Friday, August 24, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

It's been a crazy few weeks with the house remodel and going to Washington DC last weekend, and so much running around. Things at work are slowing down a little bit, I think we have all the football tickets shipped out, now on to Hockey and Basketball.

The Sunroom and downstairs Family room are all done with the dry wall being fixed. We also had the ceiling redone in a texture because the previous owner must have used a spray on texture and only did it in a few spots, the amount of things he only did half way or didn't do really makes me mad. He didn't even tape the dry wall, that's why we slowly started getting cracks on the walls. Everything is fixed and ready to be painted, I just need to pick out the paint colors.

Tomorrow the paint guy comes to start the kitchen, dining area and living room along with the upstairs hallway and downstairs. He is going to do all the trim and doors also. After all this is done, then we will have the downstairs painted. Next part of the remodel is the downstairs bathroom, he is pulling out the shower on Monday and seeing what we can fit in the small space for replacement. The shower unit in there now is one from Lowe's or Home Depot that has a plastic base and it's very hard to keep clean. My bathroom has plastic hard tile so that's all being ripped out and replaced with ceramic. I just need to pick the stuff out. One room at a time.

I keep going online looking for accessories to decorate with. I think I will stick to using my vacation pictures for the art. I always get them printed off in black and white with a matching photo mat. For 4 years now I have had the San Francisco Pier 39 Sea Lions in my kitchen and have had many compliments, people have thought I bought the pictures but I took them myself :) and the memories I have when I look at them.

I had my farm table delivered last week and I love it! I have it covered up right now since the painting starts tomorrow and I am trying to sell my old table. Here is a picture of it that the guy sent me.
When I went to DC, I met him at the Eastern Market where he is vendor and I paid him, he had one of  his friends deliver it to my house from Pittsburgh, I can't wait to get everything put in place.

I splurged a little and bought myself these jeans from Anthropologie

AG Stevie Polka Dot Ankle in Grey

AG Stevie Polka Dot Ankle in Coral
I love the way they look and feel, I wear a size 2 or 4 and I bought the size 27 which is a US 4, I even I called a few stores and asked how they fit since I was ordering them online. They told me they fit true to size and they do, I just should have bought the 2, I can wear a belt, I just hope they don't stretch like a  lot of people say they do because then they will be alittle big.

I also had to have this dress, it's ME all the way because I LOVE cats, obsessed with cats :) I bought the size 2, this does run big, if I lose any weight it will be too big, I read the reviews that it runs big in the top and it does. It's very short though so my husband says if I wear it to work I have to wear leggings and I agree. If I wear it out on vacation though, it will still look good without leggings.

My next post will be about my weekend in Washington DC, we took my youngest brother who turned 20. We had a great time!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

House Remodeling In Progress

Right now my house is a mess, we have had a guy here fixing the drywall problems that the previous owner caused (he didn't tape the drywall together) in our sunroom and family room. He has been working on it for 2 weeks and will be next week also. We are leaving for DC next weekend just for a night. I promised my youngest brother we would go for his 20th birthday next Saturday. The Painter will start painting in 2 weeks. First we are having the Kitchen, dining room and living room upstairs and hallway stairs going up and down all painted. That will take a few weeks because it's his side job so he won't be able to do it everyday. After that we will have our family room and sunroom painted, I haven't decided on the colors yet for downstairs. I want to change it all around and make everything nice and new looking. I don't know how many more years I plan to live here, at least until the boys are done with school which would be 4 more years since Graham starts 9th grade and Gage starts 11th. Wow time flew by :(

I received the rest of my chairs yesterday from I am a little disappointed in some of the finishing on them, I am not sure if they are spray painted, but the Charcoal Gray one I received that came straight From Emeco had a very noticeable flaw in the finish so they are sending a replacement. The green chairs match my paint choice almost perfectly, they also had a small amount of discoloration but not so much, they gave me 10% back. As much as the chairs cost ($260 each) I expected perfection. I love the fact they are made with 111 recycled Coca Cola plastic bottles, that to me makes me feel like I am heading in the Going Green direction that I am aimed for. I have so many things on my mind about what I want to change, my future,etc. I have to take one step at a time. I have everything I want right now but I long to take care of animals, mainly rescue farm animals. I am going to start out by volunteering at Happy Trails, a Farm Santucary in Ohio, it's about 45 minutes away. This will give me time to really think about what I want for my future. I am willing to give up the fancy clothes and numerous vacations we take every year to stay home and care for animals that will love me and that need my love. I am realizing what is really important in life and I don't want to let these thoughts go away without doing something about it. We only live once and I want to make a difference.

When I was on looking around I found this skincare line called Sprout Skincare and everything is made with natural products, you could eat it if you wanted to, no chemicals or anything. I took the time last night and made the Face and Body Scrub. It actually came out very well!

 For the Body Scrub, the ingredients said Shredded Coconut, Coconut Oil and Sugar, I put these in a food processor and just added a little more of the sugar and oil until I got the consistency of body scrub, it smells amazing and works very well, I tried it this morning.

 For the facial exfoliant it said Almonds, Sea Salt and Oatmeal. This one I ended up putting some coconut oil in it and still couldn't get the consistency right until I put alittle in my hand with water and then rubbed my hands together and rubbed in all over my face and it was perfect! My skin felt so soft and my make up went on so perfectly.

I stand by my Pure Coconut Oil, this works wonders for blemishes, cuts and dry skin. There is no build up either. One day I went back to using one of my other body lotions that was Bath and Body works and it left a build up on my skin, you would think the coconut oil would break you out because it's an oil but if I don't break out from it, no-one will, it's amazing stuff and you can get a jar of it at Trader Joes or Amazon and many other places for less than $8 and it will last forever if you use it just for your skin/body/hair.

This morning Tom and I went out to my mom's house to pick some fresh vegetables. We came home with Green Tomatoes, Red and Yellow onions, Peppers, Corn and Eggplants.  Her garden is amazing! It's So big and beautiful and has so many different kinds of flowers and vegetables. A lot of hard work has gone into this, pretty much day and night everyday so far this summer.

My mom volunteers her time to helping Club Pet in Transfer, PA, a non kill shelter. She spends her weekends cleaning the pens for the dogs and helping out. This weekend she took a dog from the Trumbull County Pound so the rescue could make room for him and that way he wasn't put to sleep. He is such a sweet dog, his name is Mooney, heartworm positive and starting treatment tomorrow. I hope he finds a good home. We think he may have been abused because he gets scared when you first try to pet him then he loves the attention. I really hope someone adopts him!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Last Days of my Vacation

I haven't time to update my blog with the rest of my vacation, so I hope to summarize the rest in this post.

On July 5th before we left Boston, we drove over to Cambridge, MA for breakfast at the Veggie Galaxy for the BEST pancakes I have ever had and they were Vegan!

Chocolate Chip Pancakes made with Tazo Chocolate- SO SO SO SO SO GOOD! The carmelized banana butter that is on top was So incredible!

Tom's -Memorial Drive Omelet-Housemade Seitan Chorizo, Baby Arugula, Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Pickled Jalapeno and Leek with toast and homefries

Pancakes for the boys

Next we drove up to the Nubble Light also known as Cape Neddick Light Station in York, Maine.

We met some people that told us to go to the Portland Lights another lighthouse on the way to Portland.

In Portland, we stopped at Silly's to eat, I found it by searching online for a Vegan place to eat in Portland.

Fabuffel Burger-Vegan) locally made fried falafel topped with hot sauce on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, onion & pickle.

After we checked into the hotel we went down to walk around Portland to the local shops.

We found a pizza place that had vegan dough and it was very good pizza, Portland Pie Company.

The next day we got up and left Portland and drove through New Hampshire on our way to Vermont. We stopped at Wildcat Mountain and we all ziplined. For $20 per person, it was fun, but not as long as I was expecting and it was over and done before I knew it. It was nice for doing it for the first time, but I wouldn't go there again if I had a chance. I would love to zip-line again!

On our way to Vermont we had a small drive through the White Mountain National Forest

I saw signs everywhere but no Moose :(

On the way to Burlington, Vermont where our hotel was, we had planned our visit in Waterbury, VT at Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour. It was a fun experience, we weren't allowed to take pictures during most of the tour. I had called that morning to see if they were making ice cream because the tour is much better to actually watch them make it, and they had said they were, but when we got there and went to buy our tickets, the lady said they weren't, so she gave us the tickets for free, we saved $16, it's $4 per person. I didn't try the ice cream but the boys enjoyed it. They also had a Fire Oven Pizza set up outside selling pizza, so Tom and I had a slice with sauce and spinach on it.

When we got to Burlington, Vermont I had searched for a Vegan place to eat and Zabby's and Elf's Stone Soup came up and Tom and I ordered a few sandwiches that were very good.

Roasted Tofu Sandwich

Seitan Rueben

Right next door we found My Little Cupcake that had Vegan Maple and Peanut Butter cupcakes, they were SO Good!

Next we found The Skinny Pancake that had Vegan Crepes. Honestly they were dry and not as good as I thought they were going to be. Graham had a Nutella one, Gage had a regular one, I had one with fruit and Tom had a supreme vegetable one. All of us weren't satisfied with them at all, not sure if it was the Vegan Crepe it's self.

I wanted Maple Syrup from Vermont to bring home, I use it in a lot of Vegan dessert recipes as the sweetner, I called the front desk at the hotel and they told me about Dakin Farm close by that had a store. Tom and I drove over and tasted different grades of syrup, of course I spilled syrup on my shirt, did I mention that everyday on my trip, I somehow seemed to spill something or end up with a stain, and I try so hard to keep my stuff perfect, lol. We ended up buying Grade A Dark Amber that had the sweetest taste.

We actually decided to leave 1 day early and drive straight home which was a 10 hour drive. Our half way point was Syracuse, New York where Tom had found Strong Hearts Cafe online and I am SO happy that he did. This place was awesome. It was a very small little cafe that had the most beautiful cupcakes and oh they tasted so yummy!!!

Strong Hearts Cafe Chipotle Potato Salad

My Chicken Salad Sandwich and Tom's BBQ Tempeh Sandwich

Vanilla Cupcakes for Gage & Graham

Raspberry Almond Cupcake for Tom

Best milkshakes ever!-Peanut Butter & Chocolate, Peach Cobbler, Vanilla Maple Oreo and Peanut Butter Oreo.

We had a wonderful trip, it went by way too fast! We ate some of the best food ever and it was all Vegan!