Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am kinda torn on the kitchen. I love painted cabinets. Sparky doesn't, he thinks the wood should show... blegh.
Here is what I would do if it was my choice:


But I will probably end up with something more along these lines:

I like the last ones too, but they aren't as much fun. I suppose if I get mad someday I could always paint them and add some trim...;o) Other than that there isn't much to plan with the kitchen. I love the large country apron style sinks that hang over the edge of the counter. And I like brushed nickel hardware. That's all.

Kitchen Nook

I plan on putting my current kitchen table in the nook. Here it is in the catalog:

My table has the same chairs, but with a plain tan seat cover. I have three armless chairs and one chair with arms (all with the seats shown in the lower image):

I would like to get matching bar stools for the kitchen counter, obviously with a matching seat:

For the windows I will just use plain wood blinds until I can find a fabric that I really love to make a valance with:

And through the kitchen, nook, great room, dining room, and foyer:

I like the variegated color in the wood. I don't want anything too dark because it shows dirt too easily. I think the many tones in this floor would go with many different colors of accent wood in furniture etc.

Great Room

So I have decided that I like the second plan better, but I am still obsessing so I am going to go through the house and decorate it for you. :o) I am sure you are excited.
I like this coffered ceiling for the great room, except I would rather use a dark tan color for the paint in each square instead of the green:

If you look at the plan for the great room, you will notice that there is a fire place at one end flanked by built in cabinets and shelves. Here are a few options:

As you can see, I like stone fire places. I also like cabinets on the bottom with shelves on the top. But I am open to having floor to ceiling cabinets on either side of the fire place with floor to ceiling open shelves next to the cabinet.

Similar to one of these, but with the closed cabinets to the right and left of the fire place and the open shelves outside of that. I don't know if I like a particular wood color or white. I am guessing I will go with whatever matches the kitchen cabinets because the room is open to the kitchen.

I already have this couch in an olive green color:

I included a picture of it alone and with the other furniture around it so you can see the detail of the sofa and see its proportion. I also have the lamp shown in the top picture.
I will put the sofa facing the fireplace. On the side of the fireplace next to the french doors I will put a chair that I already have that looks very similar to this one:

On the other side of the fireplace I will put a slipper chair like this:

I like this rug from Target, but in the jewel tones. It is only available in the store so I cannot show a good picture. The jewel tone rug has plum, green, and tans instead of dark brown, orange, and red:

The best part of the built ins around the fire place is that I don't have to have the TV  out and showing all the time. I can close the cabinet doors and it disappears with all the other electronics. Aaahhh. Nice.


One of the teachers I work with believes that we are all on the Autism spectrum, we just vary in our degree of quirkiness. Today I am feeling my "autistic tendency" (no, I am not autistic and am not being degrading to those with autism) to fixate on one thing. My fixation is beginning to drive me insane so I thought, maybe, if I write about it, it will go away. Lets find out...
I really want to build a house. I live in a townhouse right now and it just isn't working for me anymore. I need a basement, a mud room, more kitchen cabinets, storage for Sparky's crap, preferably two bedrooms in addition to mine with a separate bathroom, a half bath for guests, a kitchen open to the great room, a laundry room that is a room (not a closet or part of the kitchen), and an office would be a wonderful addition if possible, but I am willing to forgo that if necessary due to the expanse that would exist to me in the basement.
More specifically, I would like it all on one floor (other than the basement, obviously) and I would like the entrance from the garage to go through a mud room and then into the kitchen. I would also like a foyer so that people do not come right into the house and into the great room. I would like the master bedroom/bath to be on the other side of the house from the two other bedrooms. It would be nice if the two other bedrooms could be shut off from the house by a door or something so I can seal it off until I have children to fill those rooms and then again be sealed when they move away. (My grandpa would completely understand this desire, as his entire upstairs was sealed off from the rest of the house with a large trap door.)

So the dream home, if money wasn't an option:

And the floorplan:

I just don't think I can afford to build this house. I would love to. Here is a link to a site with lots of pictures of this house. You should check it out. I particularly love the coffered ceiling in the keeping room, but I wish that the jack and jill bathroom had the sinks separate from the bathtub and toilet so that one person can be taking a shower in privacy but another person can still be getting ready at the sink. I also don't need a lodge room and a keeping room, an eating nook and a dining room, but I would like them if I could have this house.

So in more realistic ideas here is another plan I like:

 and the floor plan: 

On this house I think I would add some small french doors off the foyer leading to the bedrooms to the right. That way I could close the doors and not heat those two rooms unless needed. For symmetry, I could add the same doors to the left off the foyer leading to the master suite and study, but those would stay open unless we were entertaining or something. This plan is pretty much ideal except those stairs that lead up to a bonus room above the garage would need to go down into the basement instead.
Notice the coffered ceiling in the great room. Sigh. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Sparky had surgery on Monday to repair his ACL and MCL which were both torn during his attempt to be Evel Knievel. I am sure Sparky had something like this in mind when he went off the day on the dirt biking trail:

Unfortunately, it didn't turn out so well and now he more closely resembles this:

My dad finally uploaded his pictures from his camera the day he drove me to the hospital in the middle of nowhere to find Sparky with several of his students:

After so much progress with his liver finally healing, broken shoulder blade mended, separated shoulder feeling better, and knee finally not bothering him we are back to square one. Sparky is flat out on the couch moaning and groaning like my dog Gaby when he wants a treat. I changed the dressing on his wound this evening and was surprised to see how small the actual incision is. I suppose God had to make women capable of dealing with more pain then men because of the whole child-birth thing, but seriously.
I am tired.
I am tired of telling him to take his pain meds and him not doing it, then listening to him moan about being in pain.
I am tired of him calling my cell phone in the middle of the night so I can share in his misery (because there is nothing I can do to make the pain go away).
I am tired of working all day on half a tank of fuel, then coming home and working as a nurse.

I need a break.
Luckily, Dan Brown has come to my rescue. He has taken me away to Washington D.C. to participate in quite an exciting adventure.

I love this book. I got it yesterday and I am already half way through it. The entire book is so exciting it keeps me wanting to read to find out what happens next. Of course, what happens next is just as riveting and I end up staying up far to late reading.
The closest thing I found to his books is a series written for children called The 39 Clues. They are very suspenseful and a good way to hook upper-elementary kids into reading. Of course, the collectible cards that come with the books are also an excellent marketing ploy. Get the gets to collect the cards, make them buy a book to get the cards, maybe they will read the book and like it.

Anyway, enough rambling for now. My mint-chocolate chip ice cream just walked in the door and Professor Langdon is calling my name from D.C.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wedding Planning

Last weekend my school corporation gave us Friday off for Fall Break. Then they decided that elementary school was no longer going to have half days of school at all, so they had to build in a full day for parent-teacher conferences. If we finished our conferences before the conference date, then we could take the day off! Yay! So I got a four day weekend. My mom seized the opportunity and flew the two of us to Anna Maria Island to meet with all of the vendors before the wedding.
We left Thursday (October 29th) morning and arrive in FL by noon. We rented a car and headed to the outlet mall in Ellington. I highly recommend this outlet mall. I got a new fuchsia jacket at J. Crew, originally $300, for under $60.
We had dinner and tried to find a place to stay on the beach. The problem was that is was already dark outside, this is not really tourist season, and the hotels on the beach closed at sundown. We finally found a place, but they only had room for one night. That ending up being a blessing. The room was large and clean, but the bed was hard as a rock, the room was so bright my mom couldn't sleep, and the key to our room didn't work.
The next morning we got up and went to the Tortuga Inn to see if they had any available room. That is where I have booked to stay for the wedding and honeymoon. Luckily, they had a room and it was glorious! The link actually shows the exact room we stayed in. The shower was so huge it took half of the bathroom.

In this picture you can kinda see how the shower takes up the entire other half of the bathroom. It was very strange, but nice not having a nasty hotel shower curtain touch your skin. Don't mind my mom in the photo, she was just gettin' ready :o)

The lovely people at The Tortuga Inn then gave us the keys so we could see the room that my mom has booked for December and the room I have booked in December. I cannot believe how beautiful the rooms are. It is amazing. We are both staying in Tortuga Gardens (They own the strip of island between the gulf coast and bay area, so they spit the area into different sections depending on room size). I have a 1 bedroom/1 bath luxury apartment. My mom has a 2 bedroom/2 bath luxury apartment. They are amazing. The apartments are actually bigger than my townhouse.

Friday morning we woke up and headed to breakfast. This was our view from our table:

Then as we were sitting there, some dolphins swam by. Although, in these pictures they look more like sharks:

We layed on the beach until about 2:30 when we had to go in and get ready to meet people. The beach was so nice, the hotel provides beach towels, chairs, and umbrellas! It was amazing. Did I mention that already?

First, we met the florist. She put together my wedding bouquet. Here she is with the flowers laied out before she got to work:

Then she slowly put this together:

Don't look at me, I just got out of the shower and my hair is still wet. Also, the flowers haven't been trimmed they won't be that long at the wedding. You also have to imagine that the calla lilies are white, not pink. Pink was all she had at the time.

 The flowers are so pretty. She even gave us two strands of orchids to take with us. I cannot believe the color of the blue orchids. They grow that way naturally. I think God must have been having a good day when He made those. They are just beautiful.

Right after the florist, we met with the photographer and the DJ. I gave the DJ all of my song choices and we set up times with the photographer.
Then it was time to try and find the bakery I wanted to have make Sparky's groom's cake. I wanted to get him a red velvet cake in the shape of a 70-something Chevy Chevelle, but we couldn't find the bakery before they closed and Sparky didn't have much of a reaction when I told him my wonderful idea, so the idea got scrapped. I only go out of my way for things that elicit a good reaction.
However, when we were at the outlet mall the previous day we went to the Kate Spade outlet store. There was a lady inside who was talking about all the things she needed to be doing to get ready for her son's wedding. Which is going to be this weekend, at the same location, with the same vendors, with a starfish theme, and her future daughter-in-law's name is Sarah. Wow. Anyway, we started talking to her and she told us how she found some chocolate molds in the shape of starfish and how she was had a place called Rick's Bakery make marbleized chocolates for them as wedding favors. She gave us the bakery's information and told us she left the chocolate mold at the chocolate shop. We stopped by and got a pretty good deal. They even had some of the chocolates they made for our new Kate Spade friend:

I am going to do one dark chocolate and one milk chocolate because I don't like white chocolate or marbleized stuff. While I was there I couldn't help looking around and getting some other fun stuff:
like aspirin for the teachers at school

a motorcycle for Sparky since he can't ride his

and a spark plug for Sparky, because who could resist that? I can honestly say I have never seen a spark plug chocolate before this experience.

On Saturday we got to lay out for just a little while on the beach before we had to go meet the officiant. The meeting with him literally took 12 minutes. Wow. I am glad I didn't make a special trip just for that! Then we were off to dinner at Mr. Bones and to the hotel by the airport. This hotel (Marriott) had the best bed yet, and the room was pitch black. We slept like babies until 5:00am when we had to get up for our flight home.
Sunday morning we got up early, cleverly stuffed our new prizes (from the outlet mall) into our suitcases, and headed home.
I got home and it was back to reality. Laundry, a filthy house to clean, homework to do for my master's degree, lesson plans to write for my yearly observation by the principal at school, and planning for the following week.