Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My newest hobby....

I am calling this a hobby but the first weekend of yard work at the new house really felt more like hard labor. I have never spread mulch in my entire life and seriously I couldn't believe how hard it was. The yard is pretty big so it took almost an entire day of hauling and spreading but now that we are done I am so proud of our freaking hard work. I even feel extra Ohio-Gardenery with a touch of my first case of poison oak (which i thought only existed in the woods but somehow it managed to find a secret location in my very neighborhoody yard). Pat got it way worse than me but it still sucked. Anyways, the good news is that we are done and our once overgrown yard is now looking so pretty. My favorite part might be these topiaries that we planted by the front door....hopefully sometime soon I will have the inside up to par so I can show you some of the interior favorites

we planted all of these new Hastas off to the right and pulled out a ton of prickly ugly plants.
and this little stretch in the front makes me so mad. Every leaf that falls on the new dark mulch gets a very dirty look from me.

In the back of the house we have 2 hydrangeas that are just about to bloom. They have the prettiest pale pink flowers on them now. I can't wait to make a big old Martha Stewart bouquet.
And this is the new patio furniture. We have only eaten out there a couple of times now, but i am looking forward to the next few months where we can take full advantage.
I thought the hard part was over but I am amazed at how quickly everything we shaped up has grown. I guess I see how having a house makes people spend all of their time at Home Depot. With Pat gone for 3 weeks this baby is 100% my job. I am going to brave this again tomorrow night after work (ha ha what has my life come too).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finding Happiness at Work

So some time around 3:30 I decided that I felt like "making something" while I was at work. With limited options, I headed to the break room. Fresh coffee was brewing, but seeing as how it is 85 degrees outside today that was not going to do the trick. Instead I opted for an iced coffee and it is soooo darn good!!

3 packets of splenda
3 creamers
lots of ice
"some" coffee

Mix together once the coffee has cooled a bit -then enjoy. It took me about 10 minutes to get the temperature of the coffee down and that brought me 10 minutes closer to "go time." These small little joys keep me going during the day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer stress

I am wondering if this picture says "i don't want to go to work today" as much as I was thinking it while driving here.

I have so many fun things (and not so fun things) that i want to be doing that simply can't be done due to my work schedule. To make matters worse, when I do finally get home each day I am almost always greeted by the high school girls that live in my neighborhood walking back from the pool around 5:00 each day - None of them are wearing anything other than bathing suits and all of them have the best tans ever. Freaking biotches.

I want to get tan and I want to make my own schedule- filled only with things that I find interesting and necessary. For instance, If i was not working today - I would actually be super productive. I need to buy travel toiletries for Pat's trip to Africa. I want to have time to visit with my sister if she visited.I need to finish the laundry. I need to clean bathrooms and worst of all - We have a painter at the house and neither one of us are there. Because I was busy with work I rushed picking our paint colors for the foyer, dining room, and our bedroom....and now i am super worried that the neutral foyer is going to be way too dark - I am sitting at my desk with baited breath wondering if my once light and bright house will now feel like a dungeon when I return home tonight.... It is a mystery - all because i was not there to supervise while I was stuck at work.

Maybe, I should stop complaining, make friends with the tan high school girls during my lunch break...and ask them to if they could go could go peek in my house and report back. Pretty sure they know when a neutral tan is too dark :)

Problem solved.... I just need to make them like me quickly so that i have time to stop at target to get the other things i need before 1:00.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Last night....Pat and I got a new grill and some gorgeous patio furniture.
We ate delicious perfectly grilled hamburgers
Had a glass of this wine (okay we had more than 1 glass. Actually a lot more)
And ate our dinner on our new patio.
It is my new official favorite place/thing to do.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I came across this article while I was getting my hair done last week. If you can't read it in the picture it says: " What are the things that make you happiest - that don't involve a major transfer of currency?"....If i remember correctly, this was from O magazine and I figured I owe it to Mama Oprah and myself to answer this question. Remembering the "little things" always makes me feel so fortunate and grateful so here it goes:

1.Watching a movie in bed with pat.
2. Laying out in the sun. Always/ anywhere - will make me immensly happy.
3.Finishing a project that you could have paid someone else to do, but you finished it entirely on your own with great success.
4.Really good hair days
5. Taking a shower that seems to last forever where you get out and just feel totally clean and rejuvinated.
6. Sundresses.
7. DKNY undies....for some reason I feel like it brings me great happiness. Cute underwear is always fun.
8.A nice walk on a pretty trail with friends.
9. A great conversation catching up with my brother, sisters, mom, or dad.
10. The thoughtful cards that my grandmas send regularly.
11. picnic lunches
12.Sunday Brunches
13. Floating in a pool when you cant hear anything because your ears are under water.
14. Being successful at work - genuinely helping someone else by offering my opinion.
15.Making an appetizer that everybody really likes.
16. Movie Kissing with my permanent boyfriend.
17.Being an Aunt
18. Making someone laugh
19.Feeling 100% confident (doesn't happen all the time but it feels good when I do)
20. Planning a party
21.Introducing people who wouldn't have otherwise met - that really get along and like each other.
22. Ruffles potato chips with french onion dip
23. Fireworks on the 4th of July
24. Hearing songs that make you think of a really specific time that you heard that song in the past.
25.Fireflies....I just started to see them again and I can't explain how cool i think these little bugs are.
26. Driving with your windows down on a nice day.
27. Country music concerts
28. Knowing that my whole family (O'C's and O'B's) are always there to be supportive and we all get along
29. Yardwork with Pat
30. Really really good fresh lemonade.
31. Hot chocolate and fireplaces.
32. Dancing in my living room all by myslef.
33. Doing my own nails and toes.
34. Christmas!!!
35. Decorating my house for any/all holidays.
36. Tailgating before a Notre Dame football game. Such a family tradition. I have always loved it- always will.
37. Going to church on Sundays and feeling like you are a better person becasue of it.
38. Finishing a good book
39. Feeling like all the pieces are falling into place - realizing that everything has happened for a reason
40. Being in love.


Monday, June 15, 2009

I was always the er not the ee....

I am talking ding-dong-ditching and last night I was the victim. No big deal, except that it was 2:30 in the morning and I was sooooo tired! Don't worry though...I didn't run down the street after the kids or really even get mad. I just sent Pat to check the door step for flaming bags of "welcome to the neighborhood" poo and luckily there weren't any flames (or poo) so we just watched these kids in very bright clothing run from door to door terrorizing the rest of the sleeping neighborhood. They were not very undercover. I couldn't help but think - How funny that I am now on the receiving end of these little pranks? We actually stayed up for a little while watching what they were doing and getting a kick out of remembering ourselves doing the same thing.Really though, ding dong ditching was never that much fun for me anyways. I was always the loser that was going to pee my pants the second I tried to do anything mischievous that required hiding in a dark place. The need to go to the bathroom and my uncontrollable habit of laughing when I am nervous really made me suck when it came to being sneaky. I usually just stayed behind and watched my friends do it.

Other things that were entertaining, made me feel old, and more than a little hillbillyish are as follows:

I drove a gigantic rental dump truck thingy from Home Depot this weekend and you should know, there truly is no better way to spend your Sunday than being filthy dirty and scratched up from head to toe while bouncing around in a big-ole truck. I felt like such a hilljack and I laughed the entire drive back to Home Depot.

I dropped a giant tree branch in the road (it fell out of my dump truck) and landed right in front of the car of a new neighbor. Hopefully one day we will be friends and it will be a funny story but at the time i was really embarrassed. I should probably add that I was driving wearing purple gardening gloves...no reason, they just stayed on. So I am sure I looked extra cool when I was super prepared to retrieve the branch that kept this family from going to their kids soccer game.

I used a pitchfork for approximately 8 hours. We spread 10 sq/yds. of mulch yesterday. Our yard looks fab but my back feels awful. I am a serious gardener these days with some serious old people aches and pains.

That's it. I have achieved a new level of "cool" that i never thought was possible.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I miss these folks.

Just in case you have never done it and didn't know this- Moving away from your family is really really hard and I wouldn't recommend it. I miss everybody so much (especially this week) and I can't help but feel a little cheated and sad that it isn't possible for all of us just to live on the same street and hangout all of the time. I want to throw a BBQ at the new house and catch up with everybody in person....since that isn't possible i thought I would post a little reminder for myself so that i don't forget what all of these people look like....and so that it is documented what I would be doing if they all lived nearby.

Dear Marty,
I want to take you Del Taco. Only I don't want to bring any money. I want to search my car for change, order waters, and then go to in-n-out if we have any extra. All of this would take place in the boog and we would inevitably do slow donuts in the cul-de-sac when we got home. Then I will biisque you. Maybe we can play moose after that.
Love you,

Dear Kristen,
I want to come to Chicago and help you paint your nursery. We can go shopping for baby clothes and then come home and make either pasta or chicken noodle soup. A walk around the lake would be nice too. Maybe all 4 of us could go golfing.
Love you,

Dear Lauren,
I want to see your new house! Your last project was absolutely gorgeous and I can't wait to see what you do with your own place. Also, I want to celebrate your b-day with you on Monday. Lets get pedicures, eat steaks (because I still think it is absolutely nuts that you are eating meat again after all these years), and drink lots of wine in the woods.
I love you,

Dear Mom,
I wish we could have made that margarita cake that i sent you the recipe for together. I would also like to take a walk in the morning and pick out shells on Fort De Soto. Sushi for dinner and a very slow boat ride around the bay would also be fabulous. Pick me up any time!
Love you,

Dear Dad,
Thanks for all of your work advice this week. You always make me feel better. Wish I could come over and watch the Lakers with you on Sunday. Better yet, I think you should make a bowl of popcorn with an entire stick of butter on it (as per usual) and I will sit next to you stealing handfuls every five minutes while the lake-show wins another championship. Then we can chill in the pool and go fishing off of the dock.
I love you,

And now I am crying. Why did I do this to myself? Everybody needs to move closer!

Bad economy = Good Deals

Maybe this is an old trick that everybody already knows, but just in case you don't I thought I would share with you my good fortune tip-of-the-week! 3 days ago I ordered some lovely pottery barn bedding. I was bored at work and wanted to remind myself how cute it was so I looked it up online just so that i could stare at it and daydream that I was actually at home decorating and not stuck at my desk with piles of boring stuff to do. Anyways when I pulled it up - all of the bedding was massively reduced! I figured I would put my most polite voice on and call customer service to see if anything could be done - Afterall I had only purchased mine the day before. I waited on hold for 10 minutes (a small price to pay) and when I explained my plight, the customer service rep credited my credit card for the difference immediately. It was awesome! Then I started looking back at all of the other web sites that i had purchased from - and wouldn't you know it - all of that stuff was on sale too! As of right now I have re-couped $690 that otherwise would have been out of my little pockets. I am so thrilled with myself. 3 phone calls and almost $700 dollars to show for it!

You totally have to try the same thing.....the pottery barn lady even told me that it was likely that my bedding was going to go on clearance later this month so I should just keep looking and calling and I may get even more of my money back!

This is by far the best thing that has come out of this craptastic economy. The sales are crazy....and they keep getting crazier so go try to get some of your money back on any of your recent purchases!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Our Casa!!!!

I posted this picture a while back...but now that this is officially "our house" it is even more exciting to see. After 3,000 trips down apartment stairs....into a uhaul.....up the driveway....up the stairs at the new house.... back down those same stairs...back into the car and back to the apartment for another load, I think we can officially say that we live here! The day of moving almost killed us (and thank you Dougiee for being such a fabulous friend and helping out - you are the best)!! I am super tired and more sore than I was when I ran the half marathon - but somehow my cute house is keeping me going.....

And now for a short tour:

Keep in mind that these pictures were taken before we moved in. I just stole them off of the real estate listing so the furniture and accessories aren't ours. I'll post updated pictures when i have it looking all "katie and pat-ish".

This room (above) is right off of the kitchen downstairs. Oddly, I would NEVER have picked out this paint color but I absolutely love it in person. The room has lots of good lighting and it is a really good size - not too big, not too small. The best part is the fireplace...I can't wait to finally have a fireplace for the winter - it will be life changing.

This is the kitchen where I am going to turn into a food network chef in my spare time. I have really really gotten out of the habit of cooking dinner lately and I need to start again. It is funny how I sort of start sucking at cooking when I haven't done it in a whilebut that can be fixed. P.S> -Let me tell you, It was really challenging to figure out which cabinet and which drawer should house all of our stuff. I wanted to obviously arrange it in the most logical way for cooking and unloading the dishwasher but wow - that is easier said than done.

And this is Pats favorite room in the whole house. He has big plans of locking me out and throwing huge poker parties/game watches in his man cave. I have huge plans for watching planet earth on this big screen. I am such a nerd but that whole series is seriously amazing to me.

And one day we will have some little kids that can play in this backyard :)...for now it will just be me - doing cartwheels when the new neighbors aren't watching.

And speaking of neighbors...we have had like 6 couples stop by with lots of coffee cake and banana bread. Most of them are a little bit older, but it is so nice to be surrounded by such great people. It is a total happy neighborhood. We even had an ice cream truck drive by last night.

I really can't even believe that we live here...it has been such a long process with so many moves in between, but i can just tell that we are going to be here for a while. I am feeling very thankful and very grown up right now :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Blogs without pictures are usually boring, but seeing as how my camera battery is soooo not alive and the charger is packed away in my abyss of an apartment - You are again stuck with only my words.

Pat and I have slowly but surely been packing all of our stuff away to get ready for the move this weekend. A few weeks ago Pat took two huge mirrors off of the wall just so it would "start to actually feel like we were moving out" and even though I totally agreed that it was fun to start the process - I'll admit, I sort of missed having the big old mirrors available to check myself out in before i leave for work ( okay and other times too). Well once i got over that we totally cleaned out our guest room, the hall closet, my dresser, half of my closet, half of my shoes, half of my kitchen and I will tell you....I now am missing a lot of things. I need the stuff that is boxed up. We started too early and now I am annoyed.

I considered writing a post reminiscent of a Christmas card letter where I talk about how fabulous the move is going....how well Pat and I have been working together.... and how i can't wait to move in...La la la. Well yeah i can't wait to move in but I'll tell you - there is such a flip side. I am a raging lunatic because of the chaos of moving and it really isn't fun right now.

And, oddly, it isn't just the packing it is also the decorating that is giving me serious anxiety. Does anyone else get like serious panic attacks thinking about - What the hell do i do if my humongous couch arrives and I hate it? Or what if I am sick of looking at the bed we bought like 2 weeks after i get it? What do i do when i can't find ANY bedding i like? This is all frivolous in theory - but in reality it is giving me what i like to call armpit attacks. Yep i said it. When i get nervous I feel like needles are pricking into my underarms. Weird huh? It actually hurts. Decorating has now become painful. WTF?

So i know that none of this is important at all....no sympathy is needed (or earned I am sure) but i didn't want to be all fakey and act like "wooo life is great! I am moving in to my new house. "I am more like "life is great...I am moving into my new house...and I feel like needles live in my arm pits." Sweet.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Remember this?

I heard this song on the radio this morning....When the song ended, tons of people called in to talk about how much more these words mean now after 10+ years of life have passed you by. I think I was in 8th grade the first time I heard it and I really appreciated the reminder advice as I was driving to work.

Everybody's Free (to wear sunscreen)
Mary SchmichChicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are NOT as fat as you imagine.
Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive
, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
Get plenty of calcium.
Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.
Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once
, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.
Respect your elders.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.
Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.
Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.
But trust me on the sunscreen.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's getting close!

My little pregnant sister is in her 3rd trimester!! She left me a note on facebook saying that her stomach totally moves and she feels like an alien is going to pop out of her belly button at any moment to say "whats up" so I guess that means that it is definitely time to start planning the baby shower! I got to thinking about it and realized - OMG I have never BEEN to a baby shower and I am going to be responsible for throwing this very important event in a little over a month. I totally need help....not just with good baby shower ideas, but also with good baby gift ideas too.

I am seriously hoping that this "pregnant cuteness" pictured above and below runs in our family. Kristen just has the little bump and she looks great (which has always been a goal of mine... but with my luck i will probably have some rash and gain 25 pounds in my face) - ha ha.I guess i will cross that bridge when I get there.

Long story short tell me about some cute things that you have seen people do at baby showers? It is going to be a brunch - and the baby is a girl. Everything else is TBD.