Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Review and Antiquing

It's another Monday and despite the heat of summer and the drag of being back at work I'm determined to make it worthwhile. I mean, I'm thinking this will be the last July 18th I will ever spend while I am 29--and even more mind boggling the last in my 20's. So why not enjoy it, right?

You can all roll your eyes at me (it's Monday, Im turning 30 soon, who am I really kidding with that last statement?).

But I do have some adventures to share from this past weekend that will help with the Monday blues. First I got to go and see the new Harry Potter movie at midnight on Thursday (for those who don't know I am a gigantic Harry fan). It was epic. And beautiful. And I might have teared up just a little. If you haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it, especially in 3D if its in your budget.

My T-shirt for the Harry premier. It says:
"Make Love Not Horcruxes"
I also got to spend some time with my mom who was passing through town on her way to visit my grandparents at the beach in South Carolina which was really nice even if it was a short visit. We had a nice dinner, went out for ice cream, and made a trip to the Dekalb Famer's Market so she could bring goodies to my grandmother. I also got to drive her new Nissan Rogue (a car I believe I have mentioned I would love to own) and totally fell in love with it. I keep telling myself that I need to wait another year for the new car but that is really becoming difficult.

Keeping up with the theme of family time, Erik and I made a visit to Monroe and hung out with Erik's parents and his sister and her fam. We made a special trip to this gigantic flea market in downtown Monroe and had a blast checking out what people call "antique." If you've ever been antiquing before you will understand what I mean by this. I can't tell you how many times I have walked through an antique store and found items that I have seen being sold in department stores for half the price the antique store is selling them for.

Historic Cotton Mills Antique Mall in Monroe, GA
This antique store was no exception. As Erik's sister Kimi, her husband Paul, and I were walking around Paul happened upon this:

With this note attached:

But if you turned it over, you saw this:

Nice, right? Those antique people are sneaky!

Despite some "misses" there were a bunch of "hits" that I would've loved to take home. I've always wanted a Hoosier cabinet like this:

I would also love some chairs like this to put in my backyard, but sadly their $100+ price tag is a little too steep for my budget.

I have these exact same dishes at home that came straight from my grandmother's basement (2 sets in their original boxes). Check out the price tag at the antique mall:


All in all, it was a fun trip and a great weekend. It included some of my fav things: antiquing, good food, and family. Now I just have to get through this week...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Airstream Dreamin'

I was talking with my friend Monique at work the other day about house projects and what I should do with my backyard.

My canvas
At this stage in the game I am still in dream mode--if I had a decent amount of money what exactly would I want in my backyard? Here is the short list so far:

1. A patio space. It would be difficult to build a deck onto the back of the house because of the layout (I don't have a kitchen or dining/living room off the back of the house) so a patio is gonna be the way to go I think.
2. A grilling area
3. A grassy area--for playing, pets, etc
4. Perhaps an extended driveway so I don't have to fear the Parking Nazi every time I have guests
5. A garden area--obviously where I will "attempt" to garden
6. A larger shed for storage

After discussing with Monique, I have something else to add to that wish list now--an Airstream Trailer. Don't laugh yet. I mean can you picture one of these babies as a little guest house or an office or a studio space??

Well, if you can't see it maybe some of these pictures will help (all images I found on Google or Pinterest):

Pretty darn awesome right? Not to mention cheaper than an addition on the house (I did some research and there are retro airstreams for sale for about $4,000-5,000 that just need a little remodeling).

There is only one little snafu in my dream that Erik brought up to me last night when I shared my revelation. How the heck am I going to get a 31 foot or even 16 foot trailer up my narrow driveway and into the backyard?

<insert image of my trying to come up with a solution to this question>

Where there's a will there's a way????

Hmph. Well the reality is I don't have $5K to buy an airstream let alone money to refurbish one so it's going to stay on the dream list for right now and if Erik's right then maybe permanently. You have to admit, it is a fun thought though. A girl can dream...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Orleans

Hey all! I'm back from my quick jaunt to NOLA last weekend. Erik and I had a really fun time even though it was a quick visit. We were able to visit with my sister and brother-in-law as well as meet up for dinner with my parents. Of course I also got in some good cuddle time with my little nephew who is about the sweetest thing on the planet. Everyone seemed happy and healthy (although a bit exhausted) and it was really nice to spend some time catching up.

Holding Regan for the first time

Little feet!!

With mommy--don't you just love that face???
In between visits with the nephew, I did my best to be a good tour guide for Erik since he had never been to New Orleans before. We spent a lot of time walking around the French Quarter, drinking and shopping. We visited the French market, Cafe du Monde, and of course had hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's. We also rode the St. Charles streetcar, ate breakfast and shopped on Magazine Street, and visited City Park (which I had never been to before and found to be really, really, beautiful).

A voodoo doll shop in the French Quarter

St. Louis Cathedral

Drinks at Pat O'Brien's
Riding the Streetcar

Artwork in Jackson Square

French Quarter architecture

Lafitte's Bar--reputedly the oldest watering hole in America

More French Quarter architecture

Ghetto Daiquiri's on St. Charles--the most potent daiquiri's in town

City Park--can you see the rainbow?

More City Park
The hotel we stayed at was called The Prytania Park Hotel off Prytania Street in the Garden District. It was in a great location (close enough that we could walk to a lot of restaurants, the streetcar, and what my family fondly refers to as the "Ghetto Daiquiri Shop") and the rooms were small, but clean. The best part was the price--using I was able to score a deal for $78/night which is pretty decent for NOLA (the price included taxes and fees). I would highly recommend it for a stay if you want to visit New Orleans and are on a budget.

All in all even though it was hotter than Hades and the trip was short, I guess you could say we accomplished and saw a lot. Of course it was difficult to leave the fam but my mom, sister, and baby Regan will be coming to visit in August so I'm really looking forward to a beach trip and seeing how much the little guy has grown.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Baby Love

Here's a little glimpse of my new nephew. My parents drove down from St. Louis to NOLA to be with my sister and Mark yesterday.

Regan and Grandmother meet for the first time
I'm already in love with my nephew! Erik and and I will be making our way to the Big Easy tomorrow night and I am beyond excited! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July in Pictures

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July yesterday! The weekend turned out to be very eventful for my family. First, my cousin Carter won his cake challenge competition on Sunday night!! That meant $10,000, a trip for 4 to Disneyworld, and he got to re-create his cake for the re-opening of the Star Wars ride at Disney. Pretty freaking awesome--Congratulations Carter!!

Second, my sister went into labor (also on Sunday evening). I think we were all hoping for a 4th of July baby but after close to 48 hours (!!) of labor my sister delivered a healthy baby boy at 2:37 (eastern time) this afternoon. Congratulations Amanda and Mark and welcome to the world Regan Charles Lighthiser! My love goes out to all 3 of you and I can't wait to see you this weekend!

All of that excitement aside, Erik and I had a really fun time partying with friends yesterday and I thought I would share my 4th of July with you in pictures. Enjoy!

Fireworks at the ready

300 Water Balloons

Fried Turkey

A Happy Couple

More fried goodness!

Launching water balloons

Baby Aiden's First 4th of July

Glowing Jewelry

Launching Fireworks

More Fireworks (apologies on the quality of these pics--
still getting the hang of shooting fireworks
with the new camera)
Have a great week!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Little Weekend Before and After

Just thought I would share some of my yard work with you all on this wonderful Saturday. After 5 bags of mulch and lots of weed pulling, I'm pleased to say that my flower bed went from this:

To this:

So much better! Now the next project will be to work on the flower bed on the opposite side of my stairs which currently looks like this:

Ugh. And I need to get rid of this ginormous weed that has gone out of control on the side of the house:

Anyone have any ideas for the other flower bed?? I think it needs some kind of border to separate it from the grass.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Tomato Plant Hates Me

So, back at the beginning of May I wrote a post about gardening and the bad luck I've had in the past. This year, I had really high hopes for a successful porch garden at the new house. For a while things were going well--all of my plants were growing and looking super healthy. I was watering regularly and seeing blooms on my pepper plants and on my tomato plant. I got really excited and was thinking "wow, this may actually work." But then I started thinking and wondering how my tomato plant could be getting so gigantic and continue flowering but produce no fruit.

After taking a closer look I started to notice that the reason this was happening was because all the flowers kept falling off after they bloomed. I did some research on the internet and found out that this problem isn't very uncommon and can be caused by a number of factors. Some of these include: over fertilization, lack of pollination, high heat and humidity, and bugs.

My gigantic fruit-less tomato plant

Flowers about to fall off : (
After thinking it over, I realized that any or all of these things could be the reason my tomato plant isn't producing (except for maybe over fetilization--I've only used Miracle Gro tomato food about twice since planting). To solve the these issues I hit up my local Ace Hardware and bought some bug spray that is safe for plants and veggies. I also bought some more stakes just in case the weight of the plant was a factor in its unhealthy-ness. For the lack of pollination problem the internet said to give the plant a shake which was easy enough. The only problem I couldn't fix of course is the heat and humidity which lets face it, there hasn't been a day in Atlanta over the last month where its been below 90 degrees outside--so in other words I'm screwed if that's the problem.

Anyways I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the plant isn't a complete loss.

Aside from my sad tomato plant there is little else to report here. I am very excited for the long weekend. Among rest and relaxation I have plans to go to the Braves game on Sunday (I scored 4 free tickets from work!) and go to a party on Monday evening complete with fireworks. I'm also hoping to tackle the flower beds in my front yard on Saturday which are currently looking like this:

I know, it's bad
Oh and check out this little guy who was watching me photograph the front yard:

Mr. (or Ms.?) porch kitty
Actually he comes by pretty often to visit and is very sweet. He and Zeke like to stare at each other and talk through the window (it's really quite humorous).

Anyway, hope everyone has a safe and wonderful 4th!!