Aren’t they cute???
I’m still going strong on making dinner with eMeals! I don’t always follow the recipe exactly, but have started substituting when it makes sense. The other night, I used some leftover pork tenderloin and tomato sauce and added some sweet potato, onion, kale and chicken broth to make a soup perfect for a cold night! Every morning, while I wait for my Keurig to make coffee, I add a word. Here’s the completed board! On Wednesday, it was sunny for the first time in DAYS, so I took Halle for a walk downtown to see the ducks.
Our town is just too cute for words some times. Wednesday night, I lit a candle and it caught the tablecloth on fire! Thankfully, several glasses of water were nearby and I was able to put it out, but it definitely got my heart racing. Thankfully, the Nativity somehow made it unscathed. (This was the second time I’d almost burnt down the house, as I’d left a pot simmering on the stove all night with cinnamon and oranges in it.) I’m staying away from fire for a bit.
Even Baby Jesus seemed a bit freaked out by his brush with death. Our guest room is ready for any holiday guests! Yes, that wonky curtain is taped to the wall, but it gets the job done for now. I took the time this morning to finish organizing our some of our books in the living room. This is just a fraction of what we own, but I’ll put the rest in the office. Our house is starting to really feel like home.
Black Friday. The day of crazy shoppers, and the start to the holiday season.
For The Klendas, though, it’s the day we started dating. Five years seems like so long, and yet, like a short time. It’s definitely not enough.
We started out as friends, and still are. Here’s some photos from the Fall we started hanging out and realized we “like liked” each other. We look like such babies!
Back in August, Bear told me he had applied for a job at our alma mater. It was the perfect job for him, letting him do what he loves full-time. But I wasn’t ready to move. We’d just bought our previous house about a year and half ago, and I really liked our life in Conway. Moving was just not my plan.
But of course you know what happened. Given time to think about it, it just made sense to move right now. We’re both moving back to a place we lived for 4 years, my husband gets work at a job that’s fulfilling, in an environment that’s encouraging and will offer room to grow. It makes it worth it when your husband loves his job. And it doesn’t hurt that we’re now about an hour from our families, versus the 250 miles it was before.
We looked at some older homes in our new town, but because there’s been such an influx of people moving in, most of the older homes needed more work than they’d be worth. Going with a new build made sense for us, even though it’s (frankly) totally against everything I like! I was adamant that I wouldn’t move into a house with granite counters and stainless steel appliances. But, well, that’s what happened. And I couldn’t be happier about it. Funny how that works, huh?
So here’s our new house! We moved in Monday, and my hope is to put up tours of each room soon. Today, I thought I’d share what the house looked like during the building process, so you can see what we’re working with.
Because we have dogs, and have learned the hard way that carpet is the worst when you have dogs, we’re trying out stained concrete. All the main living areas are concrete, including the hallways. I’m afraid it will be cold, but that’s always better than stained, stinky carpet. The walls are painted Sherwin-Williams “Wool Skein”, which was the same color as our old living room. It’s a perfect taupe-y pearl color that has more depth than white, but isn’t the tan I despise so much.
I’ve always wanted a dark bedroom, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The room is a bit small at 11′ by 12′, so my hope is that the dark color makes it appear a bit bigger. The floors are the same throughout the 3 bedrooms, and are a bamboo we ordered from Lumbar Liquidators.
Our bathroom was supposed to be the same as the living room/hallways, but once the granite was installed, it just didn’t go. I’m not sure I love the purple, but at least it carries over from the Master Bedroom. I may change it to a gray, but that might be too much gray with the floor tile, counters and our gray shower curtain, so we’re going to live with it for a bit and see what happens.
This is another room where the lack of lighting really throws the color. In real life, this blue is much softer. I have this bedding, and hope that it will give the room a modern beach vibe without being too obvious.
This bathroom has the same tile as the Master Bath, but a different countertop. The photo didn’t pick it up, but the granite is black with beautiful blue tones. (And I’m PUMPED about all our undermount sinks!) The walls are painted “Wool Skein”.
This room is going to be my favorite. I had hoped for white cabinets, but the cabinetmaker was going to charge an additional $4k. I told him dark wood was fine. The counters look a bit gray in the photos, but the granite looks very close to marble in person. Marble’s look without the maintenance sounded good to me. We coupled it with a basic white subway tile for a classic look. The wall color is Sherwin-Williams “Popular Gray”.
We picked out a ceiling fan for this space, and will put the grill on the left. For now, we’ll use a table and chairs we inherited, but eventually I’d like to get conversation seating and mount a flatscreen to the left of the back door.
It’s taken me most of my adult life to figure out exactly how to work with my hair. It’s thick, full, and a little bit curly, so it’s always felt like it has a life of it’s own. But lately, it’s felt as though my hair feels *just right*. Maybe that’s because styles now incorporate natural texture better, or maybe it’s because I’ve figured out how to best work with my hair.
I had shied away from shorter cuts before, mostly because I was afraid that my texture would need constant straightening in order to be cute, but I was able to take some of what I used with longer hair, and now my hair feels and looks pretty damn good, no straightening required. (In fact, I’m not even sure where it is!)
1/ Hot Tools 1″ Curling Iron | This is my secret. I blow my hair out to get it mostly smooth, then go back in with the curling iron to randomly curl sections for a beachy wave. I know it doesn’t really make sense to smooth out texture in order to add texture back in, but trust me, this is better.
2/ Round Boar Bristle Brush | I had always heard that boar bristles boost shine and it is 100% true! This brush makes my hair bouncy and deeply shiny.
3/ Teasing Brush | Sometimes I add just a little bit of lift to the crown of my hair. The secret I discovered is to do small sections at a time and hairspray as you go.
4/ Shampoo | At first, I balked at Aveda’s prices, but I only need a little bit. I think one bottle has lasted me over a year? Which seems crazy, but it’s true. The minty scent also makes me feel like my hair is super clean.
5/ Conditioner | This conditioner’s lightness takes out tangles without adding weight.
6/ Style Extender | Because it really is better for curly hair to not be washed every day, I try to wash my hair every 2-3 days instead. This product helps my style “lock in” on the first day it’s styled, so all I have to do on days 2 and 3 is a quick 5 minute touch-up with the curling iron.
7/ Hairdryer | This is just a basic dryer, but I like that the cord retracts quickly and that it’s got a “cool shot” button, which I use once my hair is about 90% dry. Supposedly it seals the hair cuticle, and I have no idea if that’s true, but can’t hurt, right?
8/ Volumizing Hairspray | This hairspray has a medium hold, and does its job well, without making my hair sticky. I spray my hair, then lightly tousle it upwards after curling.
9/ Dry Shampoo | Since I only wash my hair every 3 days (unless I work out), dry shampoo is a must. I have tried them all, and this is my favorite. Tip: Apply before you go to bed and you’ll wake up with perfect bedhead and no white residue at all.
10/ Volumizing Foam | If I’m planning on teasing my hair, I’ll use this prior lightly and on damp hair before I dry it.
Hope your 27th year is as wonderful as you, dear.