Monday, June 25, 2012

No More Work!

For my dad that is.  Yesterday we took dad out to brunch to celebrate his upcoming retirement.  My dad has worked since he came to this country, starting as a taxi driver up in New York while he was in college.

We headed over to Blue Mesa which was the scene of our rehearsal dinner before our wedding.  No one in the family (except for one happy hour for me) had been back since that weekend, so it was fun to remember that special time.

Thanks to mom who had the smarts to make reservations, we were seated quickly after arriving.  That place was packed!  After enjoying the mimsoas and brunch buffet I can understand why it's so popular.

For the many years he has put into work, I hope he can enjoy this well deserved time off!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Five For Friday

1. You used some of your day off to go with me to have my car checked out.
2. You actually liked the idea of a very bold bed set that I thought would be cool for our guest room.
3. The look on your face when I jumped out from the laundry room was classic!
4. You always let me taste some of your food.
5. You're really excited about Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter this weekend, more so because you read the book.

One of my favorite engagement pics from Lynn Michelle

Monday, June 18, 2012

Painting Basics

It seems like forever ago that I mentioned mom and I were going to take on a home project that involved painting, but she finally got the ball rolling after a little prompting from her kids.

The cost of painting supplies can really add up when you're starting with nothing, but after a trip to home depot and lowe's we were satisfied that we had covered the basics.

Starting out with a bunch of paint chips, mom narrowed it down to four.  Chris surprised her by picking up some samples and we put them up on the wall to get a better idea of how they would look in the powder room.

Chris and I are more into cooler, impact colors, but mom ended up with the warm beige color on the far left.  It definitely fits her style more. 

We took down/covered what we could (with the exception of the light since the powder room has no windows) and were ready to get our paint on.  It was actually really exciting as we've never painted any rooms in either of the houses we've lived in.

Loved that edger!

I can't wait to do a before and after of the room, but we're still waiting on the replacement light fixture.  All in all I think we did a great job as beginners.  Mom does agree that she could have gone a shade or two darker in the room, but is very happy with the change.  She's already excited to go bolder in the next room we paint.

What was your first painting experience like?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

30 Before 30: Staycation

A big thanks to mom for crossing this one off the list.  After reading over my list, she gifted us a free weekend stay at a local hotel that she won in an auction.  We tried to go in May right after Chris' semester ended, but that must have been a popular weekend as many of his coworkers had already requested off.  So June it was.

With Friday off, we decided to head over to Dealey Plaza and check out the Sixth Floor Museum which chronicles the presidency of JFK and the fatal shot that took place in Texas.  If you are ever in the Dallas area, I highly suggest taking the audio tour.  It was so informative and really interesting to see the exact window where Lee Harvey Oswald took that shot.

There's no photography allowed inside, so the shot of the door was the only picture of the museum that I took.

Looking down Elm street

Dealey Plaza

The sixth floor window, second from top on the far right

From there we headed over to Ft. Worth to check out the new food truck park.  I had such a great time at the last one, and knew this one would be even better because it was a larger space with a variety of  trucks.

The Cowtown Chow Down had 9 trucks parked when we arrived for lunch, as well as the stationary snow cone hut.

Chris enjoyed a Monte Cristo dog from Eat Jo Dawgs while I opted for a savory Chicken Florentine crepe from Cruzin' Chef.

We couldn't leave without a little snow cone action.  These things were HUGE!  It's hard to believe that these were smalls.  I can only wonder what the largest "bubba" size was.

After lunch, we checked into our hotel and rested before walking over to Benihana for dinner.  Always love the hibachi experience!

Saturday morning we enjoyed breakfast before heading over to check out some furniture stores to kill time.  It was really so I could get a better idea of the type of furniture Chris envisions in our future home.  The sales person at Ashley's was worse than a car salesman.  We were up front as soon as we walked in the door telling him we were just looking with no intent to make a purchase.  That man followed us around the entire store coming up 3 more times to say something as we walked around.  It was not an enjoyable experience.

With that behind us, we enjoyed an early movie, a freebie lunch at Chick-Fil-A (thanks Christmas bingo gift cards) and then a wine tasting at Su Vino in Grapevine.  I'm not sure if it was the time of day, or that summer has kicked off, but Su Vino was packed with people.  Thankfully, we were able to grab a couple of chairs at the counter when another couple finished up and enjoyed trying some new wines as well as some of our favorites from our last trip.

For dinner we headed over to Smash burger where I tasted my first black bean burger.

One last breakfast Sunday morning and back home we went.

Have you ever spent some time exploring your home town?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Delaying The Dream

Life isn't easy.

We've all heard it and I'm sure most of you out there have experienced rough patches before.  Last week we were dealt some not so great news that is going to delay our house hunt.  At first I was crushed.  I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I was frustrated and attempted to stay strong when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and cry.  

So I did.  I let it all out and when I was done it was time to come up with a new plan. 

This experience reminds me of a time not so long ago.  Right after our engagement, we realized in order to have the wedding that we wanted it would take longer to save up.  25 months later we had the wedding of our dreams and proved to ourselves that with a plan and determination we could achieve our goals.

It may take a little longer, but with this new plan in place we will be far better off in the future.  Thankfully this plan should (if my calculations are correct) take a much shorter amount of time than our very long engagement.

No one ever said it would be easy, but we will make it work.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Travelin' Tuesday: Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman islands and contains the nation's capital of George Town which is where we anchored for our final stop on our latest cruise.

We had to tender in for this port, and due to a 12:30 excursion we were on one of the first tenders after docking at 10 am.

Our ship on the left was one of 3 in port that day

I guess we didn't need to get off the ship so early, as there wasn't much to do in the small port area other then wait for our excursion to meet up and leave.  Shopping the local crafts was our way to kill time.

Our excursion for the day was to the ever so popular stingray city.  And by popular, I mean way overcrowded because everyone and their brother seemed to be there when we finally arrived.  We waited our turn to get off the boat and have a photo opt with one of our tour leaders holding the stingray.

We took a couple more shots with the underwater camera before getting back onboard to grab some pics with my DSLR.

They felt sort of like a portobella mushroom under the fins

Here's a better visualization of how crowded it was, our excursion alone had 150 people, and there were at least 5-6 other boats of varying size at the sandbar at the same time.

The second half of our excursion included some snorkeling at the Coral Garden.  I'm not that strong of a swimmer and didn't really want to deal with the crowd again, so I stayed on board the boat while Chris checked out the coral.

While Chris snorkeled, I took in some shots of the gorgeous surroundings.

It was a great experience to be up close and personal with the stingrays, but with the crowds it's not something that I would do again.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Five For Friday

1.  You brought home chapstick when I mentioned the one I had was making my lips break out.
2.  You never say no when I ask for company on my nightly walks.
3.  You spent your morning off helping mom paint.
4.  Life tossed us a curve ball, but with a new plan in place we'll make it.
5.  We're going to make the most of our day off today!

Sometimes thinking of colder times helps to get through warmer summer days