Monthly Archives: January 2015

Let’s Take a Break

Between a work trip over the weekend, spending our evenings working on our new house, and just trying to stay afloat with the general busyness of every day life, I’ve totally run myself ragged. You know that feeling where you aren’t quite sick but you don’t feel well at all and you’re desperately exhausted? That’s me. I’d love to have a day to just run away, avoid all the responsibility, and do nothing but relax, but there’s just too much to do and not enough time.

To combat this, I’m trying to do my best at getting enough sleep at night and making sure we are eating somewhat healthfully, but both of those aren’t so easy to achieve with all we have going on. I feel like the best I can do is just take it day by day and cut myself some slack when I need it. Right now, that means taking it a little light on my 29 Before 30 until we get settled into the new house– meaning, you may be hearing a little less from me over the next few weeks. Until then!

List accomplishments as of last post:

 

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Beginning Homeowner’s Lessons

We’ve only owned our house for 12 days, but we’ve been hard at work from the get-go doing some small renovations and preparing it to be move-in ready. I’ve already learned so many valuable lessons in these early days, and I’ll share some of that wisdom here so that any of you who find yourselves owning a home in the future will know what to expect:

1- Think of all the times you’ve been to Lowe’s over the past year. Multiply this number by 2. This is how many times you can now plan to be at Lowe’s WEEKLY. Sometimes 2 or 3 times in one day.

2- Choosing paint colors in rentals used to be so fun. Now, choosing paint colors is stressful! Nothing seems right, and there’s a huge amount of self-induced pressure to get it perfect the first time around.

3- You start doing things you would never before do, such as Youtubing videos on “how to scrape plaster ceilings” and “how to paint over wood paneling.”

4- Nothing is ever as easy as it seems, and hours in the day pass by at warp speed whenever you are working on your new house. Meaning, whatever estimate you’ve made on the time it will take you to complete a project, add at least 3 hours.

5- You eat really random and weird things for meals while standing up in your kitchen at your current house so that a) you can quickly get over to the new house to work, and because b) you are scrimping and saving for the new house.

6- Finding the random things that the old owners have left behind is sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, and sometimes leaves you puzzled and wondering, “but…why?!?”

7- Priming is the worst. Bottom line.

8- Shopping for new furniture and decor is the best. Can’t stop, won’t stop.

9- You alternate between states of sheer excitement and awe that WE OWN THIS!! and sheer panic and worry because we…ownnnnnn…this.

10- Your project and to-do list grows with each passing day.

11- But, your house feels more like home with each passing day.

All in all, it’s been a really fun first week and a half. We’ve already put in a lot of sweat equity, and there’s so much more to go, but it’s already proving to be rewarding!

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made this marinated flank steak on Friday and ending up using it in two different dinners this weekend, as a main with broccolini and sweet potatoes and in an Asian stir-fry. Very tasty.
  • I finished book #4 Barrel Fever. So funny!
  • I watched 1992’s Best Picture winner, Unforgiven. I’d seen it once a long time ago, so I wanted to rewatch it and it did not disappoint. I love anything directed by Clint Eastwood.
  • I watched a sunrise! Like, really watched it. Last Saturday morning, I got up when Tim did for work, and I caught the most amazing sunrise through our kitchen window. I went out in the backyard with our dogs and soaked it up. Below is a photo, cameo by Gunner.
  • Continued writing and snapping photos daily.
Golden hour.

Golden hour.

One of the Big Moments

Life is made up of assorted moments that have varying levels of impact. For example, sometimes moments seem small but end up having a huge impact or vice versa. Well last week for Tim and I was big all-around. We’re talking monumental moment, colossal impact.

Last Thursday, on what ended up being the coldest day of winter thus far, Tim and I closed on our first house. It’s a 1970’s tri-level on almost an acre of wooded land, and although it needs a lot of work, we absolutely love it. I can picture hosting dinner parties with our family and friends there, drinking a glass of wine on the back porch and watching my dogs play in the yard, snuggling up to Tim around a fire in our fireplace, and making so many other memories. I can see our lives blooming there, and it’s one of the most exciting feelings I’ve ever experienced.

We will be taking our time doing a few renovations and updates to the home over the next month and a half or so before we officially move into it. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, but I think it will be really fun to take on this challenge with my husband by my side and I also know it’s going to be so rewarding to see the fruits of our labor.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Total disclaimer here: not only did we close on the house last week, but I was also really sick last week and I’m just now on the mend. Therefore, I didn’t really attack much on my list at all. I did sneak in a weekly recipe last Sunday before I got sick which was turkey black bean chili.
  • I also managed to get a few pictures in. Here are a few related to the house:
The keys!

The keys to our first home!

Backyard view at our new house.

Backyard view at our new house.

After Krissy and I painted the bathroom.

After Krissy and I painted the bathroom.

Trivial Winter Problems

I’m sitting here looking out my window as only the second snow of this winter season falls onto our front yard. In comparison to last winter’s Polar Vortex that nearly drove me and pretty much everyone I know to a breaking point, this winter, at least thus far, hasn’t really been all that bad at all. But that certainly doesn’t keep me from complaining, as I’ve always kind of hated winter– especially here in Indiana where the sun pretty much doesn’t shine come late-November through March. The gorgeous springs and falls tend to make it totally worth it, but sometimes it’s hard to see silver lining when your county just issued a Wind Chill Advisory for part of this week.

Here are just some of my extremely trivial but nonetheless extremely annoying winter complaints:

1- The above-mentioned snow is pretty right until you have to go out in it. Then it becomes THE WORST as I struggle to dig my car out of it. Inevitably, snow ends up down my coat and shirt sleeves and under my gloves to painfully melt right against my skin. Snow also makes the selection of work-appropriate footwear nearly impossibly. Just sayin’.

2- The snow at least provides a slight rationality for why the temperatures are so low, but we really don’t get it all that much. Mostly, Southern Indiana winter days are sunless, damp, bone-chillingly cold, and soul-killing.

3- To combat the above, I spend most of winter indoors with the heat cranked up, which honestly just encourages couch-potato-ness, the opposite of what I need when all I crave is comfort food.

4- All that cranked up heat leads to me having the driest skin EVER, which I try my best to keep lotioned, but there is this one spot in my mid-back that I can’t even reach to begin with and it itches 24/7 in the winter. And since I can’t reach it to put lotion there, I also can’t reach it to scratch it, so I resort to these weird shoulder-shimmies that a) make me look crazy and b) aren’t really much help at all, so I just continue to itch until April. Oh, and to boot, I also take ridiculously hot showers in the winter for 5 minutes of sweet, warm comfort, which in turn only makes the dry skin problem worse. IT’S A VICIOUS CYCLE.

5- Right around this time, I always start going through serious withdrawal from my favorite summer foods. The lack of seasonal vegetables sometimes makes me feel like I have scurvy. Tomatoes and corn especially– I missssssss you!

6- Every night I go to bed freezing for the first few hours, so I layer up in long sleeve/long pant jammies and thick socks and bundle up under blankets only to wake up sweating and hating life in the middle of the night.

7- I wholeheartedly admit that Bloomington does an excellent job staying on top of salting and plowing our roads, making travel fairly simple for folks during snow days. Why, oh why, then does the mere threaten of snow make every person here feel that they must go to the grocery stores and ravage every ounce of milk, bread, and eggs?

8- This may be preemptive, but that damn Punxsutawney Phil always seems to see his shadow and threaten me with everlasting cold. I’ll be watching you come Feb. 2, you jerk.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • I made this chicken tikka masala for my weekly recipe.
  • I was off for a holiday staycation last week, and I watched 3 Best Picture winners– and they were 3 great ones. First up was 1953’s From Here to Eternity, which has to be one of the best war films I’ve ever seen. Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr kissing on the beach is exactly the image “‘old Hollywood” brings to mind, and Montgomery Clift is beautiful. His character in the film and his own personal life are both so tragic, but he makes me swoon. Next, we watched 1978’s The Deer Hunter, and it was so haunting and sad but exquisitely acted. We also watched 1967’s In the Heat of the Night where Sydney Poitier says one of the most famous lines in cinematic history, “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” The mystery and tension really hold up in that one.
  • Tim and I managed to go out on NYE for a date night, and we had a fantastic meal with our best friends at Restaurant Tallent.