Friday, June 27, 2008

My New Project!

Not sure if I've mentioned my plan for our new backyard. The yard is big and fenced in, but it's not great. My biggest gripe with it is that it's ALL dirt, there's not one ounce of grass or anything green. This presents many problems, the main one being that we have a very active dog, who likes to dig and roll around. I can't keep up with the amount of mud/dirt she would drag in the house constantly. Obviously it's a rental and we don't want to put a ton of money in it, but we want to do something to make it a little bit more livable. There is a nice patio space right off the house and then a detatched covered gazebo, but after that, it's just dirt, dirt, dirt. Also, we get about 90% shade all day long, so we can't really grow too many flowers/plants/grass.

This leads me to self-installing a "patio". Yes, that's right. There's an area right as soon as you walk out the back door into the yard that is nothing but a mud pit. It's not that big of a space and it's sort of L shaped between the gazebo and existing patio. So my plan is to fill it in with pavers/stones/something to extend the current patio and cover up the mud wrestling pit that forms there every time it rains. I think this is a fabulous idea, Sailor Boy is not sold on it. He doesn't think we need to put that much time/money into it, but we do plan on being in this house about 3 years, so I don't really see it as a waste of money. We obviously need to do something with it, and I'm not sold on planting a big garden there, mainly because I don't have a green thumb and that requires alot of upkeep. Pavers do put them down and that's it. Plus, it's removable if our landlords hate it (which I don't think they would) so we could pull them out when we move (and take them with us - since they would be ours)

I don't have any actual pictures of what the yard looks like now, but I found this picture and this is my best interpretation of the current space (no, I'm not kidding)
Except we don't even have that much "grass". Ok, so it's not really this bad, but you get my idea. I'll take some real pictures soon.

I've also found some pictures of what I'd like the final outcome to resemble.

Something like this - sort of a walkway with large different size pavers.

I found this picture and it just cracked me up. I can totally see me out there with my shovel working by myself, as Sailor Boy watches me and takes pictures of my handiwork. But I wouldn't be wearing mom jeans.

So I guess we really need to price this out and figure out what we need and how much we should expect to pay. Luckily, my BFF K's fiance works in landscape design, so he offered to help me. I'll be sure to do a before, during and after so you can see my completed project!


Longest Week Ever. Seriously. And I've only technically worked 4 days this week, since I never work on Mondays. Geez I thought it would never end. Between the house drama and the fact that I have 3 weddings at the hotel tomorrow, it's been a bit stressful But our house is now flea-free and wonderful. They sprayed the yard too, so that should eliminate a return of the suckers. We're going to continue with the moving this weekend and hopefully be living there full time by next weekend. We haven't brought Spencer over to the house since the flea incident, and it may be a while before I let her over there again...I just want to make sure they're gone before she starts rolling around in the backyard. I actually got the exterminators cell phone number and gave him a call last night - it's the OCD in me coming out. I needed to ask him my 38472636 questions to give myself the final peace of mind.

Tonight we're heading over to our friends L and C's house - they just bought a new townhouse, so we're grilling out there to celebrate. Hopefully the rain will hold off. Sunday we're heading to Ikea, Target and Home Depot to pick up some essentials for the new house. We need blinds for all the windows...the whole house is basically huge, very untraditional sized windows. So we're hoping Ikea will have something that may work because it's going to have to be semi-custom.

We will be insanely busy at work tomorrow, with 3 weddings here. I'm not too stressed though, they are all pretty low maintenance, which is always good. I REALLY like one of the brides - I could totally be friends with her. She's super fun and upbeat and adorable. Her wedding colors are red and chocolate brown, and I was sort of undecided about it when she first told me about it, but once I saw it all together, I really like it. She's doing a complete red and brown candy bar, which is really adorable. Plus, it's really easy to find candy in those too colors. I'll be sure to take some pictures of everything.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

So I'm not quite sure what to do about the house situation. The carpets are ripped up, the exterminator is coming this week, but I'm still really worried. What is stopping these fleas from coming right back in once we move in? They thrive on blood, so I feel like as soon as their are human (and dog) bodies living there, they will be right back with a vengence. Since I'm OCD, I've obviously been researching the crap out of fleas and I'm really freaking myself out. They like to live in sandy and muddy soils, which is exactly what our new backyard is. I'm just picturing the house being sprayed, the fleas taking up residence in our backyard and then having a field day again once we are living there. Obviously Spencer will be spending alot of time in the yard and I really just can't stand thinking about her getting fleas. And knowing that we willingly let it happen.

Our landlords are being very nice and super apologetic about everything, and they actually offered us to walk away now and they would refund our security deposit and everything if we felt the house was un-livable for us. Sailor Boy told them that wasn't necessary, as we planned on moving in once it's all taken care of, but then I started seriously thinking about it yesterday. It looks like the timeframe for us moving in is actually going to be several more weeks, as they have to spray, wait 2-3 weeks with an empty house, and then spray again. So we wouldn't even be moving until mid to late July. I just don't know if I will ever be able to relax in that house. Of course, I started doing more research on other places we could rent in the area and I found a couple of good options. I know Sailor Boy will freak out if I tell him any of this, but part of me thinks it is just a bad idea to live there.

What I really want to do is get advice from my mom, but I've been putting off telling her all of this because she will freak out about the fleas. I know her advice would be "DO NOT MOVE IN THERE". But it is a great house, in a great neighborhood, with a nice big backyard and everything we need in a house. I am so torn. Any advice would be appreciated.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

There are no words

to describe my weekend. I'll start by saying we did NOT move into our new house. yep, that's right. and the reason for this is the most disgusting, horrible, embarrassing, nasty reason ever. It was infested with fleas. yes, that's correct. FLEAS. the entire house is hardwood floors except for the 2 bedrooms which have carpet. Well, we were under the impression that the landlords replaced the carpeting before we moved in. I recently learned it's a MD state law to replace carpet in rental properties in between each tenant. Apparently our landlords didn't get that memo.

Sailor Boy and I go over there Friday night to take some more boxes and start getting unpacked. We literally take over our entire kitchen and unpack it, since the plan was to be moved in and sleeping there by Saturday night. Around 11:30pm, we go into the master bedroom to talk about how we want to arrange our bedroom furniture. Well Sailor Boy is standing there and he starts staring down at his legs. I'm like "what's up with you" and he just looks up at me with this bizarre look in his eyes. All he says is "fleas". Now, I was wearing jeans and sneakers, so I didn't feel anything, but since he was wearing shorts, they were jumping on him like crazy. IT WAS COMPLETE INSANITY. I almost couldn't comprehend what was going on. So the bedroom is obviously infested with the suckers. THANK GOD we hadn't moved one thing over to the bedroom or really anything upholstered at all. Can you imagine if our bed had already been in there? Oh my god, it gives me the chills just thinking about it.

Luckily, I learned pretty quickly (as I literally had NO knowledge about fleas before this) that fleas can't live on hardwood floors, so they were contained to the bedrooms. The woman who rented the house before us had cats, so obviously that's where this all came from (another reason i hate cats). Our landlords had decided to just steamclean the carpets instead of replace them, and that actually probably got the fleas to be active again. They apparently like heat. Wonderful. Needless to say, the carpet has been ripped up in both bedrooms and the exterminator was there bright and early the next day. He put out flea bombs...lovely. It just sucks that our landlords weren't aware of any of this before we moved 70% of our lives over to the new house. I really don't think they would have let us move in or given us the keys if they had known (our female landlord was literally sobbing she felt so bad). So at least we have a resolution and all the fleas are gone. I still don't know how I'm going to feel about it for the first few days of living there, but I have to move on and not think about it (that's Sailor Boys advice to me). We were both so freaked out, grossed out and downright mad, but I think we've gotten over it at this point (at least he is)

Thank God we hadn't moved Spencer over there yet, and even the few times she has been over to the new house, she's never once gone in either bedroom. I would die if the house had given her fleas (even though we give her Frontline every month). So we're not going to move the big furniture and stuff over until this Saturday, another week in the apartment. The bad news is we have absolutely NOTHING over here in terms of kitchen stuff...which makes eating pretty interesting. I sliced a tomato tonight with a plastic knife. We'll just be eating alot of sandwiches and cold foods this week. They are sending the exterminator back later this week, which gives me a little more peace of mind.

So that's my interesting, gross, sad little story about my weekend and my new "dream house". I'm hoping at least someone has had to deal with fleas or something like that so you can give me some reassurance that I'm not going to live in fear of feeling creepy crawly for the whole time we're living there. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The End is Near...

for moving that is. We are almost all done, and I couldn't be more happy about that. Everytime I move, I always say "this is the last time I'm moving, I'm staying here forever". Yeah, that never happens. We've brought most of the boxes over to the new house, and Sailor Boy's brother is coming down on Saturday to help him move all the big furniture. So when I get home from work on Saturday, I'll be going to the new house, because that will be the first night we spend there. So excited!! I'm actually very proud of myself because on my day off on Monday, I moved ALOT of stuff, including 2 large bookshelves (it was quite a task by myself). Sailor Boy was impressed...but when I want to do something, I won't stop until it's done. I just want to get in the house and settled as fast as possible. So that means I'll have all day Sunday and Monday to unpack and get everything put away.

This may sound sort of bitchy/high maintenance, but I am a little worried about Sailor Boy and his brother doing all the main moving without me. Yes, I know I am a control freak and I'm also OCD about cleaning, and I think that's where my main issue lies. When I move, I like to thouroughly clean EVERYTHING so that it can get unpacked and you can start fresh. Well they are not going to do that obviously. If it was me, I'd be washing my sheets on Saturday while I was moving so that they could go on the bed clean for our first night there. Yeah, that's not going to happen. I'm thinking about having my friend K supervise some of this moving, but I don't want to see like a drill sargeant. The other funny thing is that I know Sailor Boy wants to move everything Saturday by himself, so I won't be there to freak out or tell him what to do.

It doesn't help that I have the busiest Saturday of my life at work because we have an extremely elaborate and high maintenance wedding here that day. I'm literally working from 7:30am to probably 10pm for this wedding. The mother of the bride is slightly crazy and she has some interesting ideas about the wedding. It will definitely be the most beautiful wedding we've had here since I've started, but that means I will be working my booty off. They have more set up than I've ever seen in my life!! Literally, she brought me 3 SUV's full of "stuff" (ie. favors, crystal candlesticks, escord cards, etc). Insanity. So that sort of adds to my stress level for this weekend. I don't want to get home from work after a super long day to find a house in shambles. Oh well.

In BFF wedding news, K got her dress!!! The bad part - she's keeping it a secret from ALL of us except for her mom (obviously, she helped her pick it out). It's basically being custom made, so there's not even a picture she could show us, and she won't even really describe it because she wants it to be a surprise. She did say that we could come with her to her fittings, so it's not like it will be a surprise for the actual wedding day...I would NOT be able to wait that long! I can't wait...I'm sure it's amazing!

Hope everyone is having a great Thursday!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

River House

I wanted to post some pics from last weekend's trip down to the River House (finally)
Looking at that plate of delicious summery salad makes me want to go back now!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oh J.Crew

Every time I try and resist your additional 20% off sale, you suck me in and force me to shop and buy super cute items for low prices. Even when i PROMISE myself I won't spend anymore money and it's not a good idea to buy more clothes when I'm trying to pack up all the stuff I currently have, you never let me. You put things like this on sale for $31.99:

Like I'm going to be able to say no. I mean, it's practically free. Plus, it was originally like $199, that's sort of a ridiculous mark down. I felt like it was my duty to buy it. Seriously. And then you finally convince me to order this belt I've had my eye on for weeks now:
Umm it really necessary to make this belt $15.99??? Now I'll be forced to hide the box from Sailor Boy and tuck everything away until after the move. As I'm unpacking you in the new house, I will have to convince him that I've had that stuff for years and he just doesn't remember it. Why do you do this to me?


Barefoot in the Park tagged me! My very first tag...I'm so excited!

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
summer of 1998 - I was 16 and it was the summer before my senior year of high school. So probably hanging out with my friends, going to the pool and working at the GAP.

2. What are 5 things on your to do list today?
1. Get through my work day with 4 appointments, plus catching up on other work.
2. Take Spencer to the dog park after work.
3. Finish laundry
4. Continue with the packing fun
5. Come up with something to cook for dinner that doesn't require me going to the grocery store

3. Snacks you enjoy?
Raisinettes (i'm obsessed right now), Berries, Fudgesicles (only 60 calories!), Cheese and Crackers

4. Places you've lived?
1. Charleston, SC
2. Panama City Beach, FL
3. Elon, NC (for college)
4. Camp Springs, MD (birth place)
5. Annapolis, MD

5. What are 5 things you would do if you were a billionaire?
1. Buy a large house with a big yard for Spencer on the water with a boat
2. Buy my parents whatever they wanted - including a vacation home in Aruba
3. Go on a massive shopping spree and buy whatever clothes/shoes/accessories I wanted (gotta be a little bit selfish)
4. Donate a good amount to charity, especially Breast Cancer research and the SPCA
5. Take a super long vacation around to world to see all the places I've wanted to visit

I tag...hmmm anyone who is bored and wants to do it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You say tomato, I say...

This whole samonella scare on the tomatoes is really hurting my summer meals - I have been LIVING on fresh tomato slices, mozzarella and basil. Literally, it's all I want to eat right now. Especially with this extreme heat we're having. Drizzle a little olive oil and salt...the perfect meal. So they need to fix this whole outbreak thing ASAP so I can start stocking up on tomatoes. Luckily we bought about 15 tomatoes on our way back from the river house at a farm stand. But since we're eating them for lunch and dinner...they are going fast!

Monday, June 9, 2008

One More Thing

So I'm posting for the 2nd time today because I totally forgot I ordered the most adorable dress this morning! It's actually from Target - but I have never bought anything online from Target before. So we'll see. I'm just totally obsessed with this dress!

Look at the detail on the hem! So cute. Cross your fingers that it fits. I guess if it doesn't, I can return it to the target store?? Hopefully!

And I'm back!

Unfortunately. I didn't really ever want to leave. We had a great, super relaxing time. I'll be posting pictures soon (probably tonight or tomorrow). All I did all weekend was read, nap, eat, swim, nap, eat and relax. perfection!

So what's up with the extreme heat? Like, someone flipped a switch and all the sudden, it's 100 degrees. Literally. I'm all for summer and everything, but I prefer not being drenched with sweat when I walk outside. Hopefully it will cool down a little bit soon!

Not sure if I ever posted that the navy JCrew bridesmaid's dresses for K's wedding came and they are amazing! The other best part about them is that they fit both of us almost perfectly. The only alteration we will need is to get the straps shortened a little bit. But that should be easy. They are really cute and I'm obsessed with the pockets! Now we're on the hunt for nude colored wedges that are not ankle straps. The ceremony is on grass, so we need wedges so we don't sink in. So my eyes are peeled.

We get the keys to our new house on Sunday! YAY! We won't really move anything in yet (mainly since we haven't started packing yet...oops!), but it will be nice to get into the house and figure out where we can put everything. Our lease isn't up until July 1st, so we have about 2 weeks to pack up and move over there...plenty of time!!! YIKES! Packing may need to get started TONIGHT! I keep walking by the new house to check on it and they are doing some cute upgrades! They painted the inside and outside, planted and weeded all the grass and flower beds, cleaned the gutters, fixed all the fencing, re-did the hardwood floors and installed new carpet in both bedrooms! YAY! So Excited!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Almost off!

Just finished making a few batches of chocolate chip cookies to take to the river house this weekend. Now I just have to pack and get Spencer's stuff together. As soon as I'm done work tonight, we'll be OFF! Sorry if it seems like I'm a little obsessed, but this is literally the first Saturday I have had off in like 1.5 years. Seriously. I'm just so happy to be able to have a real weekend and that we're going on a fun trip. Imagine me here by tomorrow morning:

Happy Weekend! Hope it's fabulous!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Finally saw Sex!

I went last night with 3 girlfriends to see Sex and the City and I LOVED it!! So so so good...but it made me miss the show so much. I definitely laughed and cried. I thought it tied up all the loose ends up and I was glad that everyone had a happy ending. We went before hand to get tapas and wine, which may have contributed to my extra tears throughout the movie...oops. But I definitely recommend the movie to anyone who hasn't seen it yet!

Also, the DC/MD/VA area got hit super hard yesterday with crazy rain storms!! There were even tornados that touched down! My parents live about 15 minutes away from me and they said that a tornado definitely went through their yard because all of their deck furniture (really heavy wood), literally got picked up and thrown off the deck. All the screens in their screen porch are ripped and a tree fell and hit the side of the house, but didn't do any real damage except for knocking a gutter off (thank god!) But it was apparently really bad in most neighborhoods. Luckily, we didn't even lose power or anything, there was just alot of tree branches and debris all over the apartment complex. I couldn't use these pictures, but here's a link to a slideshow from our local paper with some crazy pictures!

So anyone in this area - hope everything is ok with your homes and families!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Is it the weekend yet??

I think every year I forget just how busy I am with work in May/June. It's really sort of insane. Not only am I dealing with my brides for this year, I'm trying to sell the hotel to prospective brides and answer questions from the 2009 brides who have already booked here. And there's only 1 of me. Last Friday, I had a wedding ceremony starting at 6pm and a bride who was getting married the next day here who wanted to start her rehearsal at 6pm. Hmmm. I can't be in both places at once. So I had to tell the Saturday evening bride...sorry, I won't be at your rehearsal if you want to do it at 6pm. If you do it at 5pm, I can be there and lead the whole thing. Well you would have thought I told her that her wedding was cancelled or something. But she got over it. (with alot of calming down from her fiance) It's just little things like that that seem to make my spring a little chaotic. Obviously I don't want to blow anyone off and I want to give all my brides equal attention.

We have another wedding this Friday (they really are getting more popular - at least in our case you can save some $$$ by having it Friday). I love this bride and groom, they are so fun. The colors are aqua, hot pink and white and it's so fresh and summery. She dropped off all her "stuff" to me and I've been looking through it...I love it all! She has super fun table numbers with old baby pictures of her and her fiance. Adorable fan programs with aqua ribbon. A totally cute and chic nautilus shell holder for her guestbook (aka wishing "shell" - a play on the wishing well thing). So I'm really looking forward to that wedding! Cross your fingers the weather holds out so they can get married on the outdoor terrace!

Another reason I'm so excited about Friday is that immediately after I leave work, Sailor Boy, Spencer, 2 other couples we are friends with and me are heading down to Sailor Boy's family house in the Northern Neck of Virginia. I am totally obsessed with the house and the whole area. It's a little 2 bedroom cottage right on the Potomac River and it really is the world's most relaxing place ever. There's not even a TV...we sit around the screen porch playing cards and chit chatting. The first time Sailor Boy took me down there I thought I had died and gone to heaven....I literally think I told him that I was ready to marry him at that point if we got to go down to the "river house" as much as possible. We do try and get down there a bunch, but of course, it's hard with my job and working every weekend. That's why I'm so excited about this's the first time I've been able to get down there all year! So imagine me here:
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