Friday, May 30, 2008

CHOA Baseball Game 2008

Every year, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta has events that benefit their cause. We always try to go to the CHOA baseball game at Turner Field between GT and UGA. It's a lot of fun, inexpensive, and for a good cause. We went this year along with one of Scott's coworkers, Rudi. While we were there, I also saw one of my friends that I have known since middle school, Robyn and her husband Michael. They are both just such genuinely nice people. I am always excited to see them!

Here's some pictures:

Founder's Day

I am kind of behind on my posts. Scott's fraternity has their Founder's Day every year at the end of April. Founder's Day is kind of like their homecoming. This year was a lot of fun. On Friday night, we went to Mary Mac's Tea Room for dinner and then on Saturday, there was a Lady's Tea while the guys had their alumni meeting and then we had a Chick-fil-A lunch followed by a GT Baseball game. It was a lot of fun to see everyone. A lot of people travel a long way for Founder's Day. Here is a slide show of the pictures. If you see a picture you want me to email to you, let me know and I'll send it over!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Scott and I both really like movies. There are always so many out that we want to go see. A lot of times, we miss them. But, we have gotten to see quite a few that we have wanted to see lately.
A few weeks ago, Callie, Caitlin, Lauren, and I went to see Made of Honor together since the three of us are bridesmaids in Callie's wedding. Afterwards, Lauren, Caitlin, and I picked out shoes for the wedding (so fun). I enjoyed the movie, but there was some language and certain scenes that we weren't big fans of. I wouldn't say that it is an R movie, but I would say that it is worse than PG13. It was kind of a reverse version of My Best Friend's Wedding, but with a better ending.

Scott and I went to see the movie Expelled recently. This is the Ben Stein movie about how scientists are refusing to admit that there is any kind of intelligent design involved in the creation of the earth and all the things and people on it. I found it very interesting.

Friday night, we met at Discover Mills after work and had dinner (during a terrible thunder storm), then we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I really did enjoy this movie. I thought that it was not as realistic as the previous movies. Not that I thought that any of the stuff in his previous movies could happen, but this one was a bit more cheesy and over the top. But, I think it definitely leaves room for more sequels. Shia LeBeouf is also a big star in this movie and I really thought he did a great job as well.
The other movie we really want to see is the new Chronicles of Narnia movie, Prince Caspian. I have heard it is really good. So, hopefully we'll get out to see it soon. Tomorrow, we are taking advantage of our day off by going to the GA Renaissance Festival. We will not forget the reason we get the day off: to remember and appreciate all the veterans and the current men and women in our military. We should all say a prayer for them and show our appreciation however we can.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

House Update

Yesterday we had our first visitor with an interest in our house since we relisted. They said that our house showed beautifully, but that the great room and the back yard were too small for what they wanted. It seems that our yard is a big issue for people, but I am not really sure why they are looking at new houses in Gwinnett County if they want a big yard. Most houses with big yards are either older or out in the Walton County part of Loganville or Monroe.

So, with all the work we have done, we are still getting the same comments we were before. That is very discouraging to me. But, this is the first "viewing", so I guess it can only get better.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Various Tips and an Update

Hello blog readers! Well, in case you don't read the comments on my blogs, this weekend we have learned the if you sprinkle Tang or lemon kool-aid powder on the rust stains on a toilet it will remove them. Also, I have a friend who removed red finger nail polish from beige carpet with Greased Lightning. However, I have an insider at the place the makes Greased Lightning and apparently some lame-o who doesn't know how to wear protective gloves when using harsh household chemicals burned their hand and sued them and so now they are watering it down. Bummer.

Additionally, New Kids on the Block are back in business and they are going to be at the Gwinnett Arena on October 29. My friends Lindsey and Miranda from college are going and I am seriously considering it! I didn't get to go to concerts and things like that when I was younger and so I never saw the NKOTB in concert their first time around. And, I was a BIG fan! I am pretty pumped about them coming back!

Okay, I have been meaning to post some container gardening tips and keep forgetting.

--If you want to do some but don't know how to get started, you should look on the Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Living websites. You can do a search for container gardening and they have all kinds of ideas. You can't always find the exact plants they have, but you can at least follow the same color scheme. Just make sure you read the little tags that come stuck down in the plants because you need to choose plants that have the same or similar light and watering requirements. If you haven't noticed, this year I went with a "pinks and purples" theme throughout our gardens and containers.

--Next, even though the plants you are using are "outside" plants, you should still use good potting soil, not dirt from your regular garden or even the kind of soil you would put out in your garden. All the experts say this. My understanding is that container garden plants are put through a lot of stress because they are trying to flourish in this tiny little space and they aren't actually down in the ground, which retains water better, so they are constantly getting dry then wet, then dry, etc... I always use Miracle Grow because is have 3 months' worth of fertilizer in it.

--Now, I love terra cotta pots, but they are terrible to keep watered because they are porous, so they allow the soil to dry out much quicker than any other kind of container would. So, a few years ago, I read a really good tip in a magazine (or somewhere, probably Southern Living though). Before you put any dirt in your pot, get a plastic bag (like a Wal-mart or Kroger bag) and punch a hole in the bottom where the hole in your pot is (and maybe a couple more just in case). Then, you can put your dirt and plants down in here. This has really been a life saver for me! Plus, when you are ready to plant a new container garden the next year, you can just dump it out in your garden, remove the bag, and you have a nice clean pot for the next piece of art!

Okay, I have one more tip. Have you ever used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser? If you haven't, you need to get some of these! If you notice from our house pictures, we had our TV up on top of our white mantel. Well, TVs attract dust like nobody's business, so there was a ton of blackness on top of our mantel and on the front under where the TV had been. So, I went to work on it and you wouldn't believe how clean it came. Here are some pictures for proof:



The picture at the top is a picture of our biggest De Oro Lily. They are starting to bloom and look pretty! Yay!
Well, that's all for now. Thanks for reading and leaving comments!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's Strawberry Pickin' Time!

These strawberry fields are about 10 minutes from our house and we never knew about them until Jennifer told us last year! This year we wanted to check it out ourselves. When we drove up on Saturday, we knew we were at the right place because all you could see was rows of rearends sticking up in the air. It was pretty funny. Then, we joined them. It was a lot of fun to pick strawberries. I cut up a bunch of them tonight and put sugar over them to create a syrup. We invited our neighbors Nan and John over and poured them over Sara Lee pound cake with whip cream and they brought over some vanilla bean ice cream. Yum. It was soooo good! But, we still have almost two full gallons of strawberries! I guess I will be putting some up tomorrow night!

This is what we took home!

Here we are picking berries!

Friday, May 16, 2008

House Staging - Complete!

Hello all! Tasha came back out to the house yesterday and helped us get all the details ironed out on the house. I am please with the results. There are some rooms that I can't really tell that much difference and others that look a ton better! So, overall, I would say it was worth it to have someone come in and tell us what looks best. Now, hopefully our house will sell soon.
Here are some pictures:
Living room

Basically, we moved our TV onto a TV stand over where the couch used to be. We took all out small things off the walls and shelves and got some larger pieces and some greenery. How much did we spend buying items for this room? About $55 with tax.

Master bedroom

It's really hard to tell what all we did from the pictures, but on the other side of the entertainment center, we had a chest of drawers. We moved that to the guest bedroom (along with most of my folded clothes). We took everything off the entertainment center except the stereo speakers and bought a silk arrangement. Scott and I each had a body pillow. We only had red covers for them and it is really hard to find body pillow covers. We also needed new body pillows. So, I bought us each a king size pillow and pretty yellow cases to complement our bedskirt. Then, we had one nice new pillow in a sham and one of my old ones in the other (you can tell if you look really closely in the before picture), so I bought a third pillow! We are supposed to open the blinds every day and we changed the way we make our bed. Oh, and we are supposed to leave the lamps on...I am a little nervous about the one over on Scott's nightstand because it sometimes make popping noises and is really more for show than to leave on all the time, so maybe I'll just turn the one on my nightstand and the one on the dresser on. I don't want to burn our house down. Cost of items in this room: $66.
Master Bathroom
We didn't take any before pictures of this, but I have some from when we took pictures of the cats drinking water. These are from before we ever cleaned up from originally putting the house on the market:

Here's the "after":
This room was probably the most expensive overall because we have all kinds of colored towels and we needed a stack of white or cream colored towels. Plus, I bought the orchid and that little cross stitch used to be up on the wall on the right over the tub and I bought a painting of a couple of plants that went better in that space. Cost for this room: $128. (Most of that was on towels and mats.) I did go to TJ Maxx for towels, but if you want really nice towels, they are still about the same cost as you would pay for cheaper towels at Target. So for 4 bath towels, 5 hand towels, and 5 washcloths it was $80 (I thought I was going to have a heart attack every time I checked out with stuff for this house, y'all). I also put my fan away, so we will see how long that lasts with summer coming up. It gets hot in that bathroom with the door closed while Scott is sleeping and we have six big lightbulbs, plus I have just gotten out of a hot shower and I have to blow dry my hair! Whew!
We did have our laundry sorter (which was white plastic pipes holding up three blue mesh bags) in the bedroom right beside the bathroom door. We threw it away (it was starting to fall apart) and I bought three of these laundry bins at Garden Ridge for $4 each. They are in our closet.

This is our "water closet". I already had those baskets on that shelf thing. She liked my basket usage. I don't know what we would do without them since we don't have any cabinets for our personal items in the "water closet". Plus, that's where we stash our wash cloths too.

Dining room:
I did have my candle sticks on the table, but somehow they weren't there in the picture. So, I didn't just have a blank table.

Tasha said that we needed greenery on top of the china cabinet. I had always wanted some up there, but I had been too cheap! Also, I had always really wanted to put an arrangement of calla lilies on the table, but I thought the cats would ruin it. They are such good boys. It has not fallen over yet! I had to buy a little lamp to go on top of the sideboard that is over on the wall facing the china cabinet, the calla lily arrangement, and the greenery (just so you know it is attached to this little piece of rubber matting (I got more green stuff for my money that way), so it is propped up on a stack of magazines so it didn't sit down into the top of the china cabinet. Cost of beautifying this room: $86.
Believe me, this is pretty good from what it looked like before we ever listed our house. This is our catch-all room. We spend a lot of time in this office!

The biggest job was cleaning out the closet. We pulled everything out and took a bunch of stuff to storage and to goodwill (this was the second purging, obviously it really does take twice to really get rid of the stuff you can do without). Then, I put my scrapbooks up in the closet and all our frames were lovingly wrapped in bubble wrap and put in storage (stress - what if my hand-made frames from Amy get messed up). We cleaned off our desks and bought some leather bins to put all of our office supplies in. I put my big philedendron on top of my sewing table and took a few clippings from it and made a new one in my yellow pot. I love this yellow pot. It was my mom's. But, I kill everything that I put in there. Maybe it doesn't drain well enough or something. We also took the picture collage and our calendar off the wall. But, I was sneaky and hid the calendar between Scott's desk and his computer so I can still look at it when I need to. This room was also kind of expensive because of those leather bins. I spent $42 on them. The good thing is that I had purchsed several different types and I get to take those back! (I added a close up of the leather bins/baskets/whatever.)

I have never taken a picture of our guest bathroom, but here is the "after" shot. We really didn't have that much to change in there. We had a picture on the sink counter we put in storage, we had a choice of soaps and we put one away, and Tasha kind of rearranged the stuff that was left so that if looked more angled. Oh, and the thing that made the biggest difference was something I always thought was a no, no. She opened the shower curtain halfway. This made a huge difference. I bought a little bottle of pomegranite body wash and put a wash cloth that matches the purple towels on the towel bar in there on the little bar in the tub. I love this room. It was the first room in the house we "finished". To be honest, I think it is the only room in the house we ever finished because it was so expensive for me to buy the rugs and stuff. Cost of finishing this room $4 (for the body wash). Tasha loved my use of baskets all over the house. I'll show you some other places I already had baskets that she commented on both times she was here. It made me happy that I had invested in those nice baskets back before Scott and I were even married. This one in here is one from a funeral, I believe. You know they come with 2 or 3 plants in them. Those are perfect for toilet paper. My good friend Lindsey came up with that idea in college. Thanks Lindsey!

Here is the guest bedroom. I don't think I've ever taken a picture of this room either, and we didn't take any "before" shots before we started tearing things apart. Basically, the bed was flush up against the wall and the headboard (which matches the chest of drawers that you see here) was still on the bed. It was such a dark color that it kind of cut the room in half when we pulled the bed into the caddy corner position that Tasha suggested. So, Scott took the headboard off and we took it up to the bonus room. There used to be an old white chest of drawers in here, which we took to storage. Tasha just used the stuff we already had and rearranged them to make the room look homier. After she took this picture, we propped up the pillows on the bed and it looked a lot better. So, I am going to use some of the money from returning some of the stuff we didn't use to buy four nice new pillows. I figure if we ever have guests, they will like having new pillows instead of our old leftovers that are in there now. That'll probably cost about $40 if I get the nice ones at Target.

Okay, this post is so long now. Sorry. If you are still here, I am impressed! I didn't post any pictures of the kitchen, but we didn't change that much in there. We just kind of grouped things together that were spread out. We also put our toaster under the cabinet and put the toaster oven in storage. Oh, and I did buy a new houseplant for the windowsill to the living room because the one I had was mostly dead. Here is what it looks like. I just need to actually transfer it to the pot I have it set down into.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Container Gardens

I hope that you all aren't tired of hearing about our house and all the flowers. I just get so happy when I see my hanging baskets and container gardens. I wanted to show y'all some of the progress we are making.

First of all, I promised the other day that I would post pictures of our newly potted container gardens. So, here they are. They are already opening up! I'll show you a picture from earlier in the week and a picture from today of the ones out front. In case you are wondering, the front little pot has a geranium in it. The middle pot, which is bigger around and shorter than the rest has a geranium, two lavendars, and two of some sort of vine-y plant that I think is called limelight. The tallest pot has a clematis that I hope blooms soon climbing up that little metal daisy I found at Old Time Pottery and two more of the limelight. I hope they are exploding by the time Tasha comes back next week!

On our back porch, we had never purchased patio furniture because we thought our space was too small. But, Tasha said to get two chairs and a small table or just put a potted plant in between them. So, look at what we did. (I have swept the porch off since I took this picture when I got home today.)

The little pot on the stand between the chairs has a pink Gerbera Daisy and a vine-y plant that I am pretty sure is call Vinca Major. I got the pot for $3.99 and the stand for $12.99 at Garden Ridge, if you want one. Also, those cute chairs were $15 each at Garden Ridge and they had all colors, including some with white legs and stuff, but I didn't think they looked as nice. I put two little candle holders out there with some Yankee Candle Company Citronella Candles that I bought a couple of years ago when I thought we'd have patio furniture sooner than this.

This is a closer view of the container garden beside the chair. It has a Gerbera Daisy, a pink Geranium, and two Lavendars. You can see that the Geranium is starting to open up! Yay!

This is the first thing people see when they walk out our back door.
Here's a closer look at these two container gardens: the small one has a pink Gerbera Daisy and the big one has a pink Geranium, a Gerbera Daisy, and two Lavendars. These Geraniums are opening too. You can see that in the picture with the grill, they hadn't started opening up yet and now they are starting to open. Also, we really need to clean up the grill. Does anyone know what we should do?

My hanging baskets are really doing well. I put a picture of them up the other day. Well, they are already getting fuller. I took a picture of the fronts and the backs of them. I know it is kind of darker from the back because the house was kind of overshadowing. But, I want your you think that the backs of the baskets look better and I should turn them around? We hung a bird feeder on the back so that the boys can sit in the guest bedroom and watch birds there too. We just love our cats.

Okay. I think that this is enough for this post. I have some "inside" pictures too, but I'll wait until we get more done today and then post the "stages" of our staging. (Yeah, I started this last night kind of late so I had to save it and finish it today.)

Are You Martha or Maxine?

Are you Martha or Maxine?
*Martha's Way* Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.
*Maxine's Way * Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete's sake! You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it, anyway!
To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.
Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix, keep it in the pantry for up to a year.
When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.
Go to the bakery! They'll even decorate it for you.
If you accidentally oversalt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix-me-up."
If you oversalt a dish while you are cooking, that's too bad. Please recite with me the real woman's motto: "I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes!"
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.
Celery? Never heard of it!
Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.
The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust so I don't.
Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink!
If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dishwashing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.
Go ask that very cute neighbor if he can open it for you.
Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.
Leftover wine??????????? HELLO !!!!!!!
Hee hee...I couldn't resist posting this email forward I received. Some of the formatting didn't come through, but you get the idea. I think I am more in line with Maxine on most things. How about you?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello all! It has been crazy lately. First of all, we have been very busy in the garden. Scott got the lawn mowed a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who do not have bermuda grass, you may not realize what a pain this is the first time of the year. You have to "scalp" the grass to promote green growth, and because it is so much dried up grass, we always bag it. We took about 8 bags of grass to the inert landfill this time around! Then, we went to the Grower's Outlet out here in Loganville and got great deals on some very pretty plants for our gardens. There are pictures that I will add in. Also, Lauren and I got together one evening and did some container gardens. I had my hanging basket from last year, which had been in the back yard and she had a long pot that she had from when they were in Kentucky for Seminary. So, we planned to get together and create our masterpieces and it was quite fun! Scott and I went to the store to get a shepherd's hook for the front garden, and the only one we liked had two hooks and two detachable ones as well. So, I ended up doing two hanging baskets! I am quite pleased with them. Lauren seemed pretty happy about hers too! I got all the stuff we purchased at the Grower's Outlet planted one day when my boss let me off early (I also received some spider or ant bites that last for over a week and a sun burn, but that's part of it, I guess). This weekend, we worked on staging the house and purchased the stuff to do 7 more container gardens: 3 for the front porch and 4 for the back porch!

Secondly, we have been working really hard to get our house ready for the professional photographer that is going to come. We really like the girl who came out to help us stage the house. Her name is Tasha Moody and she owns her own business called The Simply Staged Home. She had lots of good suggestions and she was really nice. I know that you will all be surprised, but Scott and I are pretty cheap. I have been wanting to buy things like greenery to put in various places since we moved into this house in 2004. But, whenever I look at the prices, I think "no way". It's so expensive! Well, a lot of what you need to stage a home is fake greenery, plain white, cream, or taupe towels, and lamps. Most of our towels are colors because I like colors. So, I have been going to all the stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, Old Time Pottery, Hobby Lobby, and Garden Ridge and spending lots of money on all these things that I was too cheap to do before. And, it hurts, I am telling you. The good part is that we will have all this stuff to make our new house look nice in a month or so (praying that it's God's will).

Right now our house looks like all the rooms threw up into the living room because we have been pulling things out to go to Goodwill and storage and putting it all in the living room. By the way, does anyone want a dark (almost navy) blue large Bible cover? I bought one to go on a Bible that I wanted to buy Scott for Christmas a few years ago, then, I could never find the right Bible, and now, his Bible is smaller than the cover and he doesn't even use a cover! So, let me know soon, or we're taking it to goodwill!

Once we get everything done, we'll post pictures. I haven't taken pictures of my container gardens yet, so I'll post those later!
Lastly, my hard drive died last week! Scott came home on Monday and got home before me since I went somewhere after work (shopping, I think) and was studying for his Cisco exam. He tried to print a notecard and it didn't work. So, he looked at my computer and the hard drive was mostly dead. So, he pulled as much stuff as he could off the hard drive and went on Tuesday at lunch and purchased a new and improved hard drive. Luckily, we had just made a back up on March 15, and a lot of the files were able to be recovered, so I didn't lose that many pictures. I am just thankful that I have an in-house IT guy! And, he is good-looking on top of all of that!

Here I am after all my hard work. Yes, that is dirt all over my face. It itched and I had to scratch it...but my hands were that's how that happened. I attract dirt like a tv attracts dust!

Here is what I planted out by the mailbox. There are "Miss Huff" Lantana and a Clematis to climb up the mailbox post. I hope it does really well!

Here is the front garden on the right side. The left side is pretty full, as long as the calla lilies I planted last year come back. But, over on the right side, I planted gladiolus (the tall things in the back), daylilies (I think they are going to be pink), and pink zinnia. In the hanging baskets, we put a fuschia geranium and wave petunias around that. Those big green things lining the walk way are De'Oro lilies. They are HUGE this year! I can't wait until they bloom! Oh, and I also planted a clematis under the shepherd's hook. I hope it grows fast!

This is an up-close picture of the clematis that I planted under the hanging baskets on the shepherd's hook.

These two pictures are what I did in the back yard (I took them before I put in pine straw, so it looks a little ugly). We planted that crepe myrtle 2 years ago, but it hasn't grown much because of the drought. But, in front of it, I planted the same daylilies as up front and some gladiolus.
So, just look at that picture at the top! Who wouldn't want our house? Don't you want to buy it?