Sunday, May 22, 2011

The beauty of nature

Friday morning I went out to get the paper before work and noticed the sky looked so beautiful. I ran back inside to grab my camera and snap a few pictures before the pink and coral color in the sky faded.

Sunday night there was a beautiful double rainbow in front of our house after a warm-weather thunderstorm. I'm thankful we got my square-foot garden bed finished before the sky let loose. If the rain holds off tomorrow I'll get my veggies planted.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

antique store finds

I love going to antique stores when I have the time and a little fun money in my wallet. Most of the small towns around Columbus have a nice row of antique stores but some of my favorites are in Delaware. I had the chance to go yesterday with Andrew's sister after we enjoyed an indulgent lunch and dessert at Bravos!

A cute broach for my rain coat.

An adorable cow salt and pepper shaker set. I bought them because they reminded me of our basset hound.

I'm always looking for a neat jar brand that I've never heard of, something different than Atlas or Ball. This one is called "Queen WideMuoth" and yes that's how it spelled! For a few bucks I couldn't pass that up.

Is there anything you like to look for at antique stores?

Monday, May 16, 2011

A lovely weekend wrap up

This weekend was just what I needed: three days straight of no work, spending time with family and friends and cleaning.

Friday night I went to dinner with my college friends at California Pizza Kitchen, where I splurged on a summer salad of beans, onions, cucumbers and beets, white pizza and a piece of Key Lime Pie....super yummy! We wandered around the mall afterward and talked about what we've been up to since we hadn't all been together for a long time.

Saturday we spent most of the morning and afternoon at garage sales where I was able to score some great deals! We've been wanting a gas dryer to save money on our power bill and found one for $30, Andrew got a nice piece of luggage for his work trips for $5 and I was also able to get a Hoover Floormate Hard Surface Scrubber for $20! We got a few other odds and ends and it was fun to scope out the deals with my mom and dad. We attempted to go fishing later in the night but got rained out and headed to dinner with my brother and his girlfriend instead.

Sunday we decided that it was time to start going to church again. Right now, since I'm working every other weekend, we don't go very often and haven't found a place that we liked. As I was looking at churches, Andrew suggested we just see about getting married at the church I grew up in and said he'd be more than happy to convert to being Catholic if he needed to. I thought my heart was going to explode, I was really hoping that we would get married in a Catholic church but I didn't want to pressure him about the subject.

In other news: the wedding planning is coming along and I'm going to call to book the date for the church today! I've been working a lot, but I'm hoping to find a different job within the same place I'm working that has more "normal" hours and pays a little better. My grandpa will possibly be having brain surgery in June to remove the spot of cancer they found and I'm trying to remain optimistic about the situation.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Waiting is the hardest part

I wrote this post and never published it about two weeks before we got engaged. I thought it was funny and wanted to share because he had the ring since a WEEK after we went and looked and I had no clue! Its funny to look back and see how frustrated I was and how happy I am now that things have fallen into place!

I think Tom Petty said it best, the waiting really is the hardest part and there is something that I'm waiting for right now that's making me crazy.

Almost three months ago Andrew and I went to look at engagement rings. I already knew what I wanted, something simple and classic, but I wasn't sure if he would understand what I was talking about. So we spent a Saturday afternoon going to four jewelery stores and looking at rings. I found the one I knew was "the one" at the very first store we went to - it was so perfect. A round 1/2 carat solitaire in the center and 4 small accent stones on the sides in white gold. The diamond (which was loose from the setting) was nearly flawless and it didn't matter to me that it was smaller because it sparkled like nothing I had ever seen. We still went to the other three stores just in case I found something I liked more, but I didn't. After that weekend we talked a little more about getting engaged and then that was it.

Then about two weeks ago, Andrew bought a boat. Yeah, it was used but its not like that made it super cheap. He complains about money all of the time and even though I am working now, its still never ending. The boat pretty much emptied out all of the extra money that we had, which means no money for a ring.

I feel like our relationship is at a point now where we need to move onto the next level. Both of us are starting to get too settled with living together and the fact that we've been dating for almost four years. Everyone that I know is engaged, married, pregnant and so happy because of all those things. I don't want to be a "girlfriend" anymore, I want to be a fiance and then a wife and maybe a mother. Its not that I'm jealous of all this other people (although I'm not going to lie, maybe I am just a little bit) but I just feel like its time for this to happen.

This morning we had a small blow-out about money, getting engaged and how stuck I feel in the whole situation. I'm so sick of being told "a watched pot never boils" and that "if you stop bothering him about it, maybe it will happen" only because I feel like that watched pot has no water in it and that if I don't bother him at least a little about it, maybe it won't ever happen. I've been waiting my whole life to find someone who loves me as much as he does, who understands me, who lets me be myself and who I could not picture my life without. I guess I'm just ready to take the next step....maybe I should just propose to him!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Saving money, one coupon at a time

I've always been a reality TV junkie, but lately I've been hooked on one particular show and I can't get enough....


I am TOTALLY OBSESSED and never miss an episode. I have also decided that I want to become an extreme couponer or at least start saving even more money on food. As I've started planning this wedding and looking at our finances, I'm realizing I need to start saving a lot more money to have the simple but nice wedding of my dreams. If I can really get into this, I'm hoping to take all the money I save on food and put it into an account for the wedding. I always remember my mom clipping coupons when I was a kid but never remember her matching the coupons with store sales or anything that extreme.

I started out by joining a few coupon sites that are free and getting a subscription to the Sunday paper where most of the coupons are found. I also started a Meijer Perks account (our nicer version of Walmart in case you don't have Meijer where you live) and those discounts will work along with a coupon. I'm also going to grow a garden this summer which I'm hoping will save us some money on fresh produce - along with my canning and freezing I think we'll be well on our way to a lower grocery bill.

I don't plan on starting a stockpile like a lot of people on the show but maybe I'll be able to make a $75 grocery bill $10 or get some of my more expensive purchases for free. I never imagined I'd be getting into "extreme couponing" but I think it will be fun!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Recap

This weekend started off on a bad foot with me getting sick on Wednesday (my weekend was going to start on Thursday night). I had the day off and did my errands, but when I got home my head was throbbing and my stomach was very unhappy even though all I had eaten was some toast. I spent the rest of the day with chills, body aches and belly issues. All I had to eat was Oyster Crackers and some gatorade/water to drink.

I didn't sleep at all Wednesday night between being sick and a crazy wind and rain storm and decided it was best for me to stay home on Thursday from work (which I felt guilty about since I just started my job and had the next 4 days off). I layed around all day and finally felt well enough to eat, so we decided to at least attempt to go on our Northern Indiana fishing trip.

I felt okay for most of the weekend, but didn't feel much like eating. The weather was nice and we got to squeeze in some fishing, a trip to Shipshewana (an Amish community) and some rest/relaxation. I'm hoping we can go back again this summer since its free to stay at the cabin and only about three hours away. It was fun, but spending almost four days crammed in a tiny 4 room cabin with some of Andrew's family including a 22 month old - I was happy to come home and relax last night.

Geese on the channel leading out to the lake.

Andrew out fishing alone on our "new" boat.

Neat, and big, painted turtle we saw on an afternoon boat ride.