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Yardwork and Party Planning…

July 28, 2012

You know what’s a good idea? Moving into a house, planning projects and hosting a baby shower. All in about a month… Good planning huh?

For real, I think hosting this baby shower is just the kick in the pants we needed to give some deadlines for house projects. I wanted the yard in check, living room painted, house cleaned, shutters and front door painted. I don’t want to jinx my self but I actually think it will all be done by the time I host in 2 weeks!

I haven’t had a day without a long to -do list and enough sun light for some pictures but I did think to grab a picture of ONE of my TWO debris piles:

We don’t have any plans to plant anything for the time being so the yard is looking a bit nekked, but it’s a good start! Can’t wait to get my act together and share before and afters!

Since the yard has been de-cluttered, I am finally getting serious about baby shower prep:

Somehow Pinterest has given me about 15 too many ideas and they’re all DIY. Poor Finley is not amused with all the paper and scissors and cussing when something looks weird.

I promise I’m not leaving blogland but I just have the hardest time committing to any sort of blog post right now. Hope y’all are doing well :)

New Recipes…

July 17, 2012

This post could also be titled “Look how often I find new recipes off Pinterest” or ” OMG we consume a lot of recipes that have a cream sauce” but for now we’ll just break up the house posts a bit I had to share some deliriousness we’ve been trying lately:

  • Penne & Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce

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Source: verybestbaking.com via Katie on Pinterest

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This was my first real attempt at eating sun-dried tomatoes. I am considering this a victory in the trying new things category even though it may not seem all that adventurous to y’all. This was also my first time cooking with evaporated milk, not sure what it adds that’s different then a heavy cream but it was good and the sauce was easy so I’m a fan.

We grilled some chicken the night before this recipes so it was easy to add in and make this more a full entree than just pasta.

  • Slow Cooker- Salsa Chicken

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Source: millerfamilyorganizer.blogspot.com via Katie on Pinterest

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This one we liked, and it made a lot of food, but for some reason I don’t remember being wow’ed by it. I think I feel this way with most “slow cooker” recipes though. I think maybe it’s because I feel the need to still stir and fuss over them.

This one made a lot of leftovers that I mostly sent back with the husband to eat throughout the week.

  • Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage & Tortellini Soup.

Source: alfrescoallnatural.com via Katie on Pinterest

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This recipe had my interest peaked because my friend, Jenny, introduced me to tortellini and I liked them! But we make so.much.pasta. in our house that I wanted another way to eat it. We also don’t have a a big repertoire of soups. This was good… no leftovers to really  because I read the instructions wrong and we had to half it, so I can’t speak to how it re-heats. 

  • Parmesan Chicken Wings

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Source: tasteofhome.com via Katie on Pinterest

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Chicken wings had been on sale one week and despite the fact I don’t like “saucy” wings I thought we’d give them a try. Albie kept with a more traditional wing method but I went with these and dipped them in an embarrassing amount of ranch that was DELISH. I loved these and may be adding them to the menu plan again soon now that I’m looking at the picture again.

  • Bangin’ Grilled Shrimp Skewers

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Source: skinnytaste.com via Katie on Pinterest

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This recipe is from, gasp, a healthy website. I don’t find my self on websites helping me to make recipes have lower calories that often but this shrimp recipe was super yummy! We served this with rice and we doubled the sauce (thus, making it unhealthy) and they really were a non-fried version of the Bang Bang Shrimp. Yum!!

  • Stuffed Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

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Source: theboogieblog.net via Katie on Pinterest

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We actually made this one over the weekend and it was really good, but the sauce is what made it. This sauce was a like a spicy “white sauce” and I think I could put on just about anything.

We did not end up “stuffing” the salmon since I read in the comments on the recipe that someone didn’t think it added much, so we did the full marinade and the sauce and I think we got the full effect.  Our salmon did come out a bit dry, but I can’t decide if that’s because we cooked it the full time and then broiled the top to toast the sesame seeds a bit more or if we had thin cuts of the fish.

Either way, this had a great flavor, but the sauce totally stole the show and I’m pumped I have so much left over to eat this week.

New Appliances…

July 11, 2012

With our new house came the need for need appliances.

When we bought our last house, everything came with the house and they were great. We didn’t blink an eye when the buyer of ours wanted to keep them as part of her purchasing our house since we figured we’d get whatever came in the next one. Unfortunately due to the fact we bought a short sale and the situation the previous owners were in, they were not able to include the appliances. Major bummer.

This left us in kind of unknown territory. Neither Albie or I had ever purchased something like a fridge, let alone a washer & dryer too. First off? My expectations of how much something would actually cost were WAY off. I thought a new, nice, stainless fridge was TOPS around $1,000… uh, wrong, think closer to $2k. I also thought I could get a reasonable washer & dryer for around $800, total… not EACH.

We spent a couple days going to every appliance store in town, local companies and big box stores. We learned a lot about what we were looking for – we wanted stainless steel fridge to match the stove/oven and we wanted a High Efficiency Washer and Dryer, still tossed around the idea of a front loader or top loader.

We read reviews to appliances like it was our JOB. We were on Consumer Reports every day trying to find the best appliances for our money and once we liked certain ones, we used the week before the 4th of July to cash in on some sales and bought all 3 from Sears.

We went with this french door 25 cubic feet Whirlpool Gold fridge:

We knew we wanted the freezer on the bottom since we liked that in our last house, but were impartial to the french doors or one door on the fridge. After talking to one salesman we realized our island was too close to the fridge and we would actually need french doors. We also were hoping to avoid the water/ice station int he front of the fridge because I had read people end up having problems with them down the road and I tend to like the fridge to be clean and plain looking on the front.

We do have a TON of capacity in the fridge and you can see that even after a trip to the grocery store we still aren’t using all the space.

The freezer was a bit more challenging to get organized only because I have been doing this cash budget and couponing so a lot of food is getting frozen right now. The drawers are easy to use and we LOVE having an automatic ice maker. We don’t use much ice but it’s nice to have since the last house didn’t have one even though it was a pretty new freezer.

This fridge did come with a water filter on the inside and it’s super tiny but easy to use. Since we seemed to have lost the Brita in the move, I guess I’m glad it came with one!

Full disclosure: We were able to score this fridge as an “open box” at Sears which is what made it affordable to us. We also had a great salesman who was able to squeeze some other deals for us. All said and done we were able to steal this fridge, delivered and installed, for about $1,000 (right at the budget point!) and saved over $900.

For the washer and dryer we went with this LG washer and this LG dryer.

The digital displays made us nervous before we got them just because if it can break, for us it probably will. But so far we really like them! These really are like tiny computers – they sense your load size and disperse enough water to just wash what’s in there. They have pre-set load cycles that you can select for both the washer and the dryer.

It’s weird to look in and not see the agitator but it seems to wash the clothes really well without the mildew problems that front loaders seem to have.

We have only had them a week or so, but they have had a work out with all the laundry that came out of the move so I feel comfortable saying we’re really happy with them.

Full disclosure: These were not open box, just plain ol’ good deals thanks to the 4th of July sales. We got both of these, delivered and installed, for right around $1,100. We saved about $600 on these thanks again to our awesome salesman and some good price hunting.

And just for fun here is our stove/ oven that we did get with the house:

When we first went through the house we weren’t sure we’d like the double oven, but it is so cool! Since it’s just us and we’re normally only making things on a cookie sheet everything we need can be cooked in that top tiny section. It takes less than 5 minutes to pre-heat to 350 and cooks really evenly. We have not needed the larger section yet!

Obviously my appliances may not be that super interesting to y’all but I wanted to put it out there in case anyone else is in the market for some.  Also this could count as a sneak peak into the kitchen now that we’re all moved in. I promise to have some “after” pictures soon!

Now that I have these though, I want to keep them super clean. What do y’all use to clean your stainless steel appliances? Also anything good for class cook tops or can I stick with Windex?

Our New Home…

July 9, 2012

Last Monday we closed on our house! It’s been a crazy week off from work with some little projects and some MAJOR unpacking. But it’s DONE!

These pictures are from the MLS listing and I’ll be back through hopefully tomorrow with some pictures now that we’re all moved in.

Front of the house

Living Room from the back looking toward the front

 

Living Room looking from the front to the back

Kitchen coming through from the living room

Kitchen looking into the living room

Dinning Room

Master Bedroom

Second Bedroom

Third Bedroom

Fourth bedroom

Back of the house and back yard

Thank y’all so much for your tweets, texts and emails with Congrats! We’re very excited about it and can’t wait to get into a routine again. Albie is still in Raleigh but continues to look for a job here, so happy thoughts are welcome while we keep at this long distance thing.

You can tell from the listing’s pictures that we have a wee bit of painting to do since we don’t have any need for those 2 little kid rooms. And it’s almost funny to look at all of these and see how empty it feels since we don’t have a lot of furniture. But as everyone keeps reminding me, we have plenty of time to work on our projects and fill it up!

Getting Ready for the House…

June 25, 2012

This is our last week being “homeless” and I am so so excited to close I literally dream about it all night! We only have this week to wrap up some things we actually have a lot going on but it still feels like I’m trying to run in mud!

My to-do list before closing includes (with completed tasks cross off):

  • Collect boxes for packing
  • Start to pack room
  • Get Insurance quotes
  • Set up insurance with escrow
  • New Roof quotes
  • Get new roof installed
  • Home Inspection
  • Home Appraisal
  • Pest Inspection
  • Call Direct TV for set up date
  • Get Time Warner appointment for internet
  • Research refrigerators
  • Buy new refrigerator
  • Research washer & dryers
  • Buy new washer & dryer
  • Figure out paint colors
  • Organize garage for moving
  • Give Storage unit 2 week notice
  • Change address with Post Office
  • Set up carpet cleaning
  • Set up carpet stretching
  • Set up Progress Energy in our name
  • Set up Water & Trash in our name
  • Book movers
  • Review final HUD statement
  • Get closing cost check

I’ve been plugging away at my lists since the end of May when we found out we’d be getting the house but it still feels like a million things have yet to be done. And it feels like the BIG stuff is what’s left too, which is frustrating.

The roof on the house is old and not in good shape and we worked out a deal with the sellers to get a new roof done before closing. That should happen this week and I am so excited to see it!

We have spent HOURS (and hours and hours and hours…) researching new appliances since we are not getting the ones in the house currently (long story for another time). We made the fridge the priority since, ya know, eating is important. And after weeks of looking and being close to purchasing a few we finally found one on Saturday at Sears:

I am like over the top excited about my new fridge. Isn’t she pretty??

Next up on the appliance list is a washer and dryer set so of course I’m all overwhelmed with the options:

I am leaning away from front loaders due to the smell issues and Albie is a little timid about the digital controls. Regardless of the style I am so excited to get away from the water wasting, agitator style of the older styles! Buying new appliances is hella expensive but I am kind of glad to know that what we buy now will last for a long time!

Anyone purchase a new set recently and care to share how you got to your decision?

2012 Spring Football Game…

June 14, 2012

Not sure I could be going too much further back in time for the sake of catching up but I wanted to put up pictures from the NC State’s Spring Football game back in early April.

Every year our fans come out by the thousands to watch whats basically a glorified scrimmage. In past years the game was simply known as the “Red/ White” game but with the passing of Kay Yow we renamed the game and made it an opportunity to raise money for Breast Cancer research through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

I have to be a little honest and tell y’all that I really like the opportunity to wear PINK! I don’t even own that much pink but it’s fun to fit the theme and show support at the same time.  You can tell my cute friend, Megan, agrees with me.. Albie sticks to his red obviously.

Our Spring Game was also aired on ESPN this year so they had all the fans sit on one side of the stadium and despite a pretty rainy and cold (read: 65 degrees) day we had a great turnout! An article released after the game says that this one game raised over $26,000 for the Kay Yow Fund! Isn’t that awesome!?

Only 79 days until NC State football kicks off! Tickets have been ordered and we’re going to have our tailgating gear out of storage! We’re READY!

New NC State Graduate…

June 13, 2012

I am super behind in some blog posts so I figured the best way to get back in the groove of posting was to just start putting up some things that happened as I clean off my camera.

Being that Albie and I are NC State graduates we were super proud of my little brother when he graduated from State this past May.

I think the longest part of such a big graduation ceremony has got to be the processional. It went on for what felt like an hour and of course not only was my brother’s department one of the last to enter but he was at the end of the line. Why they make the students get there hours before hand is beyond me…

Isn’t that an amazing sight? Look at all that Wolfpack RED!

Besides Greg graduating I was SUPER excited to hear the commencement speaker. The year we graduated the speaker was no one special and I can’t to this day remember what they talked about. My brother’s class got San Diego Charger’s Quarterback, Philip Rivers! Color me jealous since I have had a mega married-girl crush on him since he was a student at State and we watched him play as students.

His speech was excellent  – he spoke about having priorities and how his were “Faith, Family and Football… in that order!”

After the big graduation ceremony we headed across campus to his departmental ceremony where he got to walk across the stage and shake hands with all of his professors:

Pardon the facial hair on this kid – he did major in Parks & Rec with a minor in Outdoor leadership so I guess the Grizzly Adams look is kind of to be expected. As is the moose tie?


Woohoo Greg! We are so proud of you and excited to see what you do next!

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