Monday, April 28, 2008

Va-Ca-Tion and Weekend Update

Although my birthday isn't until Wednesday, the birthday festivities have already started and will continue through the end of the week. Matt and I got to visit Springfield this weekend and spend time with some family including my fabulous nephew, Kellen. He's been trying out a new smile... if that is what you want to call it.Like usual the visit was much too short. We did get to try out a new Italian joint called Bella Milanos, which was quite delish. My mom and dad surprised me with a traveling gardening box and some gardening tools, which I am pumped to use and my beloved sis got me a teacup planter and some Gerber Daisies! Can't wait to put them to use!
Tomorrow Matt and I will be heading down to St. Louis for Pat's graduation and Wednesday we will be on our way to Vera Bradley!!! (I am sure there will be plenty of stories and pictures at a later date).

On another note, Matt and I are officially closing on the house on Friday and will hopefully be all moved in by Saturday. What a birthday present!!! Can't wait. I have continued to document our apartment and the move. Here are some photos to add to the last set. Remember it's in the details.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Head Start...

And so the packing process begins.

About a week ago Matt and I got a phone call from our landlord informing us of a potential tenant interested in our apartment. Because she needed somewhere to live as of June 1st, our apt. was one of the only ones available. Needless to say Matt and I were stoked (we cleaned the apt from top to bottom)! Thank Jesus that a few days later our landlord contacted us saying that the girl was going to take it!!!! This meant that Matt and I could get into the house a couple weeks earlier than we originally thought and it would save us a whole lot of money as well. WOO HOO!! With a projected date as early as next Friday, this means it's packing time! YUCK! However, as of tonight...the guest bathroom and bedroom are completely packed, cleaned, and labeled in appropriate piles (if you look closely you will see my sticky notes). It feels good to get started. I hope the rest of the packing goes just as smoothly.

p.s. Our landlord has not received a signed contract from said "potential tenant" so let's pray that it all works out!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

An ode to Earth Day and Martha Stewart:

I know all of us would love to be more eco-friendly, especially now that more green opportunities are available. However much we'd like to, Matt and I could never afford to overhaul our new kitchen and fill it with Energy Star appliances, bamboo floors, and recycled glass counter tops. All the same, over the past few weeks I have started making subtle changes that can make a big difference.

  • By carrying a cloth bag to the grocery store and having the baggers fill it with as much as they can, I have saved more than a few plastic bags from ending up in landfills.
  • Lately I have noticed that most grocery stores have stopped providing paper bags as an alternative to plastic. Thank goodness the Tolono IGA still carries them. When I stop in, which isn't terribly often, I opt for paper. Not only is it environmentally friendly but it gives me an excuse to make puppy chow!
  • Some time ago Matt and I made the switch from regular light bulbs to the energy-saver kind. Aside from a slight warm-up time and a strange buzzing noise they have been quite effective. Matt hardly notices the noise anymore.
  • Since we are forced to fork out the dough for a washer and dryer for the new house we have considered purchasing a set of Energy Star. However, they might be far too expensive for our shoe string budget.

What are YOU doing to save the planet, I would love to know??

On another note, I frequently visit Martha Stewart's website for her organizing tip of the day. For the last couple of weeks the tips have been eco-friendly. There are some really great ideas on how to use things you already have for reorganizing. You should check them out.

If you know me at all you would know that I love tea! Sipping hot tea with a friend is one of my favorite things. My love for tea certainly does not stop at the liquid. I love everything to do with the stuff including tea-art, tea kettles, and of course teacups! I have a special Christmas tree that I keep in my kitchen that is adorned with small antique teacups. In fact I have started quite the collection. Along with the many antique cups I have received as gifts I have vowed to buy a tea cup everywhere I go. So far I have handmade ones from South Africa and Costa Rica.

I ran across these teacup candles on Martha's website today and I think I will soon give this eco-friendly craft a try. I have seen these many times before and actually thought about making some for the center pieces at Matt and I's wedding. They would have complemented the mix of antique plates nicely. But time was one thing I didn't have. You can even melt down your old candles and use the wax to fill the teacup. What a fun, environmentally friendly craft. If any friends are interested let me know!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Shadow and LIght

Although this weekend has been extremely busy for the Anderson fam I found some time to shoot images of the ole' apartment. Because the natural light is so limited in this apt. photo opportunities are hard to come by. However, I have made a vow to myself that I would fully document the apt. before we pack up and move out. I am rediscovering my love for light and shadow and this evening the light was just perfect. I am surely NOT going to miss the white walls and awful vertical blinds but I have to admit they photograph well.

Don't mind the old nicked furniture. This one desperately needs a new coat of paint.Goodbye vertical blinds!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Golf Buddies

Since it has been semi-warm the last couple of days... Matt's been itching to be outside. Last night we decided to take advantage of the golf course that we live on and hit up the driving range. All in all it was pretty fun minus the big blister I got on my left hand. This was probably caused by my gripping the club to tight and swinging to hard. Matt had to constantly remind me to keep my head down, to not swing so hard, and to not pull up. I have to admit I am improving...

I am pretty sure I wiffed this one. I did this quite a bit...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Although the rain came...

Photographs of yet another eventful weekend.
After a night on the town Friday evening Matt and I headed to L & B's for the weekly Saturday morning pancake-breakfast. It is the perfect opportunity to hang out with the kiddos since we hardly get to see them when we visit on the week nights, plus morning kids are so much better than night ones. For an added bonus, Lance's parents were visiting, which was quite the treat. Thanks to Betsy for cooking up some phenomenal pancakes and thanks to Baby Josh who left some for the rest of us! (photos: the adorable Baby Josh)

At the urging of L & B we traveled to nearby Tuscola for a little furniture shopping and a light lunch. They suggested we eat at the cutest local candy shoppe/restaurant that remained nameless. We soon discovered it was called Flessors Candy Kitchen. You can read the chocolaty-rich history on their website. The homemade ice cream shakes were to die for and my BLT was quite appetizing. If you are in the area we suggest you check it out. (Photo: Matt flipping through the menu)During lunch I left my camera on the table. One of the waitresses noticed and casually mentioned that I could take photos of the candy-dippers in the back. Of course I jumped at the opportunity. However, only a few pictures in my camera battery called it quits. Needless to say I was crushed. Hopefully I will get another opportunity some day. (Photos: the candy-dippers) Today on our weekly trip to the grocery store I decided I was craving something sweet and homemade. We all know Matt is ordinarily a chocolate person and to be honest I am as well, but today I was in the mood for strawberries. Since my Mom and Dad were on their way home from a weekend spent in Nashville with Morgan and Luke I could only get the basic ingredients for my mom's delish strawberry pie. The search for the measurements lead to a delightful phone call to Grandma and Grandad D.. Man I love those two. Anyway thanks to Grandma the pie turned out fabulous and Matt actually ate a piece. (Photos: the making of a strawberry pie)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Guest Bedroom.....

Alas... the guest bedroom. Now that Matt and I are getting closer & closer to closing on the new house, the wheels in my head have been spinning for possible design opps around every corner. I LOVE this new bedding/quilt from Pottery Barn. Since I already have an awesome white-washed rod-iron bed from my childhood (thanks Mom!!) I just fell in love with this whole design, including the blue walls. It may take awhile to convince Matt but I will do my best.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Day in the Park

Praise the Lord for the sun!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Inspections and Leather Heads

Since Matt and I have invested in Netflix it is extremely rare for us to actually go out and see a movie. But last night we forced ourselves out of our comfy-pants and went to the slapstick romantic comedy "Leatherheads." If you know me, I am always up for the "not-so-serious, break from reality" sort of movie. However, even Matt, the more serious one, really enjoyed it. A stellar performance from our fave Office star John Krasinski and George Clooney was positively charming. Renee Zellweger, who played Lexi Littleton a Chicago Tribune journalist (apparently haling from Champaign, Illinois), also played the role perfectly. If you're a movie goer... I totally recommend it!

On another note, Matt and I got to go through the house once again to do our final punch list of things that need to be done before we close in May. I did take some of my own pictures this time. So for everyone who is curious... Part of the front... our poor grass... Part of the Kitchen, minus some appliances (don't worry they are written into the contract!)
All that beautiful light... (quite the contrast from the cave that we currently reside in)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

New Love!!

While in Chicago last week I got to meet up with one of my besties... Brooke. We hit up Michigan Ave. B and S style. It was windy and painfully cold but as always we bundled up and braved the elements. Upon our journey I discovered two places that I will surely revisit every time I am in the city. The first one was a handmade cosmetics boutique called Lush. If you haven't discovered the wonderfulness that is Lush you are totally missing out. Lush isn't your typical cosmetic line. Made out of all natural materials, the idea of it is to make the costumer feel like they are in a deli and by using good-for-you products they are practically saving the planet (don't worry Dad, I am not turning into a tree-hugger, I still think universal health care is a bad idea). Most of their soaps are shaped like cakes or cupcakes and some are even shaped like big hunks of cheese. The overall feel of the place is fabulous! I was slightly disappointed with the website, it wasn't nearly as artistic as the actual boutique but if you visit it I think you will get the idea. Click on each of the pictures and it will take you to that section of the site.
The second Chicago must-visit is Garrett's Popcorn. Again, If you haven't experienced this place you are truly missing out. In fact it is listed as one of Oprah's favorite things. They only have 3 popcorn flavors (butter, cheese, & carmel crunch) but you can add a variety of nuts as well. Click here for all of the mixing options. Being an AVID popcorn lover (thanks Mom) I like my popcorn buttery and salty. I went for the standard butter and cheese mix. Although it was expensive it was a good alternative for dinner and amazingly delicious!
The next time you're in Chicago....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Late Weekend Report

After an eventful work trip to Chicago last week, I was totally pumped to be home. Exhausted, I changed out of my work clothes and popped a squat on the couch hoping to enjoy some reading. One of the perks of going to Chicago is getting to come home early on Fridays. I have come to enjoy the extra couple hours off. However, by the time I got settled, around 4:00 or so, I heard a rattle coming from the door knob! I turn my head just in time to see my wonderful Matty walk through the door! He left work EARLY to come and spend some time with me! He usually doesn't get home until around 6 (he has about a 45 minute commute). What a guy. Needless to say I gladly put my book down.

Saturday marked exactly "6 months" since Matt and I have been married as well as Matt's Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Jim! That evening Matt and I headed down to Charleston for the Campus House Alumni Banquet. It was really awesome to see a place that had such an impact on Matt's spiritual life and to meet many of the people who knew him long before me. We had the pleasure of spending some time with Amy and Brent in there cute little apartment and also got to hook up with some other good friends Derek and Jannah.
Sunday the 31st actually marked exactly 4 years since Matt and I's first date. It was fun to reminisce about old times and think about how far we have come!