Thursday, December 31, 2009


2009 was a great year for Brent and me.

We bought a house and sold the old one (yes, in that order). We couldn't help it though, we fell in love the moment we walked into the new house over Memorial Day weekend. We both left that open house feeling sick, because we had no idea whether it would even be possible to get our house on the market that quickly...apparently, we rocked it.

June 14, we put an offer on "dream house," on June 16 house #1 went on the market and on June 21st, after 2 offers, we were finally under contract.

We said goodbye to our 2 bedroom, 1 bath house and hello to our 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house in September – and since then it's been go, go, go!

Some before and after's of what we saw at the open house to where we are now.

The living room:

The dining room:

The family room:

The Kitchen (goodbye green ceiling:

The stairs:

The hall bath:

The guest bedroom:

The master:

Bathroom art

I finally have art for the bathroom. This was a Christmas present from my parents, and I absolutely love it.

What I Bought

I bought a fabulous new pillow for my family room chair – from Nena Von on Etsy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Books in 2009

Ninety five, that's the grand total of books I've read in 2009. As for audio books, that number is 48.

My top 5 books of 2009...

1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Book #1: "The Hunger Games"
Book #2: "Catching Fire"
Book #3: To be released August 2010 :)
I know, I can't shut up about these books – but that's because they are amazing. It's about the US in the future, only it's no longer the US – it's 13 districts surrounding the Capital in the middle and resources are slim. After District 13 rebels and the Capital destroys them, as a reminder for the other districts to behave – the Capital holds a yearly event called The Hunger Games. A "lottery" is held in every district, and one boy and girl between the ages of 12-18 are selected in a fight to the death.

I was hesitant to read the first book because I’m not one for violence, but after hearing nonstop amazing reviews, I decided to suck it up. While the book has many deaths in it, this book isn’t gory or graphically violent. It’s mainly a young-adult book about Big Brother and slowly fighting the system.

2. “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield
Vida Winter is a mega-famous romance writer, who does interview after interview – although she’s never told the truth about her past. Margaret Lea, is an antique bookshop employee who receives this confession from Vida Winter with the request for her to come to Vida Winter’s house and write the truth. This book deals with 2 big questions – what is Vida Winter’s past and why did she pick Margaret Lea to write about it.

3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Everyone knows what these books are about, so no description is necessary. I will say it takes until book #3 for all the background details to wrap up and the plot to thicken – so don’t give up so quickly.

4. “Columbine” by Dave Cullen

I always feel weird saying a true-crime book is a favorite, because it feels a little on the morbid side, but this book is amazing. "Columbine" was released for the 10th-year anniversary of Columbine shooting, so more details are in the book. Dave Cullen was also a reporter who covered everything Columbine, so his experiences definitely contribute to the book. This book rotates between various narrators, including one on the shooters and the teacher who died.

5. “
The Historian’ by Elizabeth Kostova
I must admit, I was rather not excited to read this book – it was huge and the title sounded boring. Then I read the description and found out it's about the search for Dracula, and I got intrigued. I thought this book was awesome – it was so interesting all the places the characters go for this search. I must admit though, I'm a wuss and the first 100 pages or so scared the crap out of me and I was scared Dracula would come kidnap me as well.

Books #91, 92 and 93

#91: "Shadow Kiss" by Richelle Mead
I actually had trouble rating this book. The first part of the book was interesting, but I didn't find it as interesting as the first 2 books. But once I got past the first third of the book – I had trouble putting this book down. I loved this book, and it's now my favorite one in the series – Rose and Dimitri's relationship takes more turns and Rose starts to slowly question why she can't put herself first.

#92: "Blood Promise" by Richelle Mead
Yes, it wasn't as good as "Shadow Kiss," but I found this book rather interesting and compelling in its own way. I thought parts of the book were rather on the obvious side, but that didn't stop me from flying through this book in a day. Oh, and I still heart Dimitri.

#93: "Splendor" by Anna Godbersen
I thought the third book in this series was so incredible, I guess it's to be expected that I was disappointed with this book. It's obvious this book is the last in the series, because instead of drama – all loose endings were wrapped up. While I think a clean ending is a good thing, it made parts of the book on the boring side.

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's done!

The carpet is out of the family room, and I am in love.




Brent is currently ripping out the carpet in the family room. I can't wait to go
home and see it!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I still haven't decided if I find this hilarious or disturbing.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sales – Part 2

Even though Brent and I aren't in Kansas City this holiday weekend, we definitely made due in Manhattan, KS, as well as in the nasty, snowy, windy weather. We hit up Pier 1, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Dillards.

The goods:

Brent and I have a no-glitter policy in our house, so shopping at Pier 1 was rather difficult this year. We did get several cute ornaments and wine charms though.

We got tons of stuff at Target – picture frame ornaments, a knock-off Pottery Barn star ornament, a rustic snowman ornaments (for the next tree), 2 silver candleholders for $5 each and a green tray for the family room.

We also bought 4 things of net lights and another ornament organizer...exciting stuff.

I am the most excited about this ornament. We got this one, well, technically 10 of this one, at Dillards for only $2.50 each.

Sales – Part 1

Happy day-after-Christmas-sale day!

I started off my shopping adventures online at Crate & Barrel. If you remember, I already had my wishlist – so I snagged several things from it, as well as several other goodies.

My favorite thing is the mini ornament tree, which is currently $12.50. I like the ornaments C&B uses in the photo, but those aren't my colors – so hopefully next season I'll find something. I also got 2 sets of the ornament napkin rings for $4.95 each – these sold out right away last year, so I was happy to finally acquire some.

As for the wishlist items, the cheese spreader was a must. Brent says I have a unhealthy obsession with cheese spreaders and he is totally right, but I can't help myself – I just think they're adorable. I'm really excited about these mugs as well– I picked up 4 of the green dot pattern at $2.50 each. And then since Brent bought me some great purple chargers for Christmas, I made a color-change executive decision and decided to buy the green ruffle chargers, which are definitely cheaper when purchased in sets of 4.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Best Chritsmas present ever (maybe)

My family room is carpeted, and while it is nice carpet – I just hate carpet. I have wanted to get rid of it for awhile, but I've been nervous about the floor condition underneath, and well, I've had other things to do and spend money on.

I got home tonight though, and decided to take a quick peak in the corner and I liked what I saw.

This corner appears very much so finished. But I can't help remembering last month when the stairs also appeared finished and turned out to be this. I sent an e-mail to the previous homeowner asking if he knew anything about the floor condition, hopefully he does and it's good news for me. I am dreaming of finished hardwood floors for Christmas.

Brent's new toy

Brent received a man-cave gift from a friend last night, and let's just say not only is he obsessed with it, but shot testing has happened.

And the man cave continues to grow.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My latest crush

I am in love with this chair.

And where would I put this fabulous chair? In my bedroom, of course.There's an empty corner on the other side of the room that would be perfect for it.

I know this chair will most likely never happen, but I am an amazing dreamer.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Saturday's Deal

Z Gallerie's Tierra Tray for $19.99, normally $29.95.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday's deal

Today's deal is a BlinkQ Wine Chiller for $21.99, originally $59.99. Thank you Target!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Books #88, 89 and 90

I'm not quite sure when my numbering got off, but goodreads says I'm on 90 – so it wins.

#88: "Vampire Academy" by Richelle Mead
Hello, new guilty pleasure. It's no secret that I'm a fan of the vampire genre – but this series is quickly becoming one of my favorites. The main character, Rose, is a vampire guardian (aka: bodyguard), and it's about her experiences in finishing school learning to become the best guard possible for her vampire best friend. Rose's trainer quickly becomes her complicated love interest.

#89: "Frostbite" by Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy #2)
This book is just as good as the first. There is definitely more character development in this book, and you get to learn more about vampire-royalty rules. Plus, there's more Dimitri – so I'm all set. I just wish the book covers didn't suck so much.

#90: "Wifey" by Judy Blume
If I read this book when it came out in the 70s, I know I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Judy Blume has always been edgy for her time, and this book was no different. Sandy is a stay-at-home wife who gets bored one summer while her kids are away at camp. Her husband, Norman, tries to mold her into country club wife, and Sandy struggles with this and a slightly loveless marriage – while having several affairs and many dirty thoughts.

Thursday's deal

Warm up with this fleece blanket at Amazon for only $10.99.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday's Deal

Today's daily deal is brought to you by Wal-Mart. (I'm really trying to find deals in all sorts of places, and well, Z Gallerie's deal today scares me).

Wal-Mart's deal is this dartboard for $25. Not bad at all. I know I've done several man-cave deals lately, but there's only more to come. I told Brent 2010 is the Year of Brent, which means man cave, man cave, man cave, and well, I need to prep myself.

Sugar cookies

Decorating sugar cookies is one of my favorite holiday traditions. So many of my other favorite traditions, such as helping out on opening day at the Christmas Tree Farm, no longer exist - so I think that's why I'm even more passionate about my cookie decorating (even though Brent likes to make fun of my decorating).

And last, but definitely not least – my new Homegoods find – 2 fabulous green storage containers. I was needing a place to toss random recipes, so this is perfect.