Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Our new Windows

As I blogged about earlier in the week, the windows have finally been replaced!

After 2 full days of watching people work hard to install them, 5 regular windows and 1 bay windows later, we are done!

I wanted to share what we had decided on and of course the before and after shots.

We also decided on a few unique features in these windows that were not there before.  First, we decided to convert our Bow window into a Bay window.  Before I started this window journey, I had no idea the difference between the two, but after seeing a lot of pictures, we decided we liked the look of a bay instead of a bow.  Because we transformed the window from five equally sized windows to three, we were able to get a 78 inch picture window.  This is one of my favorite changes with the windows.  It is beautiful to look out and see such an amazing view outside of our window.

The second change we went with was a little more risky.  We decided to go colonial with the window style meaning we decided to get the horizontal and vertical pattern in between our windows.  This is purely cosmetic and was something that I thought would look good with our housing structure.  I will say, I was a little nervous about this decision since I had one window company tell me I shouldn't do something that is not already on our house (No we did NOT buy windows from him).  However, after seeing a lot of houses in our neighborhood transition to this colonial style, I wanted to take the risk.  And it paid off!! I'm so glad we decided to go with this style and I love the look!

All in all, I'm so happy with how the windows turned out! Windows Universe was cost effective, easy to work with, and the final product looks amazing!  I would definitely recommend them to anyone in the area looking for a reputable Windows company!

The big 2-8!

My husband and I celebrated his 28th birthday yesterday!  It was a Tuesday, so we weren't able to do a whole lot and to top it all off, we were in the middle of replacing our windows, so the house was a mess during that project.
The birthday boy on our cruise in September!
My day yesterday was spent checking in on the kitties and the puppies, while we had contractors over at the house.  The dogs were outside and the cats were tucked away in our bedroom (we are not replacing our bedroom window, so it was a undisturbed part of the house).

At about 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, I had a grand idea!  I had already given my husband his birthday gift earlier (Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey tickets for this weekend!), but I wanted to make him feel like the day of his actual birthday was special too. 

I decided to hike my butt down the road to the local Drug-mart and buy ingredients to make Danny a cake!  The one part to my story that I'm leaving out is Danny's car is in the shop and he took my car to work, so I had to be creative and only do what was in walking distance to my house.

It was a great day and Danny was surprised and happy that I did something special for his birthday!  I enjoyed baking a cake so much, that I think it is something I'm going to continue to do every year.  I think a homemade cake is fun to make, but also delcious to eat!

It sure didn't look the best, but it tasted amazing!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Perfect Pumpkin

So anyone who knows me or anyone who has ever stepped foot in my house between September and November knows one thing- I love pumpkins.  Or at least I like decorating my house with them.  Ever since I started living on my own, I've started "collecting" decorative pumpkins and I cannot go into a craft store or home decor store without adding to my collection.

I wanted to dedicate this blog post to my top five favorite decorative pumpkins.  Happy pumpkin picking!

1.  Fabric pumpkin from JoAnn's
2.  Ceramic pumpkin from unknown (My mom gave me this pumpkin from her collection...)
3.  Glitter pumpkin from JoAnn's
4.  Iron candle holder pumpkin from PartyLite
5.  Glitter leafy pumpkin from Pier 1 Imports

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How much is that puppy in the window?

This week has a lot of anticipated excitement.  My husband turns the big 2-8 on Tuesday and we also have a very special birthday present for him-- we are getting new windows!  (Okay, its not really his birthday present, but they just happened to schedule it on his big day!)

Since we moved into our house back in April of 2013, we knew we needed new windows.  They were the ORIGINAL 1976 windows that the house was built with - we are talking completely wooden and no screens attached.  When we had the house inspection, we knew the windows were at the top of the list, however we didn't push window replacement on the previous owners because they were nice enough to not counter our original offer and they wanted to sell quickly since they had already purchased their next house.

They ended up cutting us a check for a very low estimate for some of the windows and we called it a day.  We found out quickly that when you buy a new house, you have so many other things that you can spend that money on, furniture, bills, etc. and that's exactly what happened.  The windows went to the bottom of our list until our first winter in the house last year.  Once we had the first below zero night and could not close one of the old windows, we knew we needed to get them replaced before this next winter.

After all of this time, we are finally getting our windows replaced THIS Tuesday and Wednesday!!

Below are the Before photos, so you can get a sense of how bad they are and what they look like before they are replaced. Get ready to see a whole new look for our house!

Now all we have to worry about is how to keep this puppy out of the new window.....

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Half Bathroom Preview

It's been almost a year when I decided to make over our half bathroom in our house.  It's been a plain Jane ever since we moved into the house last year, so no wonder when I wanted to do something different and unique with it.  Since we are hosting Thanksgiving this year and will have ten people and four dogs total in our house, I wanted to finish this project once and for all.  The hubby and I have been busy and hope to finish this week!

I wanted to give you a little sneak preview of what it looks like today.  We kept the same color palette to create a beach theme and I am loving every part of it so far!

Here's the sneak peak of some of the items in the bathroom until we finish it completely:

We went with white beadboard and a green/blue paint color.  I found this great blue shelf (Homegoods) and painted this "S" (JoAnns) white.  My mother-in-law also handmade me this beautiful tissue box holder to match the bathroom!

Can't wait to show you the rest of the bathroom :)

DIY Gallery Wall

Happy Sunday!  Today, I'm sharing the cute gallery wall I put together in my living room!  I have always pinned gallery walls on Pinterest because I thought they were a great idea, but it was something I had not even attempted to put together until recently.  Luckily, I used all items that were already in my house or purchased previously.

Zoey wanted to be in the picture.
I found this amazing large, tin "S" from Homegoods on sale about three months ago.  It was too awesome not to buy, even though I didn't have a place to put it yet.  I planned my gallery wall around the "S" and other items like the "&" sign we used in our wedding and this great DIY Home sign I made.  I put the items I wanted to use on the floor to plan it out first.  Unfortunately, I ran out of wall space and wasn't able to use all of it.

Layout on the ground first even though I didn't use all of it.
Although I only used half of the items I was expecting to, it turned out great and now fits perfecting in our living room.  Take a look below at the items up close and see where I purchased them!
Here's what's included:

-Large, tin "S" from Homegoods
-"&" sign from Hobby Lobby
-Printed canvas made from our wedding picture (Photo credit Little Tree Studios)
-DIY HOME sign made with the state of Ohio (DIY coming soon!)
-Picture frame from Pier 1 Imports and picture from our wedding photos (Little Tree Studios)

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

DIY Packers/Bengals Football Wreath

What's better than Fall? Fall and football season! Of course we have been watching a lot of football in this house starting just a few months ago and with Hockey and Basketball season starting too, there will be many more nights of sports for us. 

Whether you are a die-hard sports fan or a casual one, you'll love this DIY tutorial for the ultimate sports wreath.

I have made quite a few door wreath in my year and a half of living in our house, but I had yet to make a sports one.

Danny and I have a somewhat divided football household.  We root for different football teams, but since they're not rivals, we are civil about it.

Here is a step by step tutorial of how I created my DIY Football Wreath:


-Wooden "B"
-Wooden oval
-Burlap wire ribbon
-Wire Wreath outline
-Wooden Football

Step 1: Paint the logo.

I found two pieces of wood at my local JoAnn's store, a small "B" for the Bengals logo and an oval that I was able to paint into the Green Bay logo.

Step 2:  Tie the burlap ribbon around the wreath.

I found this great burlap wire ribbon on sale at JoAnn's and luckily they had all three colors that I needed.  It was really thick, so I ended up cutting it in half to make more pieces to give the wreath a fuller look.  The burlap ribbon also had wire in it which really helped to conform to the shape of the wreath.

Step 3: Tie on the logos and the football.

To finish the look, I added our Family name on the football and then glued the wooden pieces to twine which then I tied to the back of the wire wreath.  I first used hot glue to secure the logos and the football, but because of the weight of the wood, it wouldn't stay.  I ended up using craft glue and that worked much better.

The wreath turned out so well that I decided to make my in-laws one too! They are Bengals fans that now live in Steelers country, which is why I thought this Bengals wreath would be perfect on their door!

DIY: Give Thanks Banner

These days I can't peruse Pinterest without discovering my next Fall craft to start on.  I do have a Pinterest confession- Fall is my favorite time of year and no matter how many crafts/decorations I make/buy, I will never have enough! Our house is filled with pumpkins, Autumn yankee candles, and now something special that I made a few weeks ago.

We have one fireplace in the entire house and unfortunately for me and my husband, it's in the Man Cave.  Luckily, Danny let me decorate it in the name of holiday cheer, so I started pinning banner ideas on Pinterest.

I came across a few ideas, but my mind was made up once I started browsing JoAnns' collection.

I found amazing burlap pumpkin cutouts on SALE and I knew I had to incorporate them into my Give Thanks Banner. I also saw an amazing idea on Pinterest which incorporates glitter and faux leaves (shown below).

Here's what I did:


-10 Pumpkin burlap cutouts
-1 bag of faux leaves
-Different colors of glitter (I found an amazing set at JoAnns labeled, "Autumn glitter")
-Adhesive spray
-Orange spray paint
-Brown paint
-brown ribbon

Step 1: Glitterring the leaves.

First I took the faux leaves and sprayed them with the adhesive spray.  Then I took two bowls and sprinkled glitter from one bowl to another until the entrie front side of the leaf was covered.  Then, I set it aside to dry.  Repeat these steps until you have covered all of the leaves needed for the project.  I used the entire bag (30 leaves) and I am hoping to incorporate them in another craft.  This craft only needed 14 leaves.

Note:  Don't be worried if the different colors of glitter tend to run together after awhile in your bowls.  That is one of the amazing things about the season, no two leaves are exactly alike in color.  Feel free to mix in a variety of oranges, reds, browns, yellows, etc.  I really liked the way each leaf was different.

Step 2:  Paint the pumpkins.

Even though I didn't know how to stencil these pumpkins in the beginning, it all worked out in the end.  Here's what I did.  I put sticker letters that I had leftover from another craft on each pumpkin and then spray painted them in orange.  After letting it dry for about 15 minutes, I pulled away the letters which left me with a great outline to trace the letters with a darker color.  I used a brownish green color to fill in the letters on each pumpkin.

Step 3: Assemble the banner.

I had some leftover twine laying around which made a good base.  I then decided to start tying the letters to the twine tightly with brown ribbon, so they didn't move on the twine.  After the letters were in place, I cut pieces of long brown ribbon and attached different leaves to it in different patterns.  I put some leaves upside down, or sideways to resemble leaves falling.  I created 5 of these strings of leaves and then attached them to the banner to create the look.  Because the leaves were very light, they were able to delicately float in the air, or at least that's what it looks like.

I am very happy with the way this Give Thanks Banner turned out and it is the perfect addition to the Man Cave fireplace.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Lucky Charms Chex Mix


This weekend I decided to make a super, sweet dessert that I found on this site.  The recipe is below, but beware, my husband called it, "crack" so this is your warning that it is addicting!
  • 1 box of lucky charms cereal
  • 24 oz bag of white chocolate morsels
  • 1 box of Rice Chex cereal
  • rainbow colored sprinkles
Step 1:  Separate the lucky charm marshmallows from the cereal.  This is the most tedious part of the recipe, but it is necessary, so the marshmallows don't melt when you add the white chocolate.  You will still use the marshmallows later on so definitely keep them near by.

Step 2:  Melt the white chocolate.  Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and melt the chocolate according to the package instructions. 

Step 3:  Mix the Chex mix and 2 cups of the Lucky Charms cereal.

Step 4:  Mix the melted chocolate with the cereal.  Coat the cereal so every piece has white chocolate on it.  Then pour on a pan with wax paper and add colored sprinkles on top.

Step 5:  Let dry and mix in marshmallows. 

Step 6:  Enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oh, the Places We've Been {DIY Travel Map}

This DIY is something I've been working on since last year.  I originally came across this Pinterest post and just loved this idea since Danny and I love to travel within the U.S.  I decided to make a map of our own.

  • U.S. Map (I got mine at Staples)
  • Photos of places you've been (Most of mine were 4 x 6, but depending on the size of your state, you might need bigger or smaller photos)
  • Foam board(s)
  • Glue gun
  • Tracing paper
  • Box cutter
  • Push pins

Start with gluing your map to the foam board.  The map was so large, I had to use two foam boards.  Once you glue the map to the boards, use a box cutter to cut off any excess foam board.

Using tracing paper, trace the states that you have been to and cut it out.  Then, transfer that state shape to your picture and cut around the outline.

After your picture is the size of the state, hot glue pins on the back of it, so you get a 3D look from the map.  Lastly, push the pins into your map and hang somewhere you can enjoy!

Danny and I decided to hang our map in the upstairs hallway which is someplace that we past by often.  It's fun to look at and occasionally we use it to plan our next vacation!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica

Since Danny and I had a very relaxing weekend, we were able to cross an item off of my 30 before 30 list! We finally finished The Office series and I will say it was very bittersweet.  To commemorate this special milestone, I included my top 5 funniest moments on The Office.  Enjoy!

5.  Michael hitting Meredith with his car

One of the funniest scenes in the office is when Michael accidentally hits Meredith with his car.  It is so unexpected, making it even funnier than what it should be.

4. Dwight's Fire Drill

Dwight went over Fire safety in the office and since no one took him seriously, he decides to set the building on fire to teach them a lesson.  As you can guess, chaos ensues and ends up causing Stanley a heart attack.  Dwight's quirkiness definitely shows in this scene.

3.  Michael's hate for Toby

One of the funniest office relationships, but probably one of the most downplayed relationship is between Michael and Toby.  I always felt bad for Toby since he really didn't do anything to Michael, but you can understand Michael's hate in the unrealistic, but hilarious scenario below.

2.  Diversity Training

It's diversity day in the office and Michael wants to bring out some of the common stereotypes from different cultures and races.  He decides to give everyone a card and have people say stereotypes to push the envelope in this hilarious scene.

1.  Jim imitates Dwight

From a stapler in jello to Dwight's desk completely covered in wrapping paper, Jim and Dwight have a special relationship on The Office.  The pranks that both of these guys take part in are some of the funniest part of the show.  In this scene, Jim decides to imitate Dwight and nails it.  This makes Dwight completely frustrated and turns to Michael to put a stop to it like many of Jim's practical jokes.

The People that I Love

This seemed like the perfect Sunday to start blogging again with Sunday Social.  This week's topic is about the special people in my life.

1. Tell us about the family you grew up in, parents, siblings, grandparents.

I grew up with my parents and my older brother, Marc who is three and a half years older than me.  I grew up as a Daddy's girl and continue to be that way today.  Even in college, I would call home to tell my Dad how my day went and what was going on in my life at that time.  Nowadays, my Dad and I are actual pen pals! I love writing letters back and forth with him! My mom and I weren't as close as me and my Dad growing up, but that all changed when I went to college.  Now, my mom is my best friend.  She is always there for me when I need her and I am so thankful to have the relationship that we have today.

2. Tell us about your husband, fiancé, boyfriend, significant other.

My husband, Danny grew up in Southern Indiana (suburb of Louisville, KY).  He grew up playing baseball and continued playing in college at a school in Indiana.  After school, he continued to surround himself with baseball by spending four years working for baseball teams including in 2012 when he got a job with the Cleveland Indians.  We met just two weeks after he moved to Cleveland on eHarmony.  We got engaged 5 months later and the rest is history! (You can read our love story here).  Danny is kind, caring, sensitive, and everything I could ever imagine my husband to be.  I am so lucky that I truly found the man of my dreams and I can't wait to see what our life has in store for us!

3. Tell us about your children. If you don’t have children, talk about your fur children.

I don't have any children yet, but I have plenty of fur children to answer the question.  I have two kitty children and two puppy children, all who are special in their own way.  Teddy and Rosie (kitties) are four years old, Yogi is 18 months, and Zoey is 10 months old.  We love our babies and could not imagine our lives without any of them.

4. Tell us about your best friends. How long have you known them? How did you meet?

My best friends are Ashleigh and Kara.  I met them both through my job.  At one point, I worked with both of their husbands.  None of us are from the area originally which is why our bond is so strong.  They support me, love me, and I know they will be there for me for whatever I need.  They are my Cleveland family.

Me with Ashleigh and Kara
5. Tell us about any other special people in your life.

Below are some of the other special people in my life!

My Mother and Father-in-law.  My husband is an only child, so when we got engaged, his parents both invited me into their family with open arms and accepted me as a daughter of their own.  I am so glad they live closer to us now and I love the relationship that we have developed over the last two years!


My niece and nephew.  Even though they have been nine hours away from me, my niece and nephew hold a special place in my heart.  I am so excited for them to move back up to Ohio, so I can see them more often!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Clouds like Mountains

It's the end of a very long week.  There were a lot of things that I am thankful for after this week.  I'm summarizing some of the highlights in this addition of High Five for Friday!

1. I made a trip to Joann's to start off this week and it was WAY overdue.  I had so many crafts I have been wanting to work on, but little time or resources to do them.  I transformed some old vases that I've collected over the years and I do have to say, they look amazing now! And the craft was so fun to do!  I will feature this diy on a blogpost soon.

2. On Wednesday, I gave blood through the American Red Cross.  I like giving blood and making a difference and luckily my work hosts a drive every few months, so I don't have to go very far.  Not only do I get to do my good deed for the day, but I get a buy one, get one free movie ticket and movies aren't cheap these days!

3.  Also on Wednesday, my work had a company picnic.  It was a beautiful day and fortunately we work right across from a Cleveland Metro park.  I captured this amazing view from the park of the clouds just floating above the ground and even resembled mountains.

4.  On Thursday, I sat outside with the dogs and let the cats wander outside too.  Rosie loves the outdoors, but she is also very scarred of it.  She has to check it out by putting her front two paws on the edge of the doorway just far enough to sniff the outside air, but close enough to run back inside if she needs to.

5.  I made BBQ Chicken pizza this week and it was delicious.  I added one extra ingredient than normal and oddly enough it was Cinnamon! I never would have thought that it would go with the BBQ Chicken pizza, but it is very good, and it smells amazing when it comes out of the oven.  Check out the recipe here and don't forget to sprinkle Cinnamon on top!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Hello from Cincinnati

Today I'm recapping a throwback to Memorial Day weekend to describe our amazing travel adventure to Cincinnati, Ohio.  This is the second time we have visited Cincinnati (you can read about our previous trip here) because of ties that Danny and I have to the city.

We drove into Cincinnati on Friday and luckily were able to meet up with one of my best friends and bridesmaids, Kaela and her fiance Brad.  This was the first time seeing them after they got engaged and was so special to sit down with them and catch up on everything that had changed in our lives.  Kaela used to live in Cleveland, but moved to Cincinnati once she met Brad and they started dating.  It was great to see both of them.  After hanging out with Brad and Kaela for awhile, they went home to prepare for the weekend and Danny and I checked out a bar near our hotel called Frickers.  It was a fun place and the perfect end to our first night in Cincinnati.

The next day, we decided to explore the city.  I have been to Cincinnati numerous times over my lifetime and Danny has lived in Cincinnati, but we still like to see the attractions.  One of those attractions being Newport Aquarium which is technically in Newport, Kentucky.  The aquarium is one of the best and is always great to see all of the sea creatures.  We saw the shark tank and I even pet sting rays and starfish.

The Shark Tank
After the aqaruim, we went downtown to go to our first Reds game that weekend.  It was great to be at the ballpark and we even paid a visit to me and my Dad's brick (located outside of Great American Ballpark) that I got him when the ballpark was constructed.  Dad and I would root for the Reds when I was younger and my favorite baseball player played for the Reds for a short time.

My Brick at Great American Ballpark

During the game, Danny and I were able to go to the Reds pressbox to visit his old bosses from when Danny worked for the Reds.  Rob and Larry were very nice and even showed me the intern wall of fame where I saw Danny's picture from 2010. Even though the Reds lost, it was a fun night at the ballpark.

Danny in 2010 when he worked with the Reds
The next day, Danny and I headed downtown early to check out the Taste of Cincinnati.  They had a ton of restuarants and local breweries that were featured and even live music and tons of activities.  Among these activities were a magician.  He was amazing and even involved both of us in his tricks. After walking around for a bit, I was very excited to see that Great Lakes Brewery was a featured vendor since they are a local Cleveland brewery.  I had to get a Great Lakes beer to represent Cleveland down in Cincinnati!

Representing Cleveland in Cincinnati!
After the taste of Cincinnati, we headed to Mooreland Lagerhouse for our fancy dinner before the game started.  I ended up getting a really good tofu dish and Danny had crabcakes.  After dinner we headed to the game for yet another fun night at the ballpark, but unfortunately another loss from the Reds.  All in all, it was a great weekend filled with so many great memories! Cincinnati will always be a great place for us to visit.

Tofu and crabcakes
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