Friday, May 31, 2013

How 'Bout Them Apples mom and her boyfriend have to come live with me for at least two weeks while they renovate her condo {had a water issue, it was sudden, long story}.  So there's that.  They will be here all the way through my 30th birthday.  

I haz the birthday blues. Again! Like every year.  Not because I will be 30, but I just feel like any plans I ever make and try to enjoy for that day {we seriously aren't doing anything big -- girls dinner Friday, double date Saturday} just never work out like I want.  I realize that no one would know I will be 30 because hey, I sound like a 5 year old.  

So...minor plans for this weekend.  I need to do all the chores since I at least don't want to be bothered by that next weekend.  Maybe catching some sun.  3 Putt and I planned a chill Saturday night with cooking at home and a romantic patio meal.   But we will be +1 so I guess I should revamp my plans.  

Oh but I do have girl time and wine with C tonight. So hopefully I will be soothed after that and a morning run on Saturday and I can be less bratty about life.  

I'll be sure to report back on this fun-filled family adventure. 

Love you. Mean it. 
~the single gal~m

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blogs We Love

I don't know how much time The Housewife has to devote to stuff like this but I have recently stumbled upon some more blogs I wanted to share with you.  Mainly foodie ones so if that's not your schtick (did I do that right?) then sorry.  But we all know that I think about food almost every minute of every day.  Except when I am sleeping.  

My first foodie blog I love to check in with is Love + Cupcakes.  Paola actually makes most of those pretty food items you are pinning to your food board on Pinterest.  Seriously.  She has some other stuff that she includes but I really like her recipes.  I recently made her Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake and was pretty impressed.  Granted, it took some sweat to get that 1/3 cup of lemon zest the recipes calls for {and a little blood where I got my knuckle on the grater} but it was worth it.  I wish mine looked a little prettier but I didn't grease the pan well enough and it definitely ripped apart when I dumped it out {big sigh}.  But I don't think I have ever made a cake that good.  

I am hoping for it to look like this one she made next time around.  Seriously determined.  

{from love + cupcakes}

Up next on the newly updated blog roll -- Passports & Pancakes.  I haven't tried any of her recipes yet but I am now stalking all of the food she pins and her blog for the stuff she makes.  Also seems to make a lot of healthy stuff.   There is so much I want to try! 

How good do these Gluten Free Berry Crumb Bars look? 

{image via passports and pancakes}

Or how beautiful is this Quinoa Roasted Beet Salad?

{image via passports and pancakes}

I am determined to get some more time in the kitchen this summer even if it is shaping up to be busy as hell.  Any other food blogs I need to be reading? Spill. {sorry for the puns I can't not do it}.

And, I am sure we are all familiar with Breakfast at Toast by the lovely Danielle Moss of The Everygirl.  But I just really love her personal notes and photos of her house and her dog and all things Chicago.  Maybe I will get to visit The Windy City one day.  Really -- I cannot get enough of her dog Buddy. He is just the cutest. 

What are you reading? 

Love you. Mean it. 
~the single gal~

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Words. Happy Weekends.

I wanted to do a quick post on a quote that I saw on Tumblr this morning.  I've been trying so hard lately to focus on life and all the great things in front of me, but it's hard for my type A personality to ignore all the other things that need to happen to make sure life is "in order" -- chores, bills, budgets, is the house clean enough, am I working enough and hard enough, not being ok with a day off from the gym and feeling guilt over doing something else.  But the words below were refreshing.  

I want to spend less energy trying to make sure the floors are mopped every two weeks and vacuuming twice a week and working through my lunch several days a week.  Obviously I have responsibilities and that's OK.  But I want to embrace surprise dinners and pop over to The Housewife's more to watch #1 paint dinosaurs and not guilt myself over the calories in two glasses of wine or a bowl of cheese dip or how I look in my swimsuit. 

“I get the invitation every morning when I wake up to actually live a life of complete engagement, a life of whimsy, a life where love does. It doesn’t come in an envelope. It’s ushered in by a sunrise, the sound of a bird, or the smell of coffee drifting lazily from the kitchen. It’s the invitation to actually live, to fully participate in this amazing life for one more day. Nobody turns down an invitation the White House, but I’ve seen plenty of people turn down an invitation to fully live…”
Bob Goff

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Thanks to all our men and women serving our country right now and all those that have served in the past.  We can celebrate by truly living this weekend. 

Love you. Mean it. 

~the single gal~

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lately {single gal edition}

just some pictures of things happening of late...

I've been thinking a lot about my friends whose sweet dog Beau went to sit with Little Baby Jesus two weeks ago.  I know this is an incredibly hard time for them, and I just hate what they are going through.  I love this picture of C and Beau from the Super Bowl a few years ago.  

Hogan and Beau were good buds, too.  

I went to Goodwill and got 8 plates + 8 salad plates + 16 silver chargers for $33.  The plates are white with a gold rim.  Well loved, but I think they could make some pretty place settings with some jazzy bowls.  {sorry the kitchen sink made it in there}

As a dog person, I am almost ashamed to be so in love with this Gap dress that has cats on it.'s pretty much one of the few things in my closet that I like right now.   Snagged it on sale for $34.  I would link the item but they no long have it.  Sads. 

Because I am redundant sometimes, I also kind of want the cat print boyfriend shirt

Lots of walks with Hogie.  Caught in the rain on this so 3 Putt and I took shelter and sat on a bench to watch the storm pass.  Hogie was not pleased about the rain either. 

His Sunday morning trip to Starbucks was a little more promising. 

The Housewife and I grabbed a quick picture before we saw Alabama in concert at The Fox Theatre on Friday! 

{the fabulous fox theatre}

This was pretty much how Sunday was spent because it keeps raining. All the time.  Every weekend.  And I will never get to go to the lake.  

Love you. Mean it. 

~the single gal~

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You Are What You Eat

I had a realization about a month ago when I grabbed a cold drink at the drive-thru on a hot day. I usually get a half sweet/ half-unsweet tea but instead I got a Diet Dr. Pepper. I thought it was going to be super refreshing, especially since I haven't had one in so long.... but not so much. I actually don't like soda anymore. I never drink it but I realized now I don't even want it occasionally. It has no nutritional value. It tastes bad. I decided I wanted to do some nutritional research and ordered this book:

Y'all know I'm doing Crossfit now and I actually never even make it to the Nutrition classes they offer at the gym on Paleo but Dallas and Melissa Hartwig based their program off of the Paleo lifestyle. I am not an expert on either way of eating at this point and probably never will be so I can't really tell you any differences in the programs. I talked to my coach about it and we both basically agreed that the Whole30 is way more strict in comparison to Paleo. I tried to start a Whole30 but the sugar withdrawals and #1 not napping and being the independent and spirited child she is were just not working. Then my Crossfit gym started a 6 week Paleo Challenge a few days later and I decided to commit to that even though I felt like a huge failure after ditching the Whole30 after 72 hours. It's not that I don't believe in he Whole30 because I do but it's just not my time to do one. I'm not trying to complain or say I don't have time to do it but I get put in a poor eating positions sometimes when things don't go as expected with the kids and I get stuck with no food or dinner until they go to bed and I can go to the grocery store and it starts to set up bad eating habits.

I've been doing my Paleo Challenge for a 10-ish days and I have learned a few things. I can drink my coffee black and I really don't mind it. Just make sure you have good quality coffee. I have had some days where I'm 100% compliant with Paleo and other days I have had a few small slips. I find it easier to take it one day at a time and not think about the entire six weeks. It gets easier everyday mainly because once you stop eating certain things and you decide to eat them again, even if its just a small portion size, you feel bad. As in you will have a tummy ache and need to seek shelter in a bathroom at some point as penance for your poor food choice.

I will also confess that I was able to dine at Canoe with Turtle for a work related thing and I did order as Paleo friendly for dinner as possible with the exception of one glass of wine and dessert. So while I paid for my wine and dessert it was certainly worth it because their Banana Nut Bread Bread Pudding was superb. Back on the Paleo train today.

I am simply explaining my choices and my experience to date with this. I will never be a person to berate anyone about how their food choices are bad and mine are superior.  I hate food pushers and Grandmothers are the worst. I know they mean well and they lived through a time period where it was considered very wasteful to throw away food.  It does irritate me when someone simply cannot accept my answer of, "No." You make your choices and I'll make mine. But don't look at someone who is in incredible shape and think they have it easy. More than likely they are incredibly dedicated to fitness and paying attention to what is fueling their bodies. This turned into a ranting paragraph. Sorry about that.

Any how.........y'all try to branch out and learn something new! I'm glad I did. Check out the Whole30 website, it explains everything there. You don't even have to by the book.

The Housewife

Friday, May 17, 2013

DIY Herringbone Wall

New spaces can be challenging and fun. Y'all know I was super sad to leave the Birch Tree Wall Stencil I did in the twins nursery. While I think it was worth doing I just wasn't sure if it was worth doing over again. The wall probably took at least 10 hours to complete and it is a two person project for sure. Turtle was not really going to volunteer to do that all over again. We do not have tons of time to do things around the house right now, especially because #1 has basically dropped her afternoon nap. We needed to paint the twins new nursery and I wanted to do something fun again but I needed it to be a little less labor/time intensive.

I think my thought process started out as I discovered the blog Vintage Revivals and Mandi was blowing my mind with her little girl's bedroom reveal. Isn't this totally amazing? I love the balance of white and color and the warmth from the wood tones.

I started looking through Mandi's other tutorials and projects and she had completed a Herringbone design on the ceiling of her entry way. And that's where my dream began. I found another tutorial from Design Sponge here, and this was also helpful. For me, I divided the wall in half and then those halves into half. I am an English major and math is not my strong suit. When I measured the wall height it was basically 102 inches so I made marks every 6 inches for the sake of it not being so hard on my brain. I drew it out on paper first. These photos are from my iPhone so my apologies in advance! I was able to pawn #1 off to Grammie and Grandpa, borrow a pack and play from my mother-in-law and Turtle was out of town which is how I had time to accomplish this project.

Oh the fun part. The tapping of the wall. The vertical lines were the worst. It was a good bit of up and down and re-taping to make sure they were straight. That was the hardest part. Once the tape was up and straight I took a yard stick and a sharpie and marked every 6 inches. Then I started taping the diagonals. Those went fairly quickly if the twins were sleeping and I could get into a good rhythm. 

The small dots of tape I found helpful (as did the tutorial givers mentioned above) to make sure you don't paint the wrong lines. Trust, your mind will look at a spot and think, "Hey, I forgot to paint this." 

Please ignore the previous owners window treatment choices. We are having new blinds and roller shades installed next week. After reading some other information about painting any kind of stripes on walls in general in regards to bleed through I found most people preferred Frog Tape but I was able to find 3M Blue Tape with paint block in 1 inch so that is what I ended up using. It did a fairly good job. I think if I had more time I would have re-painted the white over the ends to seal the tape and cut the bleeding of the other color. But again, time is not on my side EVER. I painted this wall for me and the bleed through you can see when you are right up on the wall doesn't bother me. I also ripped the tape of after 30 minutes of it being completely painted and didn't have any issues with it bringing any paint off. 

As #1 would say.....TAAAADAAAA! I will try to get my fancy camera and take better pictures for you but you get the idea. Paint colors are Sherwin Williams West Highland White and Benjamin Moore Rainwashed. The BM color was color matched to Sherwin Williams Duration paint in matte finish. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

{on my radar}

I'm still funneling away money for a well deserved vacation in August on the white beaches of the Dominican Republic, but if I wasn't a few of these things would find their way to me...

{a new dress for L's wedding}

Natalie must have read my mind as I was stalking this dress all weekend because she also posted about it on her blog as well.  Hopefully someone gets their wish and this will find a closet to live in soon!  I am obsessed with shift dresses lately.  

{a lifetime supply of boom chicka pop popcorn}

//find here//

37 calories for a whole cup.  Enough said.  I can't stop eating this stuff. 

{red carpet gel color in ooh la liscious}

OK -- I already have this one, but I do want more gel polish colors!  You can't quite see how nice and coral the color is but I am loving it for summer and how long the gel lasts on my nails! No more chipping on at work while I type all day. 

{my own copy of the smitten kitchen cookbook}

I got this as part of Mom's Mother's Day gift -- and she adored it! Maybe I should bite the bullet and order one? If only I had more time to try the recipes! 

What's on your radar? 

Love you. Mean it. 
~the single gal~

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Y'all, Our Little Sister is Getting Married!

You guys -- other than doing normal fun stuff this weekend our Little Sis {who has been engaged for a long while} announced that she is having a small, intimate family only wedding in like two weeks.  Yay! I mean, the planner in me is freaking out a little a lot for her but she seemed to just need a place that we could all eat dinner at afterwards, a bouquet and a cake by the time she talked to us -- but wow! Since The Housewife is about to have her 10 year anniversary, it's safe to say it's been a while since we had a wedding to fawn over in our fam.  

I'm a bit sad that it's too last minute for 3 Putt to come but if any gal is an expert at attending a wedding alone, it's this girl.  And The Housewife has enough babies for me to help wrangle anyway.  I can't wait to share in a few weeks after we go up.  I shall promise to take lots of pictures! 

This on top of a successful Mother's Day gathering at The Housewife's new house made for a great weekend and what a great reminder of the love, laughter, and fun of family.  Even if Grandmother did complain that it took her an hour to drive up.  And that we never call enough.  

Also -- I don't know about you guys but since I took my new job I basically have zero days off until my vacations in August and September other than national holidays so I was already excited for the long weekend at the end of the month.  And now -- I just can't wait!

Love you. Mean it. 
~the single gal~

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hello, Friday.

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have wonderful weekend plans.  I was going through some images today that just say "weekend" to me.  

Yawns. Coffee. Eating outside. Take out & long runs. Books.  






And, lets not forget to show all those moms out there lots of love! 

Love you. Mean it. 
~the single gal~

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Where I Bitch About How Technologically Illiterate I Am and Try to Catch You Up on Life

Hello friends! I am not sure where the time has gone...I really felt like I posted "just the other day"...except that was a long time ago.  Snaps to The Housewife for her last post! Seriously though, I know she is my sister but she really makes me laugh a lot.  We are all trying to gear up for Mother's Day festivities this weekend and I think everyone here in the south was thanking Little Baby Jesus for the bit of sunshine we saw today! If I thought our winter was long it appears that spring is even longer.  It rained non stop this past weekend. Ideally, that was a lot of time for me to write but it didn't happen.  I am setting a new goal to be better with my time management -- I just have more stuff to do now it seems.  Obviously a lot of it is good stuff - family stuff, lots with 3 Putt, but it's a big schedule adjustment.  And we all know how rigid I am.  

A few big things going on...the big 3-0 is just around the corner! The Housewife and I are a mere month away from the big {but small celebrations planned} day.  

Also -- I decided that it was time to step up and just get a new phone.  I called it an early birthday present and it was kind of a "need" at this point since my other phone was really just not working very well at all.  3 Putt is a very patient man and actually took me to the store to get my phone against my wishes to order it online because he said it would be "much easier".  Consider this next sentence to be my PSA about how he was right.  Well, getting the phone was easy.  

Let's take a moment to "oooh and ahhh" since I haven't bought anything other than a refurb or a hand-me-down phone in like 5 years.  YEARS people.  Years.  Now that word looks weird. Dammit. 

Making it sync all the info from my other one -- not proving so easy.  I've had my fair share of tech woes this week and I'm about to give up.  3 Putt is more determined to see the project through, I'm about to just turn my old phone in for credit because I just want to do the fun stuff like pick out a new iPhone case.  That's way more important than trying to get all my music I paid for on the new one, right?????

I'm also in a work out funk. So someone please send their fave salad recipe and fave workout plan to me ASAP.  Something has to be done.  A diet of froyo and cheese dip does not a bathing suit body make.  If it ever gets warm enough to put on said bathing suit. 

Oh and I almost forgot - I finally jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon.  I demanded 3 Putt and I watch it together.  I guess we are supposed to actually like some of the same TV (even though I watch hardly anything on the tube anymore because its all crap)? I like it.  Winter. Is. Coming. 

What are you planning for Mother's Day? What did you buy for your mom? Seriously -- how have you all been?! For the love of God someone comment on how to fix my phone syncing issues so I don't go postal. 

Love you. Mean it. 
~the single gal~

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

No Napping Crazies.

I bet you think this post is about two tiny people who won't nap. WRONG. #1 has basically been on a nap strike for 20-something days and let me tell you......she still needs a nap. This is my excuse for a lack of blog posts although I'm sure you like the Single Gal's exciting life way better than mine. In this house we basically need a lot of patience and Jesus. From 4 in the afternoon to 6 in the evening we are ripe with meltdowns and cries for Daddy. So while Jesus is always around sometimes my patience appears to have runaway to a far off land. This is the deal. #1 has been potty trained for at least 6 months but when I put her down for a nap (we are still in pull-ups for nap/nighttime) or her "quiet time" as we now term it, she basically poops and therefor won't nap. I have even gone back in 10 minutes after leaving to change her, put her back in bed and she still finds a way to poop some more. I cannot even explain the rage living inside my head. RAGE.

I don't really see it as a serious regression because she has no problems in public or when she is with a grandparent. This golden behavior is only reserved for nap time. I will also be the first to tell you that "quiet time" is bullshit. It is not relaxing and it is not a mental break. It's how much can I get done before she starts kicking her door with her feet or pulls her monitor camera down onto her head.  Better yet, the time I have no idea what she was doing and after her screams find her with the bridge of her nose scraped up and bleeding. She used to nap every 5 or 6 days so I had resigned myself that was fine but after so many days she needs a nap. Pediatricians will tell you that you cannot force the to sleep. This is quite obvious A, and B doesn't make me feel any better! It wouldn't be a huge deal if she could go without totally breaking down but 8/10 times that is not the case.

So no, I do not want to hear people who say, "Oh. My 4 yr old still takes a nap and I'm worried about kindergarten next year." Really??? You poor thing. How will your 5 year old deal with no nap? I say these mean things out of the jealousy in my heart. I want to put a sign on #1's back when we go out in  public that says, "Please excuse our behavior. One of us no longer naps. This is why there is screaming and kicking. It is not my fault. "

I should end this with the fact that she really is a smart and funny kid. She is totally smart because she knows to poop in her pull-up every stupid day. She retains so much. Grammie got her a Tinkerbell DVD for the car and one day #1 kept talking about "Biddia" and she found some jar she was playing with. I haven't watched the DVD (I know, super parenting) but I did figure out "Biddia" was probably a fairy. So we would ask her why Biddia was in the jar and she would say Daddy put her in there. Well I did watch part of the video and she was also talking about Lizzie, who is a girl. Lizzie's Dad put Vidyia in the jar and Tinkerbell has to save her. Who knew? At least "playing" and talking about Biddia gets us distracted from our tantrums. Sheesh.

I have some posts I really want to write and a DIY I did for the twins room to post as well. Maybe one day.

The Housewife

*please ignore any typos as this was an iPad post.