Friday, August 29, 2008

I want this living room

I can't even contain my excitement right now. Just look at this fantastic room designed by Maryland's own Fiona Newell Weeks. I love everything about this room and it surprisingly enough looks completely livable. You know when you look at those upscale housing magazines you think to yourself, "Looks incredible, but who would actually live there?"

I love high ceilings. Actually, let me clarify that, I love high ceilings with exposed beams. I know a peaked ceiling, like above, would remind some individuals of a church ceiling, but hey, I trekked around Italy for two weeks and adored every single church I had the pleasure to gaze upon. I think the white for the ceiling makes it work. The ceiling isn't dark and heavy and instead gives a very nice airy feeling to the room.

Then, that fabulous sitting area next to the window has me drooling. I can picture myself lounging around on a Saturday afternoon basking in the natural light while reading a book. There even looks like room for a pup to lay next to me while I'm reading. What could possibly be better than that?

Ugh, love the ceiling, love the couch, love the blues, love the skylight, love everything.

I'd only change out the fireplace decorations. I'm not a fan of plants in the house, yeah, it's one of my pet peeves. Then, the dead bird on the mantle has got to go. But those are quick and easy fixes.

Maybe, just maybe, when I'm rich (hahahah) I can hire Fiona to decorate my house. In the meantime I'll have to settle for checking out her studio on the Eastern Shore.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Darn you Nikon

Nikon has just announced the release for their new D90 camera. This should be exciting news all around, but instead I'm confused. I've had my heart (and wallet) set on the Canon XSi for months now. I've read all the reviews, checked it out at various stores and convinced my hubs that I need this camera. One of my friends has the Canon XS and let me shoot with it a few weeks ago. The hubs quickly saw the look in my eyes when I gave the camera back to my friend. It was that same look people have when they are buying a house or when they see their first born child for the first time. Okay, that's a bit drastic, but I swear that's how the look comes across to my husband. I secretly wonder that he thinks if I get this camera my house buying lust will calm down and he'll have a few months of peace.

Woah, got a tiny bit off track there. Back to the camera discussion. I teetered on the Nikon vs. Canon debate for months, but I was finally convinced that the XSi was the camera for me. Now, Nikon has to go and introduce a new camera in the same class as the XSi. This means I have to do more research and go back to that dreaded Nikon vs. Canon debate.

I've been saving for months for a new camera. I want to upgrade from my little Panasonic point and shoot. I was hoping that a new camera would somehow elevate me from taking random little snapshots into an area where I would actually feel comfortable framing my own pictures. Plus, Jax and Jewels are just too darn cute for my meager camera. I can never seem to get the white balance adjusted correctly on my camera. Jewels usually has this odd glow look to her and Jax's white patches look ghostly white. Plus, my own pale self usually comes off with an eerie glare. I'm not a ghost, I just had the nickname "Casper" for awhile, that's all.

Sigh.... now I'm confused. I don't know whether to go ahead and buy the Canon or wait and check out the Nikon. The hubs had made a logical argument to wait and buy the camera on Black Friday. He's hoping that someone will offer an amazing deal and I'll save a few dollars. What he doesn't know is that all camera enthusiasts know it's really all about the lenses. I think I'm going to have to sell some organs on the black market in order to cover all my secret camera expenses.

For those of you who are camera enthusiasts, if you have any advice to pass along I would most graciously appreciate hearing from you. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

MLB is going high-tech

Breaking news: MLB will start using instant replay this Thursday. The use of instant replay will be limited to allowing umpires to check video replays for home run plays.

Mmmmmm..... I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand I think it's nice that MLB is joining the rest of the advanced world and is integrating technology. Then, I think of how long some games drag on forever. Two out of the three baseball games I went to this past week (I know, you're jealous) pushed past the four hour mark. Thankfully, MLB hasn't gone off into NFL territory and is only allowing a limited edition of instant replay.

What bugs me the most about this whole situation is the timing of everything. Yes, I understand earlier in the season there seemed to be a new blown home run call almost every other day, but why introduce something like this in the midst of crunch time? Why not wait until the post-season, as had been advertised before, why the sudden rush now? I mean, what is the significance of starting this on August 28th???? I'm just fearful that this is going to to turn into a disaster- a la the World Baseball Classic a few years ago.

It's like Bud Selig gets these urges and then all of the sudden can't hold them in anymore. I'm slowly waiting for the day where he personally decides that Barry Bonds never played baseball and removes Bonds from every baseball log. Selig is the guy who in the past has claimed he'll thrown anyone out of the Hall of Fame he thought did steroids. I know quite a few people that have pull down calendars to President Bush's last day, can I get one of those for Selig? Oh wait, my heart was shattered earlier this year when Selig's contract was conveniently extended until 2012. I really thought this would be the last year I would have to suffer and acknowledge Selig, but I guess not. For all you Brett Favre fans out there- Selig announced his plan to retire a year before he retired. Us MLB fans had time to cry (tears of happiness) and then Selig changed his mind. Unfortunately, he decided to stay a whole additional term. That whole Favre debacle pales in comparison to what Selig did.

Anyway, look for instant replay beginning this Thursday. So ladies, if there is a male in your house that enjoys watching baseball, be prepared for him to tune into Thursday's games. I really want to see Ozzie Guillen go absolutely nuts and throw a TV set on the field. I'm not sure if that will actually happen, but it would be incredibly entertaining to watch. You know A-Rod is sulking somewhere because he had a clearly hit home run called a double earlier this season. He probably wants Bud Selig to go back and change his total home run numbers.... oh crap I just gave Selig a new project. Crap.

Just for fun, here's a picture of A-Rod getting drilled by Daniel Cabrera this past Sunday. Heck, for a little crappy point-and-shoot camera taken all the way from left field, I'm quite happy with this picture.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Olympics void

It's Day One of one of the biggest voids I've ever known in my life. The Olympics are over, finished, kaput and I am left with this severe feeling of emptiness. Since I've somehow managed to capture a few aimless readers I'll share with you the things I won't and will miss about the Olympics.

The things I won't miss:
  • Scrunchies- Somewhere Carrie Bradshaw is stamping one of her stilettos in agony over images of little gymnasts securing their hair with heinous scrunchies. I'm afraid my own sister is going to use these Olympic games as a reason why she can still rock a scrunchie. Then, I'll have to sit her down for a serious discussion and explain to her that any rationale that is reliant on teenagers clad in sparkly spandex is null and invalid.
  • Any commentary by Cris Collinsworth- Ugh, I loathe that man. His voice drives me absolutely insane. To the point where I would rather watch an NFL game on mute rather than hear some of the idiotic remarks he comes up with.
  • Gymnastic judging/controversies - I'm done with the whole "how old are the Chinese gymnasts controversy?" If it turns out that these participants (I want to call them girls, but that is insulting to anyone over the age of 14) are underage, well them shame on the Chinese team officials and the IOC for not preventing this BEFORE the games. I really don't want to hear anymore from Bela and Marta Karolyi and how they "believe" anything in terms of scores or Chinese team activities.
  • Team USA only referring to Men's Basketball- I absolutely hated seeing on ESPN headlines with "Team USA" and the only topic that would be discussed was how the so-called "Redeem Team" was doing. I found it disrespectful to the rest of the athletic teams that they were called "Team USA (insert sport here)." Really, they are all Team USA and all teams should be called by the same title.
  • Previously recorded broadcastings- I know, I could just control myself and not look up the final outcomes on the internet, but realistically that isn't going to happen. This mainly pertained to the track & field events, as I would read online what happened and then watch the coverage later in the day. Part of me wishes that ESPN wouldn't discuss any of the events until they were televised, but I know how impractical that would be.
Things I will certainly miss:
  • The sheer pleasure of watching the games. My inner athletic nature came roaring out when the games were on. Thankfully, my husband loves that crazy nature about me and he's the same way (well, only quieter).
  • Soccer, soccer, soccer and more soccer. I'm sorry, but I've actually fallen asleep during a MLS game before. Call me a soccer snob, but the games don't move fast enough for me. Thankfully, national teams are usually pretty top notch and the games reflected that talent. I really enjoyed watching as many of the women's games as I could. Total confession here, but my husband and I woke up early after our anniversary celebration so we could watch Team USA play New Zealand. I will surely miss all of the wonderful soccer games.
  • Sports discussions with non-sports fans. That's one of the great things about the Olympics- suddenly people who normally don't pay any mind to sports are now true fanatics. That's a wonderful thing. Baltimore became alive with people fixated on Michael Phelps' every move. Thousands of people stayed late after a Raven's pre-season game to watch Phelps swim. That's incredible! Everywhere I went people had the games on and were cheering. I ran to Starbucks one night for coffee and the entire place shut down while a swimming final came on.
  • The countless inspiration to work out more. Seriously, every single time I watched a women's event I felt compelled to do a few sit-ups and push-ups during the commercial breaks. Hopefully, this is just what I need in order to shape up for a half-marathon I'm running in October.
All in all, I'm going to miss the Olympics like crazy. As hurtful as this sounds, I don't think the current MLB season is going to help me get out of my post-Olympic funk. Hopefully, the white chocolate chip cookies my husband is baking will help. He feels sorry for me because my right knee and ankle are severely swollen due to yesterday's sunburn. I must admit, I get a fantastic sense of pride watching him use our stand mixer. This is the same guy who argued that no one would spend that much money on a silly mixer. Oh well, I'm off to eat fresh baked cookies.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cuteness overload

I'm in a pretty odd mood tonight. The hubs, brother-in-law and I went to the Yankees vs Orioles' game this afternoon. The Yankees won, so I should be in a good mood, but I'm actually sad the O's lost. They came thisclose to winning. Daniel Cabrera took some of my advice and drilled Alex Rodriguez today. Hopefully, Bud Selig doesn't decide to suspend Cabrera again, since the last time he hit A-Rod he was handed down a six game suspension by MLB. My husband swears that anyone who throws inside to A-Rod is suspended. Usually, I would just laugh off his crazy statements, but sometimes it seems he's right on the money with his crazy talk.

Anyway, we had another great day at Camden Yards. The weather was a bit hot and the sun was definitely too bright for my red-head-self. Yeah, my legs are still burning from being an idiot and forgetting to reapply my sunscreen. I was meticulous about reapplying on my face, neck and arms, but I completely forgot to reapply to my ghostly pale legs. I think I may have to skip tomorrow's run since I'm known for running into random shrubs and that could be incredibly painful. It was so bright today that the crowd started cheering when the sun finally ducked behind a cloud in the third inning. The hubs even put sunscreen on today... that's saying something.

Jewels, apparently, didn't like the fact that her humans were away for a good portion of the day. I took her on an extra long walk this morning and the hubs played with her the rest of the morning before we left for the game. She's known for throwing a temper tantrum when she thinks we're off having fun without her. Jax, on the other hand, is so excited when we get home because he knows he gets to eat again. Anyway, Jewels decided that while the hubs and I were trying to watch the Olympics Closing Ceremony that she wasn't receiving our full and undivided attention. So, what is a 13lb dog to do in order to show she's unhappy? Well obviously she should dump the remains of her food bowl across the kitchen floor and then drag her now empty bowl into her kennel. There, she should act like a prisoner and throw her bowl around to make as much noise as possible. Mission Accomplished. The hubs and I ran out to the kitchen, cleaned up her mess, snapped a few pictures and then spoiled her rotten with hugs and kisses. If I acted like that I doubt my husband would react so positively. I guess that's the downfall of intellectual communication.

Here's Jewels and her empty food bowl. I know the lighting isn't great, but our kitchen isn't exactly a photo studio.
I swear in this picture Jewels is looking at the hubs and going, "hey, man human, you need to go in the fridge right now and get me some of that leftover pizza. I'm serious! Get me pizza now!" Ugh, she's too cute and she knows it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Can Richard Gere please get out of this movie?

I don't know if you've had the chance to see the previews for "Nights in Rodanthe," but I have and I'm already sick of this movie. I feel like I've seen the entire movie based on the two minute trailer. In my mind there are a few fatal flaws with this movie and these need to be addressed.

One, Diane Lane will always be too good of an actress to pair up with Richard Gere. Anyone who watched "Unfaithful" can back me up on this fact. Yes, I understand he had a smaller role by design in "Unfaithful," but Diane Lane jumped off the screen with her role. Steamy sex scenes with Olivier Martinez may have aided in her commanding aurora, but the scene showing Diane on the way home, well that lure was all Diane.

Another issue with the "Nights" preview is a severe lacking of Christopher Meloni presence. Stabler, errr, I mean Christopher, needs to appear much more often in the preview. Really, I don't think it would be too much to ask for him to saunter around topless. There was a quick preview on NBC during hour 1,800 of Olympic coverage and Christopher didn't appear, even for a single second, in that preview. Seriously, how does such an injustice happen on NBC??? Poor advertising campaign all around. Movie trailer people, here's a tip- since 1999 NBC has had on its lineup a little show called "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit." Yeah, millions of people watch that show. The main reason most of those viewers turn in.... Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay. If you want to have a trailer shown on NBC, then you might want to include one of NBC's biggest stars. It might help capture a few more potential viewers. Honestly, the only reason I may pay $9.75 to see "Nights" is to gaze upon Christopher Meloni.

Finally, I know Nicholas Sparks is an incredibly talented writer, but can the movie trailer for "Nights" not look like a mid-life version of "The Notebook"?????????????? My husband doesn't watch that much television, but the first thing he said when he saw the "Nights" preview was, "it looks like they made 'The Notebook' for our parents." I can already sense that the female romantic lead is going to be torn between two men. Her family will most likely want her to go with one man, but she'll go with the other guy instead. Yeah, if that isn't "The Notebook" or every other movie James Marsden has ever been cast in, then I don't know what it is.

I understand this movie begins its theatrical run on October 3rd, but there is plenty of time to include some of my suggestions. One, re-edit the movie so there is some chance of a surprise. Have Diane Lane end up with either James Franco or Christopher Meloni. I know, it's crazy, that there would actually be a movie about a married couple that struggles and yet somehow manages to stay together. Crazy, indeed. Next, there really needs to be a major romantic scene that includes Christopher Meloni, but does not include his shirt (honestly, the only reason I like the character Kathy in "SVU" is because there might just be the chance Stabler gets to express his romantic side). Finally, just take Richard Gere out of the movie. Introduce a gerbil or something and I'm sure he'll just magically drop off the face of the earth.

That's just my two cents or the two cents that may make the difference between shelling out $9.75 plus the cost of popcorn or not.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

An amazing twelve hours

The O's came through and won last night. They didn't just win, but they won in convincing fashion with the final score reading 11-6. That made me very, very happy and my brother-in-law very, very unhappy.

Then, when my husband and I arrived back home from the O's game we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Women's Beach Volleyball game was still on TV. (we didn't realize that the Gold Medal game was scheduled for 11pm instead of the earlier time slot) After quickly wearing out the pups we were able to enjoy most of the second game. Let's just say that the combination of rain, sand, hot women, jumping up and down and white uniforms should become a template for bumping up TV ratings. Congratulations are indeed in order for Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh.

Finally, this morning the best thing happened. The USA Women's Soccer team was able to defeat the Brazilians for the Gold Medal. Yes, Team USA was outplayed. Yes, Marta is an incredible player and I honestly felt bad for her. Yes, Hope Solo was finally able to put all the controversy from last year's World Cup Semi-Final game behind her. All in all, I'm incredibly happy the USA won. I literally leapt over my coffee table when Carli Lloyd found the back of the net in the 96th minute. Then, I almost broke my coffee mug when she dinked a ball off the goal post minutes later. Poor Jax and Jewels must have thought I was possessed because they both bolted from the room when I jumped over the coffee table. My husband knows better than to comment on my erratic behaviors because his fist-pumps put my antics to shame.

Honestly, I'm not sure what I'm going to do once the Olympics are over. Sure I'll sleep more, but I'll have a lot more free time. Mmmmm maybe I can start running more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Let's go O's!

Last night my husband and I found ourselves at yet another O's game. Some couples like to go out to dinner, others indulge in watching a movie, a few brave souls like to go hiking, but not us, we like to head out to the stadium. At this point in the season I've lost count of how many games we've gone to. My profound obsession with baseball is probably one of the things that first caught my husband's attention. Unfortunately, it must be stated that my husband and I cheer for two different teams. I grew up in New York and idolize the New York Yankees (no, I did not become a Yankees fan because of Derek Jeter, nor do I think he is attractive), whereas my husband grew up in Baltimore and is a die hard O's fan. It's a workable difference. I mean, it's not like he's a Red Sox fan or a Met's fan... shudder.

I'm sure many baseball fan has seen this shirt before. In NY it has the tag line, "I cheer for two teams. The Yankees and whoever is playing the Red Sox." Obviously, in Boston the two teams are switched. Well, I now I have my own saying. "I cheer for three teams: The Yankees, The Orioles, and whoever is playing the Red Sox." Really the conflict between the O's and the Yank's isn't all that bad. The O's are just so lovable.

For example: Last night in the fourth inning Sean Casey slide in extremely hard at third base. Now, guys slide in hard all the time, but Mr. Casey thought it was appropriate to slide in with his spikes up. O's third basemen, Melvin Mora, was shook up on the play. In the fifth inning Daniel Cabrera had an open base to "walk" a batter. Cabrera is a pitcher who is known for his velocity and his lack of control at times. Retaliation. Happens all the time in baseball. It's the baseball equivalent of fighting in hockey. So yes, drilling a guy with a 98 mph fastball keeps the peace (okay, he could have slowed the ball down to only 90mph). The O's are just so lovable that Daniel Cabrera didn't retaliate and hit Kevin Youkilis, instead, he served him a nice two-run homerun pitch. That's how nice the O's are.

Hopefully, tonight the O's can avoid the sweep. There's nothing more upsetting to me than to see a beautiful stadium like Camden Yards full of cheering Red Sox fans. It's just sad, especially on a night where Camden Yards welcomed its 50th million fan. A place that has $5 Jack 'n Cokes (at the Warehouse Bar, but only until the first pitch) shouldn't be a sad place. It should be a happy place.

So please O's, oblige this adopted O's fan's wish for tonight. Please beat the Red Sox. I'll be there, cheering for you, clapping for you, stomping for you, heck, I'll even stand up and do the wave for you. If it helps, I can even pour soda on my brother-in-law. He's a Sox fan and I'll gladly defame his t-shirt if it will help the O's win. I even let Jax wear his O's harness on his walk today. You have to win now, my dog wore his O's harness. That thing only comes out for special purposes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Banner

I have a new banner at the top of my blog (duh, where else would it be). I must give a shout out to kpapa over at My Two Red Shoes. She conjured up that banner in mere minutes from a horribly broad description on my part. I think the only concrete piece of information I gave her was that I don't like pink.

Again, thank you very much for the banner. Now, if anyone actually reads my blog- go check out her Etsy shop and buy a lovely photograph.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Whew, another day and another Olympic moment

I think my husband deserves a gold medal. Not an Olympic medal, but I really should go out and buy him a medal.

Flashback to 2002- the guy couldn't name a single women's soccer player. He did remember that one soccer player who took her shirt off at some big tournament, but he couldn't recall her name. Yeah, that would be one Ms. Brandi Chastain. She took her shirt off after scoring the game winning goal at the 1999 World Cup. I watched that game at the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum in Oneonta, NY. This is where my husband and I differ- I remember exactly where I was at that moment and he can't even remember Chastain's name.

See in 2002 is when my husband and I started dating. The poor guy had no idea what he was getting into. I was a soccer player, who happened to also be a baseball nerd and could swap stats with the best of guys, but my husband knew almost nothing about soccer. I figured it was only fair that I should share some of my soccer knowledge with him. It may have taken a few years to come along, but he's developing nicely. I almost teared up when he bought a soccer video game earlier this year.

This morning he called me and asked how he could watch the women's soccer game on the computer. I told him he probably had to download a plug-in, but he should be able to watch the game live. My husband deserves a gold medal because this morning, while at work, he watched the women's soccer team beat up on Japan. Yes, my husband goofed off at work and watched a soccer game. Most wives would probably be ticked if their husbands were watching sports all the time, but not me. I look at it like so- my husband took extra effort to watch a game that I love.

Babe, as a reward, I promise not to eat all the chocolate chip cookies we baked yesterday. I'll save you a few. Maybe Thursday morning you can go into work late and we'll watch the Gold Medal game together.

Go Team USA!!!!!!!!!
Update: While I was making dinner I asked my husband if he could go into work late on Thursday morning so we could watch the USA vs Brazil game. I really mentioned it as a complete joke, but dearest hubby quickly responded that he would go into work late or just work from home on Thursday. Swoon... best.husband.ever.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Watching the Olympics is exhausting

My husband and I, like many others, have been staying up late this past week to watch the Olympic Games. Wow, we are exhausted! It's a beautiful afternoon and we're both too tired to do anything. Okay, maybe the two hours we spent playing tennis earlier today added to our exhaustion, but really we shouldn't be this tired. I blame our current lethargic states to a severe lack of sleep.

I blame you, Michael Phelps, and your magnificent abs. Katie Hoff, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh- you're also to blame. Mainly, anyone who plays beach volleyball is to blame. My husband has now proclaimed your sport his favorite viewing activity, which is a serious blow to water polo. Then, to add to our lack of sleep I have to wake up and watch the women's soccer players kick butt in the a.m.

It's rough, really, it is to watch all of you fantastic and talented athletes. But, I love it!!! I'll gladly suffer a few lethargic days to watch all of your magnificent accomplishments.

Jewels is also exhausted, but she looks a lot cuter than I do past out on the couch.

Jax, on the other hand, was mesmerized by the men's steeplechase that was just on tv. He's probably confused as to why the runners were jumping over the water and not rolling around it. Gesh, silly humans.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Did I just eat that?

I'm not a "Fear Factor" person. I have friends who used to watch that show religiously, but I couldn't stand the sight of contestants eating any of the gross stuff placed before them. I have a pretty strong gag reflex, needless to say, I don't think I could ever have been a participant. I guess my dream of dating George Clooney via winning a television show is down the drain, oh well.

Anyway, like most married couples my husband and I saved the top layer of our wedding cake. We joked with each other that there was no way it would survive a whole year in our freezer. I think we both figured that when we were out of ice cream one night that cake would start to look mighty tempting and we'd both cave. Well, our first anniversary has come and gone and the cake still lives. We didn't bring the cake with us to dinner Monday night, but we did manage to pull it out of the freezer and start the de-thawing process.

We figured the cake had been frozen for over a year now and deserved a few days to chill in the fridge. Tonight was the night we deemed the cake ready for devouring. I must say I was definitely hesitant to eat something that I knew was over a year old. This wasn't a can of spam, but a cake. My husband and I both looked at each other before biting in with an expression that said, "I hope this doesn't taste gross!"

I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Just the bottom layer was a bit dry, everything else was very tasty. I forgot how rich and creamy this cake tasted. Yeah, I totally used this as an excuse to use our china. Hey, how often do you use your china?

Holy pouring buckets Batman!

Yesterday, one of those freak summer thunderstorms fell on my little area of Baltimore. Seriously, areas 15 minutes away from me didn't receive a single drop of rain. The storm lasted for over an hour and the rain just kept coming down. There were even a few pieces of hail tossed in just for fun.

The main road by our house was actually shut down due to flooding. All of the traffic was being rerouted on my street. Basically, it was one big nasty mess outside. My backyard flooded, part of my sunroom flooded and water was seeping into my kitchen. Not pretty at all! Thankfully, nothing is damaged. The carpet in the sunroom will dry out, as will the backyard. This weekend I'll probably re-caulk part of our kitchen wall.

I'm incredibly impressed that all of my plants survived. All of my sunflowers held up, which is surprising because during the last storm two of them bent over. I lost quite a few individual tomatoes, but the plants themselves look okay. This morning while I was walking Jewels I realized how lucky we were. I saw plenty of downed limbs and trees in other yards and on the street. I'm really thankful that nothing came down on our house or in our backyard.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


My green thumb isn't so green. Well, it could be green, but it's a beginner green. My dad always had this massive garden when I was growing up. Oddly enough, I hated helping him with his garden. I swear the thing was built on top of a giant slate mine. "Helping out" in the garden usually meant picking rocks. I don't understand how my siblings and I would pick rocks every year and then the following year there seemed to be even more rocks to pick up. Needless to say I know I picked more rocks in that garden than any fruits and vegetables.

Rocks aside, there were many pleasant moments in my dad's garden. I remember taking a big bowl over to the garden, which was across the street from our house, and filling it up with snap peas for dinner. Of course, I ate more peas than I put in the bowl. That happened on more than one occasion. There were so many wonderful and edible things in that garden. Every year it seemed my dad would try something new. Finally, when I was in high school he seemed to be getting the hang of things. Our harvest would include: tomatoes, corn, snap peas, cucumbers, potatoes, broccoli, watermelon, any many other delicious treats. My dad was probably known in the neighborhood for his pumpkins. He'd grow those massive giants and these adorable little white pumpkins. For Halloween my freshmen year at college my dad sent me two white pumpkins in the mail.

Outside of the garden my dad would grow wild flowers. He would joke that he would try to temp the deer with the flowers and hope they would fill up on those and not ravish his garden. I've always loved sunflowers and my dad grew these amazing reddish-colored sunflowers for me. I'd love how they would chase the sun in the summertime.

So, this year I attempted something all by myself. Sure, I planted a few flowers in my flower beds and planted a small vegetable garden. I bought all of those plants from a local nursery. In all honesty I felt like a cheater. My dad grows all of his plants from seeds. A few weeks after I purchased all of my plants I went back and bought a package of sunflower seeds. I started them off in little plastic containers and then transplanted them into my front flower beds. My landlord thought they were weeds. I'll admit the truth, sunflowers don't look very attractive while they are growing. All of that quickly went out the window this morning. The first sign of a sunflower head began to pop this morning. I was so excited I even dragged my husband out to gaze upon this masterpiece. Okay, that was a bit dramatic! Anyway, I did it. I grew something from a little tiny seed! Next year I'll have to expand and try to grow more things from seeds.

Monday, August 11, 2008

366 Days

Today just happens to be 366 days since my husband and I were married. In other words, today, is our one year anniversary. I know, you're probably thinking, "wait, there are 365 days in a year?" Yes, three out of four years you would be correct, but this past year was a leap year. So my husband and I had to handle one additional day of newlywed status.

Maybe I'm weird, but I'm actually very excited not to be labeled a "newlywed" anymore. I never liked that label. I don't know why, but it just made it seem like our relationship was young and inexperienced. I know my husband and I are very young, we're both in our mid-twenties, but we dated for over five years before we got married. To compare that, our best friends have been "together" for the same amount of time as us and they have two beautiful children. Some people don't date for very long before they get married and some people date forever (or so it seemed at the time!).

Anyway, we're going back to the place we were married for dinner and to spend the night. Hopefully the top layer of our wedding cake is defrosted by tomorrow for dessert.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Incredible weather

These past few days have been absolutely gorgeous here in the Baltimore area. The air hasn't been too humid and the temperatures have been nice and cool. It really has been lovely outside. It's times like these that I love to spend hours outside playing with Jax and Jewels. Jax will chase his frisbees or play with his soccer ball. I'm incredibly proud of my dog's soccer abilities. He can read a passing lane like no other and quickly shuts it down. Jewels, on the other hand, loves to just mosey around, sniff the flowers, chase the occasional bird, work on her highlights and ignore Jax. When Jax is finally worn out, that's when Jewels will strike and run circles around him. It is rather entertaining.

Besides playing with the pups, I love all the flowers outside. I can't take credit for any of the plants in the backyard, but the front flowerbeds are all my doing. My sunflower plants are coming up nicely and hopefully will bloom sooner rather than later. But, they haven't bloomed yet, so in closing here's a picture of a very pretty Black-Eyed Susan.

Wherever you are, I hope you can enjoy the weather outside. Of course, don't forget to wear sunscreen.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just one more reason to love Etsy

While I was stumbling through the blogosphere today I came across this post on "More Ways to Waste Time" (love, love, love the blog name). Instantly, I fell in love with this concept and product. You have to check out Etsy seller, Phunk Lab, for more amazing pictures and details.
Now, I just need to figure out which snapshot to have transformed into a work of art. Then, I need to convince my hubby that our new canvas definitely warrants putting a hole in our beige walls.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pottery Barn Lust

I heart Pottery Barn. I would never think to put three different colored pillows on the same couch. At first glance I thought the red and green pillows worked because of the red wall and the green plant in the background. The yellow pillow threw me for a loop, but the couch doesn't look like a stoplight. I think what makes the couch work is the fantastic black and white pillow in the center.

I'm jealous about the coffee table as well. I have yet to be able to pull off the "randomly" placed books on the table look. Whenever I put a book on my coffee table it comes off as the "I-was-too-lazy-to-take-this-upstairs-to-my-bookcase" look.

I'm actually counting down the days until the new Pottery Barn store opens at my local mall. Somehow I don't see PB to be the type of store that will have a fantastic "grand opening" sale, but I can dream, right? Hopefully, I can pick up a few odds and ends. I can already see my husband cringing at the thought of me going into Pottery Barn by myself. He has no idea what he's in for.