everything is NOT my fault.

First of all – welcome back to my blog!🙂

I know it’s been a long time… and hopefully that’s going to change. You can’t say I didn’t warn you in the beginning… I’m not very good at this blogging thing. Round 2 blogging… go.

If you want the short version – I’m still alive (yay!), I’m still raising Winright, and I’m still fat. Yep. You heard it here. I didn’t get skinny for my best friend’s wedding. I swear, I WILL BE SKINNY AT SOME POINT IN MY LIFE. Well, maybe not skinny… but less bootylicious than I am now.

I am working out though. Dieting really doesn’t work for me in the long term, so maybe this whole “let’s workout and try not to eat cupcakes every day” will work. Even if it is only one pound a week…I should be down to my goal week in about a year🙂

In other news, I am venturing into new territory… single territory. Yep. You heard it. No more bullshit boyfriend.

That relationship was way more work than reward, therefore, it had to end. It was pretty much doomed from the start, but let’s not get into that.

Let me just say that… LADIES – or hell, even you MEN – if you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, get out. Get out now. Stop letting them break you down, because when you finally do get out, you’ll barely recognize yourself. It’s like I’ve woken up and I can finally see what was happening all along.

Things my friends and family have been telling me for years months. All the signs were on the wall. And even I knew it long ago. I’d end things and then SOMEHOW, SOME WAY I would be manipulated into thinking everything was the way it was because of me – and guess what – it wasn’t.

I’m not perfect. Don’t we grow up knowing that? Yet I have been told that OVER AND OVER for nearly two years now. It gets old. It gets old never feeling good enough. It gets old being screamed at. It gets old being screamed at then told, “well, if you weren’t such a bitch so dumb, I wouldn’t yell.”

It’s finally like, HELLO – you’re the reason I’m such a bitch!

I’m ready to move on with my life. If I wind up alone, so be it.

I don’t hate him or wish bad things upon him. He’s a good person – a funny person. He will do about anything for a stranger. But watch out if you’re dating him.

After all, I have Winright, and that’s my #1 priority. That’s someone that I refuse to screw up with this toxic relationship any longer.

I know there’s a genuine tall handsome redhead man out there waiting for me, and damn it, I’m going for him.

That’s real talk, ya’ll.
Don’t judge me.

It’s Pinterest Time! :)

Dun dun dun…it’s time for the big Pinterest Challenge (winter challenge) reveal! Yay!
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I usually participate in the Pinterest Challenge hosted by my virtual besties – Sherry Petersik @ http://www.younghouselove.com and Katie Bower @ http://www.bowerpowerblog.com. Since I wasn’t blogging then, I couldn’t really document such adventures. Well – today – that all changes.

So go ahead and check out all the deetz at Young House Love or stay right here and I’ll fill ya in. The challenge is to find something on Pinterest (seriously, easiest task ever) and put your own spin on it. Cooking, decorating, sewing..whatever tickles your fancies. Then post your version on your own blog and link it back to the original creator. Boom. Oh so simple and not-to-mention the challenge puts a little fire under your bum to actually get up and do something other than sitting on the couch watching Dance Moms. Oh shoot… I just told you all what I’m doing right now.

I didn’t want to attempt anything too difficult. I needed to find something relatively simple. I have more difficult Pinterest projects planned for this Spring and Summer, so let’s just keep it nice and easy while the snow flies.

I decided to finally finish my interchangeable picture frame. I was pinspired by this little lady’s Flickr photostream. Not gonna lie. Mine’s pretty much a copy. I don’t know her dimensions or anything, but mine looks scarily similar.

Anywayyy I gave my darling daddy a holla and he made me this frame. (My grandma made the gorgeous crochet tablecloth)
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Actually he made it for me a long time ago. It’s been hanging up on the wall… with nothing in it…for quite some time now. Whoops.

Then I gathered my supplies.
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Some hemp jewelry wire, some silver jewelry wire (I’m indecisive, okay?), some eye hooks out of a picture hanging kit, and some mini clothespins. Total cost was around $6 at Hobby Lobby.

The final project – looks a little something like this
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isn’t is just the sweetest? And easy too! You can surprise your husband by whipping this up all on your own. I promise.

Then I walked in the bathroom and I saw this cutie pie.
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and whilst watching that little cutie make faces at himself in the mirror for a half hour, I decided my interior doors were looking a little boring.
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Why not a double dose of Pinterest Challenge (winter edition)? Sure, let’s do it. This time I was pinspired by http://www.radicalpossibility.com/2012/09/color-pop-painting-inside-of-your-doors.html. And I had a thought! Why not give my doors a little pop of color? I’m game.

I grabbed a couple tubes of acrylic paint and went to town. The whole thing (3 interior doors) took me about 30 minutes total. I didn’t tape my doors, I just freehanded it. I’m cool like that. It was SO EASY. I am encouraging you to get up and go paint all your door edges right now. Go. Do it while your boyfriend screams at the television watching IU Basketball. You can thank me later.

Alas,
the bathroom
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green walls with new blue door edge🙂

and Mr. L’s bedroom
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gray walls with new navy door edge🙂

and my bedroom
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blue walls with new green edge🙂

I wanted to paint my bedroom door edge pink… and then I thought the green would match my new chair better.
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Do you love it? I do. I realllllly love it. I realllllly love Target. A little too much. I could max out many, many credit cards there. Don’t mind that baby alligator. Mr. L likes to hide him in various places to scare me.

So there you have it. My rendition of Pinterest Challenge. I’m happy with my new frame and my new pops of color throughout the house. I love, love the little things. That’s what I love in peoples’ homes. The little things you may not notice on initial walk through, but upon closer inspection you find little surprises in every room. That’s what makes a home “home” to me. That’s what I want my home to be.

Hope you guys created something fabulous – I can’t wait to check out everyone’s Pinterest renditions!

xo, Jess.

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Mr. L –

If the internet still exists when you’re older, here’s a series of posts you can read to get to know me better.

Tonight’s challenge – 20 Random Facts About Me

The problem is not coming up with 20 random facts – the problem is coming up with 20 random facts I want you to read about. This little challenge may be harder than I initially expected.

Here we go.

1. My middle name is Danielle – it came from your paternal great-grandfather Dan. That’s also where your uncle Daniel got his name.

2. I have lived in 7 places – the house I came home from the hospital to (CR21 in Goshen), the house I grew up in (HomeAcres), college dorm in Evansville, apartment with Aunt Kristy and then Aunt Cori, apartment in Jimtown, loft in Goshen, and now our house.

3. I love to collect nutcrackers – you’ll probably know this by the time you read this.

4. I know nothing about gardening, although I hope to know lots by the time you read this. I’m growing my first garden this summer.

5. I was always allergic to cats growing up, then when I moved out on my own I got three of them. I got over my allergy to cats, but now I am allergic to dogs.

6. In high school and college I refused to wear the colors red, orange, and pink because I thought they clashed with my hair color. Now I wear all colors, even together.

7. My first car was a green Dodge Intrepid. Then a green Pontiac Bonneville. Then a dark blue Hyundai Sonata.

8. I love food shows. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives is one of my favorites.

9. Mimi and Papa used to take us to Mackinaw every year when I was young. I loved it and it’s one of my favorite memories as a child.

10. I collect vintage Pyrex. I hope to have every pattern by the time you read this.

11. One of my favorite things to do is to nap with you on weekends. I try not to do it unless I have to, but it’s one of the most comfortable things ever!

12. I started working when I was 16, at a retail store called Alco.

13. My best friends were all in the room when you were born. It was a full house in there.

14. My favorite color is green.

15. I have a problem with indecisiveness. I can’t pick a restaurant, a pair of shoes, and it takes me weeks to select paint colors.

16. I am very stubborn. I like things my way and on my time schedule. I see this feature in you as well.

17. I used to do cheerleading and I used to play volleyball. If I could go back, I would have joined swimming.

18. I love to watch crime movies, or courtroom dramas.

19. I love all types of music. From bluegrass to pop to rap to oldies – I love it all, except the screaming music.

20. I love to try new types of food. I want to travel the world, trying all kinds of foods!

xo, Mom.

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Letters to Mr. L

Okay, so it’s official – I suck at this whole blogging thing. I love it, but yet.. I don’t love it.  I’m trying to be accountable… I love writing (so I can remember things), and I LOVE all my readers.  Don’t know how many of you there are, but I LOVE YOU regardless.  I have gotten so much support from readers after spilling my guts about some rather personal issues. 

Anywayyyy – I’m going to get better. This was a New Year’s resolution after all🙂

So I’m stealing borrowing this idea from a fellow blogger. Check out her list at http://www.babymakingmachine.com/2012/11/30-things-my-kids-should-know-about-me.html

It’s a series of posts for my son, Mr. L. 

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So someday (let’s hope it’s wayyy down the road) he can come and read all about his crazy mama.

Here’s the plan. Complete this list (while subtracting a few and possibly adding a few of my own) within 2013. You can do it, Jessica. Come on now, all with me, YOU CAN DOOOO IT, JESSICA.

The List –

1. List 20 random facts about yourself.
2. Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and how they became fears.
3. Describe your relationship with your spouse.
4. List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.
5. What are the 5 things that make you most happy right now?
6. If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
7. What is your dream job, and why?
8. What are 5 passions you have?
9. List 10 people who have influenced you and describe how.
10. Describe your most embarrassing moment.
11. Describe 10 pet peeves you have.
12. Describe a typical day in your current life.
13. What’s the hardest part of growing up?
14. Describe 5 and weaknesses strengths you have.
15. Describe when you knew your spouse was the one or how I fell in love.
16. What are your 5 greatest accomplishments?
17. What is the thing you most wish you were great at?
18. What do you think your spouse loves most about you?
19. How did you feel the moment you became a parent?
20. Describe 3 significant memories from your childhood.
21. Describe your relationship with your parents.
22. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 15 years?
23. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
24. What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?
25. If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?
26. What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?
27. What is your favorite part of your body and why?
28. What’s your favorite quality in your spouse?
29. What are your hopes and dreams for your prosperity?
30. List 10 things you would hope to be remembered for.

You can all join me. Do it. Join me.
I’m planning on revealing my 20 random facts later tonight🙂

xo, Jess.

{andddd I am showing oFf my Pinterest Challenge (Winter Edition) tomorrow morning – come back and check out on my newest additions to my sweet little house}

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Get Comfortable (with anger)

This post won’t be easy. This post won’t be funny. Okay, well maybe a little. You’ll probably laugh at how crazy I am.

It has taken me a long, long time to muster up the courage to write this story. To put this on paper. To put this on the Internet. Even now, I can’t write it perfectly. I’ve forgotten things and tucked certain memories away in my brain.

I pray my child never sees this. I pray that I can protect my child from the evilness that surrounds us all, the people who fill our ears and brains with insults and self-doubt. The ones that convince us we aren’t worthy. I pray that being a product of a single mama doesn’t haunt him.

My pregnancy story, and my birth story are tough to describe. I have started this post four times now and I don’t think there’s any way I can spin it to make it sound good. I cant make it look pretty or nice. I can only pray that some other girls who have been in my situation can appreciate this and that people who haven’t been in this situation can somewhat understand.

Its not a story I ever guessed I would have. I never in a million years thought I would get pregnant before I got married. I never thought I would be a single mother. It just wasn’t in my “plan.” It wasn’t in my mother’s plan either, she actually thought my best friend was pregnant when I sat her down in August 2009 and told her she was going to be a grandma. It wasn’t in my dad’s plan for me either, considering one of the first things he said was, “I didn’t even know you had sex.” The first conversation you have with your dad about sex and you’re 23 years old and pregnant knocked up. Not a great moment in my life.

I told Mr. L’s father I was expecting on his birthday – I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I remember him asking for water. I remember him saying he did not want this baby. I remember him saying this would never work. I remember him walking out of my apartment on Washington Street and not looking back. That was August 24. He didn’t call me until September 3. My birthday. (I guess payback is a bitch, huh?) He told me that he had been reading articles online and that what I was carrying inside me was not a baby. It was only tissue and he could have the money and we could just, “go get an abortion and go back to normal.”

I don’t remember what I said, but it must have sounded something like, “go to Hell.” He told me I was on my own. He told me that maybe I could meet someone else and they could raise this baby because he would not be there. He told me, “you’re having this baby to spite me, but you are only spiting yourself.” Not a great moment in my life.

I started to shut down. I was nothing. I was worth nothing. This child was worth nothing. It was incomprehensible. How does someone know you, and tell you they care so much about you for seven years and then walk away from you like you’re no more than some stranger on the street?

I started to question myself. I started to question my ability to be a mother. I started to wonder if life was even worth living. It feels so horrible to write this now, looking back. Needless to say, that first six months of my pregnancy was the most emotional time of my life. I felt completely alone. I shut everyone out. I treated my mother and my closest friends like shit. I was so mad, so mad at myself and at him, I was mad at the entire world.

I started spinning – I called him constantly, badgering him to be in this child’s life. I couldn’t accept no for an answer. I desperately needed him to be there (or so I thought). I went to every single doctor’s appointment alone. Minus my ultrasound where they told me I was having a boy. I pretended to be happy, but it was the lowest point of my life. I contemplated adoption. I contemplated everything. My brain never shut off. I was so afraid Mr. L would have problems because I was so stressed out.

As the days passed, I started to go numb. I started to become comfortable with my anger. I convinced myself that my anger was healthy. That my anger was serving as a form of self-preservation. My anger motivated me to keep going, my anger helped me to cover my wounded ego and all that loneliness I felt. So many people tried to comfort me, to help me. I just couldn’t be comforted. I was on an island all my own. And I had swam there myself. I built all those walls that surrounded me. I pushed everyone away from me. I blamed myself for everything – told myself I was not good enough, that I was a whore, that no one could ever possibly love me, even the child I was carrying. I could never be good enough for Mr. L, I couldn’t even keep his father around.

I invited him to be there for the birth. Despite the nine months of hell I had just been through, I still asked him to be there to witness the birth of our child. He never showed up. I think that was the last straw for me. Not to mention, I had just met the most beautiful human I had ever laid eyes on.

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Not kidding, he was perfect. I couldn’t stop looking at him. I was in complete awe, and as cliche as it sounds – my life changed forever.

It was hard to accept, but it got easier day by day. My family was wonderful. My mom was an absolute Godsend. She helped me with everything. She put up with me at my worst, at the absolute lowest time of my life and she stood by me through it all. Mothers are the most incredible beings. I don’t think anyone tells a mother to do these things for their child, its just something they do. She could’ve told me to deal with my own mess, figure out the whole motherhood thing on my own, but she never did. I wouldn’t be where I am as a mother without my parents’ support.

Gradually, I stopped thinking about Mr. L’s father – I stopped wanting him to come around – my desires actually flip-flopped, I wanted him to stay away. I felt like I had been riding a roller coaster for over a year, and I was ready to get off. I wanted a stable, calm relationship with my child. I didn’t want the drama that came with dealing with his dad.

I stopped being angry and I started getting comfortable. I got comfortable with being a single mama. I got comfortable with my child. I got comfortable with myself. I stopped beating myself up over him walking out – because in the end, he walked away on his own and he has to deal with that. He doesn’t deserve my child, but he is his father. I’m not mad anymore, I’m actually thankful for him.

I think of the moments I have shared with my child. Thousands of feedings, thousands of diaper changes, teaching him things, watching him crawl and walk and run, celebrating holidays. I got to do it all. Even if he started now, he could never catch up on all the moments he missed. He could try, but he could never love Mr. L like I do. From the deepest most inner part of my soul.

I just hope and pray I don’t screw Mr. L up too bad🙂 I won’t be able to blame it on his father.

If you made it through this post, thank you for reading. This blog has become such a comfort to me. I feel like no one is reading except me. (I like that because it’s easier for me to just type away and not feel so censored.) Everyone has been so supportive and I appreciate each and every one of you for being so kind to me while I spill this mess I call “my life” on you.🙂

Xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} this is, hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever written.

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Valentine’s Day (& other personal hells)

Oh Valentine’s Day. Lovely, lovely Valentine’s Day. I love love, and I love the idea of a day celebrating love. Therefore, I must love Valentine’s Day. Do I sound convinced yet?

This year’s Valentine’s Day was all planned out, I bought a gift for Mr. L and a gift for my manfriend. I had dinner all planned out. I had it alllllll planned out. I even wore pink and red and everything! I should know better than to ever make plans. They usually blow up in my face.

My downhill spiral started on Wednesday Valentine’s Eve. My house was a di-sas-ter. All caps. DISASTER. As it is most Wednesdays. {side note: I work late on Monday and Tuesday, so basically I do nothing when I come home – oh, except make dinner and give my child a bath and play cars and read 50 books before putting him to bed}

I had laundry everywhere, all rooms needed swept, bathroom needed wiped down, etc. So anyhow, my usual course of action is to do it all on Wednesday. After all, it is hump day and I feel motivated because only two. more. days. until Friday! HOLLA!
Not this week. I took it upon myself to make dinner, play with Mr. L, and then after putting him to bed – I plopped my big ol’ booty down and vegged out on Pretty Little Liars. Then I went to bed.

I swear, that manfriend and I watched movies until 3 a.m. one night this past weekend and I am still paying for it! No more late night movie nights. Never again. Long gone are the days when I could stay up all night and actually function the next day.

So by not cleaning my house on Wednesday, I was stressed as soon as I woke up on Valentine’s Day. Which, for me, pretty much means Valentine’s Day doom.

By mid-day, I seriously considered cancelling the whole thing. Seriously. I was going to call Cupid and tell him just where to stick his frickin’ arrows. Then I got off work early and I felt a glimmer of hope. Maybe I could still pull it off. I picked up my little man, and Mr. L and I headed to a sweet little party put on by my great friend Heather. I was a bit worried, because I had to wake Mr. L up from his nap (the kid loves his naps) and he wasn’t in the best mood.

This is where I’m supposed to tell you what a wonderful time we had and how perfect my child is, and how well he plays with other kids. Except my child is nuts, and should only be allowed to play with other crazy children and wolves. I don’t know why I beat myself up – he’s a boy – he’s very active – he’s normal? I don’t know, but here I am – scolding my child to stop running, and stop jumping, and stop sticking his dirty fingers into the cupcakes, and to stop growling at these three perfectly behaved little girls – while their equally perfect moms most likely sat there silently thinking about what a crazy, bad mother I am. They were all super nice about it, but sometimes – whether it’s correct or just a feeling I have about myself – I feel like Mr. L and I just don’t fit in. Lately, I just feel like I don’t want to take my child anywhere because he doesn’t listen to me. Period.

Anyhow, I’m done having a pity party for myself. I am just putting this all out there because one day, some day (please, God, let it be soon) this behavior will stop. And I’m gonna miss this. So I’m gonna want to look back and read all about it. Right? Somebody tell me I’m right🙂

I read constantly about other mothers with children like this. Some say it’s gets better. I try to do everything in my power to get him to listen to me. If you looked in my internet history, the amount of times I have Googled “how to raise a strong-willed child” would probably frighten you. I’m just scared that it’s never going to get better – that it will just keep getting worse and eventually, what if I stop caring? What if I just become one of those mothers who lets their child do and act however they want?

Maybe I’m just blowing it all out of proportion because my worst fear has always been to have one of “those children” you see acting a fool in public. Crying, screaming fits in public haunt me. Having my child scream the word “no” at me in public is horrifying. Maybe the problem isn’t him. Maybe the problem is me. Maybe I need to stop trying to change him, and just let him be who he is. A wild, active little boy who wants to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. A boy who likes to growl at other people.

Anyhow, back to Valentine’s Day. So we left the Valentine’s Day party. I cried on the way home because I feel like I’m failing. I feel like I’m failing as a mom. That’s a pretty big deal to me.

After we got home, my mom came over with Mr. L’s valentine. She ended up helping me straighten up my house (not as bad as what I thought it was) and I made the dinner I had planned. Pan-seared ribeye, shrimp scampi with pasta, stuffed crimini mushrooms, chocolate covered strawberries. It turned out delicious. Mr. L stood in his doorway and watched us eat even though he was supposed to be in bed. Not a total win, but I’m still calling it a win. I even impressed myself.
Maybe I’m not failing after all.

My lover’s gift to me? Well, that’s a whole other post. Let’s not go there right now. Let me just end this while thinking about my delicious dinner.

I hope you all had a perfect v-day.
Even though mine kind of bombed, I still love love and I’m still going to give it my all next year🙂

xo, Jess.

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Desperate Woman (a post for women)

Okay ladies – all you fellas, skedaddle, please – I need your help.

It’s not what you’re thinking based on my lame title🙂 I’m not desperately seeking a man or anything – unless you know one with a really cute butt – THEN I WILL TAKE HIM!🙂

I am desperately seeking some advice. I need a new birth control. This is serious. Stop laughing.

My current one is working and everything – seeing as I’m not pregnant. However, my current one is making me nuts. It’s called TriNessa and it’s a triphasic birth control pill. Meaning there’s three different phases of pills in a pack, plus a week of pills with no active ingredients. Just in case you wanted to know. I googled it, duh. I wouldn’t be asking for help if I were some birth control genius.

I’ve been on TriNessa for about six months, and let’s just say – mama’s had her crazy pants on lately. The more and more I take it, the more I realize how much it has been affecting me. My mood (borderline depressed lately, no joke!), less energy, decreased sex drive – and now that I’ve read the possible effects, I think I can safely add migraines to this list. I have also gained about 15 pounds since I started taking this pill and weight loss seems extra difficult lately.

Birth control is about to kill my relationship – because there’s about seven days a month where I am definitely not ME. I feel very scary during those days. I want to punch my boyfriend in the face during those seven days – and well, I guess that’s not acceptable in most relationships. I know Mr. Manfriend loves me and all, but I think I’m pushing him way too far lately. He has been putting up with this raging biatch for too long. I have dumped him twice in the last 48 hours then called him crying, begging him to take me back. You can exit my blog now if I’m scaring you. I’m kind of scaring myself.

I talked to my doctor and she’s switching me to a birth control pill called Sprintec – but, I read all kinds of reviews and most users are complaining of the same problems! Now I’m so scared to switch, thinking that I might get worse. What happens if I go nuts and you all see me on an episode of Snapped or something? Any of you girls have some great birth control pill that I could suggest to my doctor? I really don’t want to spend like $75 per month on a pregnancy preventer, but I am willing to shell out some cash for a birth control pill if it leaves me and my mood alone!

I would really appreciate the advice – or if you’re sitting there shaking your head because you’ve been through something similar, I’d appreciate the encouragement.

If you’re just sitting there thinking, “this girl is a little too cray cray putting all her birth control business out there,” – please, keep your comments to yourself🙂

xo, Jess.

P.S. Hurry! My boyfriend thinks hormones are fake so I don’t have much time!!

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I’m Gonna Pop Some Tags

Well, it’s been awhile huh? 14 days to be exact. I told you guys I’m no good at this blogging business. Sue me. (Not really, please)

I figured I’d do something fun to get back in the blogging game. Why not join up with my faves over at Young House Love for the (completely unofficial) Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge.

Oh you haven’t heard this phenomenal song? Please, crawl out from underneath your rock and watch.

Macklemore – Thrift Shop (clean)

Since I’m not above a little thrift shop challenge, I thought this could be fun. I love cheap shit. So, my little guy and I decided to go on a little adventure.

The Challenge:

Step #1. Go to a thrift shop with – just as the chorus of the song says – “$20 in your pocket” and take a picture.

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Boo ya. He’s pretty cute huh? I’ll sell him to you.

Step #2 was to spend your $20 any way you’d like and photograph your spoils.

Step #3. Find one item (or more) referenced in the song and snap a pic.

I found these wonderful treasures

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(my gator shoes, those are green)

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(searching through luggage)

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(skeet blankets)

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(thank your granddad for donating that plaid button-up shirt)

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I was thisclose to taking that big a$$ coat home.

Alas, our thrifting was not very fruitful. We ended up with five Ball jars, and Luke got two toys (a monster truck and a small diecast truck).

We spent a whopping $1.87. Holla for cheap toys.

The jars went to my bff for her upcoming barn wedding.

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Tell me everyone, been doing any thrifting lately? Borrowing your grandma’s clothes?

xo, Jess.

P.S. I’m linked up to YHL at #183🙂 where you can check out everyone else’s thrifty goods🙂

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Date Night

Ever had one of those nights that was going great then WHAM! It hits ya. You know the kind.

We started out at Elia’s for some Lebanese food. I digress from my whining for a moment, ohmygosh yum! Cute little place, super friendly staff, yummy fare. I had the chicken shawarma and he had the grill combo with shish tawook (chicken), kafta (beef), and shish kebab (steak). It was so good! I liked his best, specifically the shish kebab. That steak was melt in your mouth delicious. We also had an appetizer of baba ganoushe. I wish that would have been warm, that was my only complaint.

Anyhow…upward and onward, then we hit AMC for Gangster Squad. Best movie I have seen in a very long time. I completely loved it! Sean Penn and Ryan Gosling were fantastic. And I can’t deny that I have a tiny – okay, huge – girl crush on Emma Stone. That is one foxy redhead. Go see it. I urge you!

Then on the way to get Mr. L we start talking about the movie, then Mr. L, then about parenting. Woa, whoa, then we start arguing about parenting. Pretty soon we are yelling about parenting. Then silence.

Why must we ruin every single nice evening we have?
It was a great night. Minus the parenting argument.
Now he’s been in the bathroom for 20 minutes and I’m sitting here eating leftover chicken shawarma.
I win.

Xo, Jess.

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the HOUSE list

Well, folks… I need to tackle will be tackling some more house projects soon. So – in the meantime – let me put all my needs and wants out there for ya. Well, some of my needs and wants🙂

My house has come a long ol’ way. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ve probably seen some of the changes. If you’re not, let me break it down for you. The first time I saw the house, I quickly decided “hell no,” and closed the book on ever living there. After seeing the house, I was forced persuaded to take another look. My dad saw what the house could be, and I purchased it. It hasn’t been easy – my lease was up in October 2011, and I bought the house in September 2011. My landlord graciously let me stay in my loft until October 15, giving us 45 days to get this house ready to live in. I don’t know how we my parents did it. My dad lived over there for those 45 days. Thank God for this little house. After a year and a half, it is now a home.

We have gone from this –
OUTSIDE - BEFORE

to this –
OUTSIDE - PROGRESS

and that’s just the outside.

The inside is a whole post of its own.

Anyhow – hang on, because this is going to be a long one – I want to do more! I have had this list for months – on my laptop, my flash drive, posted on my refrigerator – and it’s time to put it somewhere that I can come back and update the thing. So here we go!

House To-Do List

**EXTERIOR**
paint garage (half completed actually) (thankfully, the color difference is not all that noticeable)
paint garage door
add decorative hardware to garage door
paint garage entry door
paint remaining shutters (2 on garage)
hang remaining shutters (2 on garage)
paint remaining foundation
install new mailbox post
paint mailbox and apply decals
look into repairing crack in concrete patio by garage
stain/paint concrete patio by garage
create intimate patio area by garage
replace light with ceiling fan on patio
add lattice or some kind of privacy barrier to patio area
install fiber cement tiles to covered window on west side of home
paint those tiles to match the house
remove remainder of in-ground grill
replace outdoor carpet
install full-view storm door on front door
paint back door
install “hello” decal
paint storm door on back door
install full-view storm door on back door (later)
install newly painted storm door (originally on front door) on garage entry door
paint lamp post
install new post light
landscaping in front of home
add some potted flowers to the front porch
landscaping on west side of home
hose and mount for east side of home
mount for the hose on west side of home
stake/till area for future garden
add a rain barrel to the back of garage/west end corner of house for watering
build window boxes for front windows
remove clothes line
remove old clothes line poles
remove bushes at the back of the house
remove large antenna at the back of the house
build a deck at the back of the house
pave the driveway (eventually)
fence the yard (eventually)
new, wider front porch (eventually)
install pillars on the front of the home (eventually)
new concrete by the back door
install or DIY a pathway from patio by back door to the garage
upgrade the railings on back porch
break up the yard into various areas using flower beds

INTERIOR

Update furnace
Add central air conditioning

**Living Room**

Repair the doorway
Replace windows
Demo and add insulation (eventually)
Add floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the living room (possible cabinets on the base)
Add fireplace
Add mantle
Add desk area to living room (this may not work because of limited space)
Replace couch with leather couch or sectional
Replace end table with something smaller, no glass
Build or buy an ottoman
Add a slipper chair
Larger rug
Find curtains more appropriate for winter
Add thin trim around ceiling

**Kitchen**

Purchase a pantry
Purchase a small base cabinet for next to stove
Replace ceiling
Add insulation
Replace windows
Replace lighting
Replace flooring
Replace cabinetry (purchased!)
Replace hardware on the cabinetry
Replace countertops (contemplating DIY concrete counters)
Replace sink
Replace faucet
Add backsplash (contemplating beadboard now)
Add vent hood or incorporate microwave above stove w/ventilation system
Add dishwasher Replace refrigerator (eventually) with stainless french door
Replace stove with stainless gas 5-burner stove
Update cabinetry on right side when entering kitchen from laundry room
Add crown molding
Add lighting over the bar area

**Dining Room**

Demo all paneling
Add insulation
Add and finish drywall
Replace ceiling
Replace flooring
Replace windows
Add crown molding
Add a bookcase for symmetry
DIY a new dining table
Purchase new dining chairs
Purchase a rug for under the dining table
New bar stools for bar

**Master Bedroom**

Find a new dresser that will fit right side of door
Create seating/intimate area on left side of door
Move bed to center of room
DIY headboard
Two smaller side tables
Hem closet “doors”
Add crown molding
Frame the TV
Update the interior of the closet

**Second Bedroom**

Add crown molding
Paint closet doors
Update interior of closet
Possible floating shelves on wall
Add magnetic paint to create race track on wall

**Laundry Room**

Remove handle from right side of stairs into kitchen
Replace railing on left side of stairs into kitchen (no idea what to do)
Update the stairs into the kitchen
Replace window
Remove paneling
Add insulation
Hang and finish drywall
Add crown molding
Replace flooring
Replace lighting
Paint room – subtle stripes for contrast
Paint appliances (for now)
Update appliances (eventually)
Remove countertop and base cabinet
Construct a built-in bench seat “locker” area of sorts on half
Construct more functional “laundry center on half w/space for baskets, hanging, ironing, drying

**Bathroom**

Add crown molding
Add/change art for interest

**Basement**

Clean out entire thing
Paint or stain the concrete flooring
Create an area for the cats
Create an area for organized storage
Add a deep freezer

Let’s be honest, there’s probably more. Some of these things will probably not get finished. Maybe when I’m 40. I gotta do things on a single mama income here🙂

Thankfully, I have a GREAT FANTASTIC WONDERFUL AMAZING set of parents that love getting their hands dirty helping out with the house. I couldn’t have done any of it without them,
that’s for sure!
My mama and I are the brains, and my dad is the brawn🙂 That man can see it, build it, do it all!

So there it is! My dad just finished my built-ins, fireplace, and mantle in my living room, so I would really like to tackle my living room this year. And my bedroom. I would love to start in on the kitchen this year, but I don’t think my budget will allow it. Who knows, maybe I’ll hit the lottery.
Maybe next year.

Hopefully, I can hang on to blogging and I can document it all right here!
So all you fine folks can watch.
Or you could all come over and help me repaint my dining room.
I pay in pizza and beer.

XO, Jess.

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