Thursday, December 30, 2010

5 years ago today...

I have so much to tell you about our bathroom remodel but today marks something a little more important. Five years ago today, in a little restaurant in Hamiliton, New Jersey, Paul asked me to be his wife. I tearfully said, "yes," and the rest, as they history.

Paul proposed to me during the entree course of a fancy five course meal. As the ring was presented by our waiter on a silver platter, my normally reserved hubs (boyfriend) asked the restaurant for their attention and dropped to one knee. In the shock and blur of the moment, I don't remember the words he said, but I know they brought me and many in the restaurant to tears. That evening goes down as one of the most exciting nights in my life because I knew, that day, it was official that I would spend my life with the person I love most. I am one lucky lady!

I would love to hear your engagement stories. I'm feeling extra sentimental tonight!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bathroom Renovation Part One: The before

I don't think I told you that the hubs and I were supposed to take a vacation to New Mexico over our Holiday Break. We had our tickets and hotel booked, and were supposed to leave today. Well, the Navy had other plans for us so, due to military obligations, our vacation got the big C. As in, canceled. I picture the giant red stamp coming down...further pounding the finality that our Holiday vacation is sans vacation. Cue the sad music and clown with tear drop.

With the money saved for the vacation and a week with no work on our hands, we've decided to take on a project. It's just how we roll. So, our upstairs bathroom is under renovation. Not just a little revamping like we did in the downstairs bathroom, we've taken this sucker down to the studs! It is so disgusting and embarrassing and has been the bane of our existence since we moved into our home. I don't even show it to people when they come over and want a little house tour. But you, my loving and non-judgmental (please) bloggy friends, are in for a treat. Here's the grand tour of our absolutely horrid bathroom.

From far away, it's a bit dated, but not terrible. Not particularly attractive, but clean and functional enough. How do you like the shelving units that came with the house. If you look closely you will find dirt, gunk, and rust stains. Shall we continue?

As you look into our 1950's mirror and antiquated lighting fixture, you will notice the peeling paint. There are spots like this all over the walls. You can also see our cookie cutter, blah vanity. Over it! I'm so embarrassed- you're not judging right?

Let's look at shower and tub. Are you digging the beige square tiles? They are reminiscent of a hospital and, when you get really close, the grout is turning different colors. This tile surrounds the entire bathroom. All.four.walls. Oh gosh...should I keep going?

Now for the tub. This big hunka metal is cast iron and weighs 300ish lbs. They don't make 'em like this anymore! The finish is wearing off of the bottom so it's rough and looks brown- I swear it's not dirty! I've been dying to take a bath for over a year and this tub just won't allow for it. It's official- I'm humiliated.

There you have it, my friends, the embarrassment of our home. The dated, dirty, disgusting bathroom that we've lived with for the last nearly 18 months. We've spent the last two days demolishing this monstrosity and I have so much to share, but I'm just too exhausted to get it all out. Demo is not for the weary. Stay tuned for lots of rubble, power tools, and a sledgehammer heading your way!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A puppy post

Hey Bloggy Friends, have I got some news to share with you. involves a sledge hammer, power tools, and an utterly exhausted DIYer (that's me!). Stay tuned for it tomorrow! For now, I am posting about my pups. Trupanion is having a blog contest and I just had to enter! Check it out!

Trupanion Pet Insurance

When you're a military wife, like yours truly, you learn to adjust to having a "part time" husband. This may not be the kindest way to put it, but it's true. The hubs leaves frequently for many different lengths of time. When he leaves, it's up to me to maintain a home, take on his duties, work full-time, and take care of the pups. I don't complain too often about it because I took on the challenge with no reservations.

One complaint I have about having a part-time husband, is being alone during the holidays. This is the time of year when you want to be with your nearest and dearest. Missing your spouse can be lonely and take away from the festivities. I try my best to fill up my social calendar and make holiday plans with my amazing girlfriends, many with their own "part time" husbands, but each night, it's inevitable that I will return to an empty house to celebrate alone.

Well, this is not completely true, and it's the point of my post.

Paul missed Thanksgiving and Chanukah this year. I missed him a lot, but I was not alone. I was flanked on either side by my two furry best friends, Mattingly and Macie. I am always astounded at how they instinctively step up and provide me with love and companionship. Though my hubs was gone for the holidays, my two pups were there to provide me with their greatest gift; unconditional love.


I don't know what I'd do without these two. They are hyper, naughty, and lots of work, but they never fail to make me smile. It's amazing how these little (and not so little) guys worked their way into my heart.

Doorknob debacle

After a last minute flight to beat the east coast snow storm, I am back home in Virginia. While I was sad to leave my family and have my time cut short, I'm glad to be home with the hubs, my pups...and you! Virginia was hit with a whopping 10 or so inches of snow, which is a lot for the area! Our little family has weathered the storm with lots of outdoor fun, puzzles, yummy food, Dexter, and home projects. There's nothing like a little cabin fever to get us off our bottoms and start tackling projects that we've been putting off. Number one on our list: changing doorknobs.

Changing the knobs in our home is something I've wanted to do since we moved into our nest. I bought the knobs about four months ago and haven't handled them since. Well, my friends, today was the day to change our knobs. Today was also a day that would test the strength of my marriage as this project quickly took a turn for the worst (yes, I'm going to see how many door knob puns I can throw into this post).

The knobs in our house were brassy, old, and covered in paint. I purposely covered them in paint when I painted the doors so that I had extra ammunition to tell the hubs I wanted to change them. I'm sneaky like that.

Before we could change the doorknobs, it was out with the old! This put a new twist in our story. You see, it took over 10 minutes to pry that stinkin' plate off of the door. We also damaged the door quite a bit with all of the poking and prodding. What's more was once we popped off the plate, we could not fit our screwdriver to remove the screws because the plate was in the way. This called for bending the metal with some cutters.

This worked until the screw came out so far that it hit the bent metal and we could not twist it anymore. I came up with the brilliant idea to cut the screw and then hand turn it. The hubs jumped at the chance to use a power tool and quickly grabbed his sawzall. He cut that blasted screw, which resulted in a bent screw. Now we had a screw with no head, bent, and stuck in the damaged door. It took a lot of hand twisting over the course of 5 or so minutes, but we managed to shout a few four letter words get the screw out.

It was after we got out the first screw, and were ready to fly off the handle, that we made a discovery. Did you know that in the 1960's doorknobs were constructed with a little button that popped off the knob to help make installation easier? Neither did we. Well, once we found that magic button, our nightmare was over. Installing the doorknob was easy!

From start to finish, changing our first doorknob took close to 45 minutes. Once we had knowledge of how to correctly remove a doorknob, the next three knobs were installed in less than 20 minutes. I know, we're dumb as doorknobs.

Anywho, here is our final product. Stay tuned for a tutorial in how to patch a door! Oops!

Now it's your turn! I want to hear about a time you had an easy project that was made difficult because of your lack of know how. Did you work it out? Did you bang your head into a wall like we did? Plus, six gold stars to whoever can find all of the doorknob puns in this post!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Hello there Bloggy Friends! Tomorrow I leave to visit my family for the holiday season. I will be where  the corn grows sweeter, the bagels are better, the fists pump higher, and the gas is pumped for you. You guessed it, New Jersey.


I don't think I will be around too much for the next work or so. I hope you have an absolutely wonderful, safe, and joyous holiday season. See you soon!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Want to know what's not fun?

A few weeks back, I shared with you my love for using our fireplace. I've used it a bunch since, but it was starting to get expensive as I was buying bundles of wood for $6 each at the local convenience store. Paul decided it was time to order wood to lower the cost per fire. Well, tonight that wood was delivered. The problem? The "company" my darling hubs found on Craigslist wouldn't stack the wood because we didn't have a wheel barrow. You would think a company that moves wood, would have their own tools. Maybe that's just me. Anywho, long story short, the hubs and I got to DIY once again and stack our own wood.

Our mission was to move 3/4 chord of wood from our front yard into the backyard onto the wood rack that the hubs assembled. Did you know you can't put firewood straight onto the ground? I didn't.

Good thing I have a big, strong, and determined hubs. He moved that wood like a champ. 

My job was to stack the wood. Not bad for a newbie, eh?

Forty five minutes, one small cut, and one dog poo covered shoe later, the hubs and I were done.

I think this photo may be the most unflattering and "awkward family photo" we've ever taken, but nonetheless, we dominated that pile of wood!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moments like these...

Yesterday, I had the joy of sharing a moment with my friend Stacey as she welcomed home her fiance, Gary from a seven month deployment. As a military wife, I know there is nothing harder than saying goodbye to the person you love most for such a long period of time. Worse off, there are so many things that are missed over the course of six or more months. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays just aren't the same without your love to share it. While those aspects of a deployment can be unbearable, any military spouse will tell you that there is nothing sweeter than welcoming your loved one home. Please enjoy the following images of Gary's homecoming:

The waiting game was hard. We got there about an hour early as you do not want to be fashionably late for this event!

And then we saw them. Four strong and full of loved ones.

Can you see the joy?

There he is...
and there she goes...

Seven months of separation...where are the tissues?

Happy Homecoming, you two. Enjoy your time together!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Dogs

It's a snow day here in Virginia. There's only a dusting on the ground, but it's enough to close schools and businesses. Today consists of sitting by the fire, making chicken soup, watching movies and taking pictures of my dogs playing in the snow. They love it!

My two smushed face pups aren't supposed to like water or snow, but, from moving around the country, enjoy all of the elements. They love snow days more than anyone.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stella & Dot Party (and a surprise for you!)

Tonight I hosted a Stella & Dot party for some girlfriends. Enjoy the following images of my dining room dressed up in all the sparkly, blingy, goodness:


I love how my awesome party stylist, Tammy used vintage suitcases and stands to accessorize.The dining room looked like an adorable boutique!

As for the food, I told you yesterday that I would go for the low key wine and cheese vibe. It worked out fabulously...

And now for my surprise! Stella & Dot is fabulous jewelry and makes a wonderful Christmas gift (or just a purchase to treat yourself!). Right now until the end of the year, Stella & Dot is offering 20% off any one jewelry piece with your first online order. All you have to do is use the promo code SHARE10. You can browse their amazing selection right here on Tammy's stylist site. All jewelry is shipped directly to your home (or your recipient's home) and it's all even more beautiful in person. Please be sure to mention that you heard about the promo from me, Trish @ This Life of Ours!

Happy Shopping and if you have any questions, shoot me an email at


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