Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Quote...



The greatest thing in family life


is to take a hint when a hint is intended


-and not to take a hint


when a hint is not intended.



-Robert Frost

Monday, September 29, 2008

My first attempt...

at the CVS thingy...I don't know what it's called...I'm going to call it "CVS-ing".

Ok, this isn't a good comparison to many you'll find out there in blogland because let's face it: I'm new to this, and there was stuff not on sale I had to buy. Please keep that in mind. Overall I think it's a good effort. Not great, but better than what I would've spent normally for the same items.

Dawn Dishsoap Liquid on sale for .99 this week, with coupon from Sunday's paper for -.25 it cost me .74. Hooray. I picked the one that smells like apples. Not too shabby, huh?

Tide Liquid 32 loads on sale for $4.99 this week, with coupon from Sunday's paper for -1.00 it cost me $3.99. For Tide. Crazy, right? (I know this isn't my Mrs. Meyer's Lemon Verbena...but when times are tough you've gotta make due. I'll treat myself again soon.)

2 Colgate toothpastes - 1 max fresh (on sale $2.99) so I could use -1.00 coupon, and 1 regular ($2.79) so I could use -.75 coupon from Sunday's paper. Would've been $6.08, but I spent $4.03 for both when just the one max fresh is over 3 bucks normally.

This one is good!:
1 Gillette Fusion Razor (w/ 5 razor heads) on sale for $9.99. CVS gives you $5.00 worth of ECB (extra care bucks) when you buy this, so that's -$5.00. With my coupon for -$4.00 from Sunday's paper, I just paid .99. Wow.

1 Charmin Ultra 12 pack on sale for $6.99 - coupon for -$.25....hey I'll take it....

12 packs of Coke brand cans are on sale (which I would need to buy regardless) 4 for $13.00. CVS is giving you $3.00 worth of ECB's so I got 4 cases for 10 bucks. So each case cost me $2.50. I'll take it, too....

Pringles are on sale so I picked up two cans of Sour Cream & Onion for Li - .99 each

Snew needed loose leaf paper - 2 packs - 1.99 each.

I used my CVS coupons for $5 off $25, and $3 off 15. All that stuff at the end of your receipt is actually pretty nifty if you use'm it turns out.

So... what should've cost me $69.22 ended up costing me $34.91. That's $34.31 saved. Plus I walked out with $8.00 worth of ECB's for my next visit, and a coupon for $5 off $25 - so $13.00 in CVS money, lol. $34.91 less the $13.00 equals $21.91. I saved 63%. Yup.

Not as impressive as most, but dang good for us! :)

Josh said he likes my new second job, lol.

(Please check out my blog list for the blogs that are inspiring my new penny pinching ways!)

It's beginning to look a lot like...

Halloween!


Look who the mailman brought me today:




Beau Bunny by The Decorated House...

He traveled across Florida, and arrived at my home in Spring Hill safe and sound. He is absolutely beautiful in person. I purchased him through the NieNie Benefit Sale (last day is today!) after he was generously donated. Speaking of generous, Donna threw in the most adorable card:




Three Little Witches by The Decorated House...


Please visit her Etsy shop because her work is amazing. I wish I could capture how special they are. Please note that Donna's work is copyrighted and these images may not be reproduced. Please visit her website for details.

Now I need to find an appropriate frame for him. I'm looking for something magical because plain jane will just not do. Plan on him making an appearance in my Halloween Blog party entries :).

Donna, if you stop by, Thank You! They are amazing.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Seminole Sound Spectacular

Great job Eagles! Your show is beautiful, and you did your best out there.

Snew rockin' the bass clarinet...


I'm a proud momma.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I am just sitting here in awe of this home...

The wonderful Joni, of Cote de Texas, has posted the most beautiful post today. I know she does this all the time...just look through her beautiful blog...but WOW, what a fantastic peek at an amazing home & store. I am in love with the pavers around the pool:

Image borrowed from Cote de Texas - please click here to visit the post!


Any chance I could recreate this look with a tiny home, in a deed restricted neighborhood in Spring Hill, FL? Did I mention on a budget? A tight budget? Free??? LOL Seriously though, please go to Joni's blog and check out this amazing property. What a dream come true. I love the archways, I love the doors, the lanterns, the thought of running a store selling amazing items from my guest house. Inspirational.

Link:
http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com/2008/09/fabulous-flea.html

Okay, back to reality. Need to do a bit of picking up as Snew will be bringing back a friend for a sleepover after tonight's game.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Dance!!!

I got it!!! Or should I say him. This was no easy task. I'm am still wiping sweat from my brow, and my fingers are cramping. Everything went FAST again. People rock. The talented people who donated rock hard. Well, I'd now like to present to you:

My very own Beau Bunny.
I call him Mr. Bunny Head for short.

donated by TheDecoratedHouse.Etsy.com


Got him at the NieNie Benefit Sale. It happens again tomorrow and Friday - check it out! Every little bit helps so don't hold back.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Buying a House - buyers take note

In honor of his appearance tonight on Top Design, I'd like to share a clip of his regarding buying a house.

Just a dab will do ya...


Just a little something something to hold you over until the next season of Flipping Out.

Jeff Lewis...

My flipping guru is a guest judge on Top Design tonight (thanks to SGM for the reminder!).

He's so funny, and talented. I get him. Many don't. I do. I respect his talent. He's on point with his real estate advice (get over to BravoTV.com and pick his brain through their snippets of interviews with him where he answers great questions!).

Update: Watching Project Runway and I've just go to get this out:

Kenley,

Please, girl. Please learn to take criticism from the judges. I can't even take another second of your back sassin'. There I said it. You're back sassin', and it's obnoxious. Learn from those who critique your work. They're not disrespecting you. Put down your dukes.

Thank you.

Phew! I feel better now that I've gotten that out. My goodness.

Could you stay mad at this face?

Nermal...being adorable...

I know he was in and out of the lanai a half dozen times between 5:24am and 9 am but look how super cute he is! He's all in the basket...like it's cat storage...melts me....I'm melting from his cuteness.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

awwwww, giraffes are so cuuuute!

Here's the print I purchased from the NieNie Benefit sale today! (It happens again tomorrow at 10am PST - aka 1pm Florida time.)





Donated by kidshaus.etsy.com

The big one's me, the little one's my baby girl, and the little bird reminds me what this was all for! :)

The earsplitting howls of a persistant Siamese cat...

have become non-stop in our home. I've created a monster. Since coming to live with me he has become completely obsessed with hanging out on the lanai. He loves it. He gets to see all the comings and goings of our yard. He ferociously protects the pool area from Florida's constant invaders: lizards and palmetto bugs (aka roaches). He leaves their carcasses for us right outside the sliders. "Thanks, buddy, I'll...um...eat them later, k? Glad you like us, and want to contribute to the household, though. Good job..." and though I'd rather not have to clean up this carnage, I get what he's trying to do and I understand it. No problems there really. This is not the monster part.



Nermal...he is Siamese if you don't please.


The issue we're having is that he wants to go out when he wants to go out. How does he let us know? With the most awful yowls, howls, and outright yells. Bedtime at 11pm? Too bad for you because this Siamese isn't quite done for the night. And he hollers, loudly, and lets you know he's ready to go back out. Now. Right now. Have you ever heard a Siamese's yowls? It's insane how loud he can get. I've tried it all. Shooing him. No-no-ing him. Chasing him. Snuggling him. Petting him. Spritzing him. Trying to reason with him. Threatening him. Nothing is working, and it's getting worse. We've gone from letting him out somewhere between 6:30 to 9 am, depending on the time of year, when we wake up, to getting woken up by 5:30 am the latest with his yowls demanding his immediate release to the lanai. When you only got him to chill around 1am, and by 4am he's waking up the household, it can feel pretty hopeless. Ignoring him does absolutely no good. Not only do I have an exhausted teen who needs her sleep, but if we try to ignore him, he just won't give up. He just won't. He doesn't get it. He doesn't care to get it. We're at the point where he's not even giving us the 5 hours of sleep he had been for a while. It's getting worse and I don't know how to fix it.


I love him. I'm glad I was able to give him a home. But I've created a monster. And I don't know how to fix it. I'll live with it, please don't get me wrong. I've made a commitment to this cat, and I'm going to fufill it no matter how big the bags under my eyes get. But I sure as heck would like to go back to the days of when going out was a bonus and happened on my terms - or atleast once I was up! LOL - but I don't see any signs of that at this point.

Oh, and we can't just leave him out for the night because he hollers to come in whenever he feels like it, too, lol. Sounds like an older woman being strangled on my lanai, and when it's still dark out it's so scary, I swear the neighbors are going to call the cops one of these days. I'll just point at the cat and say "There's your man, officer. Throw the book at him. No, wait, don't bother...he'll just howl louder."

Get a bit of holiday shopping done - and help the Nielsons!

Please click here to go to the Etsy shop for the NieNie Benefit Sale!

Great cause, and I'm anticipating some amazing items.

More info here.

I've got my credit card ready for 1pm, and then we're off!

UPDATE: Almost got my grubby little paws on a beautiful print by Donna of The Decorated House but instead learned my lesson. I spent so long raving about the print and my luck with having purchased it, etc., etc., in the message to seller box that by the time I hit send to finish the purchase it was gone! DOH! Instead I purchased the most adorable little giraffe print, and as both myself and Snew are freakishly tall, and have both always had an affinity for giraffes it is appropriate.

I'm amazed at how quickly the beautiful items sold, and at the blogging community's generosity. I hope my little tiny part helps in some way!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Westside story

as performed by the Springstead Marching Eagle Brigade, of Spring Hill, Florida, half-time 09/19.

Hope you enjoy:


video


These kids rock the house - stadium - and my girl makes her Momma proud! :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Very cool tool...

As seen on C. Jane, and from Wordle.

Apparently, I say much way too much. :)

We've been playing with it a bit, and inputting our real estate web sites, etc., and it's so interesting what words come up. Give it a try!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

tough day


Snew's scoliosis was acting up today...so bad she stayed home from school. Hoping the chiropractor worked his magic today, and tomorrow will be better. How I wish I could take on her back pain, and spare her any further discomfort. She's such a trooper, and I'm so proud of her. She sees Dr. Daryl and Dr. Kiley at Moss Chiropractic in Spring Hill, FL, and they're fantastic.


I think being under so much stress has made me more sensitive to sound. Is that even possible? Things that I somehow didn't notice, or maybe ignored, are now driving me coo coo. We're not that far away from a main street and either there has been a sudden and huge increase in cars with obnoxiously loud stereo systems, or something has made me so much more sensitive to it. My neighbor's A/C even sounds so much louder now. It's got to be stress...anyone know any hypnotists that can make me impervious to annoying sounds? lol. I'm willing to try anything at this point!


I have been debating how much noise something like this might block out:

fountain inspiration...


Found that on rate my space, here's a link to the rest of it. Beautiful...and I bet you can't hear car stereos or old air conditioners clanking and thumping away, lol. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Goodwill finds...

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate




We recently were blessed with a gorgeous big new Goodwill Super Store here in Spring Hill, FL. Lucky me! I thought I'd share my two favorite finds:

Adorable little salt shaker...I love the shape of this...Price? .79


4 salad plates in the prettiest pale blue...Price? .79 each



This place is huge, and it's so much fun to treasure hunt. I made out like a bandit that day, and these two are only an example of what I found. I was actually looking for a salt shaker. Josh will occasionally add salt, and rather than break out my big containers, I thought a shaker of his own would make sense. It's weird that I don't own salt & pepper shakers, right? Well, when I saw this little egg shaped beauty in great condition I knew it fit the bill. For less than a buck. Hoorah.


I love those blue plates so much. I'm almost tempted to change the color palette of my family room in order to display them. However, Snew picked out the Tate Olive and I still absolutely love it and am not quite ready to change it. I've got some pale blue accents in the master suite, and having seen dishes displayed in some beautifully decorated bedrooms, I'm tempted to display them in there. In plate hangers on either side of the mirror for example. Hmmmm.....

Happy Birthday!


Today is my beautiful "Snew" 's
Sweet Sixteen!



Just enough time for a quick celebration with just the three of us before it's time to head to band practice.

The rest of family will join us in marking this momentus occasion on Saturday night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Almost there...


Tomorrow is my Snew's Sweet Sixteen.


At 6:21am, sixteen years ago, my best friend came into my life. She saved me, and she gave me something, someone, to live for. I am so blessed. In addition to a Happy Birthday, my little girl (and she will always be my little girl) gets a big Thank You. For everything. My everything.

Performing at the United Way Family Picnic in Brooksville, FL with the Springstead Marching Eagle Brigade...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Need some inspiration...

Just came in from doing a bit of yard work, and jumped online to put off doing house work - I mean gather some inspiration, and thought I might share a little with you. All are from RateMySpace:


love the stone...


love the furniture and lanterns...



love the fireplace & pavers...



love it all...



I always seem to find my way back to my favorite...view more of her work here.

Guess I should get to those dishes now...

Which Witch?

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate

We've been trying out Halloween costume possibilities for Li. I have a dress leftover from Snew's costume a couple years ago. It is devine. I need to figure out a way to make it work for Li. I bunched it up and tied it in the back to see how it might look:

Might just work...


And with a couple accessories picked up at Target yesterday:

Amazing...



I wish I knew how to sew.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike's far reaching effect on fuel...


We're all the way over in Spring Hill, Florida, and we still had no regular or midgrade fuel available, and had to limit our purchase of premium to 10 gallons.

Our thoughts are with you Texas!

And, yes, I wanted to whip out a pen and fix it to state "Due". And "fuel". I resisted.

When mother nature fights back...


Josh trimmed our palm out back yesterday:


Josh trimming Queen Palm...


The palm reciprocated by trying to spear him:




Palm trys to spear him...


The dried seed pod is very pointy, and it comes down fast and hard:

The point is deep in the ground...

He was very lucky that it didn't land on his foot...yeesh!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sneaky sneakyyyy!

Wanna see the Project Runway Bryant Park collections? (That was rhetorical because the only possible answer could be "yes, please, with sugar on top, and a cherry on top of that!)

click here: project rungay

Thanks to add bubbles for the heads up!



Thank God for Henley...loves it, loves it all...the rest are a bit of a yawn IMHO:


To Do

My to do list keeps getting longer. I think I should change it's name to my wish list. Why? Because it's starting to feel like wishful thinking! :) What happened? I thought I'd move in, presto change-o: perfection! Not quite, ha ha. We've lived in Spring Hill a little over 3 years, and there's more to do than there was initially. How does that always happen? In any case, I'll share a few with you below.

I've begun some of my Halloween decorating, which falls under the fun portion of my to do list (oh! don't forget to click on the pic for a larger version so you can see how insanely cute that little sign is ) :

It begins...

Yes, I know I'm super early...I always am. Soon this area will be used as a picture spot by moms taking pics of their little ghouls, goblins (come to think of it, I've never seen one dressed as a goblin), princesses, batmans, etc. I love the thought that my entry way might just be in a scrap book or two, and someday, somewhere, someone will look through and say "I remember that house, it was always so cute for Halloween".

Now, I know my Snew's birthday comes first but she's turning sweet sixteen and will just not pick a theme, or settle on what she'd like to do. This is the first year I've come to realize her birthday plans are no longer in my control. It's a hard pill to swallow, and it's causing me so much anxiety. On the other hand, I guess it should be a relief. One less thing on my shoulders, right? I think this is one of those parts of life you hand off to your child as they become young adults that you secretly wish you could hold on to forever. Maybe once we're past the teens she won't mind if Mom plans a birthday or two? Huh? Maybe? Please?

Well, enough about my letting go issues, lol, and back to my unfinished projects:


Not exactly how I planned it...

I've been wanting to add roll-up shades to the lanai, and eventually flowy curtains at the posts. We had two out of the 3 up so far. Had them rolled all the way up so the wind wouldn't break them. Um...yeah....not so good. The one in what would be the middle has already broken somehow and just hangs completely flat...flapping in the wind. Dang it. The 3rd one is still in my garage. I'm going to make it work somehow. :) Oh! And we want to cover all that concrete w/ pavers. Someday...


Liya's "Daddy Roses"...


I don't want to go into it all right now because it is still so emotional for me, but to make a long, sad, story short - my brother-in-law passed away Christmas Eve before last, leaving behind his 5 yr old daughter, my niece Li. Upon her return from the Republic of Georgia, we planted this rose bush (Elle) and surrounded it with angel statues lovingly chosen by a sad little girl. Each angel was carefully placed in what she determined to be the perfect spot in her "Daddy Angel Garden". I still need to figure out how to finish it off - what type of border, mulch, rock, etc. It sits under my pink grapefruit tree, in which we've strung crystals that sway and twinkle in the sun, giving it a magical feeling. That little rose bush grows and grows, and each beautiful flower gives off the most insanely delicate but strong rose smell I've ever smelled in my life. She calls them Daddy roses, and it makes her happy to have one sitting in her room...I imagine heaven must smell similar.

Many of my to do's are too embarrassing to post, lol. Bad enough I've bared my grungy lanai, yikes! I'll move on to a project we finally accomplished: changing out those 80's style circle globe lights out on the lanai. My goodness they were dated, but we lived with them until very recently. When working our 3rd investment property we came across these gorgeous fixtures...it was love at first sight. They were perfect for the house. The price was insane for how gorgeous they are. I'll let you see them before I reveal that. Well, as time went on I couldn't get them out of my head. I needed them. They were perfect for the lanai. No more putting it off. At that price how could I risk never finding them again? And so:


Tadaaaa!!!



"Ferosh", right? "I die", no? (I get all my catch phrases from Bravo.) Perfection. And the price? 2 for 60. I know!!! Now, this wouldn't be a Natalie story if some weird thing didn't go wrong...here's the other one:



Let's just call this one energy efficient, k?

The second light fixture has one socket that doesn't work. We tried numerous bulbs, it's the socket. In another example of the many differences between Jeff Lewis (my guru) and myself, I'm keeping it. Making it work. (another Bravo'ism. If that channell ever goes off air I'll just stop speaking.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

You are not forgotten!



Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Too much fun to not participate!

Saw this and just had to have a little fun, too!

My example of bad faux greenery (from Walmart.com):




And some I actually like quite a bit (from Grandin Road):







Why did the chicken cross the road?

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate

To get to my kitchen, of course!

In between doctor's visits for my Snew, real estate stuff, dropping off then picking up Butch at groomer's, dropping off then picking up prescriptions, cooking lunch and now dinner I've been reading through many of the blogs I've linked to on my blog list. Soooo good. Crazy good. So much inspiration, personality, talent, wisdom & humor. I am humbled, entertained, inspired, and hopeful (especially for "nienie"!) I need more time so I can enjoy you all. I love how my blog list thingymajiggy (technical term) keeps me updated as to what's posted when. Much easier than trying to visit them all daily to check for updates.



I also plan on spending as much time as I can squeeze out of my day coming up w/ more money saving ideas because needless to say: we are broke! We are house rich and cash poor. In my opinion if there's ever a time to get this way it is during a down market. When things swing the other way....you see where I'm going, right? lol



I did find an old photo of above my cabinets which shows some (this is only a small part) of my chicken collection which I promised to share. I've since done some rearranging (those green candle holders are gone for example) and I like it better now. But this photo does give you an idea of how I've tried to make them work by spray painting them to go w/ our current color scheme, etc.





We've got pics of the original kitchen, along with pics taken after our remodel that I should share with you. It had those ubiquitous slab cabinets so prevalent in the new construction homes built in Spring Hill, FL in the 80's. At least they were beige. But my goodness were they ugly. The transformation is one we're quite proud of, and I post them when I find them. Because I have been well trained by the forums I frequent I will of course name the paint colors/brands in the pic. The green is "Tate Olive" by Behr, and the beige is "Coral Cliche" by Glidden. Cabinet color is "Fusion Maple". It looks better without those tall green candle holders. I don't know what to do with those things. I loved them so much at Joanne Fabrics but now that the dining room is our office they're homeless.

Thanks for taking a peek!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vacation. That sounds vaguely familiar....

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate

I thought that when we moved to Florida that every day would be a vacation. In many ways it is. In many ways it isn't.

I thought being 4 1/2 hours from South Beach meant we'd be there all the time, lol. How naive I was. We did take a trip down to Key West last December, which was great. But my sweet, sweet South Beach...it has been too long.

I need my Bellini's at Nikki Beach on a Sunday morning...a little hair of the dog, easing me into another fun filled night.






I need to feel connected to all the tropical, exotic, care free fun that attracted me to the Sunshine State, and put me on my path to Spring Hill. Like a doctor, I'm writing myself a script to be filled ASAP.

Bellini Recipe:


"The Bellini is a peachy version of the Champagne Cocktail and makes a great brunch cocktail. The story behind the drink is that is was created in the 1930's or 40's at Harry's Bar in Venice, Italy by bartender Giuseppe Cipriani and was named after a favorite painter, Giovanni Bellini. Originally, the Bellini was intended to use sparkling Italian wine and is still made that way in Italy, elsewhere it is often made with Champagne. Also, try the mocktail version, the Baby Bellini.
Ingredients:
2 oz peach juice or peach puree
4 oz Champagne (*I use a prosecco)
Preparation:
Pour the peach juice or peach puree into a Champagne flute.
Slowly add the Champagne. "

Monday, September 08, 2008

I'm in limbo...waiting for number 4...

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate

This is the hardest part. Maybe the second hardest. I'm waiting patiently for a closing date on our fourth investment property in Spring Hill, FL.

I'm pulling at the end of my leash. My neck is hurting, and I just need someone to mercifully come along and unhook me, and let me run.


Anya


It's funny how life works. I thought this place was going to be my 3rd. I was outbid. It was a former grow house. No kidding, really. Someone paid very good money for a beautifully renovated little home and then proceeded to use it as nothing more than four walls and a ceiling to grow marijuana in. What a waste. Well, maybe not to some, but to me it was. They tore out all the work the previous owner had done finishing the garage into living sq. ft. I guess they had some sort of reflective stuff on the walls, and there are tons of screws in the ceiling from where there were rows of lights. What a disaster. Oh! And did I mention they had hotwired the house directly to the underground electricity? Completely bypassing the meter and making for an electrical nightmare. Luckily, the Spring Hill authorities busted these people and they're outta there. Now, it is owned by a bank and sits empty.

Well, I had put in an offer on this house several months ago. I was outbid. I received the ol' "highest and best" call & paperwork, basically the bank's agent letting us all know there are more than one offer (3 in this case I think) and we are all to put in our highest and best because they're going to pick one. I let it roll. I knew my bottom line and I'm not looking for "the house", I'm looking for "the deal". It went pending, with the buyer offering $8,500.00 more than me. Good luck to them. In the mean time I moved on, and bought the place I just rented out.

Well, what do you know, couple weeks later the call comes in...financing fell through...am I still interested?...will I come up on my offer? Josh informed him I'd moved on, and might be interested at some point but would never be upping my offer.

And so I worked on this last place, and the former grow house sat...and sat...and dropped their price. Now that our last place was done and rented we took another gander. I offered $5,000.00 less than I was originally willing to pay and...*drum roll please*....it was accepted. We've had some serious back and forths with the electric company - thank God for Josh's patience and tenacity because he worked miracles with them - and now we wait for closing. It'll be a 3 Bedroom, in the same Spring Hill neighborhood as my first two, and I'm really excited to make a difference. This home has been used and abused. She was a detriment, and a danger to the people in the area. I plan on making it a great home that someone, including me, would be proud to call home.

Please wish me luck. Lots and lots of it. We're going to do our best, and hope for the best all the while.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What a crazy day yesterday turned out to be!


First and foremost *I* was actually commented back by the amazing "mariaferlo" from Rate My Space"! That makes me giddy. :) I'm such a fan of her beautiful home. I would pay an entrance fee. It would be like my Disney World, lol! If you can, please check out her blog and web page over in my blog list.

I took the kids shopping at Joanne Fabrics & the Dollar Store for any potential Halloween items that might look interesting. We found a few, and at JF we found a great little kit for making a gingerbread haunted house. The kids put that together this morning and I'll share pics with you later in this post.

Once we were done with our shopping, I dropped off the kids at Mom & Dad's so that I could *finally* accompany my poor honey to see the Dark Knight. He has been waiting, and waiting...and it didn't seem like we were going to make it happen. We finally had our opportunity and went for it. About a half hour in I started not feeling well. I mean reaalllyyy not feeling well. I just sat there concentrating on getting through the movie. Minute by minute I held on. I couldn't ruin this for him. How unfair. And so I held on. And at every point that it seemed that the movie might end I breathed a sigh of relief only to realize it wasn't over! Now I was going to pass out, and I knew it. I had to let him know so that he wouldn't think I was just sleeping. I tapped him and whispered "I'm not feeling well". His immediate response (and an example of why I love him) was "let's go". "No, it's okay" I whisper. "Are you sure, I have no problem leaving right now" he replies. I nod my head, realizing this might be my chance to walk out instead of being carried out, and he helps me up and supports me. I'm walking out as though seeing through a tunnel. It was bizarre. It took all I had to get to the car and plop into the front seat. He drove to the hospital. I'll spare you all the details but basically my blood pressure was sky high, and it seems I was probably having some sort of panic attack and esophigal spasms. I'm now on anti-anxiety meds that make be feel out of it. I hate feeling like this so I'm off them ASAP! My thyroid is also too low...hypo something or other and I have to follow up w/ my primary. So much for a movie date w/ my sweetie! ACK!!! Anyone know how it ends? Because we don't, lol.

Here are the pics of the kids' Haunted Mansion. I needed a centerpiece for the kitchen table and am thrilled to have this object de arte because it is perfect!
Candy...yummmm

Decorating

Snew's Side

Li's Side

Only 54 days until Halloween! Eeeeeek!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wow. Gorgeous.

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate

Popped in to take a quick gander through Rate My Space when what did I spy with my little eye? A gorgeous foyer! Needed to share it with you. The light fixture is fantastic:





Here's the link to the rest of the photos of this foyer.


I'm back again to share another. I think I'll turn this thread into a gallery of some of my favorite rooms decorated by some very talented home owners.


Look at this living room:


And the link is here.

Sooooo pleasing to the eye. Crisp, clean, just enough contrast to give it interest. I like it a lot. Unfortunately I do not have the commitment required for a room like this. My tastes vary so greatly, and I've always got stuff bought for me, or made for me, by the kids that I need to display. So unless I could convince them to only paint or color in neutrals....lol, can you see how this would be difficult for me? I do have to admit to having spray painted several of my chickens (okay, so they're roosters, I call them chickens) given to me over the years. I think I'm up to 22 in my kitchen right now and to have them all contrasting in bright clashing shades would overwhelm the eye. But, they're gifts, and I want to keep them, so I make them work. A bit of chocolate brown, off white, silver, and olive green spray paint, and viola! A cohesive look. And I have left a few of them in their original colors as well. I'll take pics soon and post. Promise.

I'll be back if anything else catches my eye on my travels through Rate My Space :). I'm back. And I'm in shock. And awe. I'm a huge fan of "mariaferlo" on there, and lo and behold she has a blog! And a website. Hence the shock AND the awe. I'm so excited, and I rushed to share it with you. Haven't even done more than a quick glance through yet so no comments. Here ya go:

website blog

I need more hours in a day, and I need'm now.

Snew has a game tonight, and her littlest yet biggest fan Li will be in the stands hollering and clapping along side me! Yay!

If you happen to be in the Spring Hill area, come on by the game!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And it begins...

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate

I wasn't sure if I was going to be that into Top Design this season. Last season just didn't "do it" for me. I happened to get my munchkin tucked in just as Project Runway was ending, and Top Design was starting...I figure if nothing else I'd check out who the designers are as they go through each one and they describe themselves a bit.


Well...one of them is Rick Shroder's wife! Yes, Silver Spoons!




http://www.bravotv.com/blog/thedish/2008/07/top_design_cast_revealed.php?p=thedish/2008/07/top_design_cast_revealed.php&page=2


I know!!! Instant interest. Lame, but true.



Right up next is the Senior Editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine...yes, please!





And if the hook currently in my lip wasn't secure enough: an adorable Asian guy who sings opera. Oh, and another guy is named Serge, which is a prominent name in my family. I feel like this season was catered to me, but I don't remember filling out a questionaire...hmmmm......

The designers have to decorate an entire apartment. In two days. With two thousand dollars. Geez, they are not playing around.

(On a side note, the commercials for Tabitha's Salon Takeover are making me want to get violent. If that guy ever tried to lick me, I'd mace him with hair spray. What in the world?)

I don't know why, but I'm getting a completely different vibe from Top Design this year, and I'm hoping for nothing but great things. Gotta go for now so I can watch. I'm hoping to get some inspiration and steal some great ideas (that are cheap! whole apartment for 2k will force them to make miracles happen) for my own little piece of Spring Hill Real Estate.

I'm a total stalker!

http://www.hernandoluxuryhomes.com/ HernandoLuxuryHomes = Spring Hill Real Estate


I am having waaaayyyy too much fun on the Real Estalker blog. I've got a link to it on my blog list. Proceed with caution, you will become addicted!

Basically, the wonderful "your Mama" allows us to peer into various celebrities' and millionaires' homes, and gives us a whole lotta info on 'em to boot. Whether they're on the market, recently purchased or sold, we get to take a gander at what gives. I cannot get enough.

Some of them have the most beautiful homes...other's not so much, lol!

Here's one that'll knock your socks off (I say that a lot, don't I? Geez, I'm a dork!):

http://realestalker.blogspot.com/2008/03/leann-rimes-nashville-nest.html

I'll be back soon with more but I'm running so late with everything today...it's just one of those days :).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

We need more space.


Three years into our new life in Spring Hill, Fl, and we're still having the same debate. I don't want to get into it all, as I don't think you've got the rest of the day to read this post, lol, but to give you a quick synopsis: When I came down to visit Mom & Dad's new place in this far off land called Spring Hill I fell in love. I had their real estate agent take me around and show me what was available. My plan was to find something we could spend a year in - max - which would give us time to figure out what neighborhood we wanted to live in, find a builder, and build a custom home that met our needs.

I was then returning back north to prepare my previous home for putting it on the market. It is a custom build that I miss bunches, but can't say I'd pick it up and bring it with me because the layout just doesn't work for our lifestyle down here. While if I ever play the lottery, and win, I will definitely be knocking on their door and asking how much to buy it back, lol. As far as living in Florida, and the right home for us down here, I still like how our new home wraps around the pool. The star of the show is always our lanai, pool & landscaping. It's what I love most about living down here and having it as part of every day, and every moment is fantastic. I saw soooo many homes back when I was looking, and this one was my favorite head & shoulders above all. With all the homes we've seen here, being in the Real Estate industry, we've yet to see one we like as much. One came close but at DOUBLE the price range of our current, how could we justify spending that much and it still not being perfect.

Well, we bought here, sold there, and moved in. We got to work renovating and updating. In the mean time we've really fallen head over heels with this place. The market has absolutely nose dived since those times, and right now I think we could get what we paid for, plus or minus a few thousand. Sounds good? Nope. We would not recoup the 40k we've put into it. That doesn't make it a clear cut "so we stay" situation either. We know that right now we could more than make up for that loss by purchasing the right home at the right price. And on and on goes the debate. We take turns sitting on either side of the fence. Heck, we switch off in the midst of one conversation, lol. We need more space. But...what is the additional space needed for? So we don't let go of stuff we don't use anyway? Doesn't seem like a wise investment. Paying $ more per month, higher taxes, utilities, etc. for my unused treadmill, dining room hutch, and Josh's bass amps, etc., just isn't working for me.

Our Place

We never used our dining room and needed a larger office. Old office became my daughter's room, daughter's old room became niece's, dining room became new office. We never used our formal living room. Formal living room is now the happy home of Josh's baby: the pool table. Problem solved? Nope. There is no storage. Our formal areas are part of a larger great room, so our office & pool table rooms are what you walk into from the front door. We have no storage for all our office "stuff". There are no basements here. There's no where to tuck away holiday decorations, landscaping equipment, staging supplies, and all the other misc. things you need to tuck away and bring out periodically.

There's a local company called Create More Space, and we keep wanting to stop in and see what they could do for us. We're thinking built-ins, built-ins, built-ins! But that is no small investment in a home with a definative ceiling to it's value because of it's size. Do we want to invest any more $ into a home that we know we probably won't recoup because we're not actually adding sq. ft.? My niece's room has a window seat, and I'd love to do something like Brown Design (see by blog list for a link to this awesome resource) did here:


Window Seat Inspiration