Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Home Adventure

Hey there!
    This post is definitely past its expiration, but better late than never!
A few months ago Ryan and I purchased our first home together. in the highest hopes that we would have an established residence for the new baby. The whole process was a major headache and on several occasions it felt that the whole deal would fall apart and we would have wasted all of our time and financial resources to end up still living in our tiny townhome.
   Fast forward through 2 months of bickering with the seller and her realtor (an amateur at best) and negotiating price, closing costs, and necessary repairs (new roof anyone??) we FINALLY signed the paperwork and were handed the keys to our new home. OUR HOME!
   I present to you a photo tour of our bare bones house.

We have an awesome front yard with tons of shade from huge old oak trees. Little did we realize the benefit of shade came with a daily waterfall of bird crap over our vehicles parked in the driveway. Small price to pay.
There is a large 2 car garage and tons of space in the driveway. The house has a cute little courtyard entrance, and we plan to plant some greenery to make it more inviting.
The kitchen is not as big as we would have liked but there is definitely room for improvement. Not only do we plan to update it but we might tear down the adjacent laundry room to expand the kitchen.

Although having a laundry room is awesome, it isn't the greatest space for its purpose and would be much better served as an extension of the kitchen.
    The house has 4 decent sized bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. I can not tell you enough how convenient having 4 bedrooms is. Between a nursery for the new baby, 2 teenage step daughters visiting every other weekend, brother-in-law visiting almost as often, family visiting from far off states, and a roommate currently residing with us, we have plenty of room to accommodate them all.
The master bedroom  has an on suite bathroom, and 2 reach in closets. There is not a ton of closet space but we have installed some closet organizers which allow us to use the space more efficiently.
The master bathroom needs some major updating. The photo looks a lot better than in person. It is a large enough area though that a total overhaul could produce an amazing master bath. *SIGH* lots of plans.
The other 3 bedrooms are all very similar, there is a window in each one, and a reach in closet. The largest is designated roommates for now. The room next to the master bedroom is the future baby nursery. The last room plays company to all other house guests, as well as kitty playroom.
Sneak peek at the guest bathroom. GREAT size. TERRIBLE features. Pink tub anyone? Again, another part of the house that is completely functional but could greatly benefit from some TLC and a complete overhaul.

Behold! Our living and dining areas. The living Space works perfectly for us and has a nice open feel. The large fireplace is in good shape but could use a facelift. Can you picture how kickass the kitchen could be if we knocked out that laundry room(little window on the left)??
Please notice the 2 sets of huge (yes they are larger than normal size) sliding doors to the left of the fireplace. We are going to knock out the right set and add a built in bar area to house a beer keg and wine fridge. The other set will be replaced with a nice pair of French doors. This space has SO MUCH POTENTIAL. 
We were graced with a good sized back yard and a large patio. We love to grill and spend time outside and these were major pluses for us.

   We have A LOT of work ahead of us, but the price was right, and we got a great deal on this property. The layout is ideal and there is enough space that with a few adjustments and upgrades this home will suit our needs and live up to our expectations. It may take us years to accomplish all of our plans but I cannot wait for the day that we turn this starter home into our dream home.
Stay tuned for updated pics with finished rooms once I get around to setting everything up.
I also have several posts on the way including my baby shower, maternity fashion, nursery tour, and birth of our baby girl.
Let me know if you have any ideas for posts you'd like to see. Comments are always welcome.
Thanks for stopping by,
Until next time,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Adventure News Flash

This post has been long over due and I apologize that 5 months has gone by since my last post.
I am glad to say that although it has been a busy and hectic several months I am now into the swing of things and should be more apt to posting regularly again. So much has happened during that time and I have some very exciting news and adventures to share with you.

Where to begin.
I have switched jobs twice in that time. I was working at the Airport last time I wrote and that same month decided enough was enough with staffing and schedule changes and decided to pursue new avenues. Welcome manager position at a small franchise cake shop that shall remain anonymous. This was by far the most miserable 8 weeks I have ever spent at a job. Ridiculous owners who didn't have a clue how to run a business let alone treat people like human beings. I enjoyed the work and loved my employees but after my absurdly negative 6 week review and feeling pressured by the owners to "find something else" that's exactly what I did. Which brings us to my current manager position at a small franchise bagel shop that shall also remain anonymous.
I was instantly drawn to this idea since my entire childhood involved bagels and cream cheese for breakfast in the great state of New York and since moving to the taco state of Texas have not seen many breakfast bagels. Although I have grown fond of breakfast tacos this was definitely a throwback to my childhood and made me feel a sense of being "home" while at work. I also have a great incentive for my northern bagel-loving family members to come down to visit me ;)
The transitions between jobs has been the biggest reason I have not had time or energy to write.
The next few adventures are quite huge and exciting.
We are buying a house!
Closing on it this week and moving in by the end of September.
We have been renting the same townhome for 4+ years and have grown tired of the renting game and not being able to do anything with the house.
The new house is a major upgrade: 4 bedrooms, fireplace, large yards with huge shady oak tress, covered patio, laundry room, and huge 2 car garage. It has everything we need and want, did I mention 4 bedrooms?!?! It's a bit dated but completely livable and has potential for updates and renovations to be awesome. Perfect for DIY projects and blog posts! Since we will have an extra bedroom I will also have a space to set up a studio for makeup videos etc. That's been the main drawback of the townhome and why I haven't started the YouTube videos part of this blog adventure.
Drum roll please......................................................................................................................................
Our biggest adventure yet:
Ryan and I are expecting a beautiful bundle of joy mid December!
I am exactly 5 1/2 months along and its been overall a smooth pregnancy so far.
The worst of it just happened to coincide with the horrible bakery experience. Which speaking of cake shop the smell of THOSE cakes baking was the #1 cause of my nausea. I still feel a bit queasy if I think about it. I never actually got sick just felt nauseous everyday for a solid 4 weeks. These days I am feeling pretty good with just some body aches here and there, tired (but could be from working on my feet 50 hours a week) and being susceptible to colds it seems as I am currently battling one I picked up from recent travel to New York to visit family.
 We do not know the gender of the baby yet and have another 6 weeks to go before our next sonogram where we will hopefully be able to determine if it will be a little boy or a little girl. We do not have a strong preference one way or the other and would be thrilled with either (although I am rather fond of the idea of a baby boy).  We have chosen names for both. Olivia Ryan for a girl, and Oliver Ryan if its a boy.
We are extremely overjoyed and excited for this new chapter. New baby on the way is partly why we began the home search, although we have been talking about purchasing a home for some time. We need more space, room for a nursery, and a place to settle our little family.
There will absolutely be more posts and adventures to come.
Please let me know if there is anything specific you would be interested in me writing about.
I cannot wait to share these adventures with all of you.
Thanks for stopping by!
Till next time,
Momma T



Monday, March 10, 2014

5th Annual Paella Challenge!

Hey guys!
This weekend I had an awesome opportunity to attend the 5th annual Paella Challenge. Paella is a Spanish dish consisting of rice, fresh vegetables, seafood or other meat, and spices. My company had a team that was entered in the cookoff. It was really awesome to walk around and see the chefs in action creating huge pans of piping hot paella. 
Saffron is generously used in many paella sand lends to the brilliant yellow color! More than half of the contestants used seafood including prawns, lobster, mussels, clams, shrimp, crawfish, and octopus! 

This particular batch you can see the body of the octopus right in the middle. This pan isn't ready to eat yet, throughout the day each team made batch after batch to sample out to the crowd. 
Many tables had unique displays to help showcase their dish. This team had an entire ice sculpture to keep their live lobsters and crawfish fresh.
Hi there!
Just one of many beautiful pans if paella.
This presentation is outstanding! 
Each table full of fresh bright ingredients and sizzling skillets of paella. 
THIS PAELLA WAS AWESOME. The chef is from Minnesota and his dish had ingredients including wild boar and quail. Not the traditional additions to this dish but amazing flavors and one of my favorites from the bunch.
This impressive beauty is the paella that my company's team dreamed up. It was hands down the nicest presentation. With a shrimp skewer pineapple centerpiece! The flavor was also great. Not too fishy like several of the others. Way to go guys!
Paella for dessert? Sure!
This was a cold, rice pudding style fruit "paella". Really great, and an awesome addition amid the savory contestants. 

I didn't get a photo of the winning paella because we had to leave before the judging took place. Overall the event was awesome! All the food and drinks (beer, wine, SANGRIA!) were included in the cost of admission, around $55. Because my company was part of it, Ryan and I were able to attend for free. Even if you aren't a huge fan of paella, which I discovered I really don't care for it much, we couldn't pass up a great deal like that. 

I suggest you check out local events happening in cities near you because you never know if there might be a cook off or other food festival as well as other fun adventures!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Thanks for stopping by!
Til next time, 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February Birchbox Unboxing!

Hey there!
I know it is into March already but it's never too late to show what came in a previous months sub box. When choosing sub boxes I really liked to look at posts about past boxes and see what types of items could be in store for future months. 
The iconic birchbox with the chevron pattern and red tissue paper. It's always exciting to tear it open and see what's inside!
Product lineup looks pretty good...
This glitter polish by Ruby Wing changes color in outdoor setting. I'm assuming it's the sunlight, maybe the change in temperature that attributes the change but it will be interesting to see how well it's works applied to the nails. I believe this is smaller than full size which retails for $10, but is still a good amount of polish.
Birchbox features Beauty Protector products frequently and I have already fallen in love with their Protect and Detangle Spray. My hair is very fine and I am weary of adding oils to it because it weighs down and turns greasy easily but I will give this a shot and if it doesn't work for me I can pass it along to a friend with more lush locks. The full size sells for $21.95 which is about what the spray costs. With birchbox points from sub purchases it's easy to earn a $10 coupon which knocks the price down significantly. 
Next is a sample of Hello fragrance by Harvey Prince. It's a cheery and bright scent. It retails for $55 which is not too bad as far as perfume goes. I'm not sure if I would repurchase but I love getting fragrance samples in these boxes because I can play with different scents daily. 
The star of this box is the Cynthia Rowley Liquid Liner in Black Ink. I think this is the full size product and costs $18. I love liquid liners and can never have too many. First application is pigmented and a smooth line. Perhaps I will do a more in depth look at this product after I try it a few times. 
The last item in the box is this sample of Previse Hydromilk. It claims to be a lightweight hydrator for most skin types without any synthetic ingredients or parabens. The full size is $60 which is out of my budget for face cream. That's the cool thing about subscription boxes though you get to try products that you otherwise would never get to test. 

The monthly cost for Birchbox is $10. It's a pretty good value for what you get. 

Hope you enjoyed seeing what came in the Birchbox last month. Any thoughts or ideas for reviews you'd like to see I'd love to read them in the comments below!

I was nominated recently for the Leibster Award  and plan to do a formal post soon thanking the reader who nominated me and nominating more bloggers! 

Thanks for reading! 
Til next time,

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Outfit of the Week

Hey guys!
I have been a bit MIA this past week. I was pretty sick over the weekend and missed a day of work. I rested (slept!) as much as possible and didn't get much of anything accomplished. I am feeling much better today and so I shall bring you my *overdue* outfits of the week. We have gotten some cooler weather so I jumped on the opportunity to wear a few of the scarves in my collection. Each of these outfits features some of my favorites. 
I love this relaxed ensemble. This top is my absolute favorite shirt from Nordstrom Rack. The brand is Pleione I believe. I have it in a soft blue also. It is so comfortable, drapes eloquently and really flatters my figure. I really like toll tab sleeves on tops as well. I paired it with my charcoal grey NYDJ pants it found discounted on Zulily. This particular scarf is an infinity style, clay and mustard color with a flocking bird pattern. Layered over the olive green top it is very complimenting. The shoes are my slip resistant bow flats from Payless.
I don't pair neutral on neutral on neutral often but this combination is one I like. The pants are a grey-brown textured trouser from Gap. The beige v-neck sweater is from OldNavy and I really like it. Its very light, cable knit pattern (love!), has a bit of stretch and just feels great to wear. I went a scarf bender from Zulily and picked up this cream open knit infinity scarf in the same haul as the bird scarf. This one is a bit more substantial and is great for keeping warm. It has a frayed edge and and a waffle type of pattern. It's super soft too! I believe the shoes are my slip resistant pumps from Payless.
I like when there is monotone with a touch of color thrown in. Here I have a black and grey striped, short sleeve, light knit sweater from Ross with my dark grey trousers I bought at Nordstrom Rack. The sweater is light and the stripes are not too prominent. I combined it with my favorite geometric patterned infinity scarf that has hues of pink and green. I like the mix of pattern here as well as the colors. 

This week it was all about the scarves! I really wish Texas had a longer cold weather season but for now I enjoy every opportunity I find to wear sweaters, scarves, and boots. 

I hope you all had a great weekend!
I am going to be honest here... my new camera is pretty daunting! Not for photos, but I've never made videos! I feel like I have been procrastinating on that subject for far too long. It's time I jump in and film something! 
Do you have any ideas or thoughts on what I should do? 
I have a few hauls I could film.
Any suggestions are kindly welcome!

Thanks for reading!
Til next time,

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Confessions of a sweetsaholic:

I made these awesome cookies on Friday (Valentines day) with my step daughters. I sent some home with them, I've taken some to work and we kept some for home. 
I have been trying to stay away from sugar and flour for years now. 
I have eaten so many cookies since Friday. 
I am so ashamed!! Ha ha
I cannot let my cookie decorating talent go to waste. There are more scrumptious sugar iced cookies in the future. 
Rule #1 in cooking/baking for others: limit thyself to one, sample for quality purposes.
Ok, OK. Self restraint in full force! 
More pictures to come! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Outfit of the Week

Hey there!
For this weeks work outfits I played with patterns. It's fun to try and theme the weeks wardrobe but also challenging. I can't say every week will be themed but I will make an effort to do some more coordinated weeks.
Here is a tribal patterned short sleeve cardigan I bought from Forever21. I use a brown braided belt from Charming Charlie to secure and help give some shape. Underneath is a 3/4 sleeve zip front black top from Target. The black skinny pants are from Forever21. The brown riding boots are Enzo Angiolini from Macys. My necklace is from World Market. This combination was so comfortable and cozy. I felt like I should have been at a ski lodge curled up in front of a huge rock fire place with hot cocoa! The sweater is very warm even though it is short sleeve and unfortunately in Texas we are already headed into our summer heat and I fear this may have been the last time I'll get to wear this before next winter. 
Here is a polka dot blouse from Target with an Old Navy tank top underneath. The pants are a charcoal gray work pant from Nordstrom Rack. The black belt is pretty old but I think it is from Target. The chunky heart chain necklace is from Zulily and I also have it in gold tone. The shoes are nonslip ballet flats from Payless. I get so many compliments on this shirt. It sits slightly above my hips about mid waist which graciously accentuates my assets. The pattern is reminiscent of stars in space and feels very glam. I usually like to pair this with a deep berry or bright red lip for a nice retro vibe but this day I had a brighter fuchsia lip shade. Over all this is one of my favorite "office" type of outfit.
Every now and again I like to throw in a dress combo. I bought this chevron patterned dress from Ross. The belt is the brown braided Charming Charlie one from before. My black leggings are from Zulily. My earrings are from World Market and the shoes are the same nonslip flats from Payless. This dress is fun and very chic. The black sleeves are mesh and the sweetheart neckline gives this a great feminine feel. Paired this with the gold dagger earrings to lend an edgy vibe. When I wear dresses I have to be creative because I don't carry a purse while I am walking about work. I usually keep phones (personal and work issued) and lip gloss in my pockets. Most of my dresses don't have any pockets but I found these leggings from Zulily that have a somewhat thicker pants-like material and back pockets. With these I'm able to clip my work phone onto the belt and the other items tucked in my back pocket. 

It was fun trying to see what kinds of prints I had lying around and it turns out I have more patterned items than I thought. 
Hopefully this inspired you have a theme for your work outfits. Let me know what you think down below. 
I enjoy reading the comments and look forward to feedback from my readers.

Thanks for reading!
Till next time,

Monday, February 17, 2014

Popsugar MustHave February Box

Hey guys!
I'm going to show you what came in the Popsugar MustHave box this month. 
I love love love this subscription box. I know every time it arrives I am going to have awesome new products to try and have not been disappointed in the selections they send each month. 
Even my kitties can't wait to see what's inside!
This month has a great combination of beauty, skin care, sweets, and miscellaneous items. The variety in these boxes is what I find most alluring. You get to test out a bit of everything. Pop sugar mostly sends full size products with an occasional travel/deluxe sample size. 
Often times they include a featured item. This Gorjana Brooks Jewelry Roll is really fun, bright and great for travel to keep jewelry organized. It has a playful cord to secure and the pebbled texture gives it a nice dimension. This retails for $45.
Here is the interior. It has 3 compartments to stash your jewelry and the quality is really quite nice. I look forward to using this the next time I take a trip.
On the left is NCLA nail lacquer in Rodeo Drive Royalty. What a stunning rouge! It seems like an opaque cream formula and I can't wait to paint on such a luscious red. These nail polishes retail for $16. On the bottem right is a travel tin wax candle from K. Hall Designs in scent Peony. It smells so dainty but seems like it could still fill a space with flowery goodness. The card claims it will burn up to 20 hours which is impressive for such a petite candle. It comes in a reusable tin. These sell for $11. 
When I saw this in the box I could not contain my excitement! I love lip products and this dual lipstick and gloss combo from ModelCo is a great addition. I have worn this twice and it feels really nice on my lips. The crayon color finishes nicely and doesn't transfer. Even when you top it with the gloss it definitely has staying power. The color is a very neutral pink and flattering on my skin tone. I can't find individual price for these but a pack with 3 shade combinations and an eyeliner is $49. 
The sweet treat Popsugar included this month are cinnamon heart candies from Sugar Wish. They give you a coupon code for 20% off a purchase at their online store. The concept is you purchase a gift code for your recipient and they are able to redeem for their candy of choice. The selection of candies they offer is extensive. Their prices seem kind of steep but it is a cute idea and there packaging is absolutely adorable. According to the websites pricing on a 4 pack of candies this bag of hearts comes out to approximately $5. On the right side is Nourish Organic Pure Hydrating Argan Oil Face Serum. I haven't tried this out but it says it's good for normal to dry skin. My skin can run oily and I'm worries that it could be too much for me. My fiancĂ© has dryer skin so perhaps I'll have him test it out if it doesn't work on me. It retails for $23.99 and this is a great size for travel. 
A lot of people were disappointed that popsugar included a drugstore product. I have been using this Dial Vitamin Boost Lotion Infused Body Wash with Vitamin B Complex and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I'm not sure what the scent is supposed to be but it is so pleasant, fruity, playful and very fresh. It lathers richly with a loofah and rinses easily. When I get out of the shower my skin feels soft and supple with moisture that lasts all day. The scent lingers beyond the shower and makes me feel fresh and clean. I cannot find exact pricing for this body wash but imagine it is similar to the other Dial body washes that run about $6. 

It is amazing how these subscription boxes can pack so much awesome into a small package. Totaled the items in this box come out around $120. The monthly subscription cost is $39.95. I feel like the price is an amazing deal for the products you receive. I will get use out of everything I recieved and am never disappointed with the selection of goodies each month. 

I hope you all had a great Monday! 
Let me know if there's any ideas you'd like me to post, swatches, tutorials, or reviews you'd like to see.

Thanks for reading!
Til next time,