Friday, June 29, 2012

High Five for Friday

Wow, how is it already Friday? I can't believe how fast this week went by. Besides driving 2,000 miles this past week, it was pretty awesome.

Yes, we got rained on and yes, I barely saw the sun. BUT, it was my husband's first vacation since Christmas time so it was fun to spend it together.  We still have two vacations planned for this year which we are very excited about!

As always, I am linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk to share my top 5 from the week.

1. Our yard was nominated for 'Yard of the Month' in our neighborhood. If we win, we will get a $50 gift card to Home Depot. Please VOTE for 23 Woodgate Ct. It only takes a minute! 

2. Scenes from our drive through Tennessee this week

3. Being at home with THIS guy. We left him at home with a pet sitter for 5 days. He was greatly missed

4. Greg and I wandered around a model home... bad idea! It made me want to go build a house tomorrow. The upgrades and layouts were amazing and things I would never think of.

Yes, that is hardwood on the walls 

Awesome kitchen backsplash

5. Perfect 100 degree day meal... BLTs and corn from the local farm

xo, Erin

Thursday, June 28, 2012

2,000 Miles

We drove and drove and drove the past five days. I knew boredom would set in, but I didn't realize how tiring it would be. Coffee or Red Bull didn't even help on day 3.

We left Friday at 6:00 pm and started driving. We had a 15 hour drive ahead of us with almost all of it on 75 South.  We started the night off switching drivers every 2-3 hours.  We made a pit stop at Cookout in Knoxville, TN around 11:00 pm.  If you have never been to Cookout, you wouldn't understand.  Greg got his first taste of Cookout when he interned in Raleigh about four years ago.  Ever since, he has been talking about their cheap, delicious burgers and gourmet milkshakes. It lived up to his memory.

Greg says he got the worst driving shift. He drove from 1:30-4:30 am through Georgia while I slept. He woke me up, I got a coffee, and made it an hour. I was beat! I pulled over in the Florida Welcome Center and we slept for about an hour.  Greg woke up, wanted to get going, so on we went. 

We took our time getting to our destination. We stopped at Kohl's to pick some pants up, ate some lunch, then made it to the marina around 1:00.  The rain had already begun.. little did we know, this was just the start of it.

This is where the wedding party was staying. It was an awesome house on an island, the only way to get there was by boat.

A big group of people piled on the boat, packed our suitcases in garbage bags, and made the trek over to our island in the rain.  Everyone was soaked! We changed into swimsuits and wandered around the house. Drinking began and everyone was just hanging out. The wedding rehearsal got cancelled because no one wanted to get wet on the boat.

We woke up Sunday morning, power had gone off for a few hours and it was pouring! We slowly began setting up the house for the wedding since a beach wedding was out of the question. The rain and wind didn't let up... they named the storm Debby. We refer to her as Debby Downer.  Nothing was going right, but Kristy and Trenton remained so positive.  The officiant and guests couldn't get over to the island. It was unsafe for boats to cross the water. We all got dressed and took some wedding party pictures with the water (and storm) in the background.

We continued partying and making the most of the island and being surrounded by friends. We headed to bed around 5:00 am and woke up to more rain on Monday morning.  We packed our stuff up, waited for the storm to clear a bit, and called for a boat to pick us up. It was sunny for a few hours before we left.

Aftermath of Debby. The dock and island were flooded, we were literally floating above the surrounding water

On top of the lookout, 50 feet up, with a 360 degree view of the surrounding water

We got back to our car Monday around 5:30 pm and knew we couldn't drive all the way home. My parents were in Gatlinburg for the week so we started driving there.  We made it.. barely! We were so exhausted after driving 10+ hours and not much sleep from the weekend.  We slept until noon, explored Gatlinburg on Tuesday then headed home yesterday morning.

Boy are we glad to be home. We missed Murphy and our own bed. The vacation didn't go exactly as planned and wasn't very relaxing, but you can't plan mother nature. Oh well. Laundry has begun and we are packing back up for the wedding in IL this weekend.

Lesson learned: Driving through the night is rough! No matter how much rest you get, it is still hard driving in the dark when you are bored. On the drive down, we got the Flip out to videotape how we were feeling and give a narrative of the drive. We listened to Pandora pretty much the whole time which was nice. Greg streamed the Tigers game through MLB TV which kept him awake for a few hours. Don't forget to pack some Red Bull!

xo, Erin

Monday, June 25, 2012

Road Trip Snacks

We have been in Florida on a short vacation for my friend Kristy's wedding.  Unfortunately Tropical Storm Debby decided to rain on our parade and postpone the wedding. More details to come..

Greg and I decided to drive to save money... we drove through the night Friday into Saturday. I hate stopping for fast food while on road trips so I started brainstorming healthy road trip snacks.  Our trip took about 16 hours so food is definitely a necessity.  I made a list and bought some things from the grocery store.  We are using two coolers. One large one in the trunk for most of the food, and one smaller one in the backseat for easy access to drinks and a few snacks.

Some snack ideas:
  • Strawberries and blueberries
  • Grapes already picked so they are easier to eat
  • Yogurt parfaits with granola on the side
  • Celery with peanut butter
  • Carrots and celery with lowfat ranch
  • Cliff bars
  • Chicken wraps on whole wheat tortillas
  • Some boxed items: wheat thins, rice cakes, pretzels
  • Sweets: Pull n' Peel Twizzlers and Peach Rings

I will be back to blog world Thursday with updates on our road trip adventures and how we passed the 32+ hours in the car!

xo, Erin

Friday, June 22, 2012

High Five for Friday

Sorry I have been slacking on blog posts this week. My parents have been in town and we have been doing lots of shopping, eating and walking. Laundry has also been a priority... we leave tonight for Florida so I have been busy packing.

Let's get down to the usual Friday business. I'm linking up with High Five for Friday to share my top 5 things that happened this week:

1. I dragged Greg out to get some pictures for our Anniversary. Sam over at Samantha's Studio did a great job of capturing the style I wanted. Below is a sneak peek!

2. My new favorite neutral nail polish. Zoya: Kennedy

3. A visit from my parent's isn't complete without eating some pizza at Dewey's. The Caprice is a family favorite

4. We kicked off the first day of summer right.. with Rita's!

5. Kentucky is good for one thing, the Gap Clearance Store. Defective clothing and leftover clearance clothes come to this huge warehouse from all over the country. Yesterday I left with 4 long sleeve shirts that were $1.99 each.

Can't wait to share our road trip adventure. I have been busy making snacks and packing games!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

We went back and forth on what kind of mirror to buy. We purchased four different kinds, brought them home to see what they looked like, and they all went back to the store. We ended up using a frameless mirror from IKEA and built a frame around it. This was Greg's idea from the beginning, I just didn't know how great they would look.

This is the mirror we started with:

GODMORGON Mirror IKEA Mounting hardware is adjustable in depth, leaving room for light cords. The safety film reduces damage if the glass breaks.
found here

And this is what we ended up with:

They still need to be hung on the wall (there are 2 of them) but I love the style.  They were simple to make and affordable too! The clean lines and modern look fit well with the rest of the bathroom.  Greg did a great job building the frame around it, then we just gave it a few coats of white semi-gloss paint (the same stuff we use for our baseboards).

We started with a few pieces of primed pine from Home Depot that ran about $4.50 per 8ft. section.  From there, Greg measured, cut, glued and bracketed the mirror into place. Check out the process below! {Sorry for the poor angles and pictures, camera was left at home so I used my iPhone.}

Lay out your frame and measure/cut to size 

Cut an inset on all 4 sides so the mirror can fit tight

Close-up of the inset

Once all sides are cut, create a rough frame to make
sure everything is parallel and the mirror fits

Glue the sides together and clamp until dry

While drying, place the mirror inside the frame and lock into place using brackets

Brackets we used, about $2.50 per 4 pack

Pre-drill holes and screw brackets in place.
Add sawtooth hanger (x2) to hang on the wall

Almost complete mirror, waiting for glue to dry

Cost to complete our project:
  • 2 mirrors- $19.99 each
  • Primed pine- $13
  • Brackets- $5
  • Sawtooth hangers- $2.50
  • Paint- already owned
  • Total spent = ~$60

And now for a look at our bathroom to-do list from March:

  • Tile bathroom floor
  • Install new vanity and sinks
  • Paint walls
  • Find new mirror(s)
  • Buy new light fixtures
  • Buy a new toilet
  • Build some type of storage

An end is officially in sight! We found lights that I will share once the electrical is moved and the lights are installed. The last item on our list, bathroom storage, is being built today! So exciting that everything is finally coming together. Can't wait to show a before and after reveal.

xo, Erin

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cleaning Schedule

The first part to an organized house was creating a cleaning schedule. I talked about my plan here.  It looked like this:


The cleaning schedule was from brown paper packages.  I loved her design and style, but not all of her tasks.  I tweaked it a bit and made a version of my own.  

Scrapbook paper background from

I'm not sure why the text looks blurry, it isn't in real life. If you would like to download your own copy, click here.

More bathroom updates soon! We have decided on mirrors and lights :)

xo, Erin

Friday, June 15, 2012

High Five For Friday

Well, it's Friday. You know what that means. 

I'm linking up with Lauren to share my 5 favorite things from the week. Check out the link-up party and join the fun!


1. Nap time with Murph Man. Enough said.

2. Victoria Secret Semi-Annial sale. I had a $100 gift card and spent every penny plus some :)

3. Our yummy dinner one night... grilled chicken with pico de gallo on top.

4. I added some flowers to my glass jar and love the warm feeling it gave to the cabinet

5. I caught Murph hanging with his buddy this week. He always make me laugh

Have a relaxing weekend everyone!

xo, Erin

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Avalanche Bars

I finally had time to bake yesterday.. and by bake, I mean make a yummy dessert! I definitely have a sweet tooth, but only like to sample them.  Good thing the guys Greg works with appreciate my treats :)

I've been meaning to make these Avalanche Bars, from Cookies & Cups, since I pinned them months ago. I was craving something sweet and this did the trick. It is pretty much a glorified rice krispy treat.

Avalanche Bars

12 oz bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (I used reduced fat)
3 cups Rice Krispies
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips + a handful for garnish
Lightly greased 8x8 pan

1. In microwave-safe bowl, pour white chocolate chips in and heat on 50% power for 90 seconds. Stir and continue ti heat in 30 second intervals until melted
2. Combine peanut butter with melted chips and stir in the Rice Krispies
3. Let cool approximately 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to help cool
4. Add marshmallows and 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips and stir to combine
5. Pour mixture into greased pan and spread evenly. Press lightly with the back of your spoon, but not too much or they will be firm
6. Sprinkle a handful of mini chocolate chips on to the top of the bars and lightly press in
7. Once completely cooled, cut into squares

Yup, these are amazing! Apparently Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory makes something very similar. I looked it up on MyFitnessPal, and one bar contains 158 calories.  Not bad, although, I'm unsure the size of one bar ;)  These are by far the hardest thing to give away, but I know it's in my best interest. Seriously though, these are delicious!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting Organized

Ok, so this is crazy. I am off work for the summer and have done nothing around the house. What is wrong with this picture?

The past two weekends were spent in Michigan and we didn't return home until Monday evening.  This led to laundry and grocery shopping on Tuesday along with nannying, Wednesday was catch-up on cleaning day around the house, Thursday was spent nannying and packing, and Friday I watched the kiddos and got in the car to head north again.

It is a vicious cycle that will consume most of my summer.  I have had little time to work out, run errands or even lay out for an hour. We currently have every single weekend booked for the rest of the summer. Good thing? I'm not sure yet. I definitely love traveling and staying busy, but it means not many big projects can get done around the house.

August 16th will be here before I know it. Everyone tells us this is the time to travel (before we have a family) so we are taking advantage of that.  I apologize for the lack of home improvement projects lately, we barely have had time to keep the house clean.

I was thinking about making some type of organizational center for the laundry room or pantry door. Somewhere that is accessible.  Not only to visualize our vacations and visitors, but also to remind me to do weekly cleanings and fun projects as well.  Maybe a calendar for travel and a calendar for house projects?

Then I found this:


You can check out the tutorial and printables here.  This looks awesome. I wanted to make a dry erase menu and wanted a weekly cleaning schedule.  I love how it is all in one place. Now I just need to tweak a few things and it will be perfect.

I would love to make something like this ASAP to get my life organized along with holding me accountable for projects I want to complete.  I currently am using my calendar on my iPhone which I share (the calendar) with my husband. Just to keep us both in the loop with scheduled events, parties and visitors.  I think a blown up version out in the open would be even more helpful. 

Starting to plan... NOW!

xo, Erin

Monday, June 11, 2012

Our Weekend

A photo recap of our weekend... Friday night we went to a bonfire in memory of Greg's cousin, Saturday was the Relay for Life all day and yesterday we took the wave runners out and did some tubing.

Kite flying

Eli mesmerized by the kite

Team Keithosaurus

We walked 10 miles!

The luminaria bags were so pretty

Headed home this afternoon. Hopefully working on some fun projects around the house this week :)

xo, Erin

Friday, June 8, 2012

High Five for Friday

Happy Friday! Weekends aren't that big of a deal for me in the summer (gotta love being a teacher!). I nanny part-time, but still have a very relaxed schedule. Summer weekends normally mean we are traveling somewhere, or we are having visitors. Can't complain about that :) Weekends also mean more time at home with my husband. So.. I guess I can still get excited for Friday!

I'm linking up with Lauren as usual, to share my top 5 from this week:

1. I get to see this guy tonight. We left him in Michigan on Monday so he didn't have to make the unnecessary 4 hour drive in the same week.  It sure has been quiet around here..

2. I joined a gym this week. There was an awesome Groupon for a gym that is about a mile from our house. It was only a 2 month commitment, perfect. It gives me something to do this summer and I'm loving it so far.

3. Made this yummy dinner, Pineapple Chicken Packets. Check out the recipe here

4. I tried a new flavor of popsicles this week. I'm obsessed with coconut and pineapple... and they aren't even bad for you :)

5. I bought this BB Cream from Sephora this week. It is perfect for summer and so easy to use.

Summer time = more time to read. Any suggestions on books to buy for my Kindle? Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

xo, Erin