Friday, August 31, 2012

Gallery Wall..

Now that our front room is finally painted (in Valspar's Vintage Gray), I've been thinking of how I want to create a gallery wall in that room.    I'm torn on whether or not I want all of our picture frames to be the same color (either white or black) or a variety of different colored frames.  I think maybe a variety would give us the eclectic feel that we're looking for. 

We have a bunch of frames (not pictured) that I could easily spray paint.  One of Tim's best friend's used to work at Michael's (he also has an art degree) and framed our wedding invitation for us.  So that will definitely be going on the gallery wall.  I also found a few plates on clearance at Pier 1, and I think they'll look cool mixed in with the frames.
I also bought this mirror a while back at Ikea.  I think I want it to be in the center of the wall.  I may paint it a bright color or something lighter than black at least.  Maybe a nice shade of mint green. 

I also think I'm going to take a cue from Sherry & John and do a test run of the frame placement with newspaper templates, that way I'm not just putting holes in the wall all willy nilly.   I mean, not that I've ever done that (sorry previous landlords!)

Here are a two walls that are are inspiring me lately.  Now, if only I can get ours to be so perfectly styled and evenly spaced like these two.
More details to follow, I hope I can get this started over the long weekend.   We're also going tubing down the delaware this weekend.  I will be shellacking myself in bug spray in the hopes that it will keep me safe from West Nile.   Happy Labor Weekend to you!


P.S.  Thanks to everyone for the tips about Henry's itching!  He is on a bunch more meds, and we are just waiting for them to kick in and hopefully give him some relief!  Fingers crossed!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welp. This is Embarassing.

Embarassing.  Gross.  Horrified.    All things I felt today while alternating between wanting to crying and hyperventilating.  Henry was itching this morning, not that abnormal.  We had made the switch to the new food, and were waiting for the allergic reaction to slow down.  Well, this morning I noticed something on his chest.  I reached out and grabbed it. 

It was a FLEA!!!!!
[no picture for obvious reasons]

Are you kidding me??  Two different vets (at the same practice), tons of meds, and some specialty food later, and it's fleas??  I was first annoyed, then horrified.  I worked from home today, and after this little discovery there wasn't much working going on.  I think bugs, especially ones I can hardly see, are one of my biggest fears.  Especially when they take up residence on my pet, in my house. 

I have no clue where he picked them up, my first guess is at his obedience class which is at our vet's office located near the grooming/boarding section of the property. 

Now I feel like the girl with the STD who has to contact all previous partners, since I have to email/call our friends who have brought their dogs over recently.   I am super freaked and think the fleas are going to get on me.  Ick!

I gave him a flea bath, and then picked up his new Advantix (he's had both frontline and advantix since we got him, but somehow still got fleas!  the horror!)  Well, apparently now we have to wait 2 days to give him the Advantix, because of the flea bath.  I wish they'd mentioned this prior to me giving him a bath. 

Think our home owner's would cover burning the house down for this?  It seems totally rational to me.  Can't we just start over?  This house had a good run. 

Also, my poor cat is upstairs in a bedroom being quarantined from the mess that is this house.  We are sprinkling equal parts salt + baking soda onto the carpet, then vaccuuming it up with a flea collar in the vaccuum.  We have the vet's receptionist to thank for this helpful tip. 

I will be the worst mother when my kid's get lice.  I'm finding this whole experience to be pretty traumatic.   Please tell me your dog at one time had fleas, and you survived without hiring an expensive exterminator.  It will make me feel one thousand times less dirty and infested. 


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Weekly Series: 16 Weeks

Age:  16 weeks (oops missed a week!  just picture him 5lbs smaller, that's what 15 weeks looked like)

Weight: 42.8 lbs

Likes:  your spider squeaky toy and rope toy, our friends spoiled you with new toys when they came to meet you.  ice cubes, always and often.  everyone at the vet's receptionist desk, they fawn all over you and you love it. 

Dislikes:  leaving our yard for a walk (still),  taking pills, when the cat swipes you through the baby gate.  being told no when you bite us.

The vet thinks your skin irritation, which is not getting any better, is possibly a food allergy.  So we're trying to quick switch you back to your old food.  We had switched him onto Blue Buffalo Large Breed Puppy Food, since we thought Blue was supposed to be one of the best out there.   We're not so sure that it is an allergy, but are hoping it is since that's an easy enough fix.  Here's hoping you just can't tolerate chicken. 

I did extensive research online on Friday to find out there are very few 'large breed puppy' foods and add sensitive/allergy-prone to that and it's pretty impossible to find anything.  The large breed specific puppy formula is supposed to pace their growing so they don't grow too fast for their skeleton and cause joint issues, like early onset hip dysplasia.  I'm not sure how serious it would be to feed him a allergy-sensitive puppy food that isn't large breed.  Our vet gave suggestions in terms of types to look for, but not brands.  I really just wanted her to just say, "buy this".  We also have to check all the ingredients on his treats. 

If you have any advice on dog allergies I am all ears!  I've never dealt with this before.  I feel like dogs didn't used to have so many issues, but we have several friends whose dog's have allergies (peanut butter, grain, etc).  It's a little like how so many kids have severe peanut allergies these days.  I really hope he's not allergic to something in our yard (which really isn't much besides grass & weeds). 


Thursday, August 23, 2012


Life through my iPhone's eyes..
Just because there's a new puppy in town doesn't mean we've forgotten this cutie...or her love for plastic bags.  Especially ones from Target filled with deodorant and hair ties (go Ban or go home!)  She just can't get enough. 
Tim made the breaded chicken and quinoa, and I made the roasted broccoli,.  Not a bad team effort.  The broccoli was pretty darn good, so I felt good about my contribution.  Since normally my contribution is doing the dishes.    Recipe for the broccoli can be found here, try it - seriously.
(sidenote: I did not eat this entire mountain of quinoa)
Getting my hair done.  Waaaay overdue.  No, those are not my legs.  But yes, it's a creepy optical illusion that throws me off every single time.

New cut + color.  I'm loving this new shade of red.  My bff is my stylist, lucky me.

Are you on instagram?  Follow me here if you'd like.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Shark Week earned the Hen a new nickname. 
You thought JAWS was scary? 
Meet JOWLS!! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Our Love Story

I've done a lot of wedding talk here on the blog, so I thought I'd take it back to the beginning of our little love story.  (it's a little long, but I promise there are funny pictures where we look really young)
(spoiler alert: we got married)

It was 2007, and I was living in Manayunk, a town that is technically considered to be a part of Philadelphia, but is more of a suburban college town with a main street full of bars and restaurants.  Basically the perfect place to spend the years immediately following college, that time when you're sort of between being a grownup and still being a college kid.  Sometimes you need a town that doesn't force you to grow up quite so fast.  I started the apartment hunt with one of my college roommates, Sanne (pronounced Sunny), and we had no luck with any two bedroom places we saw.  Then we saw a sign in the window, called the number, and were given a tour of a 3 bedroom apartment that was right above a store!  It seemed so quaint and perfect.  We knew another friend of ours, Lisa, was looking for a place, so we called and persuaded her to check this place out.  And that's how the three of us wound up in an old rickety apartment that was full of character.  Claw foot tubs, wood floors, and a pretty cool layout.  Not to mention we were paying under $500 a person, and could walk to the bars.  It couldn't be beat.

The funny thing about this apartment was that our front (and only) door was at the back of an alley, directly across from another door that to led to a mirror image apartment.   Three boys moved into that apartment (this is not going where you think it is) shortly after we did.  We quickly became friends with our new neighbors, especially because our apartments differed in one important way; they had a roof deck (!)  We complained about our landlord, went to bars with them, hung out on their deck, and they may have even helped us get a mouse or two out of our apartment.  Then one night, the neighbors had a few friends down and invited us over.  Sanne instantly hit it off with one of the guys, Steve, who neither Lisa or I would remember the next day (sorry Steve!).  Sanne & Steve started dating seriously right from the start.  He came down every weekend, and sometimes during the week.  Lucky for Sanne we all liked him instantly.  So then October rolled around, and we had the great idea to throw a Halloween party (though I think the party was technically in November, since Halloween was in the middle of the week that year).  We all three still maintain this was THE best party we have ever thrown. EVER.  Our apartment was PACKED.  People everywhere, at one point we found people who we were pretty sure had crashed our party.  Maybe this should have been scary?  Instead we felt it validated at the level of awesomeness that our party had reached.

Anyways, Steve invited about 5 friends down to the party.  A few of them we had already met briefly one weekend down in Rehoboth Beach.  Tim was one of these guys.  Did I mention how seriously we all took this party? Everyone really stepped up their game in the costume department.  I was a 'dirty girl scout',  which basically meant I wore a pleated skirt, tshirt, knee high socks, a girl scout sash (authentic from Alabama- scored on eBay!), and a beret (because girl scouts are French apparently?).   Tim's costume was a little more vague.  He says he was a 'used car salesman'.  I'm not entirely sure he even really knew what his costume was.  He was wearing a grey wig, a suit, and was completely wrapped in bubble wrap underneath his suit.  That's right, his costume was not just a used car salesman, but a fat used car salesman. 

(dirty girl scout + lady bug)

Later in the night Tim and I started talking, probably about how cool my costume/party were.  Oh, and maybe there was a little kissing. He was pretty darn cute even with the bubble wrap.  But I'm a classy girl and retired to my own room, where 3 of my girlfriends were already sleeping/passed out.

(Tim is on the far right, I forgot to mention the glasses. Yes, that IS Mad Dog on the fridge, it was the prize for best costume (we are  mean friends.))

 Rumor has it that Tim saw me early in the night, and told his friend Jon, "I'm going to kiss that girl".  Turns out he was right.  The next morning after telling my friends about Tim, I got a lot of, "wait, the fat guy??"  It must be said that we did not kiss while he was still wearing bubble wrap (though he was still wearing the wig).  Both being shy and awkward we didn't exchange numbers that night.  But luckily we had mutual friends, and would meet up a few weeks later at a Flyers game.  We talked throughout the entire game, I could not even tell you if we won or lost that game.  The night just flew by, never lacking in conversation.  Tim still didn't ask for my number, though we promised to hang out again soon.  Enter MySpace.  Facebook wasn't what it is today, kids.  Myspace was where it was at.  So Tim asked me for my number via MySpace message, and called me a day later to set up our first date.  He would always call, not just text.  It was really nice and different compared to dating I had done in college. 

(St. Patty's day 2008, please note this is not the norm, it's Mustache March (the horror)).

Our first date was at a fancy BYOB restaurant, we stopped at a bar first for a drink since we were a little early for our reservation.  It was one of the best nights - we had such a great time.  Tim would come down to Manayunk on the weekends, and we were pretty much instantly a couple.  About 6 months later I moved to South Philly, and Tim would drive down every weekend.  We spent weekends cooking dinner, exploring the city, going out with friends, and discovering new restaurants. 

(at a Phillies game, role reversal Tim's wearing glasses and I'm not.)

But I soon learned that living in the city is expensive.  After about 9 months down there I got serious about getting out of credit card debt.  Also the couple I was living with had broken up, so we were all looking to get out of the house we were renting early.  I moved home to my parents, who were so awesome at helping me get out of debt, and living rent-free.  It took a while, but after a year and a half or so I was debt-free (well, not including student loans).  Tim and I had started talking more about the future, where we'd live, when we'd get married, etc.  

(still March, but less creepy mustache)

We'd been dating almost 3 years at this point when we decided we'd take a mini-vaca to Savannah, Georgia right after Christmas.  The trip was Tim's idea, and he did all the planning.  This was not easy for the control freak in me, but I let him plan since I was becoming a little suspicious that he might propose on the trip.  We had planned to leave two days after Christmas, but a big blizzard was on it's way so we decided to speed up our plan by about 12 hours.  We left early, and still had to drive through a decent (and scary) amount of snow.  But after a few hours we were through the snow and on our way.  We booked a hotel room on the way, which we paid for in cash.  The hotel seemed alarmed by thi.  They asked for i.d. and made photocopies of our driver's licenses.  It was mainly because my parents gave us cash to leave early and not get caught in the snow (thanks Mom & Dad!)  Now I realize they probably thought we were bank robbers or something.  Sorry, Holiday Inn Express in Virginia.

(brrr it's still cold here)

We made our way down the east coast, and it was cooler than we thought it would be when we arrived in Georgia - thoughstill  much warmer than Pennsylvania for sure.  Our hotel was right up from the street all the restaurants and shops - a pretty perfect spot.  We set out to explore and walk along the cobblestone streets.   Tim had made us dinner reservations for the next night at a swanky place, so we just went to a brewery for a low key dinner on Monday night. 

 (buying some local savannah prints. no really, it's worth the trip upstairs.)

On Tuesday we did a lot of walking around, checking out the parks, exploring along the waterfront, and doing a little shopping.  We got back to the room to get ready for dinner, which was just a short 5 minute walk from our hotel room.  I showered and started to do my hair and makeup, while Tim hopped in the shower.  I heard the shower turn off, then heard him curse from the bathroom.  I asked what happened, and he said he'd gotten out of the shower without washing the conditioner out of his hair. This was a little clue, that maybe someone was nervous! :)

(where we had our first dinner as an engaged couple)

We had given each other just one gift for Christmas since this Savannah trip was our real gift.  We had a limit, it had to be under $25.  He'd gotten me a gold necklace with a swallow on it from etsy, and I'd gotten him a speaker that hooked to his ipod and looked like a clown nose.   When we were almost ready to go to dinner, and he said he had one more gift for me.  He pulled out a ringbox, even though I had my suspicions I was still surprised and thrilled.  I said yes, after saying "'are you serious?!"   I first called my Mom & Dad, but didn't have time to call my sister and best friend because we were running late for dinner.  So we left the hotel and went over to dinner, where we ordered champagne, had the waitress take our picture, and just basked in our newly engaged status.  On our walk home from dinner we called Tim's parents, who were so sweet and happy for us.  When we got back to the room I called my sister, my best friend (who screamed like she was a teenage girl seeing Elvis), and a few other close friends.  We then texted a bunch of people to share the happy news. 

(oh, hey.  we're engaged, and our waitress took a very dark picture to prove it)

The next day we had a foodie tour planned, and got to sample food at 8 different places around Savannah.  It was such a fun tour, I'd recommend it to anyone visiting Savannah.  The older ladies on our tour were thrilled for us, "You got engaged LAST NIGHT?!?!"   I may or may not have ordered a few wedding books before we even left Savannah (what? a girl's gotta be prepared). 
(look, we're going on a foody tour!  gratuitous ring shot)

The next 14 months were filled with planning, saving, multiple wedding appointments,  and house hunting too.  We found a house just before the wedding (after months of searching), and were able to make settlement on March 9th, just 3 weeks before our wedding day.  The month of March was a whirlwind, we got the house on the 9th, got married on the 30th, and left for the honeymoon on April 1st. 

Though we had dated for a while, and didn't get engaged until almost 3 years of dating I think we both knew pretty early on that we were going to get married.  I remember after about 6 months of dating I was talking on the phone with Tim, when somehow our first date came up.  Tim casually mentioned that he still had the wine cork from that date because he knew it was the start of something good.  (Swoon)  Sometimes he acts like a tough guy, but he's pretty sentimental.  I remember thinking this was one of the sweetest things.   

And our wedding day was the best day EVER.  A party with everyone we know all in one place?  Perfect.  I was worried about being nervous standing in front of all those people, but I felt so calm and happy during the ceremony.  It really was the perfect day, we couldn't have asked for anything better.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Weekly Series: 14 Weeks

he is a giant.

(i feel like this picture is a little misleading, he doesn't seem this huge in real life - and his wrinkles aren't gone, he's just leaning back)
Age: 14 weeks

Likes:  still love biting us (mostly me, when will it end?!), you love your tennis balls, i think someone forgot to tell you that you're not a retriever. now if only you could master 'drop it', you bring the ball back, but then you don't want to give it up.  you can go up and down full sets of stairs now and are so proud of yourself when you do it(thanks to some training on the basement steps to get you ready for you obedience class on the 2nd floor, whose idea was that?!)  there is usually lots of wagging involved when you make it to the top or bottom of the steps, and usually a leap.  any and all stuffed animal toys.

Dislikes: Other dogs who ambush you, god forbid they try to hump you.  being wiped off after you drink you hate it, but if we don't do it you leave a pool of water in your wake. when the cat hisses at you.  swimming is still not your favorite.

Weight: A whopping 38.8lbs!  You are getting HUGE.

You take after your mom (ahem, me) and have sensitive skin.  Right now you have a skin irritation and we're giving you antibiotics + benadryl.  You are not the best pill taker.

You are pretty sweet most of the day until you turn into a teething-biting monster at night (and sometimes with no warning midday or in the morning).   We're hoping you outgrow this soon, and are most likely going to start using a spray bottle when you bite, here's hoping it helps.   You're too darn cute for us to be mad at though.


Friday, August 17, 2012

30 by 30

I thought I would jump on this "do this many things by this age" trend, since I'll be 30 next year.  And why not give myself some goals to work towards?  Plus I just really like crossing things off a to-do list.  It's kind of the best feeling.  I definitely don't feel like I'm 29 though, so I'm sticking with the whole 'age is just a number' thing.  I mean, I still get carded at the liquor store!  That counts for something, right?  Although last time they checked my i.d. the lady laughed, and said "OH! sorry, you look so young!" aka implying that I am NOT young.  Backhanded compliment?

It's also my golden birthday next year as I'll be turning 30 years old on April 30th.  I'm only giving myself 7 months to complete these, so you'll have to cut me some slack if I don't get all of them done (though I will try my hardest!)  Without further ado, here is the list of things I hope to accomplish by the time I turn 30.  Wish me luck!

30 by 30
1. Get a Puppy Completed 7/3/12
2. Run a 5K Completed the Color Run on 7/8/12
3. Book a trip to Europe (Greece?) for our first anniversary, backup plan is Key West :)
4. Start doing yoga regularly again  Bought a 10 class yoga pass  - 10/8/12
5. Take a photography class  Completed 10/12/12
6. Stop wearing just jeans & tshirts to work. dress up! i've been wearing blouses, and sometimes not jeans.  impressive, i know.
7.  Go on a roadtrip!
8.  Go to no less than 3 concerts
9.  Finish painting (almost) every room in the house
10. Decorate (or just hang things on the walls) gallery wall started, and hung more than a few pictures in other rooms!
11. Get a wedding album made
12. Go snowboarding at least twice this year  done!
13. Start a healthy eating regime  started in Feb, still going strong!
14. Join (or start?) a book club
15. Explore our new town
16. Go on a hot air balloon ride
17. Host a party at our new house  birthday party for tim in february!
18. Get a bike
19. Change my name legally.   just did this in july!
20. Sign up for another race (5k or more?)  completed the color run in july, and signed up for another 5k in august!
21. Read at least one book per month
22. Learn how to garden
23. Invest our money (in more than just our 401ks)
24. Pay off as much student debt as possible
25. Eat our 1 year old wedding cake on our anniversary (this seems easy, but I NEVER eat leftovers, so it will be a challenge).  We ate our cake early since the hurricane caused a 5 day power outage, it tasted freezer burnt, so we're ordering a new one for the real anniversary.  10/30/12
26.Take up a totally new hobby
27. Start clipping coupons (yes, this is how you know I'm old.)
28. Go to the Old Homestead in NYC (we said we'd go here awhile ago for their famous burger, and have never made it.)
29. Learn to sew
30. Start horseback riding again (I used to ride when I was younger and miss it!)

Here's hoping my 29th year is a (very) productive one! 


Liebster Award

Sarai nominated me for the Liebster Award (I'm embarassed to admit that I had no clue what that even was!)  Turns out it's a way for newbie bloggers (like myself) with less than 200 followers to ask each other questions and get to know each other. 

So, first I need to list 11 things about myself.  Then, answer 11 questions from Sarai.  Then I'm supposed to nominate 11 people.  But how about this, if you're reading my blog AND you have less than 200 followers link up and answer the questions below?   That way I don't feel like I just sent you a chain email, deal? DEAL.  (I took that idea of not tagging from Katie, btw!)  Okay, here goes.

11 facts about me:

1. My name is Kate. Just Kate, that's my full legal name.  Not Katherine, Kathleen, Kaitlyn, etc.  Which is why I hate when people call me Katie, sorry it's just Kate. :)

2. I am a total music snob.  I love all things indie rock, and probably think I knew about a band before you did.  I can be bratty like that.

3.  I bought a house with my fiancee (now husband) at the beginning of March, then we got married at the end of March, and went on our honeymoon the first day in April.  It was kind of a busy month.

4. I have a cat and a puppy.  I'm pretty obsessed with both.  I can only imagine how I'll be when I have kids.

5.  I still haven't legally changed my name.  Mostly because I am dreading sitting at the social security office and DMV.  I need to just suck it up.  I'm also afraid of changing my name at work, people will think I disappeared (it's a big company)!

6.  I can't get enough colored skinny jeans.   I might have 8 pairs of brightly colored jeans, it's an addiction.

7.  Speaking of addictions,  I'm addicted to all things Target.  I can't get enough of that store.  Nor can I make it out without spending $100.  Especially their v-neck tees.  I have one in every color, sometimes two of the same color.  It's a problem.

8. I am semi allergic to hair dye. I still get my hair dyed, but it inolves vigorous shampooing to make sure it's totally off my scalp, and a few days of benadryl.  I had a severe reaction once because some dye stayed on my scalp, scary. (but not scary enough to totally stop dying my hair apparently).

9. I became an aunt in November last year to the cutest niece around.  Love that kid.  Soon she'll be 1 years old, I can't even believe how fast time is flying.

10. Tim and I both have sisters named Megan.  Spelled the same too.  His is younger, mine is older. 

11. I was a horseback rider (Hunter-Jumper) from the time I was about 9 years old until I was about 20 years old.   I miss it terribly, and keep saying I'll get back into it.  It's just so expensive to take lessons (let alone ever own a horse).  So for now I'll just hold off, but someday I will get back to riding!

Now for Sarai's questions:

1. What's your theme song? I'd have to say "Home" by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros....we walked back down the aisle to that song at our wedding, and it just puts me in a great mood whenever I hear it.

2. What's your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Peanut butter on an english muffin with sliced banana on top.

3. Who's your favorite author? I am a sucker for Emily Giffin, I love her books for a good beach read.  I am a huge reader, and my favorites are changing all the time.  Books I recently enjoyed include:  Room, Bossypants, How'd You Get This Number?, Let's Pretend this Never Happened, Waiting for Birdy..etc.

4. What's your guilty pleasure?  Ice cream.  any time, anywhere.  Oh, and starbucks chai lattes.

5. What's your motto/favorite quote?  "Comparison is the thief of joy." - Theodore Roosevelt

6. Who's your celeb crush?  Joseph Gordon Levitt (all the way back to 3rd Rock from the Sun!)

7. Sky diving or base jumping?  Sky diving.

8. What's your favorite vacay spot? So far, Antigua (where we went on our honeymoon) was the best place I've been.

9. What's your favorite board game to play?  Pictionary!

10. High fives or fist bumps? Why?  High-fives, they are more explosive and just generally joyful.  You can't help but smile while high-fiving.

11. In honor of the best season that's around the corner, favorite item of clothing to wear in the fall?  Boots & scarves!  Fall is the best EVER.
My 11 questions:
1. Dogs or cats? And, why?
2. Why did you start blogging?
3. What's your secret talent?
4. What is your day job?
5. What's the best compliment you've ever received?
6. If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
7. What Olympic sport would you be the best at? (you have to pick one)
8. How do you take your coffee?
9. What's your favorite phone app?
10. What's your favorite meal to cook?
11. Totally copying off the Everygirl with this one but, Aiden or Big? 


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Weekly Series: 13 weeks

Henry's aversion to the sound of his picture being taken makes taking a picture in the same spot every week is proving to be difficult.  So, I'll take one I can get. :)

Age: 13 weeks

Likes:  rawhide bones, you especially like to rip the knots off the end.  ice cubes, anytime we open the freezer you think it's time to party (aka eat an ice cube).  your dog bed, we call it your 'condo''s going to be too small in 2 weeks most likely.   milk bones, all day.every day. trying to eat rocks.

Dislikes:  leaving our front yard for a walk (yes, still).   other dogs sniffing your butt, you're still wimpy & scared. 

Tomorrow we start puppy kindergarten classes, which we're hoping helps with the hating to walk on the leash issue and the biting. 

Your collar is getting snug, but the next size up is too big.  There's a big gap between small and medium.  PetSmart fail!