Friday, October 28, 2011

My Honest Opinion: Liebster Award Edition

Despite my failure to post of late, I have managed to receive notoriety this week in the form of this puppy:


Which I assume means that someone ELSE'S opinion of my blog is total AWESOMENESS.

And when I "Googled" it to verify said awesomeness, this is what came up:

The Liebster Award is to spotlight up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.

And since I totally buy into this kind of thing, I am more than willing to pass it on.  

So today's (note: yes, I realize it is a day late, loyal fans...THURSDAYS are SUPPOSED to be MHO days...I have mentioned the fact that I am pregnant, right???  Considering that and the fact that I am probably somewhere dancing ridiculously/pregnancy style to Pit Bull, you should really give me some lee-way here...)

As it turns out, my award was bequeathed (presented, dedicated, given...but really, I like lofty terminology, so BEQUEATHED it is for today...) to me by my awesome friend, Amber at Bumber's Bumblings. (You may remember her from that time that she posted about her open adoption in my "Grow Your Family Series".)  She's pretty awesome as a friend, mommy, and running buddy.   The best part?  She's a Georgia girl...meaning, she's coming to visit me soon!!!  Or so she says.  WINK!

Anyway, as part of this award, I am supposed to pass this on to 5 blogs, which IN MY OPINION, are equally worthy of receiving an award.  (What this means to you:  5 blogs who dispense entertaining and/or inspiring posts on a regular basis....)

1.  Debt Dumper's Anonymous.   Pretty much a given as #1 on my list - she's my sister and I will likely get beat up if I don't list her first....  No.  But forreal.  If you are a) frugal and b) obsessed with shoes, you will likely learn something worthwhile from her. 

2.  Home at the Happy Hills.  Written by my former (I miss Ogletown Baptist Church!!!) pastor's wife, who is constantly finding a way to craft with something that she got for $1 at the Pottery Barn Outlet.  Her posts are a constant reminder that home decor and crafting CAN BE ACHIEVED ON THE CHEAP!

3.  Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Talking To Myself.  Written by one of my best friends from college, Angie.  Don't Mind Me is an honest representation of life as a stay at home mommy of 2.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the honest.  It's all there.  And it's always very entertaining.  As of today, it's snowing where Angie lives, so you can be aware that there will probably be some very scary "SAVE ME, I HAVE DIED AND GONE TO A FROZEN ETERNAL DESTINY" posts coming very soon.

4.  No Such Thing As Normal.  Another contributor to my "Grow Your Family" series, Taryn keeps it real discussing life and the challenges that she faces with her little family.  But it doesn't take long to fall in love with her family and it didn't take long to become awesome friends with her.  Be warned, she went to the beach this weekend, so if you tune in to her blog next week, you are sure to be taunted by pictures of the gorgeous Gulf Shore.  I know, I know.  I'm completely green with envy.  But you can bet, I'll be reading the post and drooling over one of my favorite beaches in the world next week....

5.  I would totally marry me if I could, totally.  Last but CERTAINLY not least.  Christine (AKA. Ceej) and Pioneer Woman are basically the reasons I started blogging.  Christine is an old friend of a friend, who eventually became a friend, who just happens to have one of the awesomest (read: most interesting) personalities ever.  She makes me laugh.  Alot.  She makes me think.  Alot.  And then she makes me read books that I would have never even thought about picking up.  She's pretty awesome like that.  I love her.  And you should read her.  She keeps it real.  Which may or may not mean PG-13 & R-rated at times, but I promise you will laugh.  Alot.  

I hate having to cut this off at 5, because there are so many other awesome "Up & Coming" blogs that I know of (ahem, my new office-mate pretty much had me rolling with this post the other day), but since that's the rules of this game...


WHAT has become of me!?

Following RULES???

We all know I am nothing if not a RULEBREAKER!

That means that I am officially passing on this award to 6 - NOT 5 - up and coming blogs. 

I know.  They will probably tear my crown away from me, like Sandra Bullock did in Miss Congeniality, but what do I care???

6.  FatSpot.  Seriously.  What could be more entertaining than the musings of a self-proclaimed "Fat" (we all know I would never, NEVER use that word), football loving, wife-adoring (he tries to put on a tough face, but man, does he love his girl) totally NOT-pc black man.  I adore him as an office mate and his blogs always make me scratch my head in wonder.  

So there you have it.  My top 6 Liebster Award worthy, up-and-coming, awesomesauce bloggers.
I know you are so happy to know about them.
You can thank me later.

*Technical rules of the Liebster Award that I didn't exactly follow because of my tendencies to break rules can be found here.  In case you are interested.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Helpful How To: Keeping Your Inspiration Going

To be honest, I am drained.

I don't know if you've picked up on that.

But being pregnant and moving and dealing with the almost-Terrible-Two's has pretty much taken everything out of me.

And then there's that whole - everything I own is packed into a metal room 30 minutes away from me....

All these factors lead to a lot less Helpful How-Tosing...

And alot less inspiration.

Please forgive me.

You know what makes it worse?

Techy and I have to share the laptop everynight.

AHEM.  What that should say is that Techy gets the laptop while I sit on the couch with my iPad

Which refuses to do ANYTHING until it is updated with the newest software....

But Techy has the computer, so....

You see where this is going, right?

Rather than even attempt to keep up, it's usually just easier for me to go to bed.

Hey, I'm pregnant.  It's a luxury for a couple more months....

So really what this is is a desperate cry for you to help me keep my inspiration going.

The fall season is upon us - Halloween, Thanksgiving and yes, even Christmas....

So many inspiring holidays...

And yet, I am pooped out because I don't have a house to decorate.

I can't wear a normal Halloween costume without looking MILDLY ridiculous.

And I honestly don't even know where we will be for Thanksgiving, much less if I will be cooking a bird this year...

But in the meantime, here are a few things, I am attempting to do to stay inspired...

Sunday, Kathy (my awesome friend that I am living with) decided she wanted to roast a chicken, but didn't have time.

And then we googled, crockpot roasting.

Let's just say that last night's dinner was AMAZING...

Sure, it's the untraditional way...

But so inspirational!  And ready when you get home from work!!!

And then there's the inevitable home decor stuff that's going on....

Over the last few weeks, I have spouted home decor knowledge and ridiculousness so much that I now have my officemate, Dreek searching Better Homes & Garden's website for home decor inspiration....

So yes, what I'm trying to say is, I may be lacking in personal inspiration, but that doesn't mean that I'm not participating in other's inspiration.

Hopefully, you are doing the same!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

When Taking a Loss Makes Cents

When you have moved 800 miles away from home...

And abandoned your house to one of the scariest real estate markets of all time...

And 30 days later, you get an offer...

Albeit, a painful, we-are-walking-to-the-settlement-table-with-cash-in-hand-offer...

All the while knowing that to walk away from said painful offer could potentially mean another 6+ months on the market.

Another 6 months of a mortgage payment of way more than you want to pay.

Not to mention, another 6 months of electric bills, water bills, sewer bills, and who knows what kind of maintenance costs that can come from having an empty house sitting through the winter....

We opted to cut our losses and sign on the dotted line

My point here, CLEARLY is that we now have one of these signs sitting in our front yard!!!

Now we pray and wait...

For a good inspection and a smooth and easy closing.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Honest Opinion: Renuzit Fresh Accents

Remember that time I picked up and moved 800 miles away from a house and THEN put it on the market?

Yeah, that’s also known as now?

Well, the other day I had someone ask me what we were going to do about cleaning the joint.

AKA.  The house we used to live in.

You know, since we are currently not living, i.e., not cleaning, there.

And you know what my lame brain answer was?

I’m not doing anything yet.

But that’s not to say I didn’t do anything BEFORE.

I know, that sounds a little cryptic, right?

I’m getting there, I promise….

Did you know that approximately 50% of your perception of a thing is based upon its scent?

And as it turns out, Renuzit swooped in to save the day!

They sent a few samples of their new Fresh Accents Fresheners my way, and I fully took advantage of them!

Now, I know what you are thinking.

And you and I both know those little plastic cones can put out some serious stench-masking delightfulness!

(P.S. Did you know that you can now create your own cone cover to mesh with your personal style taste?   It's true, ya'll.  Check it out, here!  I'm pretty sure I'm not getting anything else done this afternoon, thanks to this website....) 

But alas, that is not the case….

Because someone at Renuzit came up with the ingenious idea to create this pretty little snowflake container.

And yes, I know it was a little early to put out snowflake containers, but…

Momma was SO excited about these scents, that I simply ignored the holiday stigma and set those puppies out in my bathrooms.

And I’ll just be honest, I love both of the scents….

The Winter Berry smells amazing – like the holidays in a nutshell.  Absolute deliciousness! 

On the other hand…

The Festive Snow scent contains all the freshness of a horse-drawn sleighride through a snow-laden Christmas tree farm without the offensive odor of horse poo….

You know what I’m talking about right?

If not, then your Christmas tree farm experience is way lackluster in comparison to mine.

Just saying.

Nothing says Christmas tree shopping quite like horse poo.

But I digress.

As usual.

I think I may have ADHD! 

But that doesn’t surprise you, right?

What was I talking about again???

Oh yeah, these little lovelies!

To say I am satisfied is quite the understatement.

I love them.

And for less than $2.50, the price can’t be beat! 

And that’s my honest opinion!



-   Renuzit brand provided free samples of Fresh Accents air
freshener so I could review them. However, all of the opinions
expressed here are my own

You can't deny it when it's bolded AND in red, right??

Nevermind, just go out and get some for yourself. 

I think you will be one happy customer!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Song for This Season...

Techy and I have a little tradition that we adopted a few years ago.

We adopt songs for the seasons of our life.

It's our version of mental snapshots.

Like Jim and Pam...

Only, rather than blinking, we have to worry about skipping...

Just laugh.

Or pretend to...

In other words, we tend to set the seasons of our life to music...


Don't look at me like that!

It's not unheard of!

I would venture to say that every year, you set a season of your life to the tune of "Jingle Bell Rock"...

Or if you are Techy, you set that season to the tune of this...

Point being, our little tradion is no different.

Only we tend to link major memorable life moments to music.

For instance, the year we went on our cruise while I was preggers with Little Man, it was this song...

That's right, we joined the 20 million other American's who fell in love with that song.

But it has sentimental meaning to us.

Then there was the winter of never-ending snow, that we kicked off about a week before Little Man arrived by going to a wedding in the middle of a blizzard.

Could that sentence be more confusing???

But yes, that winter was linked to Pit Bull and Sir Mix A Lot thanks to this...

Classy, right?

I know, I know.

But these are times we will never forget.


And true to form, we have linked this crazy phase of our life to music.

We just haven't had time to take any pictures to attach to the music of right now.

But still, I thought I would share our song for the here and now...

Because in all of this craziness, we HAVE to believe that this is gonna be a "Good Life"....

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Time - My Dirty Little Secret

It's been a few weeks since Techy and I moved to Georgia, and in all that time, I have cleverly dodged telling any of you about our living arrangements.

Partly because I should be embarrassed.

And partly because I don't care to talk about it.

But the honest to goodness, dirty little secret is that we are living with friends.

I know, right?

Who does that?

What's worse?

We are living with friends who DON'T HAVE KIDS.

Oh, did I mention, we happen to have a kid?

Who is seriously contemplating the Terrible Two's.

And momma's cooking baby #2....

In my defense, it's only been a month.

And we have had absolutely no free time to shop for a place to rent.

Nevermind the fact that we have been holding out for something - ANYTHING - to happen with our house.

I know you are probably loaded with questions.

Don't you miss having your own space?

What happens when the baby cries all night?

Do you get on each others nerves?

And my personal favorite...

Aren't you afraid that it will ruin your friendship?

My answer is, to be honest, I have no idea.

But I can tell you this, you know how much you value your home?

How important you think your personal space is?

Ever wondered what would happen if that were all taken away?

And I'm here to tell you that you quickly learn what matters most.

And it's not your beautiful rugs,

Or your amazingly designed rooms,

Or your gorgeous dining room.


It doesn't take long to figure out...

As long as I have these guys, everything else is good.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Helpful How-To: Staging Our House

No, it hasn't sold yet.

But I still thought I would give you a little insight into what we have done to set it up for a long winter on the toughest real estate market in the history of mankind.

P.S. Anyone wanna buy a house??

I know, I know. 

But you can't blame a girl for trying...

Anyway, back to the house staging situation.  (Does anyone feel like they are talking like a cop when they use the word "situation"...just me, right?)

In order to get the place ready to be abandoned to the cruel environment that is the real estate market, we followed the rule of 3 R's - Reduce, Repair, and Recycle.

1.  Reduce.

We moved stuff off of counters.

We pulled stuff out of the corners.

Admittedly, in some rooms, the reduction went a little overboard....

Like when we pulled everything out of our guest bathroom.

I completely forgot to add towels.

Or decorations.

Or anything decorative.


But overall, the idea was to reduce the clutter in our home.

And that we did....

2.  Repair.

See that far wall over there?

A few weeks ago it was more pock marked than a 14 year old boy's face.

And filling in those holes and sanding down the walls took more elbow grease than an oil change.


But that wall wasn't the only room that got some repairing....

The curtain rods and tie backs in the office were also in need of some serious help.

And the back yard?

If you were a Facebook follower a few weeks ago, you saw my desperate pleas for yard help. 

Repair doesn't even TOUCH the work that had to be done there....

3.  Recycle.

This is possibly my very favorite part of the house staging process.

The kiddy room wall art - from Goodwill books.

The bed in the master bedroom that used to be in our guest room.

I could also file this under the reduce category...since we used to have a king sized bed in our bedroom.

And the full sized bed was added a significant amount of real estate to our bedroom.

What you won't notice in this picture is the repurposed outlet covers - that were repainted to match the fixtures in this bathroom. 

This once builder's grade cabinet got a makeover with a quick coat of "Polystain" in "Ebony".

And our back bedroom?

Well, you've already seen the headboard that was repurposed from some leftover plywood and a dropcloth....

But the desk was also a space holder in our basement...

That found it's home as a space holder in our guest bedroom.

It helps potential buyers envision living in the home and writing letters at that desk.

Does anyone actually write letters these days?

Well, other than my boss?

But you get it, right?

If not, I apologize.

I've given it my best shot.

At least you got to see my house, right?

And you got to read some cleverly alliterated steps to a ready-to-sell house.

What you didn't get to read about was my favorite room in the whole house...

My foyer:

Which really didn't need much work at all.

No reduction, repair or recycling here.

Who knew my foyer was so gorgeous, right?

You sure you don't wanna buy a house???


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Long Road "Home"

I realize that we've lived in Georgia for almost a month now.

And I have completely failed to tell you about our trip.

I mean, obviously, you know we survived it.

Which totally ruins the punch line of my story, but hey, give a girl some slack....

I can't always have a punch line.

So, forgive me...

And listen to my story, pretty please...

We started our journey on a Thursday around noon.

Just a few tearful and extremely stressful hours after this photo was taken.

We were only driving 6 hours on that first day...

And yet, when we arrived at our destination that first day, you would have thought we had traveled months in time.

As it was practically snowing when we arrived.

But that didn't stop my boys from enjoying a little outside fun.

And it certainly didn't stop Little Man from enjoying some quality time with his cousins...

Admittedly, momma did have to make a trip to Target since all of our "Fall" clothing was in storage, but thankfully, Targets are almost always close by....

Note to self, one should most definitely check the weather before packing ALL of her cold weather clothes away - Never just assume that because you are moving 800 miles closer to the equator, that it will be warmer.

This is, indeed, faulty logic.

But I digress....

Because, despite all the fun we were having with the cousins...

It was only a matter of time until we had to hit the road again....

And seriously, do you know how difficult it is to take pictures while you are driving?

I had such high notions of taking a picture of all the scenic spots we passed along the way for our memories....

But then, I tried it...

That's North Carolina's state line....

That you can almost see over there in the blurry right hand side of the picture.

Oh wait.  The whole picture is blurry.

Just trust me that one of those green blobs is a sign welcoming us to the state of North Carolina.

And since I enjoy nothing so much as my own personal honesty, I completely MISSED South Carolina's state line due to some rather vigorous singing and dancing to Pit Bull's "Give me everything".

I think that line could pretty much be an excuse for all my failures in life.

Leah, why didn't you make it to work on time?

Leah, why didn't you balance the checkbook?

Leah, why did you forget to pick up your child from daycare?

You get the picture.  It's pretty much the best excuse ever.

But only because everyone else is doing the same thing to Pit Bull's songs.

Whether they admit it or not.

And did you know that Georgia's state line sign is about a half a mile past the actual state line - I was completely unprepared for it!

Which is ironic considering I should have been MORE prepared at that point, rather than LESS prepared....

Ok, let's just be honest, it's all Pit Bull's fault again.


or should I say...


I got the important stuff...

Like THIS:

South Carolina's Peach Butt...

Man, I love that thing...

The teenager inside of me giggles a little every time I think of this thing....

But you would only get that if you are a 15 year old girl on a very long volleyball trip....

Forgive me....

What I'm trying to say is that it was a long and exciting journey.

And by the end of the day, we were all looking for a way out of the car.

And when we finally got out of the car, we all looked a little like Gizmo when is chasing a squirrel.

Wild abandon.

Extreme happiness.

Relief beyond belief.

But we made it "Home".

And we have managed to make it 3 weeks and 2 days without any major catastrophes.

Well, except for the day I spent in the Emergency Room....

But that's a story for another day...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Weigh-In: Pregnancy Update Edition

Well, ya'll, I had great expectations for this pregnancy.

High hopes of working out the entire time.

And keeping the weight off.

And then life threw me a curve ball and moved me to Georgia.

With my elliptical packed in storage and little to no motivation at the end of every day.

Sounds motivational, right?

I know.

Don't you wanna go out and get knocked up?

Or move 800 miles?

In reality, it hasn't been all that bad.

And all the bending, lifting, sorting, and packing was kind of like working out.

Which is probably why I can say that at 21 weeks and 3 days, I currently weigh...


Which, thanks to my previous pregnancy weigh-in and my last pre-pregnancy weigh-in, I can proudly say is just 20.4 lbs. over my pre-preggo weight.

Admittedly, this is not really remarkable for OTHER people.

I mean, 1 lb. per week weight gain???

But for ME????

This is like the equivalent of Lindsey Lohan staying sober for more than a week at a time.

It's ground breaking.

And I happen to be very proud of it!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Honest Opinion: I Gotta Get Back In the Southern Swing of Things

I have been living in Georgia for 2 weeks and 4 days.

(Approximately....  It's not like anyone's counting, right?)

You know what I noticed almost immediately?


And I mean EVERYONE...

Says "Yes, Ma'am" or "Yes, Sir" when they are talking to you.

No matter who you are.

Or where you come from.

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that the people in Delaware are rude....

But I forgot what this level of respect and politeness was like.

I hope I catch on again soon.

Cause right now, I feel downright rude, ya'll!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Helpful How-To: Packing Your Life Away

For those of you who were able to follow our move via Facebook, you probably saw this picture...

And to be honest, I may have posted it here, too....

But since my brain is completely fried, we are going to revisit this moment.

Because (other than the fact that my kid is stinking ADORABLE in this pic) as fun as it {doesn't} sound, it was seriously complicated to pack our short term possessions, vs. long term possessions AND stage our house to sell (anyone wanna buy a house??).

And it takes a lot of planning to make it happen just so.

But I thought I would give you a run down of what we did....

In case you should ever run into a similar situation...

Step 1.  Decide what you can live without.

In our case, we left behind a house full of furniture and decorations that we won't be needing until (unless) we buy a new house here in Georgia.

Yep.  It was painful to leave behind some of our prized possessions....

(Can we say $15 Bombay mirror anyone???)

But we knew what we could live without, and we both made painful sacrifices to make the move happen.

Step 2.  Determine what you need sooner rather than later.

Because of the nature of our move, we had a Packrat (yes, we all remember my obsession, right?) delivered and our plan was to have it stored until we move into our someday (aka. Georgia) home.

That meant that the entire time we were packing, we had to pack with the mindset of, "Do we need this anytime in the next 6 months to year?"

Anything that was a NO went into the Packrat.  

Anything that was a YES had to fit in my car or Techy's car along with a dog, a baby, and as many diapers as possible.

It was tough, but we packed our china.

We packed our silver.

We packed Little Man's toys.

We packed my skinny clothes...I'm pregnant, remember?

We packed Techy's wires....

And we packed every bath towel we have ever owned.  (Stupid move, right?)

All in the Packrat.

Step 3.  Divide and Conquer.

Once it came time to pack the items going into my car, I realized that I needed to determine a real plan for dividing our stuff up, while ensuring I could still see out of my windows.

And my secret?

And for $2.78 each, it cost me less than the cost of 1 suitcase to buy 10 of them.

The upside is that at a glance I can see what each container holds.

And any that were unused could easily get tucked anywhere to be used later.

Like when I am doing laundry at the laundromat at 2 am any random Saturday night.

All in all, we made it from Delaware to Georgia without any mishaps.

And with a buttload of stuff in the back end of my car.

And I know exactly where everything is....

If you believe that, I also have some oceanfront property in Arizona for you....

But I know where the important stuff is.  

And that's all that really matters.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Blogging Hell

I'm still here.

Just stuck in the zone between insane high-speed FIOS and crappy wireless DSL.

But on the upside, there has been hours and hours of Netflix and Hulu Plus.

When I can actually get on the internet.

On the downside the best joke I've heard lately goes something like this...

What do you call a bear without socks?


All in all, Georgia is great.

Aside from the traffic.

And the crappy wireless internet.

And the amazingly hilarious jokes.

But back to the upside, The New Girl is on.

And I'm pretty sure that Zoe Deschanel is the awkwardness personified that I thought that only I could actually achieve.

This is why I love her....

So I am going to find solace in the happy place that is "The New Girl" and forget about my internet from the dark side....

Bye ya'll!!!