Friday, September 30, 2011

a life-changer

My life changed, thanks to the Pioneer Woman.    If you are not familiar with her run, don't walk to her site and check it out.  Chock full of goodness I tell you.  She is downright hysterical and makes me laugh out loud when I read her posts, and that's rare for me.  

Today, her recipe for the perfect iced coffee has taken my life to a "whole nottha level" as our Aussie pastor says.  You see, sometimes I get a hankering for a tasty iced coffee from Starbs.  Those hankerings can cost me anywhere from 2 to 5 dollars depending on the size and if I go regular coffee or latte.  Well, no longer!  I will be making my delicious iced coffee at home.  Check it out...

Behold, my ready-to-pour iced coffee dispenser! 


In case your vision is poor, a close-up:

 This my friends is a very concentrated coffee mixture.  You basically take 2 gallons of water and a pound of coffee and stir them together and let it sit for 8 hours or overnight.  Then you strain the coffee grounds out and you have a very concentrated coffee, perfect for iced coffee.  The Pioneer Woman can give you all the details.  Then comes the good part...
You may be asking yourself, why in the world is Sweetened Condensed Milk out on the counter? 

 Is it clicking yet?  You're probably thinking "Oh no she di'int!"  Oh yes, I did.  And it is amazing. Because as the PW says, "I'm a naughty, naughty, bad girl." 
 Ta-daaaa!!  The most delicious iced coffee you have ever tasted.   I. die. 

And just for kicks, a cute baby:



Now go make yourself some iced coffee on tap! Yum!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

My Joy and My Delight

There's something so stinkin cute about a naked baby.  Even cuter when you put the naked baby on a Missoni for Target blanket!  I was not swept up in the Missoni craze but a sweet and very hip friend of mine gave me the blanket as a gift.

Our little Reesers has become quite a hoot!  She is a funny little bird and loves to squeal.  Oh my word can she squeal.  It's like a loud shriek of delight.  And she does it regularly, including in the checkout at Trader Joe's.  She's also a wiggly little thing.  She has been practicing her rolling lately and enjoys rolling over to her back in her crib regularly when she should be napping!  The little stinker!  But she's always all smiles whenever you go see her so how can I be pained? Also, she is totally doing this "pre-crawling/scooting" thing.  Parks was not even close to this at her age.  He crawled around the end of his 8th month.  She can hike her legs up under her and work her way forward with her hands.  She's really quite mobile for 4 months.  I'd imagine she'll be a full blown crawler by 6 months.  

Here's her pre-bath wiggle time...

  



 Check out those moves! 



 Practing her scissor kicks, a girl's gotta tone up! 


 and leg lifts... (notice the diaper in the background, I like to keep it real)


 People tell me all the time "Reese looks JUST like Parks."  I think they look different but I can see the sibling resemblance.  


Monday, September 26, 2011

Backpedal, backpedal, backpedal

I hate when I have to backpedal, you know, when you make a decision that then needs to be undone.  Either you say something that didn't come out right or you just plain shouldn't have said or you buy something you know you shouldn't have.  Well today, I had to backpedal.  I had an appointment with my eye doctor because my vision has been bothering me lately.  I figured I might need some occasional eye glasses for night driving and when I watch tv.  Turns out, he wrote me a prescription for some glasses to wear occasionally.  Fine and dandy.

Here's where things got crazy.   I was never handed a prescription or asked if I wanted to purchase glasses there.  They just immediately whisked me over to their "glasses department" where some nice people started helping me select frames.  Price range was never discussed and shame on me I didn't really ask.  I just figured they would be reasonable (bad I know!).   The price tags are so tiny on the glasses and my eyes were dilated for goodness sakes! So, I find a pair I like of course they were "Kate Spade" (what was I thinking?!) and the sales lady just goes to town tallying up my order.  I hear her say something about a discount and I think to myself, "Score!" and then she goes "Ok, that comes to $423. Would you like to pay all at once?".   Ok, stop the train.  WHAT?!!  Four hundred dollars are you kidding me?  For my "occasional-watch-in-front-of-the-tv-glasses"?!!  I was totally shocked and felt like it all happened so fast.  All this was running through my head but what did I say to her, "Umm..yes".  So there I was handing over my credit card to the lady for this outrageous sum.  I guess I felt kind of intimidated and like I had already committed and was too embarrassed to speak up at that point.

I was so uncomfortable and I told Jackson the error of my ways. Thankfully, he laughed.  Have I mentioned I have the best husband ever?  But, I knew what I needed to do.  Backpedal. So, three hours later: ring, ring, "Hi, this is Mallory Andrews I was in earlier today and I need to cancel my order..." I made the call.  I don't like making calls like that but I couldn't stand the thought of spending that much money on GLASSES.  I'm kicking myself over the whole thing.

Lesson learned:  SPEAK UP!  Ask questions, don't let yourself get intimidated by doctors or salespeople. *Always* ask about prices.  Slow the process down and say no the first time if you can't afford something or are just uncomfortable with the price.

Please tell me I am not alone in my idiocy.





Saturday, September 24, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Blog!

Can you believe I've been blogging for four years?  When thoseandrews started I was 21 years old, had been married for four months and was starting my senior year at UVA.  Now four years, 2 degrees, 2 jobs, 1 move, 5 houses and 2 kids later...we're settled in VA Beach and excited watch our family grow. 

Sept 07
Sept 08
Sept 09
Sept '10

Sept '11

I already knew this but boy does this photo journey further convince me that long & blonde is my destiny!  Oh my word.  I will never go back.  If I ever start talking about a major haircut or going dark please. please talk some sense into me.

Anyways, I really love blogging here and while I do not pretend this is some super interesting, cool blog I know I've garned a couple readers over the years and I really do appreciate your interest in the blog and joining in through the comments.  Thanks for sticking with me through seasons of blog drought and harvest.  Cheers to blogging! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Because I know you are dying to see my kids' playroom...

Haha! Just kidding. I realized I never finished our "big reveal" from when we moved into our house. In many ways, we are still in progress but we have definitely made changes since my last house photos and I thought I would post some recent ones.

I'll start with our playroom. Whenever I say playroom I think people think our house is big. It's not. I should say in the same sentence, "We have a playroom because we don't have a dining room." I wouldn't trade it though. I LOVE having one room for toys! It saves my sanity and gives us other "pretty spaces". It is a must have in my opinion, no one wants a train table for a coffee table.

PLAYROOM BEFORE: I realize this is a terrible before photo of the dining room but you can see it was wallpapered and dated.

AFTER:



I have big dreams for this room. Fun paint, fun rug, fun light, fun wall ideas, paint the bookcase rainbow colors. Fun, fun, fun! For now though, it's really functional and is a great space for our toys. Parks loves his artwork displayed on the wall. I am pulling for a new light fixture though :)

LAUNDRY:

As you may remember, we went from this:

to this:



to this:

Huge improvement! My washer/dryer now are properly lined up so I can easily transfer clothing. I have a counterop and a cabinet for extra storage and I still have my utility sink (it's in the corner). Jackson did the countertop and cabinet! Score! P.S. Do you love my foot holding the door open? I've got skillz.

MASTER BATHROOM: I don't know about you but I just LOVE that wallpaper :)

BEFORE:


AFTER:


Floor to ceiling tile is definitely the way to go people. It adds drama to a dull bathroom. I had originially wanted to do the whole wall in the mosaic tile but the price was ridonkulous so I decided to a do a "picture frame" mosaic instead. Jackson is pained that we didn't go with a seamless shower door because it impedes the view of our beautiful mosaic but you live and learn. Next house, seamless door!

HALLWAY:

Before:

This looks boring at best and kind of scary at worst!
After:
Jackson added 4 ft beadboard wainscotting. It gives some character to our otherwise plain 1980s house. I added happy yellow trellis runners. Of course, we painted all trim and doors white. Our walls are Benjamin Moore's gray owl. I hopped on the gray train and traded our beige for gray. Gray is totally the new beige :) Hopefully sometime I will have some fun prints on the walls. Baby steps. Baby steps.


LIVING ROOM/OFFICE:

Before: Please notice the large mirror...

After: Please read my comments before judging this room...


Ok, so...I am a neutral girl at heart. I sometimes have to force myself to add color to a room. I had envisioned this room as being "cool" and "monochromatic". I'm afraid it ended up being kind of monochromatic but not cool. It needs color and some serious help in certain places. I need guidance with what to do over the desk. It's kind of an awkward space because the furniture isn't centered on the wall. What to do? Does anybody have suggestions?

Also, the warm blinds need to go. They clash. I kind of hate the chair in the corner that I BOUGHT. Ugh...I hate it when that happens. I think I desperately need some color here but I'm not sure what color to incorporate. Any ideas? I know yellow could work I just get so scared about making the wrong choice, it's silly.


Still to come...master bedroom!




Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Not the cat's meow


I have something I need to get off my chest. I'll just come right out with it. I have a small problem with cats that roam the neighborhood and come into my yard. I just don't get it. Why is it socially acceptable for cats to enter other people's yards and it isn't for dogs? I personally think it is not ok for any animal to come into my yard uninvited (except for my neighbor's adorable doggie who we love). What if I'm allergic? What if I don't want your cat peeing in my child's sandbox? What if I have a dog that doesn't like cats? What if I take personal property rights seriously?! I mean, for real. If your cat likes to be outside, get a fence. Why is it ok for cats to roam? I don't get it. If you're a free-range cat lover you're welcome to explain why you think your cat should be able to traipse through your neighbors yards. Let's hear it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

so in love

I figured it's time for a life with 2 update. I am so in love with my two babes. We've found our groove (at least for now) and I'm really enjoying being a mom to 2. I'm starting to become more comfortable in my "mom skin" if that makes sense. I think I'm more confident, more relaxed and all those things that just come with time. Being a parent is a big adjustment and just like any other job, it takes time to develop your skills or should I say skillz :)

The biggest blessing has been seeing the relationship develop between Parks and Reese. Parks is an amazing big brother. He has been so sweet and gentle with Reese, it's amazed Jackson and me. He loves to have her around and calls her Reesey-cup or Reesers. I could not ask for a better big brother. She takes such delight in him too. She gigles just watching him play. There is just nothing sweeter as a mom than watching your children love each other. Precious moments. We are loving this season as a family of four!




I see some Jackson in Reese in this pic!

love
he likes to "help her burp" :)

mmmm soo squishable!!


Parks loves to get in her crib and play "baby" with her


thank you Lord for a happy girl!

Parks "bjorning" his bear...never a dull moment with him around!