Tuesday, April 30, 2013

i smell summer!

you know that undeniable smell of someone grilling as you drive through the neighborhood?  aahhhhh... summer.  it smells so good.

well, i know it's not summer quite yet, but it's starting to feel like it.  it's warming up and everyone's ready for a good time.  

well, mike and i kicked off grilling season this past weekend with some fantastic grilled shrimp.  not only was it absolutely the most delicious shrimp we've ever made, it was quite simple, which makes it even better!  check it out -- grilled shrimp scampi!

grilled shrimp scampi 

     prep time: 35 minutes 
     cook time: 6 minutes


· shrimp, peeled with tails on (approx. 4 jumbo shrimp per person, i made 4 servings, 16 shrimp total)
· 1 stick butter
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
· 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
· salt & pepper


1.  soak wooden skewers. peel shrimp. melt butter. chop parsley. mince garlic.

2.  mix garlic, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper with the melted butter.  set aside. (i opted against adding lemon juice because i didn't have any on hand.)

3.  skewer shrimp for easier handling on the grill. i used two skewers to keep the shrimp more flat, and to have something to grab with the tongs in the grill. laying the shrimp in your hand (i put 5 shrimp on each pair of skewers), carefully push the skewers through the middle of the shrimp keeping the skewers parallel to each other. 

4.  place shrimp skewers in a shallow dish and cover with the butter mixture. set aside for 15-30 minutes.  preheat grill.

5.  grill shrimp skewers on each side for 2-3 minutes or until they are pink and opaque.


i love this recipe!  it's simple and super yummy!  the little char from the grill added the perfect flavor to the buttery and garlicky shrimp.  mmmmmm.  sooo soooooo good!  you've gotta try it!  i know when i first dealt with shrimp i needed to peel and i was totally intimidated, but it's super easy and once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder what took you so long.  here's a little demo for you (that i shared when i posted another shrimp recipe):

in case you hadn't noticed, i highly recommend this grilled shrimp scampi recipe!  it makes a great appetizer or main's that good.  trust me.

in grilling and summertime...

=) andrea

Thursday, April 25, 2013

{five things} bookmark these blogs

as a blogger and person who enjoys reading other blogs, i'm constantly finding new people that inspire me.  so, today's {five things} is full of blogs that i've recently stumbled upon become obsessed with that i demand you check out immediately!  or you can just pop over when you feel like it.  they're really great.  trust me.

1.  interiors by kenz.

kenz (short for mekenzie) is hilarious.  and creative.  and amazingly awesome at d.i.y.  oh, and did i mention, she's a pilot?  yeah, girl's got game.  she shares lots of fun-ness on her blog; crafty projects, home improvement stuff with hubby aaron, adventures in travel (they just took a trip to disneyland, complete with custom t-shirts!), her two pooches indy and buster, and much more.  you can follow on facebook here too.

2.  back to her roots.

cassie is going 'back to her roots'.  she uses her upbringing (full of gardening, eating fresh foods, and being active) as the foundation for her blog.  like many young people trying to figure life out, she has struggled with her weight.  i can obviously relate.  cassie shares lots of recipes -- "healthy eats + yummy treats" (as she calls them), motivating quotes, things she's digging, accountability updates, and anything else that's on her mind.  i've really been enjoying her outlook.  you can follow on facebook here.

3.  neon fresh.

you may have heard of roo ciambriello from her blog 'nice girl notes'.  well, long story short, hackers got the best of her hilarious site...which has now become 'neon fresh'.  let me tell you one thing about roo's blog:  you never know what's coming next!  she's hilarious, totally real, and a little bit gangsta.  she's a mom of three adorable girls and wife of jack.  she shares her thoughts on anything and everything from dealing with her kids' allergies to her series 'ballers of history' to d.i.y. projects to her (absolutely hilarious) text wars.  you've gotta check it out.  you can find her on facebook here.

4.  homemade ocean.

the midwestern couple, christina and tim, are the authors behind this blog.  living pretty much as far from the sea as possible is rough, especially when you love it as much as christina does.  they make due with their 'homemade ocean' -- the blog and their amazing fish tank.  they share home improvement projects (they're in the middle of a huge bathroom overhaul), travels (one of her fave places is maine -- holla!), and lots and lots of other fun stuff. 

5. the belle of the blog.

this blog is brand-y spankin' new, so you're getting the inside scoop on some serious hilarity.  (no really, she just started the blog yesterday!)  one of my best buddies from college has a younger sister, mary, who has me in stitches every time i see her.  she's a clown, a ham, the center of attention...whatever you call her, she'll call you something funnier back.  she's opinionated and not afraid of sharing her thoughts.  i'm so excited to welcome her to the blogland and hope you check out her adventures in life.  mary hasn't started a facebook page for her blog yet...but follow along on her won't be sorry.

happy reading!

=) andrea

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

{business feature} KiDECALS

who's got the spring organizing bug?  {waves hands in the air} i do! i do!

there is just something about spring that gets my butt moving in the cleaning and organizing department.  and this year has definitely already turned out to be a huge success after our first trip to ikea (that i will share later this week, i swear).

i've spent time going through my junk, paring down, and creating an organized system for all of the 'needs a home' items in our apartment.  i've got my system down, now i just need to add some finishing touches.

as if by magic, one of my friends contacted me about a company one of her friends started recently that focuses on labels.  okay, that sounded boring.  and this company is anything but boring.

check out kidecals!

i had already checked out the business because i knew of my friend's affiliation with the company (she does marketing and stuff) and i was giddy at the sight of these 'decals'.

actually, i squealed.  yes, i'm serious.

they have so many awesome products, all of which are totally unique, waterproof!!!, and pvc free, but what got me was their 'thin name labels'.  specifically, these 'campy' ones:

super cute, right?

okay, so there's a back story on my excitement about these particular labels.  when i was young and went to camp anywhere, my mom would send me with clothes that were labeled with my name.  it was a boring old label with blue capital letters that she ironed on all my clothes:  ANDREA GREEN.  i hated it.  i felt like an idiot when my friends asked me why my clothes were all marked with my name.  but, in mom's defense, i may or may not have left clothes, shoes, retainers, and everything in between wherever i went.  sleepovers?  left something.  camp?  left something.  restaurants?  left something.  school trips? left something.  even when i was in high school i left two (2!!!) pairs of shoes under a hotel room bed when i was on a school trip in spain.  yes, i'm that idiot.

so, my point is:  my mom was right.  labeling your stuff is actually kinda smart.

and with kidecals, now you can be super smart and have wicked cute labels!  now i've got a list of stuff i want from the kidecals site.  and they've got so many fun things.  even the ever popular hipster mustaches.  check 'em out!

hilary chandler, artist and owner of kidecals, is my new hero.  seriously, labels thin enough to put on sunglasses?!  amazeballs.

see those awesome chalkboard mustache labels?!  totally adorable, amiright?  that picture is from kidecals facebook page, in the album called "mustaches, mimosas, and 'marys".  so, what i wanna know is: when are we getting together for these fun themed brunch?!  i'm planning one stat.

so in addition to the name labels with funky colors and versatile designs, the mustache labels that are totally awesome, and the other various decals they offer, they also sell labels that could save a child's life.  i don't personally have any allergies to food, but i would be so scared if i did or if i had a child that could die from eating the wrong thing.  (especially after reading roo's honest post on dealing with her daughters' allergies.  they're real folks!)  it's so scary.  but kidecals has a great solution!  slap an allergy decal on your kid's lunchbox for school or jacket for a field trip as an extra measure to avoid a trip to the emergency room.

pretty helpful, dontcha think?

and because being a parent is hard, especially with a newborn...i had to share this, because, well frankly, it's hilarious:

especially if you have a dog.  it just exacerbates the problem.

so, i really encourage you to check out kidecals website and facebook page.  and because it's such an awesome company and i have such awesome readers, you get a special discount code on their products!!!  and, wait for it, they offer free shipping!  like all the time!  for any size order!  here's the deets:

enter 'perfectblog' at checkout
to receive 15% off your total order!!!

so, what are you waiting for?!  get over there and check out the rest of kidecals products! follow them on facebook, twitter, pinterest, and instagram, too!

=) andrea

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

q&a {volume 2}

here's q&a: volume 2.  

in case you missed my post last week, a few weeks ago kenz (click through to check out her awesome blog called interiors by kenz) posted about being nominated for a liebster award and included some fun facts about herself and she answered some questions from the person that nominated her that were required.

she also shared a list of questions for the four blogs she nominated and anyone else who wants to play.

well, i wanna play!  and because i have such lengthy answers, i'm giving it to you over two posts.  this is volume 2.   check out volume 1 here.

6.  Computer or TV?

computer.  i'm an admitted tv junkie, but a tv isn't interactive like a computer.  i like to write, and a tv doesn't really contribute to that.  but you can watch shows and movies on a computer.  i think it's the best of both worlds.  plus, you can't get lost on pinterest for hours on a tv.  and i love me some pinterest. =)

7.  What is your favorite sound?

waves crashing on the beach.  being near the ocean (or any body of water long as it's not a septic tank) is the most calming place for me in the whole world.  the smells (definitely not the septic tank), the sounds, the feeling of relaxation and appreciation for nature is unmatched.  

8.  Who do you admire?

my birth parents.  ever since my parents told me i was adopted, they made sure i knew that the people that brought me into this world were the most loving parents.  they loved me sooo sooooo much...enough to accept their challenges of not being able to care for me the way they'd like, so they made sure i'd go to a different set of parents that could do all the things they could not.  

as an adult, the feeling of gratitude and admiration completely washes over me.  my friends that have kids are just the greatest parents that i can't imagine needing to (but completely would) support them through giving up a newborn.  after nine months of carrying a baby...i don't know if i would have the strength to give it up.  i'm going to be having children someday, and i can't imagine the pain of feeling inadequate, but 100% respect my birth parents for having the strength to know what was the right choice.

9.  Who was your favorite celebrity as a child?

captain kangaroo was my favorite celebrity when i was really little.  luckily for me, he lived in vermont, so i actually got to see him out and about a few times at the grocery store and whatnot.  he was a bit of a grumpy old man though.

when i got a little older, like third grade, i was obsessed (and i mean obsessed) with new kids on the block.  i had everything - t-shirts, hats, cassettes, jewelry...i even had a birthday party with the nkotb theme...and when i was dreaming of those cute boys at night, i was sleeping on new kids on the block sheets.

{image via}

10.  If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

this one is tough.  like real tough.  i have been having a hard time answering this particular question out of the eleven total.  i've thought about so many different things - international events, things that have happened in my family, changes in our's hard to narrow it down to one thing.  so i'll narrow it down to two.  one past, one future.

past:  i would've loved to see the first woman cast her ballot to vote in the united states of america.  what an exhilarating feeling!  the suffrange movement, led by the courageous women like susan b. anthony and elizabeth cady stanton, finally came to an end in 1920, a mere 93 years ago.  our country is a youngin' compared to some in this world, but we've come so far.  it will be fun to see what happens my lifetime!

future:  i look forward to the day when anyone - any race, any gender, any religion, and any shoe size - is legally allowed to marry the person they love - regardless of race, gender, religion, or shoe size. love is love is love is love.  that is what i believe.  (which is why i threw the arbitrary 'shoe size' in there.  because love isn't arbitrary, gender is when it comes to love.)

11.  What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod

okay, so this is actually kinda funny.  i went to itunes and added 'plays' to my menu bar.  this is the song that has been played the most:

i guess the summer of 2008 i was a big fan of little jackie.  the second most played song is '28 butts'.  (the only video i could find is a live version featuring butterscotch at the beginning.  the real song starts at about 4:45.)

and, because i like oversharing, my 3rd most played song is 'the queen and i' by gym class heroes.  enjoy!

well, this was a fun little game.  i look forward to sharing more facts about myself, no matter how weird, personal, funny, or unimportant they are.  

=) andrea

Friday, April 19, 2013

feeling refreshed

hey!  it's monday and i'm so glad to be back here on mkp!  

the last couple weeks have been rough for me.  there's nothing in particular that has been making me down in the dumps, but i was definitely feeling in a funk.  i didn't keep my normal workout schedule.  i didn't plan any meals.  i didn't do any grocery shopping.  i just didn't give a shit about anything.  you ever have that?  like you know you have a bad attitude, but nothing you do / see / hear / read / feel seems like it's gonna help you get out of it?

well, that's how i was feeling.  all last week i was looking forward to the weekend to just unwind.  mike was going away and we needed that time for both of us to recharge independently from each other.  are we happy?  absolutelywithoutadoubtyes.  the status of our relationship was never in question...but we just needed to be ourselves, with our own thoughts, our own motivations, just to be recharged.  

sometimes it's easy to get in a funk...and sometimes it's hard to get yourself out.

well, i'm out!  i'm feeling so refreshed.

but last week, when i wasn't...i found this and i literally sighed with relief.

someone else was feeling crabby and having a bad day.  hallelujah!  thank you, ann marie, from white house black shutters for helping me see the light!  

reading her post was the last straw in my bad attitude.  i had been crabby.  i had bad days.  i was ready to move on from them, despite knowing that it's sometimes okay to be crabby or have a bad day.  (or a bad two weeks.)

i was finally able to feel less crippled by the things i wanted and needed to do.  instead of feeling like i had a mile-long list of to-do's that were only holding me back, i felt like i could do them -- one. at. a. time.  and to remember to look forward, there's a reason the past is where it is.  it gives you room for improvement.

this weekend i reminded myself these things:

it's okay that i only worked out two times last week.  i'm gonna go four times this week and own it, like a boss.

it's okay that i didn't plan any meals or do formal grocery shopping for two weeks.  i took the time this weekend to plan it all out and mike and i are all set for all of our meals for the whole week.

it's okay that i had a bad attitude and felt like not giving a shit.  i took the time to revisit my thoughts / plans / goals / etc., and it was amazing.  i even came up with some new ideas!

i also realized that it's truly okay to have a bad day, even if it's a bad week.  you just need to recognize it and do whatever you can to turn yourself around.  in her post, ann marie shares a link to another post:  31 ways to stop having a bad day.  and i love it.  and it works.  here's her list!

1. Take a shower

2. Jump up and down a few times

3. Get dressed, put on some makeup

4. Turn happy music on, loud.

5. Call your husband, mom, or a friend just because.

6. Make your bed.

7. Pray.

8. Have a snack. Have a meal. Make a protein shake. Drink some coffee. With fancy syrup.

9. Take your vitamins. (I take these.)

10. Go outside. Take a walk around your yard. Kick a ball around.

11. Let the sun from a window pour over you.

12. Not sunny and freezing? Put your coat and boots on and RUN outside. Run back in.

13. Take a break from social media.

14. Instead of gossip or bad-mouthing, think of 5 nice things to say about them.

15. Set a timer. In 15 minutes you will do X. In 20 you will do X.

16. Organize something small and dedicate yourself to finishing.

17. Exercise. Get your kids to join in and try not to giggle at them.

18. Challenge yourself not to yell, or only speak in a pleasant tone. 
(Sarcasm is sometimes acceptable.)

19. Get down on the floor and play. Build a fort with your kids.

20. Read a story. Add silly voices.

21. Cuddle someone.

22. Get off the computer. Stop checking your email.

23. Find 5 beautiful things in your home. Find 5 things you love about your home.

24. Run to the store.

25. Take fun, cute, and silly pictures of yourself. Get the kids in on it.

26. Make something. Get crafty. Bake something.

27. Smile big for no reason and keep smiling. Even if it feels annoying.

28. Plan dinner and get it all ready to go. If early enough, throw something in the crockpot.

29. Archive everything in your email inbox.

30. Ask your kids to tell you jokes.

31. Laugh. Laugh a lot. Laugh really loud.

sounds like a pretty good collection of ways to stop having a bad day, no?

i'm really happy to be back.  mostly that i'm feeling back to my regular self.  my cheery, smiling self.  with lots to share!

stay tuned.  for realz.  there's a bunch of fun stuff coming up.

i went shopping, so i've got good stuff to share -- ikea, a new purse (or 3!!!), and fun kitchen finds.  there's also a new company i'm excited to partner with that i can't wait to share their amazing products with you!  i've got a restaurant review from february.  (oops.)  also, i think i have about 8 recipes i want to share.  oh, and my mom and i painted pottery.  and starting in two weeks, there's a new 'summer slimdown' contest at the gym, so i'll have new goals and details to share about kdr fitness.  anything else?  oh you know, the regs - some throwback thursdays (stay tuned forever because i'm about to raid my mom's photos!), friday philosopies, insta-updates, pinspired projects and recipes, and a little bit of fran and leo.

so seriously, bookmark my page.  add it to your bloglovin'.  'like' it on facebook.  there's some exciting new stuff happening around these parts and i wouldn't want you to miss it!

happy earth day!

=) andrea

friday philosophy

sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via}

in the wake of the horrific bombings in boston this week...while we pray for the victims, the injured, and their families...while we honor the first responders, marathon volunteers, and emergency personnel...we wait.

we wait for the heroic law enforcement officers to do their jobs.

we wait for a feeling of relief.

we wait for it all to be over.

i wanted to take a chance today to reflect on the good in the world...because there is so much of it.  i believe in good people...

good people who cheer on total strangers who have run a grueling 26.2 miles.   
good people who run towards a disaster instead of running away.  

good people who carry strangers to safety in a moment of total chaos.

boston is full of good people...and i believe in boston.

and i believe in america.

we are a good people.

oh, and boston's pretty bad-ass too.

happy friday everyone.  bostonians - stay safe.  you're on my mind and in my heart!

=) andrea

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

beauty you can't always see with your own eyes

i'm a thinker.  i do quite a bit of internal processing...of my day, of certain events, of people, places, feelings, etc.  i've often thought about how confidence or self esteem can affect how you view yourself.

today, i watched a video i cannot get out of my head.  it was created by dove for their 'real beauty' campaign.  and it's amazing.

imagine if you were invited to a sit down and through a curtain answer questions about your appearance to a stranger who sketches you.  weird, right?

it really makes you think would you describe yourself?  how different would it be from how someone else describes you?  the fun part is you'll find out how someone else describes you because you get to know another person from the project, and they get to know you and your face.  then you go back and describe that person to the artist.  

wanna know how different the sketches turned out?  check out the three minute video below.

powerful stuff, huh?

as i grow older...and think about having kids...or how my behavior / language / etc. could affect their thoughts on beauty or how they feel about themselves...i really end up seeing everything as more beautiful.  it's easy to think in typical judgmental ways, but if you think beyond what you see with your eyes, the beauty is generally hard to deny.  even if it's beauty you can't see with your eyes.

that guy that works at the corner store who is covered in tattoos...  i'm sure he get some looks...even some comments.  but if you just treat him like anyone else you'll realize he's a really nice, polite, hard-working young man with a sparkle in his eye who works three jobs to make ends meet for his family.

that's beauty you can't see with your eyes.

that lady you see in passing at the post office who hasn't lost her baby weight, and the baby is now a walking, talking kindergartener... i'm sure she is so self-conscious about her body after baby, but she's spent the last five years working full time, volunteering in the community, taking care of her ailing mother, and putting everyone else's needs above her own.  she may be tired and heavier than she wants to be, but she's a hero to her family.

that's beauty you can't see with your eyes.

that man at the gym with the big scar on his face... i'm sure with his bulky muscles and loud grunts as he lifts he looks pretty rough and tough, like he got the short end of the stick in some bar fight.  but you can't see that he got that scar when he saved a dog from a house fire because he's a volunteer fire fighter.  after the family was rescued, he went back in to get the dog after the little boy cried that bingo was still in the house. 

that's beauty you can't see with your eyes.

i hope you look at yourself a little differently after watching the video.  i know i do.  it makes me remember how many things there are to like about myself and others...rather than focusing on the things we don't like.  and even if there's something you don't particularly like about yourself, maybe others don't see it the same way you do, just like you may see something beautiful in someone else that they just can't see.

what is something you like about yourself?

i wanted to say i like my eyes because i love that they are a unique dark blue color....but after thinking more about it after watching the video, i want to like something else about myself too.

i like my hips.  they're curvy and one day they'll help me have babies.  mike thinks my curves are sexy... and even if vogue or cosmopolitan or victoria's secret think my hips are plus sized, they're my hips.  and damn it if i'm not gonna think they're sexy.

in real beauty -- the kind you can't always see with your eyes.

=) andrea

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


hi, i'm andrea.  i've been a neglectful blogger.  i miss you!  please accept my sincere apologies and come back to hang out!  i'll be here more often.  i promise.  xoxo. heart is in boston after the tragic events that unfolded yesterday at the marathon.  as i posted on facebook: the sadness of the explosions in boston is unbelievable. the strength and compassion of the runners, spectators, emergency personnel, and the greater boston community is unmatched. hearing about runners continuing their marathon journey by running directly to the hospital to donate blood is inspiring.  prayers in abundance. 

and now, for a little fun / get to know you (or me) / randomness...

a couple weeks ago kenz (click through to check out her awesome blog called interiors by kenz) posted about being nominated for a liebster award and included some fun facts about herself and she answered some questions from the person that nominated her that were required.

she also shared a list of questions for the four blogs she nominated and anyone else who wants to play.

well, i wanna play! =)  and because i have such lengthy answers, i'll give it to you over two posts.

q & a:  volume 1.

1.  What is your favorite dinner?

a good steak, cooked medium...with mashed potatoes and green beans.  my dinner for our anniversary at carpenter & main was pretty much the best meal ever.  and it had bleu cheese.

2.  What is the most brave thing you have done?

start this blog?  maybe?  i haven't had many of experiences that require (or result in) bravery.  so instead, how about i tell you a story about someone else's bravery, and how i participated?  (it's deep.)

one of my dearest college friends, and roommate (who is, in my opinion, pretty much a saint), donated blood our sophomore year.  (see?  saint status?!)  much to her surprise, she was contacted shortly thereafter because her blood was does one deliver this information to a bright, full-of-life college student?  terribly.  that's how.  my roommate was notified that her blood may be...contaminated.  that she may have tried to donate blood that was...infected.  with HIV.  talk about the shock of your life.  it would take several days for the final tests to confirm anything.

what do you do when your roommate may have HIV?  when she's hundreds of miles from home / her boyfriend / her family?  well, i embraced her.  i cried for her and with her.  i held her hand.  i prayed for her and with her.  i even pulled the mattresses off of our beds so we could sleep on the floor next to each other.  i didn't want her to feel alone.  i'll never forget those days or nights.  my friend was so, so brave.

during those few days of waiting, which felt like an eternity, i did anything and everything she wanted me to.  it helped to remind me that even if we did get bad news, i wasn't going to let those three little letters define who she was, after all, these things happen every day.  people's lives are changed every single minute because of diagnoses they don't expect, but i wasn't going to let that happen to my friend.

luckily, this story has a happy ending.  the results came back normal and she had nothing to worry about.  she had additional evaluations done to be 100% sure, all came back normal.

i'm grateful for her health...and for those few days of living life purely and completely.  i gave her part of my heart when hers was so fragile...and i know it's safe in hers.

(i told you it was deep.)  

{image via}

3.  What is the first thing you notice about people?

i always notice their body language...eye contact...hand placement...that kind of stuff.  it drives me insane when people can't make eye contact during a conversation because it makes me feel like something suspicious is going on with them.  generally, my feelings on that are right.

4.  Ellen or Oprah?

ellen.  hands down.  all day long.  i love her personality, sense of humor, sense of compassion...her bravery for coming out when it wasn't cool at all to be different.  ellen's way of being real is so inspiring.  and she makes me LOL.  

5.  What is your favorite thing about yourself?

there are a few things i like about myself, but i'm not sure i can pick a favorite.  how about i do favorites in categories?

vanity - my eyes.  they are a blue-turns-dark-teal kinda way.

personality - honesty.  i'm brutally honest.  almost to a fault.  i'll tell you if you're being stupid - to your face.

work - attention to detail.  seriously, most of the time, it's insane.  a couple weeks ago i watched a web presentation by a national marketing company and noticed more than 5 grammatical / mathematical / general errors in the first 10 minutes.  by the end of the presentation, i wanted to apply to work there, just to be a proofreader.  that's how bad they need it.

stay tuned for q&a: volume 2, some recipes, and finally, my post about our first trip to ikea!

=) andrea

Friday, April 5, 2013

friday philosophy

sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via}

tonight mike and i are clearing our minds....because we are going to be laughing a lot.  i'm so excited...we're going to see bob marley, a comedian from maine.  i've heard him before on my favorite radio show, the morning buzz, and let me tell you, his tag line suits him...he is 'wicked funny'!!!  you should definitely click through to his website.  he has a clip from when he was on jay leno, plus a bunch of other cool stuff.  check it out here.

i hope you all enjoy your friday and that it's full of laughter!

=) andrea

p.s.  it's a month til my birthday...wanna hook a girl up and 'like' my facebook page?

     check it out over there ---------->---------->---------->---------->---------->--------->---------->---------->---------->

p.p.s.  i'm going to ikea tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  stay tuned for a post next week! =)

happy weekend all! =)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

the countdown is on


so why can't i wait until saturday?  well, back when mike and i did our taxes and found out we'd be getting a decent enough tax return, i proposed buying a piece of furniture.  we've been talking about getting a couch...but i was thinking more along the lines of organizing our apartment.

so this saturday...which is in three days (!!!)...we are taking our first trip to ikea!!!!!!!!

i could not be more excited!!!!!


there's a reason i haven't stepped foot inside one of those swedish-genius stores.  well, there's more than one reason actually.  the primary reason is that i'm we're not spending extra money on stuff we don't really need, at least temporarily.  (i've touched on my financial struggles, and let's just say there's a light at the end of my aggressively-paying-off-my-debt tunnel.  huzzah!  finally!)  

and, since we don't really need anything, we haven't been.  

oh, and the closest ikea is over 2 hours away.  but i live in new hampshire.  i'm used to things being at least 2 hours away.  so that's not really what stopped me.

so, when this excess small pile of money dropped in our laps, we discussed getting a large expedit to go in our hallway.  (i know i still owe you an apartment tour, which once i get this lovely storage item, i'll be able to organize my stuff better and have a presentable more organized home tour.)  

and now i present the expedit!

{image via}

isn't it terrific?!  i seriously cannot wait to get my paws on that baby.  it's 6 feet wide and 6 feet tall...and ready to be filled with my stuff that needs a home.  and i am so excited to get this expedit in our home!

speaking of our home...let me fill you in!  our apartment has kinda a funny layout.  it's like a big horizontal rectangle with four rooms on either end and the 'hallway' and bathroom in the middle.  kinda like this:

and because i'm a freak and can't stop's a little image of what our apartment, including furniture, flooring, etc. kinda looks like:

the hallway is kind of our dining area and storage for books, my craft supplies, and whatever else doesn't have a home.  there's only one problem about trying to put stuff away.  there really isn't an 'away'.  there isn't a 'home' for all the things we have.  my scrapbook paper, card making supplies, other craft stuff, and knitting supplies are all kinda hodge-podge in the hallway using an old, small plastic storage thingy (that's a technical term)...that i had in college.  now that i'm an adult, i'd like to invest in furniture that will stand the test of time, style, and will be able to move with us.  the expedit series does just that.  the pieces have a simple design.  the largest one we're looking at serves as a great storage piece, but could also serve a different purpose as a room divider.  and the fact that they have other sizes available, means you could create a cohesive look within your whole home through the series of expedit pieces.

this would make a great side table:
{image via}

this is great as is, or could be turned horizontally to become a bench in a mudroom!
{image via}

they even have this awesome tv storage unit that i've got my eye on for the future!

{image via}

can you tell i'm pretty excited to explore?  just the expedit stuff gets me excited, so once i experience all that ikea has to offer, i'm sure i'll be overwhelmed and in total awe.

i already have plans to use a few baskets i already have to corral smaller items like puffy paints and office supplies.  i'm pretty pumped about getting my s$%& together.  although, i'm anticipating it taking all day sunday to get the piece put together since ikea is notorious for having complicated assembly and less-than-stellar instructions.  but i'm looking forward to it nonetheless.

so, tell me...since i'm sure many of you have already popped your ikea cherry...are there things you are so glad you purchased?  things you'd never buy again?  i'm planning to eat there too (gotta have the meatballs!!!) give me all the advice you've got.

ok, go!

less than 72 hours to go!

=) andrea

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