June 28, 2012


I don't mean literal juggling. Although that is incredibly impressive. My hand/eye coordination is severely weak to even attempt that. No, I mean juggling life. I have noticed more an more that it seems to be a struggle for many people (including myself). Take this blog for example. I was very good about posting on M,W,F every week but now that it is the summer and we are busy all the time, it seems to fall by the waste side.

It doesn't mean that I have stopped caring or this is a fad that passed. I simply have too many things going on at one time that limits how much I actually accomplish on projects. So, what have I been doing? Well, besides working full time and seeing family and friends, I have also been simply enjoying the summer. I participated in an annual 5K race that a group of us do every year.

My time wasn't great. In fact, it was my worst one to date but I am proud that we all ran in 90+ degree weather and didn't pass out. It was my own fault since I didn't train at all for it either. Still, it was fun and definitely an experience.

I also got to go to a Phillies game. First one of the season. It was a great game. Not only because they won but because there was a fireworks show afterwards that was pretty impressive.

We are also doing some rearranging. We started by moving the office to the first floor. It's still a work in progress but here is a before shot of the guest room.

and what we have going on so far. Like I said, a work in progress.

Finally, I was able to capture this sweet moment of James super excited to see Tim come home from a trip. Tim ran out to get his bags from the car and James stopped what he was doing and waited for him. Seeing how excited he gets always makes me smile.

Anyone else juggling lots of things this summer? It's hard but I'm excited to be getting ready for some awesome trips and parties.

June 19, 2012

Pork Fried Rice

Tim and I were lucky enough to be invited over a friend's house for a Chinese cooking class. She won it in an art auction and I was so excited since Chinese food is a favorite in our house (see our Valentine's day tradition here). Luckily the cook was kind enough to let me shoot some pictures which helped me remember the steps and show all of you. So I give you Pork Fried Rice.

red onion
egg (1 per person)
pork (or chicken, fish or shrimp)
rice (white or brown-apparently brown works better)
sesame oil
cooking wine
soy sauce
corn starch
vegetable oil- 3 tbsp
Ginger (optional)
white pepper
spicy sauce (also optional)

Place rice in a rice cooker and set. While that cooks, finely chop the meat, red onion and scallions. Then coat the meat you are using in corn starch and the cooking wine. She had no measurements but it was not drenched.
I couldn't catch a name of the Chinese wine so I snapped a quick pic to remember the bottle.

 Heat a deep non stick pan with 3 tablespoons of oil. Make sure it is really really hot to cook the eggs. Scrambled eggs for the fried rice recipe is broken down quickly and thinly.

Remove the scrambled eggs when cooked and while pan is still hot, add a little oil and then the onions and scallions to cook. It will be quick since the pan is hot so make sure you keep it moving and turning.

 Then add the meat. Let it cook with some white pepper and the onions. Once the meat is cooked, add the cooked brown rice and eggs back into the pan. Begin to fry everything with some soy sauce, sesame oil and spicy sauce (similar to siracha).
After everything is completely cooked through, you are ready to eat. Warning: this will not taste like the fried rice you get at Chinese restaurants. It will be fresher! So enjoy. :)

Anyone else have a great Chinese food recipe for us to try? We love us some beef or chicken with broccoli!

June 14, 2012

Sprucing up the deck

Every year when the snow melts and it finally warms up, Tim and I brush the cobwebs off the deck and get it ready for BBQing and outdoor parties. This year it needed it.

We made the mistake this year of quickly putting the deck rug and furniture out before sweeping and cleaning everything. Then a lot of rain came and we were left with a moldy rug and deck. So we started by moving everything out of the way so we could sweep and power wash the deck. Needless to say, it got pretty jumbled. We were left with a pretty blank (slightly green) slate. Here are some before shots of the deck.

After some patient power washing done by Tim we were left with a much better deck.

A word of caution with power washing: It is easy to get zoned in on removing a bit of mildew or staining from a spot but be careful because if you cut in too close with the washer, it will splinter and eat away at the wood. In the effort of full disclosure, here is a shot of that happening with our railing.

(The extra light half circle spots on the railing is where we got a little too close with the power washer. This could hurt the integrity of the deck so make sure you aren't spraying too close or too long in one spot.)

Moving on to some better before and afters. Here is a shot of our chairs before (left) and after (right). Ahh- much better!

Finally we started putting back the pieces. Unfortunately the rug could not be saved so we are on the hunt for a new rug. I want something with more color and pattern so hopefully we can find it soon.

This is the only shot with cushions but it is pre- power washing.

Next is finding some more greenery to jazz up our deck so it screams oasis. Are you "decking" out your deck this summer? New pillows or furniture? Or are you simply using nature around you?

June 12, 2012

Puppy Fair and camera fun

Our town is very small. Like I can walk all four corners of it in less than a day. So when they host fairs or festivals, we try to go support them and meet neighbors. This past weekend was the annual Roslyn Pet Fair. It's a vendor fair celebrating our pets and offering opportunities to support worthy causes and get some awesome flair.
We packed up the pup and walked over there. He didn't realize what was going on right away but he was excited.

There were puppies everywhere as well as cats, snakes and rats (oh my!). There were also rescue centers and it was great to learn more about the local shelters for all of the great animals out there.

James got to make a lot of friends and many people commented that they would have never guessed he was already 7 years old since he looked so excited and peppy. We were excited to see him so happy as well.

All in all it was a great way to start the weekend (especially because a lot of it was spent cleaning). Plus, I got to spend the morning playing with my new camera. Here is a shot I took of our beautiful lilies in our front garden.
Next up, how we spruced up our back deck. Have you guys ever gone to a Pet Fair? I was surprised how many people came out in our small little town.

June 8, 2012

Bump out plans

Happy Friday Everyone! It's time to reveal our project that we have brewing. It is going to be the biggest construction we have ever done to our house. I am excited. It is much needed but I am a little nervous to have a hole on the side of my house... Let me explain.

This is our living room. I realize this is a Christmas shot but lets look past that, shall we?

Here is another view from the couch area looking at our entryway and kitchen. You can see a table and chair set.

Now let me explain the issue. We NEVER use that table to eat. NEVER. It became a catch all for the mail, coats, purses, backpacks and whatever else we have in our hands when we walk in the house. It is not exactly a welcoming thing for our guests or neighbors to see. One of the reasons that I am ashamed to admit that we never use it is because you can't see the TV from it. (Sad I know) It also feels very cramped since the door is right there. If you want to entertain more than 3 people in that space, it becomes an issue. When we had people over in the colder months, we ended up using the couch, tray tables and whatever else we could get our hands on.

Here is a very, very poor sketch of our front half of our house. *no judging*
It is cramped and the living room is just small enough where it would be tight and awkward looking to put a decent table in there. Believe me- we tried.

So here is our plan that we conjured up with my father in law.

We are going to create a bump out eating nook! It looks big in my awful rendering but we have acquired a round 5 foot table from Tim's uncle (yay free!) and we are going to have built in seating all around it with windows letting in some much needed light. This project will most likely stir up other projects that I have had in my mind on the back burner such as replacing the couch and changing the entryway in a storage, bench, mudroom area but all in good time. And it doesn't help that we can see the TV from the table. :) To get a better idea of what we are looking at, here are some inspiration photos I tagged on Pinterest.

I love the bench seating and that two toned table reminds me of the one we inherited from Tim's Uncle. (more on that later)

I love the light and the fact that all this seating cuts very little into the existing home layout.

Tim and I are in the process of acquiring a permit for this wonderful addition but I am excited to be starting this project this summer (hopefully). We will make sure we keep you all in the loop as we get closer and closer to the first day of demo.

Are you tackling any big projects this summer? Or maybe some small overdue projects? We are tackling a lot of outdoor work this weekend and I can't wait to see some instant changes to our backyard.

June 5, 2012

Summertime changes

I am finally realizing that it is now June and I need to get into a summertime mode. I realized this when I was outside this past weekend and I looked at my vegetable garden. You may remember when I planted our small potted vegetable garden earlier this spring. They were so small.

Now our lettuce has been growing by the boatloads. This is our 4th or 5th time cutting the lettuce and it was due for another round.

And the tomatoes are growing each and everyday. We placed a wire fence around the pot to keep the tomato plants stable.

In fact, you can even see some little tomatoes growing. I can't wait to make some tomato sandwiches!

I also decided to finally change our spring mantle. I am not totally in love with the new look (it needs a banner or something) but it works for now until I can keep tweaking.

Oh, and are you wondering who that wonderful bobble head is?

It's Charlie Manuel from the Philadelphia Phillies! It is baseball season after all. :)

How are you guys prepping for summertime? It usually takes me awhile to realize that the new season is here but now that it is, I am excited!

June 4, 2012

A Very Merry Birthday...to Me!

That's right. Last Thursday 5/31 was my birthday! It was a whirlwind.The big 2-7! haha To be honest, it doesn't feel different at all. In fact, I had been telling people that I was 27 since Tim has been for the past 7 months. Since it was a workday I went to work like any other day. My other coworker and I have birthdays about 4 days apart so we celebrated them together at work on Thursday with wraps from a local place and this delicious fudge chocolate pound cake from The Bakery House. YUM! This was the quickest picture I could get on my phone before it was all gone.

When I got home Tim and the pup were waiting for me to take a quick walk to work off my cake from lunch so I could enjoy my next meal. Then I got to open my extremely generous gift from my boys: a camera! But not just any camera. A Canon Rebel EOS T3i! I have been wanting one for awhile and I am really excited to have this new wonderful toy to play with. Plus, now the blog pictures can actually look cleaner, crisper and overall just better quality. A win all around!

After squealing for 20 minutes about my new toy, we then went out to dinner at our favorite local spot: Bocelli's. It is a quaint little Italian Restaurant located in an old train station in Gwynedd Valley, PA at a local stop on the septa transportation line.

Believe me, if you live around there, you need to go. They are so nice and always have great fresh specials. Its always a fun experience to go there. It is a special occasion place (meaning more than your local Taco Bell) but well worth it. And its BYOB for all of you wine lovers out there :)

When we got back my family came over for some ice cream cake (a tradition on my side of the family) and some more presents. I couldn't feel more loved (or full!) on this perfect day.

*all photos from the restaurant are from their website. Go! It's delicious :)

June 1, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

This past weekend is a time to remember the soldiers of our country and the sacrifice they make to their country. This weekend is also a  time for a little vacation, family, friends and a lot of food. Tim was out of town so my friends and I decided to go to The Great Pennsylvania FlavorFest.
We had a blast going from vendor to vendor to see what fun items they created. One of the places we stopped had melted down wine bottles into serving trays and hanging pieces (almost like stained glass).

There was another artist that painted on slabs of stone. The pieces were very detailed and easy to get lost in. I almost walked away with a small forest scene but I managed to resist.

Of course, there was food as well. I actually tried (for the first time) Fried Oreos! I have to say that it felt like I was eating a funnel chocolate cake. It was definitely yummy but I can only handle so much at one. Still, worth trying!

This wine/food festival is held at the location of the Renaissance Fair so not only do we enjoy great food, wine and vendors but we also get to see some great buildings and sets.

... and have a little fun of course!

(You guys remember our dessert guest blogger Jonelle)

That cottage I showed you above had an interesting door mantelpiece.

Who knew T-Rex was around during the Renaissance?

So what fun activities did you guys do over the break? Anyone hit the beach? Or visit their local renaissance fair grounds?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...