, where I certainly bought some stuff.

I think I am starting to develop an addiction to fabric.  It’s terrible…I go into the quilting section, and immediately want to buy everything I see.  All told though, everything pictured (about 3 yards of fabric total) cost about $10 thanks to sales and coupons.  Not everything here has a purpose yet, but I’m sure I will find ways to use all of it.  For my next new project, I intend to try making a simple apron, so at least one of these fabrics will be used for that.  Also, can you tell I love graphic florals?  I need to start branching out into some polka dots and stripes.

Last night, I decided to try an idea I found on Pinterest.  My husband loves peanut butter anything, especially when combined with chocolate, so I knew it would be a big hit.  Just take canned crescent rolls, spread with peanut butter, and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Roll up, bake at 375F for 11 minutes.  The result: YUM!  The peanut butter and chocolate get all melty and warm.  I had a very happy husband.

Oh, and at my husband’s request, I finally made him his very own manly coffee sleeve.  He had been requesting one for himself since I made the first one about six weeks ago.  Took me long enough to get around to it!  I hope he likes it.  I know it looks huge on the small coffee cup, but it was the only thing I had on hand to serve as a “model”.  It’s really the same size as the other ones I have made.

Red Carpet Fashion at the Oscars!

We made it home on Sunday night with about 2 hours to spare before the Oscars.  I was thrilled, because I wasn’t sure that we were going to be back in time and I love the Oscars!  This year I was rooting for The HelpHugo, The Muppets, and Margin Call (what can I say, I have a thing for Zachary Quinto). Tadd and I have a tradition of making predictions and seeing who gets the most right.  I got 12/24 right, and beat Tadd’s 9/12.  Not awful, consdering there weren’t many films nominated that I had actually seen.  However, I do want to eventually see a lot of the ones that were nominated.

I don’t really consider myself a fashion diva or particularly up on celebrity trends, but I will admit that I do enjoy watching the red carpet coverage.  It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, I suppose.  So although my opinions don’t have much fashion credibility, I do know what I like.  I notice that I tend to be drawn to vintage looks, bright colors (especially red!), and feminine cuts.

Maybe I’m biassed, because I think I have loved every red carpet dress that Natalie Portman has ever worn.  Maybe she and I just have similar style?  I love that she wore polka dots to the Oscars!  And I love that it’s vintage Dior from 1954.

I think Viola Davis wins for best dress color of the night in her Vera Wang gown.  I love the green!

I wasn’t sure what I thought about Michelle Williams’ coral Louis Vuitton gown at first.  I wavered back and forth for awhile, but the more I looked at it, the more I loved it, especially the color.  It totally grew on me.  I also love the feminine ruffles at the bottom and the train.

I think Jessica Chastain wins my own personal “best hair” category.  I would LOVE hair that looked like this!  Both the color and style.

I know a lot of people didn’t like Emma Stone’s dress, or thought it was too much of a copy-cat of Nicole Kiddman’s red dress from a few years ago, but I loved it!  I think this is pretty much the perfect shade of red for a red dress, and I love how flowy the skirt was.  I even loved the shoulder bow.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Tom Ford caped dress is another one that I wasn’t sure about at first.  But for some reason the cape fascinated me.  I loved that huge bangle bracelet too, although I would never wear anything like that myself.

Congrats to The Artist for winning best picture!  I haven’t seen it myself yet, but I really really want to.  What films were you rooting for?  What were your favorite Oscar red carpet looks?  Did you find Angelina Jolie’s incessant leg-posing as ridiculous as I did?  Did you see Sacha Baron Cohen dump Kim Jong-il’s “ashes” all over Ryan Seacrest?  Priceless!

Credit for the photos I used in this post goes to CBSnews.com.

Under the weather.

Sorry for the lack of updates.  I have been sick with a cold the past few days and haven’t really felt like doing much of anything.

However, I am trying to gather up some energy for a very busy weekend ahead.  Who are you rooting for on Sunday?  Having been born in New England, I’m sure it’s not hard to guess who I will be rooting for!  Go Pats!

Source: google.com.br via Linda on Pinterest

Instagram Link Party: Geocaching in Lakeland

Tadd and I spent a lovely day on Saturday geocaching with good friends in Lakeland.  It was a beautiful day with high temps in the upper 70sF and blue skies.  It was fun exploring a new town.  Although we have driven through Lakeland many times on our way to and from Tampa, it’s not very often we have had a chance to actually stop and check it out.  Now that we have friends who live there, it was interesting getting the grand tour from a resident’s perspective.

What is Geocaching?  It’s a really fun hobby that I think would hook a lot more people if it weren’t kind of an underground-ish thing, because part of the fun is that everyone else in the world doesn’t have a clue what you are doing.  It’s basically like a world scavenger hunt.  People hide “caches” (basically containers of various sizes, each with a paper log inside), all over the world and post the coordinates of their cache at the official website.  Then others get the coordinates (sometimes along with clever clues, additional history about the area, or even funny stories that tie somehow to the cache) and use their smartphones (via the official Geocaching app) or another GPS-enabled device try to find it.  If they find it, they leave their name and date on the log, and then rehide it for others to find.

What I find fun about geocaching is that it allows you to explore new places (or even places you have been to a trillion times before) in a completely different way.  Caches are literally all around us; there are millions of them all over the world, in parks, bus stops, patches of wilderness, near landmarks, etc, etc, etc.  Everywhere!  I would venture to guess that there is at least one cache in every mall parking lot in the United States.  There is very likely one within a very short walking distance from where you are this very minute.  In Lakeland alone (which is a pretty small town, much smaller than Orlando) there are literally thousands.  Caches can bring you to some little-known out-of-the-way spot with an incredible view, or with some unique story that you would have never known about if it weren’t discovered to get to a cache.  As corny as it sounds, it’s almost more about the journey than the destination.

Below is a video from the official Geocaching website to explain more about it in a manner that is probably more concise than my rambles above.  The iPhone app is $10, but that small one-time investment is really all this entire hobby should really cost you, aside from gas to drive around looking for the caches, of course.  And no, I am not being paid to talk about this in any way, shape, or form.  Just sharing about a little-known hobby that I think my readers might enjoy.

 

This post is linked to the weekly Instagram Link Party at a {little} dash of ash.

 

Happy birthday to my better half.

Perhaps you will indulge me a bit today to talk awhile about this handsome guy…

Today is the 31st birthday of my husband Tadd.  To celebrate, I thought I would share 5 things that you may or may not know about my better half.

1. He was born in West Palm Beach, FL.  Well, technically Boynton Beach (just outside of WPB), but close enough.  Yes, even though he is a huge Boston sports fan (especially Pats & Sox), he married into it and embraced it from that perspective.  Which of course makes my family adore him that much more.

2. He was a skateboarder in high school.  He also broke a lot of bones, and got lots of scrapes, bruises, and cuts during that time of his life.  Lots of trips to the ER!  He also has a ton of entertaining stories from that era of his life.  Like the time he and some friends played “manhunt” near the police station (which, to them, was a responsible and safe move), and yet they still got the cops called on them by some passerby who thought they were up to no good.  Hooligans!

3.  He is a very sensitive guy who loves kids and animals.  Isn’t there some saying somewhere that says a woman can learn a lot about a man by the way he treats babies, animals, and his mother?  Tadd is great on all three fronts.  Remember those kitties he rescued right around 4th of July?  And then it hurt his heart too much to part with all three, so we ended up keeping Terror Kitty (aka Jacoby).  Awww…he is a very sensitive guy who loves his kitties.

Ok, so not the best picture of Tadd, but look how much Logan & Stella adore him!

4. He has a very random sense of humor.  He is always making me laugh. I wish he used Twitter more, because when he did, he always tweeted stuff that had me giggling.

Note the userpic of him wearing a very stylish Boba Fett helmet.  I love that he doesn’t take life too seriously, because sometimes I can…and he is always there to remind me to look on the bright side.

5. He has a passion for video games.  Really.  A big passion.  He has a dedicated “man den” in our house specifically designed with a video game enthusiast in mind.  It includes a mini fridge, two TVs displayed side by side, and a collection of over 200 classic NES cartridges (NES = original 1980s Nintendo). Think I’m kidding?  Check this out:

This is the one room in the house that I don’t get ANY say in the design/decor (unless asked, of course), and I am fine with that.  I love that he has his own space, so that his gadgets and computer parts (he works in the IT field) and “man stuff” doesn’t leak into the rest of the house.  It definitely helps our marriage.

Also, I am a Skyrim widow.  And if you are too, you know exactly what I am talking about!  But it’s ok, because it makes him happy.

So happy birthday to my wonderful husband.  You’re not perfect (no one is!), but you are so perfect for me.  I love you!

Project Sunshine House: Plans for 2012

There are a couple major items I hope to get done this year in our house that I wanted to share.  Whether we will get it all done remains to be seen, but you have to start out the year with a few goals, so these are mine.

In 2011, you will remember that our big project for the year was making over the powder room, which I would call a success.  We still need a light fixture (which is on the list for this year), but other than that, we got everything done that we wanted to accomplish and we are happy with how it turned out.

This year for Christmas, my parents gave me a lovely new sewing machine and lots of accessories for it…

So I intend to turn one of the unused rooms in our house into a sewing/crafting/girl-cave room!  That is what we intend to be our big project for the year.  And I am assuming it will probably happen in small bits all year long as well.  My first order of business is moving the desk from our loft into this room in hopes that it would make a good spot for the sewing machine.  I also want to put together some good storage and organization for my craft/decor/giftwrapping odds and ends, which will be a challenge since the room I am working with doesn’t have a closet.  I’d also love to have a little sofa or loveseat in the room or some other type of cozy seating.  And of course window treatments, maybe an area rug, and I will be painting the walls as soon as I can figure out what color I want.  My mom gave me a cute blue/green set of sewing organizers, so I was thinking about pulling the colors from that.  But I was also thinking of going more neutral, since I have so many other bright colors going on elsewhere in the house.

My other hope is that we can paint the foyer/stairwell/upstairs hallway.  This will be a big task, because of how our two story foyer is open to our upstairs hallway.  It will require lots of paint, and LOTS of work.  But the walls in this area (especially the stairwell!) have been all scuffed up and yucky-looking since the day we moved in, so I am dying to get them cleaned up and looking pretty.

And lowest on the project priority totem pole is giving our kitchen a makeover, which I already talked about briefly here.  I have a feeling this will be one project that will be saved for 2013 or beyond.  As I stated previously, we want to paint the cabinets, install cabinet hardware, wrap the island in beadboard, new countertops, and add a white subway tile backsplash.  We may be able to get a couple of those wishlist items started this year.  But I won’t hold my breath!

Do you have any house projects for 2012?

Holiday greetings!

Hope everyone is enjoying these last few days before Christmas.  I am happily off of work until Tuesday and plan on mostly taking it easy and spending lots of time with family and friends.

I just wanted to share this year’s Christmas card.  I went through Shutterfly, which is also where I get my annual photo calendars, photo books, and photo gifts.  I have always been very happy and this is no different.  This was actually our first time doing a photo card, and I think we will be going this route from now on.  So much more personal, and I know a lot of my older relatives love receiving pictures of us.

Speaking of which…I really need to work on finishing our 2012 photo calendar.  I have January through June done.  Just need to finish the rest and get myself a good coupon code to order it!

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!  I hope Santa is extra good to everyone this year.

Excuses, excuses.

I am sorry I have been so MIA over the past few weeks.  Here are my string of excuses:

  1. Busiest time of the year at work.
  2. Mother-in-law came to visit for 9 days over Thanksgiving.
  3. Thanksgiving and other holiday happenings keeping me way too busy.
  4. Life just getting in the way.
  5. And now, I have a miserable cold.

However, other than that, things have been ok in my world.  We have both Christmas trees up, and last Sunday, we finally got a few lights on the house.  Still more to do, of course, but at least it’s something.

I am hoping I regain my strength from this cold by the weekend, because it’s our last weekend before our annual Christmas party.  We have big plans Saturday night, and then I hope to spend all day Sunday preparing, cleaning, and getting a few more decor items and lights up on the house.  My poor husband is really getting tired of being so busy all the time.  I tend to thrive on it, but he is more of the homebody type and I can tell the holiday season is starting to take a toll on him.  He has fun and enjoys this time of year as much as the next person, but I know sometimes he’d rather just stay home and play Skyrim (video game) and relax.  Unfortunately, there has been little time for that.

Everything just seems to be passing by too quickly!  I don’t seem to remember the holiday season passing by so quickly last year…  I told Tadd that I really think we need another month or so between Thanksgiving and Christmas to be able to really slow down and enjoy it.  Don’t you agree?

Giant gingerbread tree at the Contemporary Resort at WDW.

On this beautiful Thanksgiving Day.

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.

Theodore Roosevelt

Thankful for good friends and family, and for my 3 sweet kitties, but most of all, thankful for my husband, who supports me through life’s ups and downs, puts my needs ahead of his own on a regular basis, and who loves me for me, unconditionally. I am a lucky girl with lots to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving!