Jul 30, 2012

Jul 28, 2012


Yesterday after our pre-construction meeting for the new house, I went and walked the frame of the foundation. I have to admit, I was surprised by the...modest size of the backyard.

In fairness, I shouldn't have been. We had the plot plan; we should have studied it more closely. We hastily had assume since the lot was bigger than our current one, we'd end up with about the same size backyard. Not true.

We talked about it a lot last night. Ross really wanted a large yard and while I can't say I was set on a LARGE yard, I wanted at least what I have now. Something with ample room for swingsets and the like. At the end though 5 points led us to our conclusion:
  1. We're very unlikely to get the location, price, floorplan and yard size we want all in one house. We're probably going to have to make a concession on something.
  2. The things we do most frequently in our backyard now are all on the porch. Grilling, reading, sipping wine outside, these things do not require a large yard.
  3. Kids don't play in the backyard for long. As soon as they hit school age they'll want to ride bikes, run to the neighbors, play basketball in the cul-de-sac, etc. Heck they might not even notice the size of our yard.
  4. It gets REALLY hot in Texas. Outside things are really only optimal for about 5 months.
  5. Who needs a big yard in suburbia when you have a country home?
And so that last point recommits us to our plan to buy a ranch/country home place one day. In fact, we might even try to move that purchase up a year or two. Round Rock will be our dream HOUSE and no-wheres-ville Texas will be our dream yard.

Jul 26, 2012

House Update

So...it's been a while.

Well one of the things we've been up to is house stuff. A few weeks ago we hit a roadblock with the decor center and it took quite a while to figure it out. (In short, I wanted to pay one price, they wanted me to pay another. You guess which was higher. We met in the middle.)

So last week we signed off on that piece of house stuff and then 30 minutes later went and met with our lender. I think that went well and so far she hasn't fired us from getting the loan. I'd call that a success.

And tomorrow we meet with the build manager for our pre-construction meeting/consult/thingy. I assume at that point we'll know when they are really breaking ground.

I'll tell you more when I know more. Later gator!

Jul 20, 2012

Q: Study Decor

Another day, another home decor predicament. (First world problems, I know.)

The first room anyone will see at our new house will be my study; it's right off the foyer and has glass french doors. First impressions and all, I want to hit a home decor grandslam on a barely-swung-for-a-single budget.

There are a few pieces I'm working with. First, my white Ikea desk. It looks something like this

Source: google.com via Cheryl on Pinterest

Then I have a wood-framed travel map with pins for everywhere we've been. Like this

 Source: google.com via Cheryl on Pinterest

I'd like to have both in my study but they don't really go together. I've been trying to brainstorm decor options that might make it work, challenge in and of itself, but last night I discovered Ross has an opinion about what my study looks like because 1) he wants me to have a nice study and 2) everyone will see it. Talk about challenging! Please me, the hubby and use what we currently have.

Here are some of what I've been pinning that I like (not that that means Ross likes them but personally since its my office, I think my opinion is the most important here, but I digress)

Source: google.com via Cheryl on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Cheryl on Pinterest

Source: hgtv.com via Cheryl on Pinterest

So white desk, wood-framed map, wood floors, french doors, a window to the front yard and a little bit of budget. That's what we've got.

Any ideas for how to decorate this sucker? Put the map elsewhere (and if so where?) and do something totally different? Ditch the desk? Wall paint color? Area rug? Bookshelves? Curtains?

Jul 18, 2012

Gin Queen

I feel that I should be crowned Gin Queen. Because tonight I beat the pants off my husband in gin.

We play lots of games and generally speaking, I'm not very good at them. Or at least not better than Ross. Tonight he suggested gin which pleased me because it had been months since we played and I really like that game.

We quickly remembered why I like gin: it's the only thing I am consistently better at than him.

And to make it that much sweeter, Ross had us set up with a little monetary incentive. Tomorrow's Starbucks will now be courtesy of my gin prowess.

Jul 15, 2012

Things I Love: Time Lapse

After brunch today I took Nichole to see the new neighborhood and had a great little surprise - they've finished clearing our lot! It is now dirt pile and dumpster free.

I took a picture of course; the second in my collection for the "watch our home be built" time lapse video I'll be creating over the next few months (and that I am really excited about, I even have the perfect song to go along with it). And no I will not share the dumpster-free and mostly leveled lot picture with you. You'll just have to wait for the video debut.

Jul 13, 2012

Congressional Pet Peeve

Should US Olympic uniforms be made overseas? Did Roger Clemens take steroids? Did the New Orleans Saints pay players to injure the competition?

All those questions have one thing in common: Congressional time was spent on them.

The answers to the questions (no, probably, and yes, respectively) are mostly irrelevant for the pet peeve I'm about to cite. My number one pet peeve regarding Congress is when it spends time debating/investigating/etc things that are much too minute for its scope.

We've got 8% unemployment, kids who can't read, an enormous national debt, a social security system that isn't sustainable, homeless veterans and diseases that need curing to name a few. And with all that going on Congress wants to talk about Olympic uniforms?

If we were all clothed, fed, sheltered, educated, healthy and perfectly safe, then maybe these petty issues would be worthy of Congress (or maybe we would demote Congressional service to a part-time gig and save ourselves some salaries but alas I digress). However, not the case.

So please Congress, if you happen to stumble upon this little Blogger blog, reassess what the hell you are debating. Fix the issues that matter and then deal with our various sporting events.

(And because I'm feeling quite opinionated this evening, in regard to the Olympic uniforms, sure, they should have been made in the USA. However they were made by a private company, Ralph Lauren, in partnership with a privately-funded nonprofit, the United States Olympic Committee and thus the manufacturing was the prerogative of that partnership. The idea of a bill that would require the uniforms to be made in the USA, while maybe constitutional [or maybe not, I honestly don't know], is ridiculous. What about good old fashioned free enterprise?)

(Perhaps Congress and I are not so different in that we have strong opinions. At least I'm kept in check by having no more prominent a soapbox than a personal blog. Which is not funded by tax dollars and is not responsible for the well-being of 311 million people.)

Jul 11, 2012

Yay Kristin!

Just look at her. You know she can make kids (and/or Ben) happy.
I am really super amazingly proud of my dearest Delta Kristin. She's about to become the newest pediatric PA at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore! Woohoo!

Here's her blog post about it. You should read it.

And this means I'll most likely very probably get to see her when I go to DC at the end of September. Double win!

Jul 9, 2012

Project Plates

I should start by saying the plates I have now are fantastic - good looking and nice Pottery Barn quality. They were a hand-me-down from KBR when I was in college and have survived 2 years in the BU ghetto, a cross-country move, 2 Texas apartments, a new house and a wedding. They are really good plates.

However with our new house, I decided it would be time for new plates. Because 1) green plates + red kitchen = perpetual Christmas and 2) plate fatalities mean I no longer have a full set.

Enter Project Plates.

In my Pinteresting-like-a-madwoman I also looked at plates. Last week or so I fell in love with a collection of Noritake plates and after conversing with the husband, decided on the chocolate brown ones (the plainer of the chocolate brown options; believe it or not, hubby did not want over the top flowery things).

But holy cow were they expensive! At full price they were $80 per place setting! And I wanted 12 place settings! They were on sale at Macy's for nearly 50% off so I figured I'd just buy them now but always the bargain hunter I poked around to see if they were priced better elsewhere. And they were.

On Overstock.com my chocolate brown plates were priced at $122 per 4 place setting package. I prayed to the shopping/sales gods that the price would hold and the next day at lunch took an adventure to see them in person. They checked out and back at the office I placed my order.

001My new plates arrived today. I've opened one box to ensure that they are in the appropriate number of whole pieces. They are and they are packaged so well I'm not even going to open that second box.

For now I have place settings for 8 as 8 coffee mugs is more than enough for this non-coffee drinking house. I'll get another 4-5 settings as individual pieces later on.

But before I purchase my other place settings and serveware, I need your help. This casual china line is positioned as a mix-and-match line. I love the idea of (strategic) mix-and-match but I know I'm no good at it. (Seriously I never even mixed black and camel in my wardrobe until one ballsy day last month.)

Here is my Pinterest board of dinnerware. What pieces do I get to go with my existing 8 place settings?


iphone_picThough this year hasn't been as hot or dry as last year (knock on wood!) these Austinites know rain is always cause for celebration. Give the water bill a little break and hopefully cool down the hot summer air.

Hurray for tonight's rain!

Jul 4, 2012

Jul 2, 2012

It really is the little things

It's the little things that make us happy. Today those things are
  1. New dishes at more than 50% off!
  2. Learning that Army Wives is not a discontinued show that only lives on Netflix as I thought it was but is still airing new episodes on Lifetime. The  DVR is set!

The Busy Trap

This New York Times article, "The Busy Trap," was posted by a couple Deltas to Facebook this weekend, with the best commentary being "I need to read this every morning and every night. And you probably should too."

While I don't think I can do like the writer and only work 4-5 hours per day (at least not any time soon) I can do other things. Specifically I think I should start doing more
  • Pedicures with girlfriends (just made plans for 1 of these tonight)
  • Coffee/happy hour girl dates
  • Lunches out of the office
  • Lexi walks (have promised her 1 before work today)
  • Date nights with husband
  • Laziness with husband
  • Game nights
  • Visits with family
  • Vacations (duh)
  • Nothing
And I should do less
And though the annual frequency is about right, I should keep a renewed commitment to Delta Trips. Vegas 2013 right girls?