Sweets & Treats Gallery

Friday, July 24, 2009

a little stroll...

Nothing major to blog about today. Just a typical Friday... chomping at the bit to be outta here, especially because it is so nice outside.

J & I took a nice leisurely stroll to the market near our home. It was our first of many walks to come. We talked about how we'll take the dog for a walk, when we get one (CAN HARDLY WAIT UNTIL WE HAVE DOGGY!!!). We rented a Red Box movie, got some snacks and vegged out. It was bliss! Don't ever take forgranted the time you have with your partner. I only see J about 10 hours a week because of our conflicting work schedules. Our time together yesterday was a real treat!!

Happy weekend!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

patio dining...

Last night, when I got home, I noticed that Penguin finished building the patio furniture we bought. The two chairs have been done for a while. Yesterday he finished building the love seat and table. I rushed over to the sliding glass door, pulled back the curtains and squealed with delight. It was beautiful.

Nestled under the purple wisteria covered awning was this cozy and private little world. Penguin had taken my vintage candle holder and put it on top of the table and arranged the seating around the table. A few weeks ago he suggested stringing twinkle lights under the awning. It's magical without the twinkle lights. I can only imagine it with the twinkle lights: BLISS!

An hour passed before J called. I spent the time ironing some curtains, getting them ready to hang. When we spoke live, J told me he was bringing a load of stuff from my apartment back to the house and suggested I go pick up some food. Instantly I thought: we should eat on the patio. Before I could say it, he did. I squealed with delight again and immediately jumped in the car to go pick up food!

When we moved into our home, the grocery store closest to us sent us a coupon for a free dinner. Sounds good to me! I went the grocery store and inquired about the coupon at the deli. The deli man walked me around the store and helped me pick the rotisserie chicken (I chose garlic!), the two sides (coleslaw is J's favorite, and I like baked beans) and Hawaiian sweet rolls. All free! Really, it was free! I also picked up a bag of salad. It was a perfect dinner without all the slaving in the kitchen. After all, we still have more stuff to bring over from my apartment.

J peeked in the grocery bag when I got home. "Oh, yum," he said. "How much did all this cost?" I said, "$3." Penguin is also impressed. He smiled, said "That's my girl!" and went out front to water the plants while I prepped dinner.

So far, it was a dream scenario--one of those moments you praise God for your blessings. I was humming around the kitchen making dinner in my home with J in the front tending to the yard.

A few moments later, J came to the back patio. There were plates and bowls of food every where. We were stunted by the lack of space on our little table. He commented that a tray of cheeses and a bottle of wine are the perfect servings for the patio! I agreed. All in all, it was a lovely dinner. Without television or music, we were able to slow down and catch up with each other. It was so nice!

Looking toward the house and patio. Note the sun burnt Japanese maple. Poor little guy.
Our romantic feast for two with a huge side of hose. Ha, ha!
Our delicious and mostly free meal.
I hope you are able to enjoy a meal outdoors with your special loved one!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

penguin strikes again...

For those who follow my blog (Mom, Michelle and Heidi), you know about the notorious Penguin. You know that we bought a house and that we've had a few little hurdles as we make it our own. You know that he and I couldn't have more opposite taste. However, you will be proud to know that Penguin was trusted with the decision of choosing our living room furniture (yea for micromanaging me!), and he succeeded!

We spent four tired, hungry, hypoglycemic hours meandering the floors of local furniture show rooms. Some highlights include the weird staulkerish man who ignored Jason completely and awkwardly checked me out (Jason always gets a kick out of how black men love me) but didn't speak to either of us as he followed us around the show room. Another highlight was Costco where all the show pieces were being occupied by people. Every single piece had people on them (Penguin's culture has been disgraced!), reading books and magazines sitting in them. We were soooo irritated that I finally plopped my big butt down next to an older man and his father. They bounced up a little from my cushion's sudden absorption of the shock of my weight. They both looked over at me in dismay. Are you kidding me!?!? Don't let me interrupt your reading... at COSTCO ON A SHOW PIECE!!! Idiots! My favorite, however, was the lady who was reading about Jessica Simpson in a People magazine while her four toddler children played aimlessly in the aisle. I am soooo intolerant to this total, clueless lack of consideration for others. ANNOYING!!!

Then, on our last stop, we found it: THE LIVING ROOM SET. Jason know right away. So did I, but I acted indifferent and neutral. "Whatever you think," I said. "It's your decision." We walked around the rest of the GIGANTIC show room. Nothing was as nice as the set we had just seen. Nothing could beat the quality or the price. Finally, I asked Penguin, "Is that the set?" "Yes," he said, "I have to make an executive decision. It's the one." Secretly, I knew it too. But I wanted him to know how much his leadership and decision-making is important to me. Plus, it's not exactly what I would have if I had my girl bachelorette pad, but is exactly what I wanted for our living room. Like I told Penguin, it's masculine and striking, but cozy and warm. And get this gals, Penguin suggested white pillows to accent it. Are you kidding? Has he really come to my side of decorating? Indeed!
Penguin loved the antique mirror with a white frame that I put above the fire place a few days ago. I didn't ask first. I just did it. I tend to do that. I try something out, see if I like it. If I do, it stays, if I don't it moves somewhere else. The frame was the changing force for the room. Now he wants to tastefully incorporate some of his comic books in the bookshelves and accent with pops of cream and white (easy enough since I've been collecting white porcelain pieces (thank you Mom & Martha Stewart) for the last year or so with our future home in mind). Wholly moley. I am soooo glad I things played out like they did; rather than pouting and demanding my way (sage advice from my mother!), I let Penguin work through his wants until he realized what would actually be nice, neutral and comfy in the space.

So Penguin, although you think you are a great decorator and I've disagreed to this point, you are coming around. Thank you for picking such fabulous couches all by yourself. You've done a marvelous job with all your selections to date! But don't forget, I get 100% creative license on the dining room! You promised!

Enjoy the photos of our new set (couch not included).
Hugs & Squeezes,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

we love coldplay...

There is something life affirming about live music. It's like your life is television with the mute on and suddenly you're at a concert and someone pushes the mute button and your life goes from silent to volume 30.

Honestly, I can't believe I haven't seen Coldplay in concert before now. They are one of my top ten favorite bands. When you consider that I've been to 9 Dave Matthews Band concerts, naturally you'd assume that I would have been to at least once Coldplay concert before now. When I read on my co-workers blog that she was going to Coldplay, I commented to ask how she got such great seats. She called me twenty minutes later to tell me she wanted me to go as her guest. "SHUT UP!!! Are you serious?" Needless to say, I was THRILLED!!! The count down to the concert began....

Finally, Tuesday, Coldplay day... the day my life would get a whole lot better. All day I had trouble focusing. I listened to Viva la Vida softly at my desk. The anticipation was killing me!

I told my friend Michelle (wearing green) we'd be taking photos at each milestone of the concert going experience. As promised, I did. I felt like my mom, who took pictures at each and every one of my milestones: every first day of school, my first day of work at my first job, every dance, etc. I guess her legacy lives on in me to the inth degree! Thank you digital cameras!

Here are some photos from the adventure:
Tickets in hand, locking the door as we leave for the concert.
A yummy meal at Jack's Urban Eats was a great start to the evening!
Is this the way to V.I.P. parking?
Blurry, but beautiful!
"And it was all yellow!"
This concert was magical. Absolutely breathtaking!

Coldplay if you're on LSD.
The sweet shower of butterfly confetti.
The stage: VIVA!
So, so, sooooo sad that it's over. I could go to a Coldplay concert every day. It was amazing!

THANK YOU MICHELLE!!! You are truly a great friend... Coldplay concert or not!!! My life would be boring and lonely without you!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

charm strings...

My Momma started my love for buttons. She has old vintage canning jars (that have been tinted blue with sun, air and time) filled with every kind of button you can imagine. Although my button collection is tiny in comparison to hers, I do love buttons!

My Momma has told me the story of charm strings since I was a young girl. She loves antiques and simple little stories from the ears before her. Awhile ago I found a children's book called The Memory String by Eve Bunting. I had to buy it for her since she had shared the charm string story with me.

A charm string is a collection of buttons. A young girl would collect and trade buttons to add to their charm string. The craze for charm strings reached a point where girls borrowed pins to fasten their dresses before they could go home from a party because they traded their buttons right off their dresses. Like many fads that young people partake in, sacrifices had to be made for the impending completion of their charm strings, bringing their count to 99 buttons.

Upon receiving the hundredth button, a girl would meet the end of girlhood and the advent of matrimony. The hundredth button given to the girl was by the man she would marry. I'm sure I have 99 buttons that I've collected over the years. I should make my own charm string and tell my fiance to find the most special button he can for a gift on our wedding day--the hundredth button symbolizing my betrothal to him. Being an old fashioned girl in these frighteningly modern times, there is something so pure and sweet and simple to the sentimentality of the charm string and the hundredth button.

Recently, my Momma and Poppa went on a fishing excursion (how cute is it that they go fishing together? PRECIOUS!). One their way through a quaint, little town they found a little historical museum. Imagine my Momma's surprise when she came across a real charm string. Of course she was delighted after the many little stories she's heard and shared about them. She took some photos. I told her I would post them since she's not a blogger yet. In her story she always said the 100th button was the marriage button. As you can see here, it was really a thousand. Eek! I think I like 100 better. Here are the photos:

The Charm String
The Bio About the Charm String
Can You Find My Poppa Fishing?

Thanks for indulging me (and my Momma) in the retelling of charm string story!

Hugs & Squeezes,

happy birthday america...

As you know, I am big fan of America! I love this country. Maybe my deep passion for democracy, freedom, capitalism, etc. comes from my father who served this country honorably! The 4th of July is a celebration of God's country--the best country on the planet! I am deeply saddened by the direction we are headed under an awful, godless leader. Because of the economic climate and the lack of great leadership our country faces, this 4th had extra special significance for me. Here are a few photos from my parent's annual party:

I couldn't get this one on it's side, but it's my childhood wagon with fire crackers and Raggedy Ann & Andy (my Mom made them).
This is the pie station (which turned into a dessert station). My mom is TRULY talented! Isn't this beautiful!?!?! She made the pies too!The winners from the plunger/tp race. Pretty hysterical game!These are the (biased)judges at our first annual Throw Down. My dad & I should have won. He made blue cheese burgers with a caramelized grilled onion and spinach topping. I made snappy dogs (gourmet hot dogs) with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda and bacon bits. Wholly moley! Both were ridiculously good!!!
It was a very happy 4th indeed. Don't forget the liberties you are afforded by living in this country. Don't take them forgranted. 


Hugs & Squeezes,

Friday, July 03, 2009

our house...

It's been just about two weeks since Penguin and I became home owners. So far, so good... except the merging of belongings. We couldn't have more polar opposite styles. He loves dark, black, modern, Asian influenced furniture accented with comic books, trades and giant comic book art. I adore old furniture, painted. I love cake plates, white pitches, picture frames, flowers, pink, white, ribbon, bow, buttons, cupcakes, glitter, birds.... You see the conflict?

Thus far, I have agreed to keep my style in the guest bed and bath room (and mostly because we already have the items and furniture to fill them). As for the master bed and bath, it should definitely reflect both of us. We are going for dark brown, mahogany furniture accented with a soft steel and blue & gold
. No complaints from either of us here, although it is much more Penguin's style than mine. I love the bedding we picked though. The colors are gender neutral, but the design is beautiful and elegant.

The living room is being designed to show off the complete china set my Grandma is giving us for our wedding. It's also the same china she and my Grandfather collected when they got married over 50 years ago. Its GORGEOUS! So, no problems there either (and even if there was, I won't budge because I LOVE, HONOR, and CHERISH family heirlooms!). Oh, and the furniture we will be slowly purchasing for the room is from IKEA.
The kitchen was pretty easy. I am more than willing to work in more masculine(ish) colors. About 6 months ago I began paring down my pink kitchen stuff and collecting all white pieces. I love it, actually. It's clean and timeless. And best of all, it goes with anything. We love our kitchen cabinets too and plan to paint the walls a pretty khaki/tan/beige color. Again, no disagreements. Penguin picked the refrigerator and the updated knobs for the cabinets. I like what he picked!!!

He wants leather couches for the living room. I'm fine with that too (when did I become to surprisingly flexible? Is this was maturity feels like?). Here is the only issue. I want the gorgeous oak built-in cabinets that flank the fireplace to be filled with pretty things (not feminine things mind you) and shared items, like keepsakes, wedding mementos, photos, etc. He wants to fill them up with comic books. Ug. I asked him, "What if I filled it with glitter, fake flowers and pink stuff? How would you feel?" He didn't like the sound of that. I'm not opposed to some comic books. It could be cool and tasteful. They're just not gonna blow up the whole space, yo! But we both agree we want a Starbucky lounge for a living room though. The thing he's missing is the lack of comic books at actual Starbucks. Ha, ha. Also, if you see a random guy in the corner, that's Sam, our Barista. We bought him to enhance the ambiance. ;)

Also, I should mention that two and half years ago I bought all black office furniture with Penguin in mind. I knew black was more his taste than white. And, I will usually default to practical when it comes to large purchases. That room will have two to three of Penguin's framed comic book pieces on the wall (per my request), Penguin's black chair and mini ottoman (my idea), and his Asian lantern (also my idea). I am REALLY trying here. Why the heck is he resisting on the living room thing when I am the intuitive decorator AND when the woman usually has this job?!?! Even if he gave me FULL REIN to do whatever I wanted, I would NEVER make it all pink, white, glittery, girlie love nest. That's what the guest bedroom is for! Can't wait for Penguin's guy friends to come stay in the pink room! Ha, ha!

Anywhoodles, that's my rant. Hopefully Penguin won't read this. Penguin, if you do read this, I love you and you need to trust me. I have been VERY compromising and I have a vision. Let me be your wife (to be) and create a home for us. It's my thing and I will make it lovely and reflective of us. I promise!

Hugs & Squeezes,

P.S. Penguin also picked the patio furniture, which I love. He has good taste... he just needs to give me some opportunity to show him what I can do for our little home!!! :)
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