Friday, July 31, 2009

Attn: Peeping toms, stalkers & the generally creepy


Starting Monday, I'll be showing off our house all week, room by room, in preparation for our huge, giant (IRL) Housewarming Party next weekend. I'm even going to have my first giveaways to celebrate! Yup, that's right, more than one! Plural! So really, drop by. While I cannot provide a virtual keg, I will provide pics and lots of them. So instead of pulling a George McFly and climbing into my trees to check out the crib, just stalk my blog.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Who Doesn't Love a Good Makeover?

I've had this here blog for about 2 years now and it's gone from a place to mainly host my scrapbooking, when I was okay with posting once or twice a week to my own little obsession. Friends and family know that most social activities will end up on here and my best friend is always letting me know what I should and shouldn't blog about. There have been times when I've written a post, only to immediately regret it so I've began scheduling them for months in advance so I can think it over and choose what I think is blog-worthy. I've gone from wondering how the hell to get more readers and why people weren't commenting although I know they lurk around here and there, to feeling ok with what I have here.
Don't get me wrong, I love comments and I love knowing that people have some small interest in the crap that I post, or at least that they take a minute or two out of their day to check it out. But there have been so many times when I just sit on my own blog and go through my history, cracking up at myself or wincing at the nonsense I've put out their for the world to read, yet all in all, it's for me. I like seeing what I'm interested in at any particular time, or remembering what my friends and I did that one summer night or whatever.

So anyway, I've never put out there why I'm here and what my purpose, or lackthere of, is. This little blog makes me happy, it's my own little on-going project. So this is the reason behind it's makeover, it deserves to look purty. Well that and the fact that I'm tired of googling things like "how to widen sidebars in blogger" and "how to make blog pretty". So I got the lovely Char to make me up a little piece of yellow and gray loveliness and it has made me a happy girl. So thank you Char & thank you my little readers out there, thanks for being a part of this.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

when God was handing out creativity...

I think this chick got in line twice. Look at these! She cuts these pieces by hand, mostly by commission. If I were to attempt something like this...and I won't...but if I did, I would probably end up leaning my hand on it while cutting then moving it away, tearing all of the sub-par work I had already completed. How does she do this? It's so intricate and delicate and whimsical and pretty. I want one. They, however, are a little pricey at around $300. Worth it? I think so but definitely out of my price range at the moment.


I think if I were to have one commissioned, I would have her cut one of the following phrases:
  • Jus sayin' is All
  • Show Me That Smile Again with a portrait of Alan Thicke
  • Lager bottle, please

Go check out more at MadebyJulene

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

S is for Sangria!

In other words, this is why I *had* to eat 3 lbs of cheese this weekend
In my never-ending quest to not fill my mom’s house up with chotchkes, I made plans to celebrate her birthday, although a month late, at Chadds Ford Winery. I had checked their calendar of events and was beyond thrilled to see that every Sunday in July was Sangria Sunday. Sangria tastings on their porch, picnic lunch & a delightful little musical trio…perfect.

So I packed up my picnic basket with a variety of fancy cheeses & crackers, grapes and mini fruit tarts and off we went. It was probably around 90 degrees outside, steamy & muggy but sitting under an umbrella on the porch, it was perfect. It was $10 for the tasting then $5 each for full glasses of Sangria slushies…so we did both. We stuffed ourselves with Havarti and water crackers and just hung out. It’s rare that I get to just hang with my mom by herself, so it was nice to just jump from one topic to another without any distractions…well besides the tribe of yellowjackets that wanted to eat me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

i bought a flurejgasn

Once again, I head to Ikea, list in hand, excited because I hadn’t been there in awhile (a month or two). I just know that I’ll be able to find a few of the things I need. Some of these things include: a gray bedspread that doesn’t cost as much as they do in Target, a cute table runner or placemats and hopefully a chair in the As-Is section that I could gussy up for the office. Now unfortunately my new house is slightly further away from our Ikea so now it’s kind of a pain in the ass to get there, especially in Friday night rush hour traffic. But Ikea usually comes through for me, so off I went. I didn’t even walk through the showroom, I headed straight for the Marketplace, I was all business. Thirty minutes later I left. With this.


That’s it. They had nothing that appealed to me. Their bedspreads were like $50…seriously, shouldn’t they be like 30 tops at Ikea? I’m not sure they even had table runners or placemats because I wandered the textiles section to no avail. And don’t even get me started on the As-Is section. There were about 15 chairs there in various states of disarray. All of them, at their clearance price, were over $50. This is not why I came to Ikea. I came for cheaply made things at cheaply made prices. So FAIL to you Ikea, I’m very disappointed you. But hey, I saw a rainbow on the way home. Unfortunately there were no cheap bedspreads at the end of it…I checked.

can I interest you in gaining 10 lbs this week?

then try this doozy of a menu...

Breakfast for Dinner: Southwest Omelet with Peppers, Onions & Cheesy goodness alongside a ham steak and a piece of bread that had to be eaten before it went stale.

Poma-Tini: Overpriced, toothache-inducing alcoholiciousness

Mango Chicken: Look at all those vegetables being cancelled out by chunks of sauce-covered chicken and cashews

Cheese & Crackers: Creamy, fatty cheeses + 7 different kinds of crackers = Heaven…hey, there are grapes there! That my friends, is fruit.


And my lame attempt to make up for a gluttonous weekend of feasting: Colorado Chicken Salad from Firebirds Wood Fired Grill

Put a fork in me...I'm done. So so done.

Sidenote: Is anyone willing to shell out some free advice for making my header not so friggin small? I'm lost.

Friday, July 24, 2009

flashback friday - when in doubt, go with brown

Let’s flashback this week to the décor of the 80’s…While Sherry and John over at Young House Love showed off the pages of House Beautiful from the 70’s this week, I’d like to give you a glimpse into the house I grew up in. First of all, the paneling. It’s hideous. And if you’ve gone house hunting in the past couple decades, then I’m sure you’ve seen you’re fair share of rec rooms and dens and basements covered in this atrociousness. It’s always the room you look at and say, “Well, the paneling’s gotta go”. You might even have grown up in one of these faux forests too. I’m not too sure what people were thinking when they decided to attach this stuff to the walls. Of course, this was the same generation that thought avocado appliances and macramé were the bees knees.

this is what happens to photos when stored in brown paper grocery bags for 25 years

And although my parents didn’t choose this paneling, I still blame them because as evidenced by the next picture, they never took it down. Not even in the late 80’s cream, mauve and teal explosion. Remember that one? With dried-flower arrangements in obnoxiously large urns artistically splashed with mauve and teal paint?

And the couch. I love it’s sheen. I remember it being almost satin-y. Ugly as hell, but nice to run your hand down.

But at some point in the 90’s, we re-decorated. Let’s not brighten the place up anymore. Let’s stick with brown. It goes fabulously with the burnt orange carpet. Yes, let’s stick with what we know.

And here folks, is where I get my dislike of matchy-matchy…the afghan. Most likely crocheted by my dad’s mother, it showed just how well brown and orange go together. But my mom was clearly onto something. What, I’m not sure though. Check out the lamps. They are light gray…with pink and white flowers. I know my mom just thought that they were pretty and could’ve cared less that they didn’t “go” with the new living room furniture. And I know she thought I probably wouldn’t be re-hashing these decorating nightmares almost 20 years later. So there you have it, the reason we can’t figure out where I got this tendency to care what things look like. We won’t even start on the black hose and pumps I was rocking.

Share with me, the horrors you grew up looking at. And no, I don't mean your creepy next-door neighbors. Was your furniture covered in plastic? Any scratchy floral couches? Scare me!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

is this the face of a criminal?



Or at least an accomplice? Someone who aids and abets? I used to think not, until the other night at Michael’s Arts & Crafts. Ok, let me back up. John & I had made plans to do dinner out that night because we received a coupon in the mail and if that’s not a good enough reason to skip the grilled chicken and shove burgers down our throat then I don’t know what is. So I was going to meet him there on his way home from work. I got there early and decided to run into the Michael’s next-door because a week earlier John had let me know that Spookytown (the Halloween village) had made it’s 2009 debut in stores. Please don’t ask me why my husband was in Michael’s without me, I’ll just lie to you.

Anyway, if you aren’t on my Spookytown Dinner Party invite list every Halloween, then you probably don’t know why this is kind of a big deal. We have a huge S-Town collection and while I enjoy it, John is slightly obsessed, always wanting to buy more. I think we’re one step away from being creepy and obnoxious, and not in a good way. Anyway, I decided I would hit up Michael’s and pick up one of the 2009 Limited Edition S-Town buildings for him as a surprise. I had a 40% coupon burning a hole in my pocketbook anyway.

So I go in, pick out The House of Wax and proceed to the register. I am the only one in line and there is only one cashier on duty, a young girl of about 20. She eyes up the box and this conversation ensues:

STBJ (Soon-to-be-Jobless): “Wow that is crazy lookin”
Me: “Uhhhh yeah, heh heh”

STBJ scans the box

STBJ: “$89.99!?!?”
Me: “Yup, crazy huh?”
STBJ: “You’re gonna pay that for this?”
Me: “Uh, yeah, I mean, I’ve got this 40% coupon”
STBJ: “Give me 20 bucks and you can have it”
Me: “Um, what?”
STBJ: “If you give me 20 bucks, you can have it”
Me: “Really?”
STBJ: “Yeah…and if you want any more of them, just grab them”

At this point, I am in total disbelief and am trying to figure out what the hell is going on and how to respond.

Me: “Uhhh, I don’t have any cash on me”
STBJ: “Well if you want it, you can go get the money and come back. I’ll just keep this behind the register”
Me: “Um, ok”

So I walk out of Michael’s, baffled. Holy ethical dilemma. I mean, these things are so over-priced…I could get it for 20 freakin dollars! But what if I was being set-up? Was this a sting? Why me? Do I look cool, like I would be cool with this “exchange”?

I get to the restaurant and have to ruin my intended surprise to get John’s opinion. He gave me 3 options…go back with some cash and get hooked up for $20, go back another day and just buy them or go back and tell on her. “I’m no rat!” I yelled at him. So throughout dinner, I just kept whining to him “What do I do????” We parted ways at our cars without knowing what my decision would be.
I followed him directly home.

I knew he was slightly disappointed when he saw me in his rearview mirror. Oh well. We may not have the House of Wax for now but at least we have our integrity. My friends, however, do not ooohh and aaahhh over integrity though, so we’re screwed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

any excuse for a color scheme

For the most part, we are settled in at our new house. So you know what that means right? Housewarming party!!!
So I whipped up some invites/announcements and sent them off. I was quite proud of them because let's just say that my photoshop skills are shoddy at best. We've decided that although the inside of our house is pretty friggin fantastic, our newly paved driveway would best accomodate the beast of a pork-product smoker that is catering our party. There's nothing like a kegger with pulled pork and a pretty tablescape. Am I right?

(Thanks for not stalking me)

Of course, like any good Martha-wannabe, I immediately chose a color scheme for our outdoor affair of aqua and red. Next step, google the crap out of the terms "aqua and red party" and "aqua and red wedding" because we all know those crazy knottie brides over at theknot.com have already made dozens of aqua and red "inspiration boards". So thank you fellow detail-obsessed ladies, for doing the work for me. Look how pretty!





And for those of you who have asked about my house tour/pics, we'll have a Virtual Housewarming in the next couple weeks, so go buy me a virtual plant!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

from pepto to purty

Meet Meghan and Jamie. We've become friends with these two through Kelly & Jeff and in Meghan, I've found another home decor junkie. For the past year or so, they've been renovating their abode with their own blood, sweat and tears.

Ok, hopefully there wasn't too much blood involving Jamie and his power tools but you know there were some tears shed from Meghan in having to look at this scary pink bathroom tile. She was kind enough to share some pics of their reno's so I'm being kind enough to share them with you. You know, if you care about that sort of thing.

Say bye bye to the Love's Baby Soft pink walls and hellloooo to new drywall and a fresh coat of paint.

And check out the shower. Apparently Jamie did all of the tile work himself, so if I wasn't permanently mad at him (read why here), I'd tell him I was pretty impressed.

And I can't imagine why they would want to get rid of this beauty...gray and white marble with a shell sink in favor of a new, modern gorgeous double-sink vanity? Crazy people. No but seriously, it's a pretty hot set-up, doncha think?
Thanks for sharing Meg, and letting me renovate vicariously through you guys!

Monday, July 20, 2009

accounts payable Nina speaking...just a moment

So it's Monday again. And I've got a case of em. My summer thus far has been so ridiculously fun and random that the weekends have been flying by. And with Mondays comes the realization that I ate and drank too much, exercised too little and ignored basic weekly needs like lunch stuffs and un-wrinkly work pants. But it's all worth it to spend my weekends with these people...
The victorious Team 2 who came from behind to capture the glory that is winning The Game...
The birthday girl and her birthday spoils...

Adorable little friends like Tursi...

the Head-Lamp of course, which aided us in reading our clues in the dark and making us all look extremely creepy in the process...oh wait, I added the creepy eyes

helpful and handy friends that put together Kelly's new gazebo-thing before the rest of the guests arrived. How many dudes does it take...

and these two lovely ladies who I'm a big fan of. Ali is the event-documenter and Audrey is the margaritas-that-taste-like-coldcuts-maker. Invite these two to all of your parties, you won't be disappointed.
Hope your Monday is going a little less TPS Report-like than mine. Did you do anything fun this weekend?

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's the last of my July birthday babies

I know everyone is probably sick of the love-fest that I have with my best friend Kelly on this here blog all the time but bear with me one more time. It's my little pal's 29th birthday today so therefore I celebrate her. So here are the


Top 29 Reasons you, Kelly, are Special:
  1. You bring champagne everywhere you go
  2. You are one of those people who will give the shirt off their back if you need it...or even just compliment it
  3. You sell watches out of your trench
  4. You helped me shovel the Mustang out of the snow at the end of Lafayette
  5. You are always up for going out
  6. You left the set of Pandavision in the middle of our show
  7. You fit in my pocket
  8. You picked me up from the airport in a prom dress
  9. You make new friends for me so that I don't have to do the work
  10. You carry your life around in a backpack
  11. You appreciate good font
  12. You quit your job to drive to Illinois with only a meatloaf sandwich to eat
  13. You are my SNL sketch remembering twin
  14. You let me finish your fountain cokes
  15. You said to me the other day, "Ya know, in high school, I thought you were smart"
  16. You once took revenge on a "rude" guy with me by sending him magazine subscriptions
  17. You would search your house for change for Coinstar so we could go out boozin'
  18. You and I agree on what time period was the best time of our lives
  19. You brought me birthday cupcakes to the airport when I turned 18
  20. You wax nostalgic all the time
  21. You are Kelly Confetti
  22. You are my favorite person to drive home at 7am with last night's makeup and headaches
  23. You refuse to deal with Jeff's cat
  24. You have a family that makes me laugh and want to hang out with all the time
  25. You order three drinks at a restaurant and drink a little bit out of all of them
  26. You love fun chain restaurant cocktails
  27. You do not love the word cocktail....or moist or ointment for that matter
  28. You married an awesome boy who fits in all of our lives perfectly

and lastly

29. You make me laugh like nobody's business

I'm glad you were born.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

let's talk about neck-laces

I have a lot of them. And like my peanut butter, I like em chunky...which means they take up a lot of room. What I don't have however is a pretty little place to store them. They sit in my top dresser drawer in a cutlery tray. Yes, they are divided up in no particular order but the cutlery tray does not keep them from getting mangled and destroyed and sometimes...forgotten about. I need a functional, somewhat cute jewelry solution. Got any to share? I wish one of these prettty little things would work for me but the sheer quantity of my jewelry would overtake these delicate displays.
My dilemma is that I do not like clutter. I do not like junk junking up bedroom. Although this fancy rigged hanger below would be a nice solution for my needs, the fact that it hangs somewhere I could see would bother the crap out of me. And seriously, if it's on the back of a door, wouldn't all of the beads smack and clang around everytime the door opened or closed? I have a small horse cat that makes enough noise thankyouverymuch.

The only option I've come up with is to donate it all to Goodwill and wear only this necklace. Everyday. It goes with everything, no?

oh and head over to Young House Love today to see another creative & purty jewelry solution, that still won't work for me! Meh!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

pick a pillow

Any pillow. I will buy what you tell me. Here's the deal (and a sneak peek at my family room). The pillows that currently occupy the couch, which has a herringbone pattern and makes my heart skip, came with it. It obviously matches perfectly...a little too perfectly for my taste. Now, I'm cheap so it irks me to replace something that is in perfect condition. But everytime I walk by the room, I give the pillows a look of disgust. Yeah, I feel bad, they did nothing wrong, but I want something more.

Something a little more orange. Do you think it will work? Not solid orange but something with a fun pattern or possibly mixes the red and orange. I give you the three pillows that have caught my eye. Now you can tell me none of these will work, because really, what do I know? Or tell which one you like best. Whatever you do, orange you glad I asked your opinion? ha! Sorry, I had to.



Monday, July 13, 2009

harry potter vs. sarah

I’d like to thank the ABC Family channel for sucking the life out of my weekend. While hungover relaxing on Saturday afternoon, watching TV, I came across the first Harry Potter movie starting. Hmmm, I thought, I’ve never seen any of these and I happen to have 4 hours to spare…I’ll watch it. Don’t worry, I’m not one of those people that have just seen a movie made 10 years ago and wants to talk about it. I’ll just say that it was slightly entertaining and now all of those pop culture references that have been going over my head for the past decade finally make sense. But it didn’t stop at one movie. Apparently there is a new one coming out this week so it was all-Harry-all-weekend and they were playing every movie back-to-back. Yup, I watched em all. It all culminated last night with the Goblet of Fire. I do have one complaint about this movie. How come none of you told me Edward Cullen was in it? I would have watched this movie much sooner had I known my boyfriend had a major role. Uggghh now I feel like such a bad girlfriend. Thanks guys.

Oh and thanks to the same commercials running all weekend throughout the marathon, I now want to visit Six Flags (more flags, more fun), I want to watch Ruby and the Rockits (Alexa Vega OMG!) and eat a lot of food at Pizza Hut for only $5. Have I mentioned that I’m an ad agency’s dream?

Oh and I’d like to say Happy Birthday to my pal Sarah. If anyone needed to know why I’m friends with this girl, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…




Friday, July 10, 2009

flashback friday - shannon is...a punk rocker


I came across this doozy last night in my never-ending attempt to organize my mom's entire collection of photos that have ended up in plastic bags, paper bags and shoe boxes. It's not that she doesn't care about the precious memories of not only her childhood or that of her three children, it's that....No, I was right, she's just not that interested. Sorry Ma :)

I'm not sure how I ended up being the organized one. The one that has all of her pictures categorized, labeled, photo album'd or scrapbooked. I am an anomoly. Therefore, it is my duty to perform this task for everyone else in my family. My duty and my very tiny OCD tendencies. Staring at a brown grocery bag from the early 90's filled with pictures drives me nuts. Moving on...

This is me. And of course I have no idea what year it is because for the life of me, I can never tell how old I was by looking at a picture. What would you say, maybe seven or eight? Who knows...anyway, it was obviously Halloween and from what I can remember of the 80's, it was pretty damn cool to be a punk rocker. So this is how my mom made it happen.

I already owned the tres chic hot pink sweatshirt, which was most likely ordered from the Sears catalog. The plastic bracelets & lacey hair thingy were definitely in regular rotation in my wardrobe as well. Possibly purchased from the Bazaar of all Nations? All we had to buy was the pink hair color spray, throw it in a side pony and voila, I had gone from Shannon to Sheena.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Who's That Girl


Well, hi. I'm Shannon. I'm 30 years old and I'm married to my best pal John. We have a wee baby boy named Gabriel who I enjoy dressing in funny costumes.  We live outside of Philadelphia. We have a cat named Sebastian.  I'm a new stay-at-home-mom and am on a mission to make domesticity my bitch.  Expect the following: ramblings about nonsense, attempts at new recipes, things of the crafty variety, loads of sarcasm, pictures of cute babies, to-do lists and unsolicited opinions. Your mom says to read me every day. Swears.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

seven summer staples

So it's mid-summer I suppose and I've come to the realization that I'm obsessed with the following:

stuff

1. Crew Neck Tee's from Old Navy...they're so cheap and I rock them with everything

2. Pink with a Splash Body Mist from Victoria Secret...it just smells soooo clean and pretty so I've got a bottle at home, at work and in my car...paranoid-that-I-smell much?

3. Kashi Go Lean Crunchy Bars...specifically Chocolate Caramel...it's my 6g of fiber breakfast every morning

4. Skirts...especially skirts with pockets. Even though we've been having a surprisingly mild July so far, there's nothing like one of these casual pups paired with a tank...or Old Navy Tee. I add a cute necklace and apparently I'm good to go for work.

5. Sparkly Silver Flip Flops...mine are from Target and I stole the idea from Kelly who had them first last year or so. I've loved them since first sight and was pumped when Target brought them back this year for like $12.

6. Yellow & Gray...my new favorite color combo

7. Crystal Light Raspberry Green Tea...CL is pretty much all we drink around my house and for awhile it was nothing but iced tea and fruit punch but alas, I've grown tired of it. The green tea kinda combines the two and me loves it.

What about you? What are you obsessed with these days?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2:15 AM Came Pretty Darn Early

But I didn't care. My goal was to be on the beach in Jersey in time for sunrise. And we did it. We were on the road by 3 am and were on the beach by first light.

We were joined by my goofy brother Josh and our friend Madelyn...troopers they are.

We came prepared...

and watched this bad boy...purty, isn't it?


did the obligatory trying-not-to-look-posed sunrise walk...

then decided to hit the boardwalk for our bike ride. I'd never been to the boardwalk this early and man, is it depressing. doesn't it look like it's horror movie-ready?


bikes!


Well, I can now successfully say that I've watched the sun rise over the slightly pretty but medical-waste-strewn beaches of southern New Jersey along with an early AM bike ride on the boards. Done and done.

Thanks to my peeps for making the trip with me, we had so so many laughs that included Madelyn's inability to actually ride a bike properly (apparently, it's not just like riding a bike!), a delicious breakfast in a diner that smelled like a litter box and a very non-PC conversation-filled ride home. Except for the litter box, that's my kinda trip.

Thank you Wildwood for hosting my first of many
We bid you adieu.

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