Saturday, July 30, 2011

Stamps & Reptiles

Last year I met my first friend in Florida (that wasn't related to Geoff) at a citrus trade show. Completely random for both of us but we were both there for work. We instantly hit it off and had a ton in common. 

I am obsessed with her blog: 6 Petals and her store: 6 Petals the shop 

A month or so ago she found out she was moving up to VA.... but yesterday she surprised me with a quick stop in town! She referred to it as a business trip: picking up furniture, seeing her family and lastly, picking up her bf's reptile. 

Meet Godzilla:

He is huge! I have never been a reptile fan. I do not have a fear, I just have never felt the need to have them in my life but Godzilla is pretty neat creature. He is even potty trained! 

C, J & Godzilla
Me & Godzilla
I am sad to see her go (C not Godzilla) but she has been so helpful already with wedding projects. We ventured into many thrift stores for vases, frames, and other treasures. She also designed my save the dates but more on those soon. 

Most recently she sent me jpg that I had made into a stamp:

I have not decided what all I am going to use the stamp for but for about $10 I figured it was a must have. Lables, bags, envelopes and such can all be customized easily now :) 

After lunch we loaded up in the car and headed to the coast....

Meet Argos.
Have a great weekend and be sure to check out 6 petals

Friday, July 29, 2011

Packages & Pasta

I am noticing more and more that most of what I receive in the mail is bills & trash. Yes I receive the occasional catalog and wedding invitation but I now understand why my dad never rushed to get the mail or got excited about going through it. I think this means I am growing up.... 

BUT I have yet to receive a package that I wasn't excited about & today I ran by my house to bring Geoff lunch (he was mowing the lawn & deserved it) and guess what?! There were three packages sitting on the front porch! I can't wait to share them with you... later :) 

This weekend I am participating in a sprint triathlon. It is the second one I have done but it will be the first one on my new bike and my first ocean swim. The last one I did was a few months ago and I stuck to my training plan about 90% of the time but this time I have stuck to my plan only 30%. 

Getting sick, traveling for work, and trying to get settled in our house has caused me to deviate from my plan and this makes me nervous. So, in attempt to over compensate for my lack of training I thought I would come up with a light, lemon pasta recipe. A girl must carb load the ENTIRE week leading up to an event right? 

Roasted Grape Tomato & Pearl Onion Pasta

10 ounces pearl (or any small) onion
10 ounces grape (or cherry) tomatoes 
8 ounces pasta
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can white bean of choice, I used navy but garbanzo would have been better
5 basil leaves

Pre-heat boiler to high.
Spray a baking dish with olive oil, pour in tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.

In a separate baking dish, place onions (leave paper-y wrappers on).

Roast both under broiler for 10-15 minutes. You want the onion papers to blacken in places and the tomatoes to soften.

While the vegetables are in the oven, prepare pasta according to the package direction. 

After removing the onions from the oven, allow to cool before removing the outer paper skin. I found this easiest by using a paring knife to slice off the root end and pinching the other end. 

Once the pasta has drained toss with tomatoes, onions, beans, olive oil, & lemon juice. 

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Before serving toss with torn basil leaves. 

The tomatoes and onions get very sweet, the lemon juice gives a nice kick and the basil adds a freshness that only basil can accomplish. Perfect for a summer night just add prosecco. We may have.... 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our Pink House

Once it had been decided that I WAS going to be moving down to Florida, three things had to happen: an engagement, a job, & a place to live that wasn't his parents house. The engagement took 10 months, the job took two months, and the house happened to be the first house we looked at. It was love at first sight. If you can call this love:
The bird house sold me. 

All of the pictures were taken the day the house became ours, over a year ago, but I thought I would give you a tour of what we started with....


The view from the front door into the living room & kitchen.

The dining room.

The kitchen & back porch

Splatter paint cabinets, wall paper & stainless steel counter tops?

The bathroom...

Main bedroom (the 2nd bedroom looks the same)

The front porch.

What actually sold us. The lake not the cacti or the bird houses. 

Like all couples we compiled a list of must haves, would like to have, wish we could have, & what we could live without. 
My list included: 
  • At least three bedrooms (young ones are in our future, far away future but still)
  • At least two bathrooms (two & a half would be nice)
  • Open floor plan, at least for the kitchen and family room
  • Closet space for me
  • A laundry room
  • A pantry
  • On a few acres with the ability to have animals and not be close to neighbors
  • The ability to make it our own
His list included:
  • Must be on a lake
  • Must be close to where I work
  • Must have a garage
  • Must have space to plant citrus trees and have a garden
  • Must have a bedroom & a bathroom

Typical female & male but lets see what we actually got....

My list:
  • Two bedrooms
  • One bath inside the house & one in the attached garage (both must be gutted)
  • Not even close to an open floor plan: doors between living room, dining room, kitchen & hallway
  • Smallest closets ever
  • Laundry "room" was in the non attached garage
  • Pantry, nowhere to be seen
  • Offically 1.2 acres but with the lake being so far down and easments a little over two but we are actually in a city so no "farm animals" 
  • The ability to make it our own: YES YES & YES
His list:
  • It is on a lake that is the perfect size and very clean
  • It is located in between his office, the blueberry fields, and most of the citrus groves
  • There is a garage but it is not attached
  • Fruit trees have been planted
  • And there is a bedroom and bathroom
His list was 100%, mine not so much but I adore it & I am obsessed with the changes we have made. I am so excited to share the progress as well as the blood, sweat & tears that have gone in to it. 

I made a pasta dish last night that I am so excited to share tomorrow! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Welcome & Hello

who am i? 
This is obviously a loaded question for my first post & you will soon get to know who I actually am BUT in a nut shell I am a 20 something female who moved from CA to GA now to my forever (I hope!) spot in Central (basically middle of nowhere) Sunny Florida. By middle of nowhere I mean we don't have a Starbucks, Target or Whole Foods. Its ok though, someday we will catch up. Besides the lack of conveniences Florida is amazing and I have fallen in love. Lakes, fresh produce and the beach less than two hours away leaves very little to complain about. 

Must love the corporate head shot.
 why the moves? 
California is California and you have perfect weather, beaches, mountains, delicious food, and shopping but high school graduation led to college and for college I decided to go to school in Atlanta (Go Yellow Jackets!) Atlanta was great for 5 years (who goes to college for 4 years now-a-days anyway?) but like many females that attend a college with a MUCH larger percentage of men, I fell in love with a boy from Florida. This boy and I are now engaged, bought a house in his home town where his family's business is. 

ATL Skyline on top of a building I got to work on
 what do I do? 
I handle marketing for a general contractor in my town. My degree was Building Construction NOT marketing but it is within the same industry and I am love learning more and more about the industry. My free time consists of renovating our house (more on that soon), experimenting in the kitchen, training for various races, DIYing everything, and planning our wedding. 

Everyone needs to do a mud run in a tutu at least once
 why a blog?
I have attempted this before in 2009 & 2010 and never got much past this point. The reasoning? I didn't know what I was passionate about yet. I was in college, working multiple jobs, and wanted to have fun. I know know what I want to share with the blogging world: how to live creatively well. 

I did mention I live basically in the middle of nowhere

what does "creatively well" mean?
I feel that to live "well" one must take care of themselves physically, nutritionally and mentally. When you allow your individual creativity to flow, whatever the outlet may be, you enter a state of relaxation, healing and stress relief. At least I think so. I am not a artist by any means (I wish) but through cooking a meal, refurbishing an old piece of furniture, or creating a training plan I am able to be creative in my own life. 

I LOVE wedding season
who is this "boy"? 
This "boy" that moved me to Florida is Geoffrey and I obviously think he is amazing. He works in the agriculture industry although he also studied Building Construction with me in school. He knows how to fix everything and anything and is extremely hands on. He may or may not be a better cook then me, depending who you ask but I don't mind. 

Our pink house
what about this house? 
We bought our house in April 2010 & we moved in June 2011. Calling it a fixer upper would be an understatement and it may have become a larger project then what we were originally expecting (we thought we would move in October 2010) but we love it. We are on a lake and we are making it ours. I can't wait to share all of the projects and progress with you. Trust me there is still plenty to do & this picture is from the day we bought it....

I am so excited for this opportunity and look forward to Pink String & Green Beans future :)