Friday, April 8, 2011

Dream House Chronicles: A Little History & Week 1: Exterior

Do you remember last fall when we were building our dream house?

Then the builders and the plumbers had a "oopsy daisy" in communication. And busted/damaged/screwed over our "post-tension concrete". Ryan & I were the one's to discover this one dreamy Sunday evening.

And we got out of the contract, thank you to the benefits of a VA loan.

We now live just a few miles away from that house. When we 1st moved, we'd check it out every once in awhile. I'd cackle, saying "Thank God we got out of that trap!! It's not even that nice"

Well, yesterday I went for a run - and I happened to run by our "was gonna be home". And there was big, yellow "SOLD" sign in front of it.

It was standing there exactly how we desigend it. It had the gorgeous bricks, the warm tuscany-style colors, the Birds of Paradise plants in front as we chose.

I got a little sentimental.....




I then realized that house is NOT for us. Our dream house has a big yard - which lush landscape. Our dreamhouse that we someday choose to buy will have character. Maybe it will have a story behind it with some history. Our dreamhouse will accomodate my dream-garden with a little gate leading in.

Meanwhile, I'm still on this constant house hunt. Zillowing my little heart out. But I've come to realization I don't actually want to buy a home.

I am just in love with "homes", home renovation, & anything involved with it.

So today I begin a series called my "Dream House Chronicles" -- to display some of my favorites!

This week I will begin with exteriors - since curb appeal is what draws the potential owner into the driveway.

I'm not talking gardens, backyards, landscaping. Just the exterior of the home.

So we begin my with my absolute favorite style of home. Plantation-style. There is something about the box window bedrooms on top. And, of course, the front pourch is mandatory. All it needs is a little swing on the side. (Maybe we can put a cow bell on it too, so I can ring it and yell "Dinner's on!" ;)

I would have hanging pots across the porch filled with pink petunias. And hisbiscus trees on the sides.

This house needs some landscaping in the front. Perhaps a flower bed in the front?



Happy Friday everyone! While everyone's week comes to an end, mine kind of is starting up today since I work today and Saturday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What I'm doing



Okay, so I stole this meme from Amber. I'm experiencing writers block right now. All I do is work, work out, garden, and sleep. Which results in nothing too interesting to write about.

Okay..so on to this meme!:

Outside my window

It's sunny and "cool" - 63 degrees F. At 7 am. Since the past few weeks it's been in the upper 90's, I've already been desensitzed and am calling an 80 degree day a "nice, cooler day"
I am hearing
Fox News rambling on in the background.
I am thinking
About how much I miss my family. When I see pictures of my nephews, my heart melts. I miss my siblings, & my parents. End of story.
I am thankful
For my husband who is my sanity; who brightens my day, leaves me love notes around the house, cooks me dinner when I don't get home from work until 8:30 pm, and who makes me laugh!

For my ever-present job security. A few months ago, I was fearful I would never get a job as a new-grad. Now, I get called-in almost every week to put in overtime. In addition to the security, I love my career. It gives me warm, fuzzy feelings in my stomach.
For our house with it's perfect location. It's lucious green grass in the back yard, and the radiant flowers I've spent hours working on!

I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am reading
"My Perfect Wedding" - Sibel Hodge. It's a definite chic-lit book...but it makes me laugh. It's about a London woman who has moved cross-country with her husband-to-be to live in "live-off-the-lady" countryside of Turkey. In the process of her move...her wedding dress and all belongings get misplaced......

and...

"Stories from the other side of the Bed Pan" -- which is a book written by a nurse about hilarious encounters experienced in her career.
I am hoping and praying
That everything works out for our trip home in June. I just want to get the vacation time with no hassle. And...We get to see as much family as possible!!
I am wearing …
An highlighter-pink underarmour tshirt and black running shorts. After this post, I'm strapping on my garmin & heading out for a run!
I am creating
HaHaHa! Me?! Create? That's cute.

I don't have a creative bone in my body.

But I guess you could say I'm creating a flower garden. And creating starwberries, anaheim peppers, habenero peppers, tomatoes, red bell peppers, yellow squash, basil, & mint!

From the kitchen …
I am sitting at our island sipping coffe, and just finished a bowl of Quaker Oats with blackberries & bananas.

Around the house
It is spotless. I cleaned from floor to ceiling. I even scurbbed the grout of our tiles. I also reorganized our drawers today. I literally can't sit still for more than 5 minutes. (I had the past 2 days off since I work the weekend....I don't do well with days off. I get seriously stir crazy)
Plans for the rest of the week
Today I am going for a run, getting some errands taken care of, and then meeting my husband for a late afternoon/evening date @ a coffee shop.

(He's studying for this big miliatary test, and everything night lately consists of him coming home from work, and spending the evening buried in his books....we are really excited for this test to be behind him!!!)

Tomorrrow & Saturday I work from 7am - 8 pm..

Sunday we are going to mass, and then packing up our hiking gear and taking a trip up to the mountain for a day of hiking!

A Picture to share …
This was from the last hike we went on! It's this new trail we discovered that's seriously 15 minutes from our house. It has giant pools of water . This picture just don't do justice.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Recipe Time: Balsalmic Spinach Chicken

Greetings, all! Hope this finds everyone having a fantastic day! Things are going great over here.

I am a renewed person since I've switched to day shift. Working @ night involved going about 2 days/week where I would stay awak from 24-30 hrs straight. Which just created one very crabby Abby. I was starting to get shaky-blood-sugar-drops, heart palpitations, and other unhealthy/odd symptoms when I was awake.

I'm feeling back to 100% now, though! :)

Another hobby I've revisted since I'm back to a normal schedule is cooking! I was cooking grilled chicken on a bed of spinach or fajitas almost every night....It got old fast.

Tonight I tried a new recipe, that I HIGHLY recommend! It was delicious. And it's low fat, while still hearty!

So for your grocery list......
  • 2-3 Boneless, Skinless chicken breasts
  • Fat Free Cream of Mushrom soup (we're keeping this healthy :D)
  • 1 can canelli beans (or white beans will do)
  • 1/3 cup Balsalmic Vinegar
  • Fresh Basil
  • A few handfuls fresh spinach (excuse my lack of measurements....I don't "do" measuring cups)
  • Chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • Thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
Step 1:
  • Walk out to garden and snip fresh basil from plant ;) (eee that brings me joy to be able to do!)
  • Beat chicken with meat cleaver and sprinkle salt and pepper on it.
  • Heat pan on oven, drop enough olive oil in pan to prevent sticking
  • Cook the chicken breasts until cooked through.
  • Remove chicken breasts with some juice and wrap in foil and keep on side.....
Step 2:
  • Simmer onions & 3 cloves garlic
  • Pour in can of canelli beans, cream-of-mushroom soup, 1/3 cup balsalmic vinegar, and chopped up basil leaves, (I added in oregano at this point, too)
  • Add in mushrooms
  • Add in handfuls of fresh spinach
  • Stir well for about 1-2 minutes, and return chicken breasts to the pan
  • Allow to simmer for about 1-2 minutes
Step 3:
  • Enjoy!!
I wish I had a picture because this looked quite pretty. But....we eat it before I remembered...

Ten on Tuesday

This week's 10-on-Tuesday is about "dating". My "dating" history differs from some, for my I met my husband when I was 19 years old. So that was the last time I went on a "first date"! But, here it goes!

1. What is your ideal best date?

It completely depends on my mood! Since we don't go out a lot, thought, I would have to say going out to our favorite sushi restaraunt - and finishing off the evening by taking a nice walk.

However, there are days where my ideals date consists of going for a long-afternoon-hike, coming home, grilling out in the back yard with a cold beer, and starting a fire. (and roasting marshmallows is a must)
2. How long does it take you to get ready to go on a date?
Well from shower to out the door -- probably an hour. If clothes didn't matter, it'd be 30. But I usually spend an excessively, unnatural amount of time trying on numerous outfits.
3. What would you wear on the date?
Depends on where we are going -- right now I'd say a sundress.

4. If you are married, how often do you go on dates?
Probably once every 2 weeks? It kind of depends.
5. What was your worst date?
One time Ryan & I went on a "golfing date"....(this was before we were married) And he was trying to nicely instruct me and offer advice on how I could better hit the hall and make it go further than 5 feet in front of me (I was struggling)

Stubborn-Abby didn't like being told how to hit the ball.

To make a Long story short.....my unneccessary stubborn-attitude ended up with us parking the golf cart after 8 holes (instead of 18). We decided to hit up the range before I go on the course again.

I have since improved ;)

6. Do you/Did you kiss on your first date?
I did kiss my husband on my 1st date. He was even polite enough to ask :)

7. If married, how long before you knew he/she was the one? If single, how long before you know if the person is marriage material?

It was definitely when we moved to Tucson that I knew for sure he was the one. I had left all my family and friends, moved across the country to this practically unknown-- and I was still happy to be with him!

Also, I knew things would work since we survived 4 days in a U-Haul truck, without one argument.

8. Do you prefer day dates or night dates?
Night dates. Unless we're at the beach. But, there's not beaches in Tucson....
9. How old were you when you first were allowed to date?
Probably 16?
10. What is the most embarassing moment you have had on a date?
I was at a restaurant, and I chose this sauce for my stir-fry (or whatever it was) that I was advised "That pepper sauce is extremely spicy"
 
However, I'm stubborn...so used it anyways.
 
It was so freaking hot, that I almost couldn't breath. My nose started running profusely, I had to leave the table and go blow my nose. I was absolutely miserable. And looked like a complete fool.