Friday, May 29, 2009

Have you TasteSpotted today?

This is one of my favorite "blogs" to read and I go on it at least once a day. It's actually a collection of food blogs that has great eye candy and even better recipes. My friend, Susan turned me on to this site and I have been addicted ever since. Thanks, Susan!!!

Today I was looking for a smoothie recipe and came across this delicious sounding concoction created by I've been fighting a cold all week and thought a smoothie might be a good way to get all those antioxidants.

Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
8oz pomegranate juice
1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/2 C roughly chopped strawberries (3-4 berries)
1/2 orange, peeled
1 C crushed ice
optional: honey

Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed. Process until smooth. If it's too tart for your liking, add a drizzle of honey!

Have a great weekend and enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm In Love

I have been lusting over a rug from Pottery Barn for almost a year now. It first graced the front cover of their magazine almost a year ago with a very hefty price tag so I filed it away in my brain as something I would acquire later in life. You know, when we win the lottery and have perfectly trained dogs and children. I couldn't imagine spending that much money on something that the dogs might use as a fire hydrant. You never know with those two, Meeko especially. I think it's his way of telling us we aren't paying enough attention to him or we would have seen him eyeing the back door.

Anyway, I was in our local Pottery Barn this weekend exchanging some frames when I decided to browse through the rugs just to see what they had. The rug that I have been lusting after is no longer listed on their web site so I assumed it was sold out. I even searched EBay to see how much they were selling for and it was still out of my price range. Can you imagine my delight when The Rug was on SALE at MY local Pottery Barn. I quickly ran to the counter to see if they had the size and color that I wanted. They did not. However they did have another color in my size. I had to think about it because that color totally threw off my plan for our dining room. I had envisioned it in light greens/greys/blues with accents of brushed stainless steel and dark wood. The color of the rug in stock is called clementine and does not go well with greens/greys/blues. But after thinking about it I decided I had to have the rug and I could change my design. So I called over my interior designer (also known as my bff, Christina) and her 11 month old son, Christian (also known as Mr. Bubs or Bubby) for a consultation to discuss fabric options for drapes, chair covers, and lighting. We came up with a good plan. Now I just need to find the right fabric. Bubby gave his seal of approval saying it was very comfy for crawling around on and the pattern was entertaining to look at.

Do you want to see what the rug looks like?

Hi, my name is Sarah and I'm a decoraholic. Admitting you have a problem is the first step.

Song Du Jour

Markus has been taking the laptop on his trips lately and since he is usually gone 6 days a week I haven't had much time to download new music. And the last time I plugged my iPod into the laptop it somehow wiped out all of my music that wasn't purchased through iTunes so I have had the same few albums on heavy rotation lately and am desperatly looking forward to downloading new music.

My song du jour is Your Rocky Spine by the Great Lake Swimmers. I have been listening to their album almost every morning. Have a listen below.

What's in heavy rotation on your music machine? Please share, I love finding new music!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Time flies when you're...busy!

Markus was finally home for an entire weekend but I don't think either of us felt like it was that long. I had visions of us doing leisurely activities that didn't require a lot of work and lots of downtime but life is never like you imagine, is it? Two days off is hardly enough time for someone who has a normal, 9-5 job but it's really not enough time off for someone who is only home 2 days a week. Not that I'm complaining because I know it could be worse and there are many people who don't get to see their husbands every day. But then again there are some who do and complain so I guess either way has it's advantage, depending on how much you like the one you married!

So, our weekend was full of activities that made the time fly by. Our first order of business was finishing up the loose ends in the yard. It's really starting to look like someone pays attention to it! I was so happy to have Markus' help. Not only can you get twice as much done but it's a lot more fun having his company. I felt bad making him "work" on his days off but it's done now and we are both so happy with the end results.

Another BIG thing happened this weekend; my baby sister got married! Ashby and Jonathan have been dating almost as long as they have been alive. They tied the knot under a gorgeous (and huge) oak tree in Jonathan's back yard. Sadly, the only pictures I got was of the tree. My camera crapped out right before Ashby walked down the aisle. But it was a really nice wedding and it brought tears to my eyes to see my little sister in a wedding gown, looking so grown up. This was the child who was born on Christmas Eve when I was 6 and I thought she was my Cabbage Patch doll that I had asked Santa for. My dad came over late that night to tell me I had a baby sister and I kept calling her my doll. Needless to say that's how I thought of her for the next few years, as my personal baby doll. Here is that picture of the tree and me swinging in it. The picture really doesn't do it justice, it was HUGE. Probably the biggest oak I have seen and pre-dates the Civil War

Markus had to be in Dulles early Monday morning so we decided to go up Sunday and make a "mini" vacation out of it. We dropped Meeko off at Meme's and Charlie at daycare and headed up to NOVA. On our way we stopped at Ikea and did a little home shopping at the Swedish discount store. Markus was on the prowl for something made in Finland, but to his disappointment nothing was made in any Scandinavian countries. I guess we aren't the only country who outsources to China and India.

All in all it was a very nice weekend. Not exactly the weekend I had originally hoped for but as Markus (and the Rolling Stones) like to point out, you can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

I'd say that's exactly what we needed!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My new job

I have been thinking about how Markus and I can move to California ever since our trip last month. It was that good. And did I mention it's sunny and warm all year long, and there is a beach? But what would I do if we moved? It came to me last night as I was watching So You Think You Can Dance. I can't believe I actually admitted that I watch that show. In my defense, It's not all of the time and I tivo it and only watch the good dancers. Anyway, back to my new job. I remembered a contestant from last year who was from the Santa Monica area and his amazing popping skills. For those of you who aren't familiar with "popping" I've included a video. Please excuse Mary Murphy in the background, she forget her meds on this episode.
I only saw this episode last year so I have no idea what Robert is up to now but maybe I can track him down and he can teach me to "pop". It could be a very lucrative career, no?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A glimpse into my work life

Last year I was given (without wanting or asking) the task of property manager for the rentals we have at work. The lady who normally does the job was sick and no longer able to work. You can't really say no to your boss so I accepted under the notion this was temporary. Here it is almost two years later and I am still performing this job on top of all the other responsibilities I have and without additional compensation. But whose keeping track?

To say I hate this part of my job would be an understatement. It requires that I place ads on Craig's List, respond to them via email and phone, and show apartments throughout my work day. It's very disruptive and takes up a lot of my time, especially when VCU classes end for summer because most of our renters are college kids. Which brings me to why I hate this job the most. The people who respond to these ads are fresh out of their parents houses where they have been spoon fed and spoiled their entire lives. They have no idea how the real world works. Begging and saying please a thousand times will not get you the same result on me as your parents. I don't care that you really, really, really love this apartment but aren't able to move into it until August even though it clearly says it's available June 1st. No matter how much you beg I will not come in on Saturday morning to show you the apartment because that is the only day you are available. Markus hears me complain about this part of my job often. I try not to but just can't help it sometimes because some days it's all I hear for 8 hours straight. And, like how many times can you like put like in a freaking sentence? I get it that you think dressing like a rag doll is cool, that having as many tattoos and piercings that will fit on your body asserts you from your peers. You are asserting your independence and damning the man! And you are the only teenager who ever thought it was cool to do all these things. But have some respect when you show up for a meeting, even if it is to look at an apartment. It doesn't mean you are any less cool if you showered and showed up on time. Trust me, I won't tell anyone.

Today I came into work to find out that my new renters had climbed up on the roof that I strictly forbade them from by telling them "do not go on the roof", "the hatch is bolted so you can't get up there and we will know if you break the hatch", and "the roof is strictly off limits to you and your guests". Maybe that wasn't enough because the idiots climbed up on the roof and one fell. And now the parents who have coddled them their whole life are calling me to ask if we have insurance because they are going to sue us. Really? Did I force them on the roof with a gun? I guess stupid runs in the family.

Below is a typical email in response to our Craig's List ads & the response I would like to send but can't because I would get fired. And Markus would divorce me if I got fired and then I would be an angry divorcee who hates teenagers and would probably have to rent an apartment off of Craig's List.

*Name has been changed to protect the stupid.

Hello! I saw an ad on Craig's list for a 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment available, and had a couple of questions. Does the unit have a washer and dryer in it? And what is the square footage of the apartment? How far exactly are you from VCU/MCV? What Utilities are included?Will it be available for a June move in date? We'll be heading down to the Richmond area this weekend to check out some places and are Very, very interested in your property! Can we set up an appointment to come and take a tour of it? The apartment i was refering to was this one:
Thanks for your time! Hope to hear from you soon. Dave.

Dear Dave,

I appreciate your enthusiasm and all the exclamation marks! First of all this is a 2 bedroom apartment, not 1. I'm glad they are teaching you something in high school before throwing you out into the real world. If you read the ad (or maybe you haven't gotten that far in your studies) you will see that there is a washer/dryer on the premise. Premise is a hard word so I'll explain what that means; there is a laundry room in the building that tenants can use. As for the square footage, this is an apartment and you are renting, not buying, so who cares the exact square footage. Your futon, foosball table, and blow up doll will fit, don't worry. There might even be room to make one of those walls constructed out of nothing but Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans after a night of drinking with your bro's.

Have you heard of something called Google maps? It tells you the exact mileage from point A to point B. So hypothetically you could type in the address of VCU & MCV campuses AND the address of said apartment and it will answer your question without having to bother me. AMAZING, huh? I don't even know how to respond to the last 2 questions in your query. It plainly states in the ad that water, sewer, & trash pick up are included in the rent. I'm not sure how you could confuse that for anything else. Perhaps you didn't realize they are utilities? It also states the apartment is Avail. June 1st. Maybe avail. threw you off. That is what we call an abbreviation. Sorry, there I go again with big words. Abbreviation means the word has been shortened, usually to save space and time. Something I was trying to do but have failed since I had to explain and type the word in it's entirety so your pea brain could understand.

You will be in the Richmond area this weekend? How lucky for us! Unfortunately we are not open on weekends so I will not have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Future World Leader in person. Perhaps next time.

Thanks for listening to my rant. I feel much better. Who needs a therapist when they have a blog!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rainy Day Blues

It's been raining off and on for 5 days with no sunshine in sight until Sunday so I thought I would fight the rainy day blues with a little online window shopping. I could spend all day on the Etsy web site and if I had to pick one place to shop this would be it. For those not familiar with Esty, it's a way to buy and sell handmade items including home goods, photography, clothing, jewelry, and baby items - all online. I'm not crafty enough to sell but I can appreciate the art of homemade goods. I love that a lot of the pieces are one-of-a-kind and you aren't going to see something like it in your local mall.

This ceramic and glass dish would be the perfect place to put down your jewerly at the end of the day. And, it would look great on top of my newly painted cream dresser!
And these jewels would look great inside the dish above.

We just moved our office upstairs and it could use a few more personal touches. The owl just needs a pretty house plant!

Here is a great idea if you are like me and hate carrying your purse inside stores. I carry this inside my purse and then when I need to run into a store I can just take this. It comes in different sizes and all kinds of fabric options are available.

I am a sucker for letterpress. If I had an unlimited budget for wedding invitations I definitely would have gone that route. But I'll settle for a few handmade items here and there. I love this calendar and am tempted to buy it even though we are already into May. This print is gorgeous and would look great in that office I mentioned earlier.

Happy shopping!

Blue bowl by Sakura Jewelry
Jewelry by nea and Beau & Stella
Owl planter by Fruit Fly
Mouse pad by How About Orange
Wallet purse by Kailochic
Letterpress designs by delphineSTUDIO

Monday, May 4, 2009

Relay for Life

My friend, Suzi, has invited me to participate on her Relay for Life team this year. I'm so excited! It's a great way to spend time with friends, old and new, while helping out a great organization, The American Cancer Society. It brings more than 3.5 million people from 4,900 communities across the country together each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

The Relay takes place in NOVA May 30th from 6pm to 8am. Yes, you read that correctly, I will be pulling an all nighter. Something I haven't done since I was 13 at a slumber party, freezing bras, and prank calling strangers (is your refrigerator running...well you better go catch it!). But this time I'm staying up for a good cause. We will be hitting the pavement at a local high school track and walking throughout the night in shifts. There are also lots of events scheduled throughout the night to help us stay awake. I have my eye on the hula hoop contest, 3 legged race, and pizza party!

Please click here to visit my personal page and help raise money for my team. You can also click here to find out information on a Relay in your area.

I'm walking in honor of my grandmother, who is currently battling Ovarian cancer, my dear friend, Christina, who won her battle and has been cancer free for 3 years!!!, and my biological father, who lost his battle December 24, 2007.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Procrastination is my middle name

I am finally getting around to uploading our wedding photos. Which means I'm that much closer to having pictures on our walls and some sort of album made. Hopefully all before our 1 year anniversary. Did anyone else feel overwhelmed by this process? Our photographer did an AMAZING job capturing all the little moments of our wedding weekend. So amazing that there are over 1,000 photos and 1/2 of them are my favorite. It's so hard to narrow down which ones are frame and album worthy. Our house doesn't have that many walls, I don't want it to look like a shrine to our wedding but I do want to have some photos up. Maybe I can hang them on the walls and throw darts. Whatever I hit stays.

But seriously, I've started narrowing down some of my favorites so I thought I would share them on the blog. Most of my favorites are the day of the wedding while Markus and I were separated. I wasn't around and it's fun to see what everyone else was doing while I was getting ready. It's also nice to see the ceremony from different angles. I was so focused with what was going on with us that I forgot to look around at the details. So here they are in no particular order.

This is my favorite picture of Markus. This is while the girls and I were getting ready at the spa. That smile is genuine, so I know he was having a good time.

This is another taken the day of. It's good to know they were having fun. I was worried Markus was going to be too nervous.

Doesn't everyone look sharp in their suits?

I had to show this one. Calming the nerves before he walks down the aisle.

Meanwhile the girls and I were getting ready.

I love that this photo captures my jewelry, bouquet, and the flowers in my hair. If you look closely you can see Markus' mothers wedding ring on my pinky.

We are leaving for the ceremony. I'm so excited! Always the planner, Erin remembered to grab umbrellas. The sky was just turning dark at this point.

Mom helping Dad before walking me down the aisle.

Doesn't Dad look sharp? I was so excited to see Markus. We hadn't seen each other since the night before.

Meme, Mom, & Grandmama Chenault. Three pretty ladies.

I don't remember what is going on here but I love the colors. And Markus' face.

I was so worried the rain would ruin the photos but look at this amazing sky! And, my beautiful ladies in their pink & green.

Another great background courtesy of the rain (and Tisha's amazing photography)

This was taken while we were waiting to go into the reception. I think Markus is whispering "I need a drink!"

Mr. and Mrs. Hakkarainen! My face is saying "wait, that can't be my last name???"

This picture explains how Lindsay and Carlos are expecting twins in July!

There are so many from the day after session that I love but here are a few of my favorites. I love the contrast between the white dress and the aqua water and honestly these were the most fun to take. Our photographer, Tisha, even got in the pool with us!

The End!


Whew! I made it to Friday. It's been a looong week. Hope you guys have something fun planned!