Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WILW &Oh How Pinteresting!

Happy Leap Day everyone! 

First off the winner of the Sneakpeeq giveaway is:

I'll be emailing you shortly & the giftcard should be in your Sneakpeeq account soon:)
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In other news, I am just now hearing that Davey Jones from The Monkees died of a heart attack. Y'all this makes me so so sad! Just ask my momma how much I loved The Monkees when I was little, I still do. I have every episode of their show tucked away somewhere at my parents home on VHS. 
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Now for What I'm Loving Wednesday:

1. I am loving watching Maddie play with her hedge hog, it has got to be the cutest thing on Earth. This dog seriously loves her toy, she even puts it in her bed under the covers and snuggles with it.

2. I am loving the Buffalo Chicken Enchilidas recipe I have open in my iPad that I am cooking this week:)

3. I am loving that I finished all of my lesson plans for the 4th 9wks before the 9wks started. I never get anything done this early.

4. It may sound silly, but I love that it is Leap Day. I have always wished I were born on Leap Day.

5. I love that Jeremy has gotten home a little earlier this week from school, love spending time with my hubs.

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Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday!






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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

[guest post] 5 Tips for Creating a Welcoming Home

Today's guest blogger is Ian Lockwood who writes for UK Oak Doors. Hope y'all enjoy his article about creating a welcoming home as much I do. 

Five Tips for Creating a Welcoming Home

When you come home after a long day at work, are you glad to be back, or does your home feel like
a dark, boring place to be? If you dread returning home after work or after a holiday at a nice hotel,
try these five tips for creating a welcoming home.

1 - First Impressions Count

If the paint is peeling off your front walls, the window frames are cracked, or the garden looks
shabby, then that will make your home look messy before you even walk through the front door.
The first thing you should do is repaint your front oak doors, mow the lawn, clean up any litter, and
arrange to have the window cleaner come round more often. You'll be amazed at the difference it
will make.

2 - Have a clear entryway

Make sure that the entrance to your home is clean and tidy. If you enter into a hallway, keep it as
close to empty as possible - have a welcome mat, and a place to hang your coat and bag. Choose
neutral colours to make the area look spacious. If you have internal oak doors separating the
entryway and the stairs / living room, paint them a light colour so that they don't make the room
look oppressive.

3 - Open Your Blinds or Turn on The Lights

Dark, dull rooms are not welcoming. Opening your blinds, or at the very least making sure you have
plenty of lighting in your living room will make the place feel a lot more welcoming. Try to choose
lighting options that are easy on the eye. Harsh lighting can cause headaches.

4 - Let in Some Fresh Air

During the winter, you'll want to leave your doors and windows closed most of the time, and even
during the summer you'll want to keep them closed while you're out, for security reasons. However,
if you can open your vents, and leave some windows open while you're in the house, the air will
smell fresher. Even if you don't think there's a bad smell in the house now, a fresh breeze might do a
surprising amount of good.

5 - Clear the Clutter

Put the emphasis in your house on the nicer aesthetics; your clean and simple blinds, your stylish
internal oak doors, and your polished wooden floors. Give yourself space to sit down and relax, and
a clear area to engage in your hobbies - whether that's playing video games, reading, watching TV,
or exercising in a home gym. Clutter just gets in the way and makes your living environment feel
stressful.

You don't have to completely overhaul your home to make it feel more welcoming. You can
achieve a lot just by de-cluttering and making a point of structuring your rooms to allow in as much
natural light as possible. Small, simple changes to the way you arrange your room can make a huge

difference to the atmosphere of your home.

Ian Lockwood writes for UK Oak Doors, an internal and external
www.ukoakdoors.co.uk and related ironmongery retailer.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Meal Pinning Monday

[What is Meal Pinning Monday?]
MPM is how I meal plan for our little family. I once spent a lot of time searching the web and my recipe books hunting for new recipes and ideas for what to cook every week. Then, Pinterest came along and made meal planning much easier for me. Every weekend I look over what I have pinned the prior week and decide what I would like to cook and make my grocery list from these recipes. MPM came about as a way to share what I am cooking, and to also see what others are cooking every week to hopefully get even more dinner ideas from other bloggers.

Here is this weeks meal plan:
Lamb Meat Balls with Snow Pea Sprouts & Sacha Sauce
[I am using beef and snow peas since lamb and sprouts are non existant here]

        Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas
    
            [source]

               Chicken with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce
                 [I am serving mine over jalapeno cheese grits]
         
            [source]

     Spicy Stewed Beef with Creamy Cheese Grits
       
              [source]
                               
Pinterest seems to have gone a little wonky tonight, but you can click the source below the picture to get to the recipe. [plus blogger spacing is bizarre right now, hence the crazy look of this post] Hope y'all enjoy these recipe finds this week!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

you say it's your birthday...

...well it's my birthday too!
Source: theitgirlproject.com via Anna on Pinterest

As of today I am on the downward slope to 30. Crazy. I'm going to go workout and buy some beauty product that promises to make me look 18. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

Italy Day 6: Castel Sant'Angelo

Update: I just realized this was my 600th post! Yay!
 Today we are going to explore the inside of the Castel Sant'Angelo. This building was originally built for the Roman emperor Hadiran and his family as a mausoleum, but was later used by popes as a fortress. 
 Another one of the angels with the Vatican in the background. 
 This is another place we didn't have a guide for so there are few things I know about it. So let's just look at the pretty pictures.


 This is a map of the interior layout, as you enter the castle you walk up a slope to the top. The hallway seemed large enough to fit a horse through. 

 By the way, in these photos we walked around the exterior of the castle before entering, in case you were wondering how the order played out.

 If I remembering my popes right Clemens hid in the castle after the uproar caused by Martin Luther. He escaped only because he took all the papal jewels apart, sewed them inside his clothing, and gave them away as a means of bartering his way out of Rome. Clemens and his brother were part of the Medici family, and they only became popes because of their control and power. 
 One of the brothers had a child painted gold and dressed as a cherub at his little "welcome to  the papal" party (I'm baptist I have no clue what it is called). The child died a few days later from the toxins in the paint.


 The Tiber River in Rome and Ponte Sant' Angelo bridge.
 View of the Vatican from the roof. 







 We just couldn't get away from the Victor Emmanuel Building. 
 If you are looking for great views of Rome I highly suggest the Castel Sant' Angelo and the Victor Emmanuel Building, both have access to the roofs. You can actually get high enough to see the Alps at the VE Building, but it will cost 8 euros. 
 Why include the good pics what I can show what we actually looked like, who on earth knows what happened. But at least my hair looks good. 
 That man walking towards me was coming to tell me not to take this picture, oops.


 There were so many neat doors in Italy. Katie is 4'11'' just so you have an idea of how tall the smaller portion of the larger door is. 
 In the midst of taking this pic someone told Jeremy to pretend it was a toilet, so he did. Ugh.
 Looks like Voldemort right?

I was amazed at how quickly the weather changed, but then again we were on the coast of Italy. As we walked to the castle and even while we were in it it was dreary and rainy, as soon as we got out out came the most amazing blue sky. Weather never ceases to amaze me. 


Hope y'all enjoyed the pics today.
Where was your favorite place to travel? Or where would you like to travel?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downton Abbey Spoof

Like a lot of other Americans, I have happily hopped onto the Downton Abbey band wagon. I have always loved British shows, especially comedy. Granted, Downton Abbey isn't a comedy, but Maggie Smith nearly makes it one. Isn't she great?

Anyway, for all those Downton Abbey fans who are as sad as I am that the series doesn't come back to PBS until January 2013 here are two spoof videos done for the BBC Comic Relief Night. I just love the part in Part One about "looks", I didn't notice how much they did that until I saw the spoof. Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

{Guest Post: Surprising Selling Points for a Home}


I have a great guest post today for y'all from Christina Johnson who is a journalism major who loves home decor design and DIY home projects.  Thanks for guest posting today Christina! I just may need you back to talk about home decor design. 

Surprising Selling Points for a Home
Article submitted by Christina Johnson

Choosing a home is a process that for most people is very emotionally fueled, even if they might not realize it. Many of the things that make a house "right" to people are feelings regarding their first impressions of it. If it doesn't feel right, it quickly gets removed as an option. When looking at a house, prospective buyers often pay more attention to the little details than the home as a whole. Being aware of the surprising selling points in a home can help you sell it faster.

Paint Job

If the exterior of the house is looking drab and shabby, it can give the impression that the house is run down and has not been well cared for. It will make your potential buyers wonder what else is wrong and if they continue to look at it, they may start paying extra attention to minor flaws as well. Although it's a time-consuming task, applying a fresh coat of paint before placing your home on the market will foster good first impressions.

Floors

Most floors can show massive damage with age. Linoleum and tile floors are prone to problems such as peeling, cracking or chipping. Wooden floors that haven't been diligently tended to over the years can be scratched, warped or splintered. You can bet that if you notice it easily, house shoppers will, too. Flooring is one of the simpler and less expensive alterations to make to a house, so it's advisable to replace it if it looks too haggard.

Landscape

Along with your home's exterior, one of the first things potential buyers will see is the landscaping. People tend to imagine themselves in the house as they see it, so a cluttered, patchy lawn and sparse gardens aren't likely to win hearts. Well-tended plants, bright flowers and tidy walkways create an idyllic scene that prospective homeowners will want to be a part of.

Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen is one of the busiest and most heavily used rooms in any home. Shoddy cabinets like those made from engineered wood don't hold up well against the heat, moisture and mess that comes with cooking. Chipping, peeling, warping and discoloration are common and make the atmosphere seem squalid. Many people prefer sturdy kitchen cabinets that they know they won't have to pay to replace in the near future.

Smells

The odors created by your activities in your home like cooking or smoking permeate everything, including the paint on the walls. These are things that buyers will have to live with or fix by themselves. For a few months before you're to sell your home, take steps to reduce odors, air it out and make use of things like scented candles, air fresheners and baking desserts.

Christina Johnson who works remotely for Elliman Prudential in the NYC Apartments and Rentals market.  She is using her journalism major to combine what she loves most, writing and her career. Her specialties include home decor design and DIY home improvement projects.

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesday



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Let's just call this one the how I'd decorate my house if I weren't living in an apartment and my husband wasn't in graduate school edition ha! Doesn't hurt to dream.
Source: tumblr.com via Emily on Pinterest












                                                        

                     



                          Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a $25 gift card to Sneakpeeq!
                              

And link up to this weeks Meal Pinning Monday:
               
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