Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yummy cocktail

I am current home sans access to a car. Mr. B is currently down in Atlantic City with some friends . With my license. We went to the Phillies game last night, and in an attempt to not take my purse, I entrusted Mr. B with my license. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask him for it before he left today. When I realized this, he was at least 20 minutes away and I was at Hallmark getting a communion, confirmation, 2 mothers day cards and a birthday card. Crap.

At this point, Mr. B was not coming back to give me my license, so I stocked up at the Wegman's around the corner an proceeded home cautiously. I bought myself some dinner and a bottle of European Blood Orange Soda. Sounds delicous, right?! I thought about just having it by itself, but then I remembered I had some vanilla vodka in the liquor cabinet. ( it's more of a wine cabinet with some liquior in it)

I mixed up about 1/3 vanilla vodka and 2/3 Blood Orange Soda on a glass full of ice and viola! I had myself a cocktail or 4...but who's counting?! Try it, it's delicious!!

-Mrs. B

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Back from Vacation (Reviews)

Mr. B and I got back from our wonderful vacation super early (1 am) Friday morning. We stayed 3 nights at an all inclusive in Montego Bay and 3 nights at a really small boutique resort in Negril. I think we booked the trip two weeks before we went, which is so out of character for the both of us. We did it because we've both been so overwhelmed with work commitments, school work, house selling stuff and everything else in between that we just needed some time for just the two of us to do nothing. And we did do absolutely nothing for a week and now I'm finding it hard to get back into the groove of things. Tomorrow is Monday and I'm dreading it so much that I want to call out. Is that bad?

So on to the trip details, pictures and reviews...

We booked our trip with the help of and We kind of started the whole booking process backwards in a way. We wanted to stay at this fabulous boutique hotel, The Rockhouse Hotel, but they only had 3 nights available due to an upcoming wedding. So we snatched up those three nights in an amazing premium villa and decided that we needed to tack on 3 nights to the end of the trip or 3 nights to the beginning. We looked for hotels within an hour or so cab ride from Negril and found so many nice looking hotels. We settled on the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and Jamaica Resort. The reviews from Trip Advisor were wishy washy, but it was relatively inexpensive and seemed nice.

I won't bore you with the details of the multitude of things that went wrong before we actually made it to Jamaica. All that stress melted away once we got to the resort. We booked a transport from the Montego Bay Airport to Grand Palladium (GP) with Clive's Transport Service, which was one of the recommendations we got from Trip Advisor (TA). The rates were much cheaper than other places and we didn't want to get stuck on a bus with a million other people. Before we left for GP, we set up the rest of the pick ups for the trip with the airport representative.

Grand Palladium Review

It took about an hour or so to get to GP from the airport and it's actually right outside of Montego Bay. We were greeted with some complimentary rum punch at check-in. Our room wasn't ready yet, so they strapped some wristbands on us (which you had to wear the entire time...woo-hoo weird tan line) and told us to get some lunch, go to the bar and come back in a few hours. We went downstairs and had some lunch in one of the buffet restaurants. There are three huge buffet restaurants on the resort and they all pretty much serve the same food, although some of them are open at different time slots. The food was pretty good. Nothing amazing, but nothing really gross. They had a good selection of healthy and not-so-healthy foods and the fruit was amazing. We've never had such good pineapple in our lives!

We went back to see if our room was ready, and it wasn' big deal, so we went to one of the bars. We had just sat down with our drinks and a group of 4 people come in and start playing cards. Guess where they were from? South Jersey. Unbelievable...we travel thousands of miles and see people that live a few miles away from us. Strange, huh? After a few drinks, we went to check on our room and it was ready, but at this point it had started to rain. We took a nice, soggy transport ride to the Lady Hamilton side of the resort (even though we booked with the Jamaica side...both on the same resort, just split on different sides). Our room was on the first floor of villa #35 (3504) and we had a nice view of the ocean, some mountains in the distance and one of the resort's three beaches.

The room was nice, but we did find a few critters during our stay which included a cockroach, some spiders and lots of gnats and mosquitoes. Bring bug spray and try not to bring anything scented because the bugs will eat you alive at night. The room had air conditioning, but it never seemed to get really cool in the room and our clothes always felt damp. Nothing really dried in the room.

Our Room

View from our room

The grounds were gorgeous including the massive pool. Thousands of people could fit in there without it feeling crowded. We went to the beach one day and Mr. B got so burned snorkeling that we sat at the pool the other two days. There were plenty of chairs at both the pool and the beach, but towels were scarce. We went and picked them up around 9am and always had one, but I did see people walking around complaining they didn't have any left. I didn't think that the grounds were so large that it was hard to walk them. Alot of people on TA complained about walking everywhere, but I think they were just super lazy. We did go to the gym 2 days while we were there and it was sufficient for a quick workout. Nothing fancy, just a handful of treadmills, 2 ellipticals, some mats, a few benches, a set of dumbbells and some universal machines. It was so hot in there though; like a fricking sauna, so we never stayed longer than 30 minutes.

One of the beaches

Massive pool

In addition to the buffet restaurants, they also have 'a la carte' restaurants. The lines for all the restaurants were out the door anytime after 6 or 6:30. All of them require reservations you make that night and it's included in the all-inclusive price. We only went to the Mexican restaurant and it was just ok. Nothing spectacular, but good.

Overall, we had a pretty good time here. The drinks were pretty strong, although they are served in small cups. The food was decent and it was much better than what I was expecting from the TA reviews. We'd definitely go here again, maybe with a group of people next time. I'm glad we went here first before going to Rockhouse Hotel (RH), because it was alot more lively and more of a party atmosphere.

Rockhouse Hotel Review

Let me just say that I already had extremely high expectations of this place from the amazing pictures on the website and TA, as well as the reviews. This place just looks like it oozes sexy solitude and relaxation from every inch. We used Clive Transport to take us from GP to RH and they were on time. We had the car to ourselves and the ride took about an hour. The driver had the windows open, so by the time we got to RH we were drenched and cranky. The front desk staff greeted us with a complimentary glass of rum punch and told us our room wasn't ready (we got there at about 1pm and check-in is at 3pm). They said to go hang out by the pool, get some lunch and they'd call for us. So we took our drinks and went off exploring.

One of the pathways on the property

The grounds here make you feel like you're in some kind of secluded jungle. It was kind of a maze to get back to the pool from the front desk area, but we made it and hung out in the pergola they use for yoga in the morning. It was so nice to just sit there, relax and overlook the ocean. After we finished our drinks, we did some more exploring of the property and took tons of pictures. A guest even came up to us and asked if we wanted him to take our picture....this was already much different than GP, everyone was so friendly.

Twenty minutes after we got to Rockhouse and I already felt uber relaxed. Could it have been the rum punch?!

After exploring, we decided to take a dip in the saltwater pool and grab some lunch from the poolside bar. We split the BBQ chicken sandwich, which was delicious and made right there. Eventually, the front desk called the poolside bar and told us our room was ready. We were in Premium Villa #5, which is on the other side of the resort past the Rockhouse Restaurant. Our room was exactly how I expected it; rustic and romantic and pretty minimalistic. I didn't expect that the windows would only be shutters, no glass, and the doors would not shut tightly, but it all added to the rustic feeling. The bed had a mosquito net that we used every night, but we still ended up with lots of bites on us from sitting outside after sunset. We had a nice little porch outside of our room that had two wooden chairs and it overlooked a sunning pad that we shared with our neighbors. Our room was situated in a little cove of the property and we had 3 different accesses to the water, which any of the other guests can also use. There is no TV in the room, but there is a mini-fridge with beer, water and some sodas (for a fee). Most people go to the local supermarket called the Hi-Lo and just pick up some beer to stock up the fridge and save some money. A cab ride there will run you about $5.

Our room

Premium Villa #5

Sun pad

The cove right by our room with access to the crystal clear water

Mr. B jumping off a cliff. I am no where near as crazy and did nothing of the sort!

The shower and the toilet were both outside in separate rooms. It was nice to shower outside, but it was a little distracting because the road is so close to the back of the rooms. There were constantly people zooming by in cars honking their horns and yelling. You couldn't really hear it inside the room though. There was also a small issue with hot water...there basically was none. After a day or so, we kind of got used to it. It's pretty hot outside, so you really don't need scorching hot water when you shower. Having the toilet outside was strange and I wish it were inside. The backs of the rooms are pretty much right on the walking path to other rooms and Push Cart, so people are constantly walking back and forth just a few feet from where you're trying to use the facilities. It's not a high-traffic area by any means, but still something to consider. The sink and dressing area were situated behind a half wall that the bed backed up to. It was a decent-sized space and we had plenty of room for our clothes, etc. We did have a little incident with a cockroach that crawled into a gap between the sink and the stone countertop. That was the only huge bug we saw inside the room and Mr. B took care of that with the quickness :)

It was really amazing how close everything is to the water and it is so unbelievably relaxing and beautiful. You can't help but fall in love with this place. We explored the water a little bit and then got ready for dinner. We made reservations for 6:30 at the Rockhouse Restaurant when we checked in (definitely recommend making reservations!) and we sat down just in time to see the sunset. Dinner was great; I had the Old Time Synting, which was a soup of sorts of different fresh seafood and Mr. B got this when we ate at Rockhouse Restaurant on our last night.

Every morning we ate breakfast at the Rockhouse Restaurant. It was a little on the expensive side, but it was within walking distance and what the heck, we were on vacation! I don't drink all, and every morning I had at least a cup of their Blue Mountain Jamaican coffee. It's delicious!!! I also suggest trying the callaloo, which is a leafy green veggie that is amazing. We had lunch every day at the poolside bar; Mr. B always got the BBQ chicken sandwich and I got the grilled snapper sandwich. The drinks were pretty good here; Mr. B stuck to the Purple Rain drinks and I fell into a groove of getting the Lime Daiquiris...I love rum and lime together :) Our second night at RH we ate at Push Cart, which is another restaurant that's right next door and adjoined to the property. We got a jerk sample platter with chicken, pork and shrimp and the shrimp was by far the best thing we ate. The drinks were just ok here...don't get the Watermelon Cooler! It was horrendous!!!!

Dinner at sunset at Push Cart

I honestly can't say enough about how beautiful this place is. I had to keep pinching myself because it didn't seem real or even possible that a place is gorgeous could exist. Everything just seems so well thought out and planned and natural...simply amazing.

Sunset over the pool our last night at Rockhouse :(

We got massages together at the spa and I was expecting a little more. I've had plenty of massages before and this was probably not in the top 5. I don't know what it was that made it just ok or what could have made it better. Both of us prefer to be in our own rooms when we get massages and I had asked for separate rooms, but they put us together anyway. It's just kind of distracting with other people in there and hearing them talking/moving.

The staff here was friendly, but I was expecting more of a personal touch due to the smallness of the resort. At full capacity, it only holds about 60 people. We said 'hi' to them more than they said 'hi' to us, which was quite different from when we were at GP where all of the staff greeted us when they saw us. Chevon at the poolside bar was definitely the exception; he was super friendly and always added a little extra rum to my drinks ;-) That could be why I liked him so much!! They have a happy hour from 5pm till sunset at the poolside bar where you can get 2 for 1 drinks. This made me happy!

Mr. B and I would definitely go back here again and we'd probably try to stay in the same vicinity near PV #5. I'm not sure if it's really worth staying here if you're not in a villa or a premium villa. Next time we go, we'd probably venture off the property more. We thought about going to Rick's or some of the local restaurants, but really just wanted to relax and do nothing. We had such a relaxing time at RH that it felt like we were there for weeks and we were only there for a few days. I wish we could have stayed longer and I can't wait to go back!

Friday, April 9, 2010

St. Joseph

Here's the picture I promised this morning.
Prett huge, huh?

He's been sitting in the window for about a day now and it's starting to creep me out. We have him facing out the window and the way his head is tilted down makes it look like he's staring at something.

See?! Super creepy, but I hope he brings us some luck!

-Mrs. B

Welcome, Spring...

...or is it Summer? The weather in NJ the past few days was nothing short of bazaar. 90 degrees in April...crazy, huh? Unfortunately, with that gorgeous weather came pollen. Tons and tons of pollen and guess who's allergic to pollen? :::points finger at self::: THIS GIRL. Lovely.

I have never been so miserable due to allegies in my life. I swear, each year the news says, "this year will be worse than the last". How is that possible? I spent most of last night lying on the couch with my eyes closed because if I got up, I got dizzy and saw spots and if I opened my eyes they burned. I sneezed at least 50 times yesterday and my poor nose has the telltale redness to prove it. I better be ok for Jamaica or I'm gonna freak out.

In other news, my aunt found a statue of St. Joseph for me and I promptly put him in our window. Supposedly, if you bury St. Joseph he will help you sell your house. Sounds kind of like a superstition to me, but what the heck...I'll give it a try. The only thing with my aunt's statue is that it's massive; over a foot tall. There's no way I'm going to dig a 2" deep hole in the ground, put this thing in and not get reported to our condo association by some nosey, bored neighbor. I'll take a pic and upload it when I get home. We're doing an open house on Saturday because we have plans Sunday, so I really hope this does the trick.

- Mrs. B

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's been awhile...

Work and school have kept me pretty occupied lately and I haven't had much time to do anything else. We had an impromptu showing 2 weeks ago, but nothing came of it. Since then we haven't had any showings or open houses.

Mr.B and I just booked a last minute vacation to Jamaica. I can't wait to sit in the sun by the ocean sipping some cold tropical drinks. We haven't had a vacation since last May and I honestly can't even concentrate at work. I hope the weather is nice and we get good rooms and good service. I'll be sure to post pics and reviews when we return.

Since yesterday we've been eating really clean and I'm finding that hard to do with all the Easter candy in work. We also revamped our workout plan for the next 2 weeks to get us in the best bathing suit shape possible before we go. Right now I'm craving chocolate something fierce and this sugar free gum is not quite cutting it.

Last night I had to restrain myself from going to Sonic and getting a lime real fruit slush (my favorite!) or to the local ice cream place for a vanilla and orange sherbert twist. Ugh...they are both so delicious and this hot weather in NJ makes me want something cool and refreshing like that even more. I went and looked at the calories on line and that kept me from going. I've already lost 4 lbs since January and I'm trying so hard not to break my momentum. Eating well is hard, especially when the majority of the people around you eat junk.

I have to admit that I did go a little overboard with the eating on Easter, but it really could have been worse. My family gets babka once or twice a year and this year we found an amazing babka to replace the bakery that closed about 5 years ago. L&M Bakery's babka tastes pretty much the same as Village Bakery's babka before it closed. I'm pretty sure I ate at least half of one by myself. Completely divine and delicious. My mom asked if I wanted to take some home and it pained me to say no, but I knew I'd scarf it down if I took some home.

Once again I got roped into doing the Easter egg hunt but I justified it by saying that all the money I got would pay for stuff in our Jamaica trip. I gave all the candy to my little cousin to keep me from eating it. I have a feeling I'm going to be guilted into doing the egg hunt until we have kids of our own. There's already been things I said I'd stop doing once I got married, but that hasn't stopped my family from making me do them. Ah, families...aren't they great at guilt trips?

- Mrs. B

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I'm on the train to DC with about an hour left till I get there so I have plenty of time for updates. We haven't had any more calls for showings since this past weekend, but I'm hoping that we'll hear something soon. I took off work tomorrow as a little reward to myself for all the work I've been doing for my work project...the one I'm presenting today. I plan on getting some good sleep, catching up on my DVR, and doing some cleaning. The house is looking a little dirty right now because I haven't had a spare second this week.

Mr. B's dad stayed with us this weekend and we finally ended up going to Moore Brothers Wine Shop. They had such a great selection of wines and they were pretty cheap too! The staff was super helpful and we'll definitely be going back. In fact, we took a bottle of wine to a byob last night that we got from there and it was really good. It was much different than we're used to, but the change was good.

Here comes the usual train headache that I get, so off I go to study my slides.

- Mrs. B

Monday, March 22, 2010

Too busy to blog

I've been so busy recently that I haven't had time to blog or crochet at all. All of my spare time has been devoted to cleanig, homework, work-work and more cleaning.

We got zero feedback from the realtor at Tuesday's showing even though we called him and left a message. Nice, huh? Saturday we got a call at 1pm for a showing at 3pm that day. Our listing specifically says 24 hour notice and we had Mr. B's dad staying with us. We called that realtor back to reschedule and she hasn't called back either. We're offering a commission so why are these realtors being so jerky?

This week is jam packed with school, travel for work, and a huge work presentation down in DC. I'm hoping that my life will calm down a little starting in April, but I feel like everything is only speeding up. A vacation is sorely needed...

- Mrs. B

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Showing #1 Tonight!

Tonight is our very first showing. I'm super excited and nervous at the same time. I just hope they show up!

I got the call last night from a realtor. His client saw our new listing and wanted to see it right away. Of course he didn't call until almost 9 last night and our house wasn't in showing condition. An hour and a half later I had ripped through the house like a tornado leaving everything spotless instead of destroyed. Note to self: keep house tidy at all times. I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning. Hopefully the client will be interested. He's a renter whose lease is expiring at the end of April. It would be a quick move and settlement, but I think we could do it.

Wish us luck!

- Mrs. B

Monday, March 8, 2010

Open House #3

We had our third open house yesterday and the turn out was decent but not what we were expecting with the sudden warm weather. We had three groups, a realtor, and a neighbor stop by to see the place. None of the people that came seemed truly interested, which was disappointing.

The neighbor that came over is strange. I don't think he expected me to be home. He walked in the door and just kind if stood there. I got a really strange vibe from him and I'm just glad I had my phone in my hand if you know what I mean. Creepy is a good word to describe him. The whole encounter was awkward.

A younger girl came in with her parents and her dad seemed impressed with the work we had done. The daughter seemed like a little bratt and opened up every possible door, cabinet, etc in the place without even really looking and then complained about the popcorn ceilings. Sorry, I'm not going to scrape over 1,000 sq ft of popcorn off of the ceiling and make a huge mess when it's not going to give me any return. Not to mention the 14' ceilings would be a bitch to scrape.

Mr. B and I are discussing the next step to take. We most likely won't have another open house for at least 2 weeks becuase we're super busy. We'll most likely pay to put it on because we're not ready for a realtor just yet.

Stay tuned!

- Mrs. B

Monday, March 1, 2010

Open House #2 Results

After I finished my post yesterday about going to take pictures, I went to get my camera and the batterry was dead. Figures. I played some games on my phone, stalked the neighbors from the front window and before I knew it, it was 10 till 2 and Mr. B was calling me. He was stopping at Cosi for some eats and wanted to know if I wanted anything. He said he'd be home in a few minutes.

At this point, no one had come and I was beginning to think no one would. I even put a fake name on the sign in sheet to make myself feel better and to somehow make the people that may come think that people were really interested in our place and they should act fast. Lame, I know.

A couple of minutes after I got off the phone with Mr. B, a car drove by slowly and I could see the people in it looking at the sign. They turned around and parked and I ran frantically from room to room turnig on lights and making sure everything was perfect. The couple that came in were really nice. They just moved to the area and are living in the apartment complex that's within waking distance to our place. They seemed to really like it and ask alot of questions. I sent Mr. B a quick text to let him know not to come inside.

They left and Mr. B was already on his way up with the food. I told the whole story while stuffing my face with my delicious Cosi sandwich and keeping a look out for more people. I had just decided to leave and let Mr. B start his shift alone when I saw 2 cars pull up. One appeared to be a realtor and one looked to be a daughter and her parents. I quickly made my way downstairs and made sure to give a nice friendly 'hello!' to the girl and I walked past her. I then watched as they all looked at our sign and then up at the condo and continued to the middle section of the building. Eff! My guess was that they had a scheduled showing at the place that's for sale next door. It's a middle unit with pretty much zero upgrades. Blah if you ask me.

I called Mr. B and gave him a quick rundown of what to say because they were most likely going to come by afterwards. And they did. Mr. B said they loved the place (which I was pretty sure of compared to that nasty middle unit) and that they loved my cookies. I'd like to think that's a great sign, because no one else has taken any cookies at either open house. The Nestle swirls chocolate chip cookies always come out tasting amazing.

So yesterday went really well. We now have 3 realtors that are willing to work with us and the weather for next weekend looks amazing. 50 and sunny, which should mean more people out and about and more people looking for houses.

- Mrs. B

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Open House #2

I've taken up the same position in the bay window seat I had during the last open house, but I'm minus a copilot. Mr. B and I decided that it would be alot less intimidating to prospective buyers if we took shifts and only one of us were in the house at one time. I totally agreed and now I'm bored. I got first shift and it's inky been 15 minutes since he left. Totally,utterly bored. I don't know how realtors do it. I'm such an inpatient person and I don't do well waiting.

I assume that I could go take some updated pictures for flyers and ads. My luck someone would come in just as I was pulling out my camera. At least my shift is only an hour long. In the meantime, Mr. B is going to search out some open houses for us and make a run to Wegman's for some bulk goods.

Not an interested person in sight yet, but I'll let you know how the rest of the open house goes!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to Make a Picture Frame Collage

I decided that the wall above the bed in the master bedroom just needed something. I had bought a few pictures, but nothing really looked 'right'. It's been about 4 years since we moved in here and I just found something worth trying. I love the look of picture frame collages, but my anal, symmetrical tendencies kept me from pulling the trigger and putting anything up on the wall. Until now.

I went to Ikea and bought 8 brushed nickel frames (4-4x6" and 4-5x7"). These sat in the office closet for a few weeks until I found the perfect things to put in them. I raided the local craft stores for interestingly patterned paper whose colors matched the ones we used in the rest of the house. Mr. B and I settled on using light blue, shades of green and some tans/browns. It was a blizzardy day outside when we did this project, which was probably best because we were forced to stick with the project and get it finished.

For this project you will need:
  1. Some kind of paper (wrapping, packing, construction...)
  2. Painter's tape (so it won't pull off your paint)
  3. A level
  4. A tape measure
  5. Frames
  6. Things to put in frames
  7. Pencil
  8. A helper (Mr. B was a great helper and you really need a second hand)
  9. Something to hang the frames with (we used Hercules Hooks)
The first thing we did was cut out paper forms that matched the frames so we could tape them on the wall and visualize how the frames would look without putting a million holes in the wall.

We found it was easier to lay the actual frames out on the bed and then mimic the pattern with the cut out pieces of paper on the wall. We found the center of the wall over the headboard and then found the point equidistant from the ceiling to the headboard. This gave us a starting point so the frames would be centered around the same point and hopefully result in a 'symmetric' display. Once we had a good pattern we taped up the templates.

We then went through the patterned paper we had picked out and decided what colors would look best where. We actually ended up rearranging the colors once they were up on the wall. After you fill the frames, you can begin to put up the frames in place of the templates.

It took some time to get the spacing right and make the pattern look random, but still pleasing to the eye. I think the final product came out really nice! I absolutely love it and I wish we would have done it sooner. It really draws your eye up and makes the room look larger.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

First Open House Results

We had our first open house this past Sunday and it went really well. I was honestly thinking the worst--that no one would show up. I'm glad I was wrong!

We had 3 groups of people come. An older woman came and took a walk through about 30 minutes into the open house. A guy came in to look for him, his wife, and their little boy who was sleeping in the car. He liked what he saw and asked alot of questions about the association and the taxes. The final group that came consisted of two sisters that wanted to get a place together. Right off the bat try loved our place. It makes you feel good when strangers react that way :) They said that they really liked everything about it but the second bedroom was small. There's nothing we can do about the size of the rooms, unfortunately. Maybe the girls will reconsider and change their mind...a girl can dream, right?!

We advertised on and craigslist but no one from there came through. They were all drivebys without a realtor at the moment. We're considering having another open house this weekend, but I think we'll take turns being here.

We're off to a good start!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Open House

Today is our first open house. It's only been 15 minutes and I'm already worried that no one will come. We lucked out because there's another open house around the corner. Hopefully this will bring a few more people this way.

The house looks absolutely immaculate and smells like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. Even if one person comes, I think it will make it worthwhile.

Wish us luck!

Friday, February 19, 2010

How we spent our Valentine's Day

Mr. B and I never really made a big deal about Valentine's Day. We usually get each other cards and either head out to dinner (early) or cook up something at home.

I have to say that this V-day was completely different than any one before it. First of all, Mr. B gave me my present 2 days early. He got me a new iPod nano :) He said that he would have gotten it for me even if it wasn't Valentine's day because I've been complaining so much about my old (so old it won't hold a charge) one.

The day of V-day began by ripping out the kitchen faucet and a quick run to Lowes' for some new faucet lines. That 'quick' trip to Lowes turned into looking for some laminate tiles for the laundry room to cover up the gross, original flooring. I do have pictures of both projects, but right now I'm blogging from my couch on my iPhone and I'm way too comfortable ( and lazy) that I'll have to upload them later. The faucet project was pretty fast (30 more minutes),but the 'oh babe, don't worry it'll be easy and quick' floor install took over 3 hours. Oops!!

Once I get into a project I don't like to stop. Pretty sure I get that from my dad. He is a habitual project starter, but once he starts he hates to stop. His hands could be falling off and you'd have to beg and propsition him from here to Monday to get him to consider a break. As a result, Mr. B had to bribe me with pizza to tear me away from tiling.

I'm so happy that we had such a productive day. It might not have been romantic, but I'm glad we could spend it together!

I hope everyone else had a great V-day! Pictures coming soon.

- Mrs. B

Saturday, February 13, 2010

How to make fabric panels

A few weekends ago, Mr. B and I packed everything up and took it to storage in an attempt to make our condo look more presentable. As a result, it looks completely empty and like no one really lives here. Since then, we've been trying to get some odds and ends to make our place look a little more stylish and lived in, but still spacious and move-in ready.

One thing we took out was our coat rack. It was a garage sale reject that my mom found curbside and it was the perfect fit for an odd little corner in the living room. I had intended to spray paint the dirty brass metal frame, but after we put some coats on it, you could barely see it anymore. Once we put it in storage, it made that little corner look crappy and uninteresting. I decided that something needed to be put on the way to draw the eye up and emphasis the high ceilings.

I picked up some stretched canvases on sale and bought a yard of some fabulous fabric that had some of the colors used in the living room. Other tools you'll need for this easy DIY project are some good fabric scissors, a staple gun, staples and an iron.

1. The first thing I did was layout the canvases and cut the fabric for each one. When cutting the fabric, you want to make sure you have enough to wrap around the edges of the canvas and staple on the back. Also make sure that the pattern is running the way you want it across the canvas.

2. You can either iron before you cut or after. I ironed the fabric after I cut. It's ok if not all of the wrinkles come out, because you'll be pulling the fabric tight across the frames.
3. Once the fabric is cut and ironed, you can start stapling the fabric to the canvas frame. Make sure the pattern is running the right way (i.e. straight, left to right etc.). I started on the long sides first. Pull the fabric tight across the frame and staple into place. With the first staple in place, make sure that you pull the rest of the fabric on the same side with equal pressure so the pattern doesn't get distorted and uneven.

4. Repeat on the opposite side, but on the second side you can pull tighter to make sure you don't have any gaps in the fabric on the front.

5. The other two edges are next. Think of this step as wrapping a present. I started by pulling the fabric from side 1 tight against the top of the frame and stapling into place so it doesn't move. I did all of them at the same time to keep the fabric tight all around.

6. The next thing you want to do is hold the very top edge of the fabric you just stapled and pull it across the top of the frame so that it lays flat against it. You are basically overlapping the fabric you just stapled to the top of the frame. Remember, you're 'wrapping a present'.

7. The last step is to pull the remaining flap of fabric up onto the frame so you can staple it. I found this step to be the most difficult to get right. Some of the edges, like this one, came out looking a little bulky close up, but up on the wall you can't really see it. You'll also see a little 'bubble' of fabric. It ended up not showing through to the edge, so that's ok too.

8. You'll want to repeat step 7 for the other edge and then repeat the entire process for as many canvases, or as much fabric as you have.

Mr. B and I were originally only going to do 3 panels, but we had extra fabric and 4 ended up looking better anyway. Since the canvases had a pretty thick frame on them, we just used a finishing nail to hang them. We ended up laying them out on the floor first to get the spacing and layout just right. Each panel is separated by 3" and centered on the wall.

What do you think? Does the wall look better before or after the panels were added?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Eats

Last weekend Mr. B and I were snowed in with over 2 feet of snow. The news warned us early on in the week that we would get hit with a pretty bad snow storm, so I went and got some supplies to make two recipes that had been sitting in my Google Reader forever. They both looked delicious and I figured what better time to corner Mr. B into eating something than when there was nothing else to eat but that :)

The first recipe was from A Year of Slow Cooking. Steph always has great, easy recipes that pack a bunch of flavor and are great for leftovers. Since it was so chilly outside, I decided to make her Chicken Enchilada Chili. The picture looked delicious and the ingredients were relatively healthy. The only thing I had to pick up was the enchilada sauce and the celery. I stayed true to her recipe, but cut it in half since we put our large crock pot in storage. The verdict is that the chili turned out amazing! Mr. B was asking for seconds and he's already requested that we make it again. I love that you don't even have to cook the just plop everything in the crock pot and let it do it's thing. The chicken came out so tender that it was practically falling apart.

The second recipe we made last weekend was from Good Things Catered. Katie has such an elegant way of putting together flavorful menus and her pictures make me drool. When I saw her recipe for Sesame Chicken I made sure to keep it in my Reader for a rainy (snowy) day. This dish was super simple to make and had tons of flavor. I was worried that it would be too spicy for Mr. B, but the heat was actually pretty mellow. I ended up using regular sesame seeds instead of the black sesame seeds the recipe called for because they were no where to be found in the Superfresh by work. I put the chicken on a bed of cabbage and carrots with a sherry wine lemon-honey vinaigrette. The verdict is 2 thumbs up! The chicken was really yummy and so easy to make. Next time I'm going to try Katie's Sesame Noodle recipe with the Sesame Chicken. It looks equally delicious and I'll be sure to post about it.

Let me know what you think about these recipes if you try them!

Saturday, February 6, 2010


I really didn't think we'd get this much snow! We were supposed to go to my cousin's 10th bday party tonight, but I'm not so sure it will happen.

- Mrs. B

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I've been trying to shed some of the 15 lbs I've put on since our wedding almost 2 years ago. I was good over the holidays and didn't gain any weight. And I've relatively good with eating well and working out. Alas, I haven't lost any weight or inches.

What gives?! I work out a minimum of 4 days a week for at least an hour each time. I try to lift 3 days a week and do some form of cardio 3 days a week. Nothing. Nada. Not even the satisfaction of my clothes fitting better. I mean I have been eating 3 girl scout cookies a day (oops) but, really?! Really?! That's what's making me stay exactly the same weight? I even started a killer new workout called the "skinny jeans" workout and I've seen absolutely no progress. I'm starting to wonder if my body has begun the dreaded 'change'. Where my metabolism slows to a crippled limp and I can't so much as look at a dessert without my thighs expanding.

I eat so well during the day that I thought 3 cookies wouldn't be a big deal, but obviously I was fooling myself. My thighs and buttocks were not fooled, so now I must limit myself, yet again, to only treating myself to a cookie once or twice a week. I should really buy a vault to keep those puppies in becuase man are they tempting. Damn you Girl Scouts with your delicious treats!!

- Mrs. B

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

DIY Sneak Peek

I made this decoration on Saturday night, but still haven't quite found a home for it yet. I love the design and the colors are amazing. Hmm...looks like my blog wallpaper :)

- Mrs. B

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lots of Progress

But sadly, no pictures yet, as I have homework to do and bills to pay. We took two car loads and a truck load of stuff that we had accumulated over the past 4 years due to a housewarming party, engagement party, bridal shower and wedding. Lots of stuff; and sadly, stuff that was still in the original boxes.

The closets are now free of clutter and thoughtfully and neatly organized. Space! Lots of space!! I'm so proud of the progress we made, but still freaking out at the prospect of actually selling our first place. We've decided that we're going to try to go it alone for a month and see what kind of interest we get. If we fail miserably, we'll find a realtor and fork up the $$$.

Our listing is officially on Craig's List and Yay for free advertising!! We're having our first open house in 3 weeks and we are going to have one every weekend for a month...because that won't be stressful. This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn (my mind wouldn't stay asleep...hmmm, wonder why.) to write up a list of things that need to get done in the next three weeks. All of it is cosmetic and involves finishing up the little odds and ends that never quite got fixed from the projects we've taken on.

Last night I made some really cute pieces of art that will take the place of the coat rack we put in storage. The wall looks so bare right now that it just needs something. I will post pictures as soon as they're hung. Unfortunately, after yesterday's box-apalooza, I was not in any mood, or condition for that matter, to document my process.

The next few posts will include our Granite Transformations experience, the clutterless pictures and a few DIY projects. Let the cleaning begin!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I just wrote up an entire post on staging our house and I deleted it by accident. Doh! That's what I get for typing it up on my iPhone at work.

We are in the process of staging our house so we can put it up for sale. Mr.B and I have been in quite a few open houses over the past year and, needless to say, not many people take the advice the plaster all over HGTV. Staging sells houses! The buyer wants to be able to picture themself in your place; they don't want to see all your junk and wonder if they can fit all of their stuff in there.

This is why Mr.B and I are beginning the process of clearing out everything that is not absolutely necessary. Like those plates from college we haven't used in 3 years, or that electric knife that's still in the box from my bridal shower or my stack of year books. Going through all of our stuff has made me wonder why we even still have all of these things I we don't need them. I love getting rid of clutter--it's cathartic for me. I'm beginning to wonder if I've just been holding on to stuff just to be able to throw it away later, but I know it's really because I've been waiting for us to get a house. I'd see some fabric and say," that would be great for curtains in a kitchen" even though there are no windows in our kitchen now. Or I'd make a great find at Marshalls and snatch it up for 'later'.

This weekend should be filled with more exploration into every nook and cranny in our place, which I'm thoroughly looking forward to. I'm hoping to find some long lost something that I can use to help decorate and make our place look so absolutely fabulous that the first person in the door will NEED to have our place whatever the cost (a girl can dream, right?)

I hope to post some pictures sometime this weekend. Maybe some before and afters or maybe just some befores...depends on how sucked in I get to cleaning :)

-Mrs. B

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Laid up

I went to get some boxes from my mom's office this week so Mr. B and I could start packing up some of the extra junk we've accumulated over the past 3+ years we've lived here. Mr. B had a class he had to go to, so I put on some reruns from the DVR and went to work.

Over the span of 2 hours, I boxed up extra dishes, untouched wedding presents and a few other odds and ends. All in all, it was about 5 big boxes of junk. I was pretty darn proud of myself for getting so much done that I rewarded myself with an early bedtime so I could get lots of rest.

Fast forward to the next morning and I can't move without intense pain shooting down my legs and up my back. Yay. I somehow get to a standing position and now I can't walk. My back didn't even feel this bad after a weekend of tiling, grouting and wood floor laying! Mr. B got the heating pad and some advil, which helped alot.

I managed to get to my eye doctor appointment, the DMV, finish some other errands and started the laundry. Today I'm feeling much better, but I can still feel tightness in my back. Ugh. I'm going to try to get to the gym, but will definitely be working at a slower pace. I guess this is just a lesson learn from--I can't do everything by myself, even though I like to think I can.

Monday, January 18, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, Mr. B and I went to the mall and I saw a store offering free samples of tea. I love tea. All kinds of tea. So I weaved my way through the massive amounts of people and had a sip of my first sample. I was in LOVE. Mmm...Matevana Rooibos Chai.

I bought a quarter of a pound and it wasn't cheap, but I don't regret it at all :) It has the spices from the chai and a little sweetness from the Mate. It's actually a blend of the two teas and it's fabulous!

Coincidentally, my grandparents got me this neat little tea pot that brews loose tea. I've made at least 15 cups of it. Its a caffeinated tea, so it's been great on those 'I don't want to get up, let alone go to work' days. I can't stand coffee so it's a total lifesaver. Oh, and it doesn't give you the jitteryness and doesn't have the same addictive qualities as coffee. I can't wait to finish this batch up so I can find something else to love.

Another plus of drinking tea that I recently found out is that people that drink 3 or more cups of tea a day live longer. I highly recommend checking it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

We're putting our place on the market next month. We have absolutely too much other stuff going on, but I think trying to get buyers that want that $8k credit is our best bet. I just got notified that our free listing on is going to cost us $9.95, so we won't be doing that.

The dilema comes when trying to decide whether or not to use a realtor. My dad has a license, but really isn't practicing. His insisting we can do it on our own, but I'm not sure I have the time nor the energy to spend on it. Mr. B and I are going to discuss this further this weekend but I have a feeling we will end up getting a realtor.

This weekend will also consist of decluttering the house. We need to find a place for all the wedding gift we haven't even touched and my huge bin of summer clothes. I'm pretty excited at the thought of getting a house together, bit then again it's also kind of sad. This was my first place and I've been here for over 3 years. It'll be weird to leave.

- Mrs. B

Friday, January 8, 2010

An interesting fads in gym wear

I went to the gym this morning to do a long cardio workout. This gave me ample time to people watch; one of my favorite things to do. As I was putting my purse and sweatshirt in my locker a woman walking out to the floor caught my eye. She was wearing an oversized shirt and light gray leggings...with a zipper running up each leg. I had to do a double take. They were zipped, thank God, but who in their right mind would wear something with a visible, silver zipper to workout in?! Is that comfortable? And exactly what purpose does that serve? She was wearing capri's so it's not like they were pants and you could unzip them to fit over your shoes.

I rolled that fashion anomaly around in my head as I got on my elliptical and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but another woman with a huge, silver zipper on her pants. Except, she had her shirt tucked into her skin tight pants and the zipper was on the hip down to her mid-thigh. WTF, indeed. This cold weather and intermittent snow has got everyone dressing like it's the 80's come back to haunt us.

I managed to get myself refocused on my workout, because one of my favorite workout songs, "She Wolf" (don't judge) came on. My song had just ended when I spotted it. A zipper on the back of this woman's pants. This one wasn't silver and it was small; meant to be a pocket for keys, I assume. I wouldn't have noticed it except for the fact that there was no pocket, just ass. Seriously, I could see skin and I'm looking around thinking, "Does anyone else see that?!" I looked a little harder thinking I was just seeing things, but nope, definitely skin. Gross. Did the pants come like that or did the pocket rip out and she just didn't realize that a 2" line on her derriere was hanging out there for the world to see.

What a disturbing workout. I mean, how many zippers on tight, sweaty clothing did I have to see?? I managed to get myself back into my workout when I saw him. You know what I'm talking about. I know you've seen him somewhere. Either at the beach, at a pool...the guy that looks like he's wearing a sweater when he's not. And this guy was proud, really proud, of his hairiness. How do I know that? Well, let's just say he was wearing the minimum amount of clothing allowable in a public place like this. He was wearing a thin tank top and an inappropriately tight pair of biking shorts. Lovely image, I know. It's burned into my retinas.

Hairy man was running on a treadmill diagonal from me and boy was he sweaty. I could see the sweat sliding around on his hairy neck and shoulders...blech!!! He didn't have any zippers, but I think it was the worse of the 4 sightings. My thought is that if you're really that hairy and don't want to do anything about it, wear a t-shirt! No one wants to see your curly, frizzy shoulder hair and neck beard drip all over communal gym equipment. As if the sweating wasn't enough, he started throwing his hands in the air like Rocky, screaming out some song and then doing shadowboxing all while still running on the treadmill. He's the kind of guy they feature in those Budlight 'Real Men of Genius' commercials.

If only I had my phone with me I could have gotten some pictures of these awesome fashions...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What a pleasant surprise!!

Mr. B and I have a lot in common and one thing we really enjoy is working out together. Most days during the week we'll go to the gym together and then do our own workouts. About once or twice during our workouts we'll check in with each other and see how the other is doing. Mr. B even helps me plan out my workouts for the week.

Lately, we've been dreading going to the gym for fear of all the crazy, lazy newbies that always seem to show up the first week of the New Year. We are three days into the week and the gym really hasn't been that bad. Hooray!! I would do cartwheels if I could. It's been crowded but nowhere close to the insanity last year--lines for equipment and arguing. Ugh...

Yesterday I even got to do a kettlebell workout without slugging some daydreaming moron in the head. I did a circuit of 3 sets with 4 different exercises and I was done in 15 minutes. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest! I love workouts like that!!! Everyone else just stares at you like you have 10 heads while they workout with their under trained trainer thats texting and has them doing things incorrectly.

Let's just hope that next week has about the same turn out as this week (less would be ok too).

- Mrs. B

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Well hello, 2010!

My, didn't you come quickly! I feel like 2009 came and went in the blink of an eye. I guess that's what happens when you're an adult. I can only imagine how quickly the next couple years are going to go what with buying a house, renovating it, adopting a doggy (or two) and having some kiddies. (Note: none of this is close to happening, so don't freak out)

Here are some highlights from 2009:
-December/January: We spent our first married NYE together
-February: Went to Ireland :)
-March: Got a raise
-April: Bruce concert!
-May: Our first wedding anniversary and a trip to Vegas
-June: lots of work/school
-July: Our friend's baby was born
-August: lots of work/school/beach time
-September: nothing much
-October: 2 back to back weddings and a Bruce concert (his last one at the Spectrum)
-November: celebrated both of our birthday's and threw Mr. B a surprise 30th party
-December: Got to see lots of family and friends and I got a raise!

I know this year will be even busier than last year, and I'm not really sure that I'm 100% looking forward to it. I am looking forward to getting our own place and not sharing walls with inconsiderate neighbors (speaking of which, our upstairs neighbor just SLAMMED her door and proceeded to stomp down the stairs like a herd of elephants). I am so not going to miss that.