Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Melting Pot & The Dollar Tree

Random post for today (as you can gather from the title)... I have just been having a really good week and wanted to share. :)

First of all, I got to try a new restaurant last night! My mom & I and two friends had a girls' night last night, and we decided to go to The Melting Pot. It was the first time any of us had been, and we LOVED it! I highly recommend it- it's perfect for a girls' night. 
I don't think it's really a place a guy would enjoy- 
I know Zach wouldn't- so I wouldn't drag him to it. 

We absolutely filled ourselves on a four-course dinner. The first course was a cheese fondue of our choice with dippers like bread, chips, apple slices & veggies. Then, we got to choose a salad, which was yummy! Next was the main course, where they brought out meats like steak, chicken, shrimp & Ahi tuna. We cooked them in the broth of our choice right at our table. 

Then, dessert. The best part of the meal- and I'm not much of a sweets person. We went for all of our birthdays, so this is one of the dessert plate of dippers we had... 

We enjoyed the night so much!

Then, today, I took my lunch and shopped a little around town. I haven't done this in a while. As of last week, I couldn't tell you the last time I had set foot in a thrift store. So far, I have been twice since last week, and didn't buy a thing. I'm proud of myself!

I got some paint pens that I had been needing for a project, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then hit the Dollar Tree. 
I am just in love with this store. 

The first thing I saw when I walked in was this wall full of storage options. I think they are advertising them as Easter baskets/carriers, but my mind went straight to organization...

Love the color options!!

Here's another section of the store with tons of little baskets. This is definitely the place to go for cheap organizing options.

Then, on a trip down another aisle, I found these little gems...

They had like 4 different types of workout DVDs in stock. They are all 3-minute workouts with a bonus workout (which probably means the entire DVD is about 5 minutes long), but for $1?? I couldn't pass it up. I'm sure Zach will have a good laugh watching me watch the DVD for all of 5 minutes, and trying to do the moves, but I just had to try them out.

Hope you all are also having a good week! I am going to enjoy my night off from choir rehearsal and have a home-cooked dinner. 
My sweetie is cooking shrimp fried rice! :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Putting Together the Pantry

Well, you've probably noticed that I haven't been in project mode lately, so I know the blog's been a little boring. I hope to post soon on some things we have been working on these past couple of weeks. We have really been in an organizational mood lately, and it's wonderful! Not many crafty things are being created, but we are definitely knocking a dent in our house cleaning & streamlining, which is priceless.

 I have to brag on my sweetie. He has been the one in an organizing mood lately (praise the Lord!), and has been taking advantage of it around the house. I got home from my best friend's baby shower two Sundays ago, and the house had been vacuuumed. I absolutely HATE the task of vacuuming, and he knows this, so he vacuumed the whole house for me
while I was gone.

Then, that night, he decided he wanted to organize the pantry. Our pantry has become somewhat of a blackhole for snacks, boxed foods, and plasticware. It was an unorganized mess. I will swallow my pride and show this "Before" photo here...ugh...

So shameful, isn't it?? My grandmother would not be proud if she saw this, that's for sure. She's the queen of clean in my family. :)

You can see our snacks & cereals & such on the top shelf, then the great tupperware abyss on the bottom shelf.

So, we started out by taking all of that junk out, and setting it out on our kitchen cabinets. It's one of those projects where it gets really messy before it gets clean. You have no other choice but to make a mess first in order to have it clean & organized in the end.

A sea of (unused) plasticware...

I bought two of these baskets at Dollar General for $4 each (but with a 50 % off coupon, ha!), and Zach used them for snacks & my K-cups. I had to head back to the store the next day to buy more. Love them!!

Here's my sweetie at work...

I loved this idea for my K-cups & hot chocolate mixes! There is no sense in keeping those bulky boxes!

Here is one of the other baskets we used, now known as the ramen noodle nest. I love my ramen!

And here are the Afters!

Top shelves...

This shows all 4 of the baskets that we used. The front two have our breads/buns and our cookies & such...

We have our neat little plasticware carousel in use & easily accessible now (on the right)...

The bottom shelves have tons of extra room now!

Ah, it's so much better!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2011- My Year In Photos

I use the My Year in Photos application from Facebook every year, but had forgotten about it this past year until a few days ago. It is an app that creates a collage of all the photos uploaded to your profile in a year. I love to have a lot of my favorites in one place, so I can look back on them. It's neat to see 
what all happened & what was documented in a year's time.

Zach & I went on two different trips last year- to Maui, Hawaii in January & to Walt Disney World in September for our 3rd anniversary. And we've already been on one awesome vacation to Aruba this year. We're so blessed to be able to travel just about anywhere right now, whenever we want to go. It's a great time for us to take advantage of packing up & getting away
whenever we get a chance, and we're loving it!

2011 was definitely the most difficult year of my life, but looking back at all these photos, I realize it was still a blessed one. :) 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Aruba Pics- Jan. 2012!!

Woohoo! I'm finally getting around to posting these pictures. Keep in mind, these don't include Zach's pics that he took with his awesome camera. I know those will be the highlight of them all- he's such a good photographer. :)

These were all taken with my iPhone. As I've mentioned earlier, we really didn't take many pics on this trip. I think that was mainly because we didn't do much but lay out on the beach all day (rough life, huh?), and the scenery wasn't anywhere near as beautiful as places we've been before. Aside from the beach & the water,
there is not much else to photograph.

You can see the pics from the Butterfly Farm visit in the previous post, since there were already too many on this one. Again, I know Zach's pics of the butterflies will blow mine away,
so look for those soon!

Sorry if some of these are fuzzy!

Daddy spending time with the doggies before we leave...

Our everyday view...

Sailboat in the distance

The lighthouse

Palapas on the beach

The view from one of our restaurants on a pier

Ok, this was on the back of our rental vehicle. It cracked us up every time we saw it! :)

This was my workload for the week. Very demanding. I loved the book, but not as much as the movie!

My footsies at our pool

Palapas on the beach

Another shot of our view

Virgin strawberry daiquiris are a must when you're out in the hot sun :)

Zach with an iguana. This reminded me of our honeymoon in
St. Thomas. Those things were everywhere!

Close-up of our buddy- not too shabby for an iPhone camera!

The marina 

Um, mood lighting, anyone? This was in the rental company's van that took us to the airport. We had never seen this before. Maybe it's an Aruban thing??

The Butterfly Farm- Aruba, Jan. 2012

As promised, here are a few Aruba photos. This first post are ones taken at the Butterfly Farm in Aruba. We went one afternoon and spent a while here. It is a small building with a big netted canopy out back that houses over 500 (I believe) butterflies. It was so beautiful to walk around out there! It was amazing how close you could get to the butterflies, but to take a pic, you had to be quick. I was surprised at how well my iPhone pics turned out. I can't wait to look at the ones Zach took on his camera! 
I will post the winners from his pictures soon.

Next up are more general photos from the trip!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chandelier Dreamin'

So, I made a quick trip to Lowe's over the weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, it was a great one! I went to the Children's Advocacy Center dinner theatre with my mom, grandmother & friends on Friday night. It was wonderful! Saturday was house cleaning/laundry day. On Sunday, I went to my best friend's baby shower, and came home to a vacuumed house. Then that night, Zach decided to organize & clean out the pantry. I was so excited! He's been in an organizing mood lately, so he's trying to capitalize on it. Once we have the pantry squared away, and exactly how we want it, we are planning on tackling the guest room. Yay! I will post on these projects ASAP.

Anyway, I have been getting my Aruba trip photos organized & have posted them to FB today. I plan to make a post of those soon. I haven't gotten any of Zach's pics yet (which will be much better than mine), so I will post on those soon.

To tide us all over, I am posting on some pics I took and wanted to document (hopefully for a future shopping trip) from my Lowe's stop yesterday. I guess I'm just dreaming for now, because there really isn't a good place for a chandelier in our house. The only place that one would actually fit is in a nursery one day... be it a boy or a girl, I hope it likes chandeliers! :)

This Tiffany-style chandelier caught my eye from the start.
Love it!

I LOVE this one! I think it's my favorite of the whole bunch!
It's just enough, but not too much.

Close-up of my favorite (top left)...
The price is not bad at all either!!

Cute little pink chandelier...

Fancy-schmancy one at a cheap price...

Love this one too!

Small one...

This pendant lighting (one in the middle) is pretty too.
Not as pretty as a chandelier though.

Enough daydreaming for now!

I probably looked like an idiot going through the aisles & snapping pictures with my phone. Oh well, the trip was worthwhile, because I did make a purchase. I am super excited (and a little nervous) about it...

I am hoping to tackle a piece of furniture with this! We shall see!
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