happy halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011

We didn't have much of a spook-tastic weekend, as I had planned. And since we don't know anyone here yet, there were no fun Halloween funtions or parties to attend. How about a little flashback for now?

Halloween 2011 pictures will come later this week.

I lurve these photos of L-bug on her first Halloween last year.







This year we'll be eating a festive dinner (mummy dogs + macaroni), hitting the streets in our superhero capes and hoping for good weather and minimal meltdowns/stranger anxiety!

Hope you all have a fun + safe Halloween!

flashback friday : the pumpkin patch.

Friday, October 28, 2011

 2010
L-bug at the pumpkin patch in New York. She was 9 months old!



2011
My girl at the sweet little patch down the road from our new house here in South Carolina.



They grow way too fast.

p365 - the past few weeks : part 2.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Here's what happened the last two weeks...

Week 41

281. Moving day!
282. Hot Krispy Kreme donuts - yum!
283. The way you eat breakfast right after you've moved.
284. Trying out a new restaurant with my loves. The Mellow Mushroom.
285. Flowers.
286. A peek into our new house (the master bath).
287. Fried pickles. Not horrible but not amazing.


Week 42

288. Our front door decked out for Halloween. We added a pumpkin, a mum & lights.
289. Lunch at Hard Rock Cafe in Myrtle Beach with my loves & parents!
290. A sweet little yard sale find for L.
291. My whateverisinthefridge stir-fry I thew together for lunch. And the much needed caffeine.
292. Playing outside!
293. It was a good mail day.
294. A little walk around our new 'hood.


p365 - the past few weeks : part 1.

I am SO behind on my p365 posts. Life has just been too busy for me to catch up. But I did still take a picture every. single. day. That's pretty awesome for me. Granted most of them are iPhone/Instagram pictures, but photos nonetheless.

Week 39

267. Me and L took a walk downtown one drizzly morning for Toby's birthday treat.
268. Having Sunday lunch at one of our favorite places.
269. Quiet mama time.
270. My fortune cookie fortune a few nights before M was offered his new job. M's fortune said something along the lines of being very successful in business soon. They were right on the money.
271. She wanted to draw. I  gave her a pen. This was the outcome.
272. Swings!
273. Ice cream/goodbye date with a friend & L-bug!

Week 40

274. Hello, New York.
275. Apple cider donuts & hot cocoa at Maskers Orchard.
276. Swedish meatballs,
277. My girl ♥ At a rest area on our way back to NC.
278. Our bathtub at the hotel in SC.
279. Spent the morning in the hotel blogging and debating which house to rent.
280. Helping mama pack on our next to last day living in NC.

Stay tuned for part 2...


FALL TO-DO LIST | AN UPDATE

Monday, October 24, 2011

I am loving Fall.

This past weekend, we hit up a pumpkin patch and a street festival. We had SO much fun! And we stuffed our faces full of the most delicious food (I'm talking BBQ, Belgian fries and deep fried Oreos & snickers!)

 L-bug enjoying her pumpkin-shaped cookie at the festival! Between the orange frosting on it and the Cheetos she had for a snack (mine, not actually hers!) she looked like a pumpkin herself!

I'll post more pictures later but I wanted to go ahead and cross some things off our fall list. I posted this here almost a month ago.

Fall To-Do List
Go apple picking.
Carve a pumpkin.
Take L-bug to the Bronx Zoo. Or, any Boo at the Zoo event.
Drink hot cocoa with extra marshmallows.
Go to a pumpkin patch.
Repeat last years photo of Lia in a pile of leaves.
Make Lia's Halloween costume.
Bake an apple pie.
Jump in a pile of leaves.
Go trick-or-treating!
Have a picnic.
Go on a bike ride.
Watch "It's the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown".
Go to a fair or street festival.
Make this pinecone garland.

Pumpkin carving and hot cocoa drinking will come later this week! The Boo at the Zoo probably won't happen because no one can touch the Bronx Zoo. Leaves are hard too, but does anyone know if I can buy them somewhere? The only tree we have is a palm tree :(

And of course, trick-or-treating and watching Charlie Brown will happen closer to Halloween. So most of everything will get checked off!

Now I'm off to work on the house. We unpacked the last of the boxes in the garage and cleaned the garage up - but the office/playground is still a disaster. We don't have a desk (I've been using a small side table and L's bean bag chair) and we're waiting to buy the perfect one at Target.com. But otherwise, the house is coming along. I'm going to try to tackle the spare bedroom today - it's full of L's old baby stuff but it's going to be the guest bedroom and my scrapbooking/crafting closest.

We hung some pictures and shelves yesterday so the house is looking homey, but once it's finished - I'll post pictures!

Wish me luck & Happy Monday!

chicken and black bean quesadillas : a recipe!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh, how yummy dinner tonight was. Like, so good we had seconds and would have gone back for thirds had there been any food left! Even l-bug ate some.

I whipped up these awesome quesadillas using this PW recipe, this other recipe and a bit of my own touch. They were amazing. If I had known how good they were then I would have planned this post out a bit.

 But since I didn't know how awesome of a cook I was going to turn into tonight (ha!) here's what you get:


It's a really simple recipe - I made ours using only one chicken breast since L doesn't really care for meat. You can use more just double up everything else!

Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, sliced & diced
1 can of diced green chiles
1 can of black beans, drained
Chili pepper, ground cumin, pepper, Lawry's salt and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
Shredded cheeses (I used cheddar and mozzerella)
Butter/Margarine
Olive oil
Flour tortillas

Slice and dice your chicken into bite-sized pieces. Toss 'em in a bowl and season them. I just eyeballed everything - no measuring. You can taste the chicken once it's cooked and see what it's missing.

Heat up some olive oil in a pan. Add the chicken and cook a few minutes. Add the can of chiles. Mix together and let cook until done.

Put a pat of butter in another hot pan, letting it melt some. I make the bottom layer of the quesadilla first and then put it in a pan. So on a plate, I lay out one tortilla and top it with cheese and some black beans. Place that in the pool of butter, add your chicken mixture then top with another tortilla. Let it get browned and toasty then flip over and let the other side cook.

Then, plate up and eat up! So so good.


OCTOBER

Thursday, October 20, 2011

                                                                     Source: positivelypresent.com via kristy on Pinterest


October,
You are more than half way over and I never stopped to properly greet you. While you may not be my favorite month (I save that kind of love for November...) you are a strong contender for second favorite.

I have to say - I haven't been very happy that you don't like to show yourself much in the "low country" parts of South Carolina that I now reside in. But today? Today you showed yourself. You sent me the glorious sun, temperatures in the 60s and a refreshed spirit.

You are looking pretty good, my dear October. The house has a chill, the crockpot is simmering and smelling so delish, an apple pie will be finding its way to the oven very soon and the weekend brings hope of homemade chili in bread bowls, pumkin patches, cuddly time at home and maybe even a street fair.

I hope you decide to stay awhile. 

XOXO,
A big fan of you.



HELLO FROM SOUTH CAROLINA

Monday, October 17, 2011

We are home. We are sort of settled in. We are happy.

I really thought I would get the house together so fast - you know, being that we didn't have this luxury for so long. But one tends to get used to having upto7 family members always around and a mostly unemployed husband to help with the toddler. Now it's just me. And Toby, the dog. But he isn't much help.

Evenings and weekends with M off work have been nuts. We've had errands to run and things we need for the house and about 5 trips to Home Depot for missing furniture bolts. We had a big grocery trip to make and a 4-hour ride up to Myrtle Beach to meet my parents for the afternoon. Needless to say, we bought a bunch of stuff this weekend and none of it got put away. Minus the groceries which just got shoved into an open cabinet. Our house is a W.R.E.C.K.

I'm going to pull all my motivation together and get alot of stuff done today, along with dinner in the crock-pot. Then I am hoping by the end of this week, we'll be settled in for real. Then regular life and blogging and photo taking and pinterest browsing and Fall festivities can resume.

But, can I just say? Can I just say how happy we are to be where we are and to have been given the opportunity we got. Because we are so happy. We are so thankful. It is going to take some adjusting and learning and hardwork and supporting each other and hopefully neighbors that eventually open their blinds and introduce themselves but we'll make it. And I have a feeling we'll love it.

So sorry again, for being missing so long. I promise I'll be back soon with pictures and updates and posts that you'll love! But now I have to go. The house isn't toddler-proof yet and I am pretty sure Lia is doing some serious contemplating about sticking a USB cord in the electrical outlet. Yikes!

Happy Monday!

P.S.
Lately L has been letting me cuddle her like a newborn for a few minutes here and there. Can't say I dislike it!

P.P.S.
Remember this post? I had my pumpkin caramel latte candle burning and When Harry Met Sally playing the other day. ♥

hello, Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hello, Tuesday morning. You are looking pretty good. Can I just say that it's great to see you in my own home. I don't even mind the rain. If only I had a crockpot and chili ingredients, things would be fab.

As it stands, my crock pot (and other pans) were taken over by mold during the last 7 months they spent in storage. I guess they didn't appreciate laying around, being unused.

And my fridge is unstocked.

But all that will be fixed in a few days. I just wanted to pop in and tell you (and remind myself!) how happy and blessed we are. So far, we are loving this.

Thanks for being patient while I put blogging on the back burner. Cable should be out here tomorrow to hook up cable/Internet but we don't have a computer desk yet so I don't see blogging happening soon - minus random phone posts when i feel the urge.

Happy Tuesday! I hope today treats you well.

home.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Im testing the blogger app I just downloaded on my iPhone and writing this post from the road.

We got a house! We chose the second house. The one with a bit more space, no laundry issue and most importantly, no pet alligator ;)

I knew once we walked in it was a better fit for us. Not as charming, but I make our house a home - not the built ins.

We are driving back to NC now. We'll be picking up our moving truck tomorrow morning, using the whole day to pack & load it. Saturday morning we are spending a couple hours at a local festival with my family then making the big move!

We are so excited. And so blessed and thankful. To our families for their endless support and help and our friends who were always their for us - you have no idea how much it means to us!

Now: time for the next chapter in our lives.

I will be back to post once we are somewhat settled in!

HOUSE HUNTING

It's 7:15 in the morning. I can't sleep. I guess after little sleep this week, 7 am is sleeping in?

So, I'm going to blog. Maybe if I just put this out there in the blog-iverse, I can get a clearer picture on what to do

We have 2 days to house hunt. Yesterday and today. We want need to move in this Saturday. Yeah, like in 3 days. Apparently, this area of South Carolina is quite the popular place. We had a huge list of houses to look at and almost every. single. one has been rented already. Before we even made it to SC. Several realtors never even called back. Except 2. 

One guy showed us about 5 houses yesterday. One was a townhome. I wasn't expecting to be wowed with such last minute shopping, but I thought we would find something you know. The first house was outdated and would need all the closest doors/fans/paint changed (it was a ugly salmon color throughout the house and the fans were from the 80s. Oh, and don't get me started on the fact that every closest door was mirrors - I felt like I entered a jazzercise class). But the small front office and backyard impressed us. The second house didn't stick out, at all. I don't know if that's good or bad. The townhome was nice, but small. And no storage or backyard. The fourth home would have been perfect. Beautiful hard wood floors, big windows where the sun streamed in, lots of closests, a nice eat-in-kitchen, 4 bedrooms, a garage. It even came with a play set that would be ours while we lived there in our backyard! Only the owners must have been color-blind. The carpets upstairs were blue. Yeah, blue. With lavendar and pastel yellow walls. It was hideous. But the rest of the house was great - as long as I could paint all the walls (upstairs and down).  It was top runner (even with the blue carpets) until he showed us the last house. We didn't know anything about this, so we didn't know what to expect.

We drive up to a gated community, drive through some quiet tree-lined streets and pull up in front of a quaint cottage. It's not tiny but it isn't huge. The upstairs has good space and the attic is partially finished so we can have that bit of storage. There is a small separate garage out back. The kitchen/dining room/living room are much smaller than we are used to, but it's because our master bedroom/bath/walk-in closest is downstairs. We love this place. It's cute and quaint and has character. It feels like I could pour charm and coziness into this place and it would be a good fit for the 3 of us. Even working with the smaller living areas. I mean, it's got a real fireplace and built-ins on either side of it. Freshly-painted. Nice big room upstairs for an office/playroom. Ready to move in on Saturday. Oh, and did I mention it comes with a gator? Yeah, there's a gator in the lagoon across the street.

I know what you are thinking...what's the problem? Other than the whole gator issue which seems to be the norm down here in "low country" - so they like to call their location. One, to be exact. One small yet big problem. The laundry room. It's techincally a small closest in the kitchen. It comes with a one piece laundry unit. Those really small, stackable washer/dryers? This one must be ancient. I wouldn't even pretend to wash our clothes in that thing. We own our own washer & dryer, but I don't know if they will fit in that small closest. We *think* that they will, but getting them in there is a whole 'nother story.

We have the application and are pretty sure this house could work - but we can't be sure about the washer/dryer until we move in. We've got measurments of the closest and the washer/dryer - and we think if we take the closest door off, it'll fit and we'll just make a quick fix by hanging a pretty curtain.

And then that brings us to today. We have one showing today. Only one. Then we have to make a decision. We are out of time and houses.

The one today looks nice. We drove past it yesterday and I found the rental ad online last night so we saw a few pictures of the inside. It seems nice. Larger than the one yesterday by about 300ish sq ft. It's a corner lot, nice neighborhood. No gator across the street (although he seems to just add charm to that cottage!). If it is nice and clean on the inside - it's easy to move in. No painting or changing things, we hope. We should be able to move in on Saturday. But it's already lacking the charm of the cottage.

I know there will be more space and I know we will probably like it. We haven't seen it yet so I think we'll have a better idea when we see it later. But, do we go the easy way where the house is slightly bigger or do we go the "cozy charmy house with the laundry issue that could possibly be fixed and the small living room/kitchen issue but oh those built-ins and the cottage-style windows upstairs that M loves".

I don't know. We don't know. Both are affordable. In fact, I think there's only a $25-$50 difference per month. This time, it's not about money. It's about space and what works for us. And charm, because we lurve the charm.

We have to remember - this isn't permanent. It's a 1-2ish year house. We want to buy. We want to settle. We'll probably start house hunting again very soon. So, what do we choose to work best for us for a short time period? And, I'll put it out there. M wants another kid. Soon I am going to be ready for that. I think both houses will allow us to grow our family. Maybe not a ton of extra space - but I think it can happen.

We need help!! But here's hoping that with a little luck and a whole lot of prayer, M and I will drive away from SC today having a home to come back to on Saturday. A home to start our new chapter and raise our daughter. A home to get back to us, as the small family of 3 I am in love with.

Fingers crossed. 

JUST A QUICK ONE

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oh man, I feel like I haven't blogged in months! The past week has been nuts. First off, M got a job! He got a job!! We are beyond excited and thankful. He starts work on Tuesday, therefore we have until this weekend to get a house and move.

His job is in South Carolina and we've been here since this morning. We've see a few houses today and one stood out. We have one more showing tomorrow and then by noon, we should have a house. We are having a little trouble deciding. It's kind of slim pickings when you have just a few days notice but we are working through it.

In the past week, we've gotten the great news, quit our jobs, traveled to NY for 2 days and traveled sans L-bug to SC. Tomorrow we'll head back home and hopefully start packing everything so we can move on Saturday. We are running on very little sleep but we'll get it done.

I just wanted to pop in and let everyone know we are okay! Once we settle in somewhat, I'll get another post going and hopefully catch up on p365.

Thanks for all the prayers and support!!!