Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Our Pool Building Project

Well....as you well remember, last year I worked on wooden pool signs for our outdoor kitchen & bath area.

And~~~they sat in my office/craft room for a year.  Our budget didn't allow for completing the project as we had hoped.  *sigh*

This spring (after sending arms & legs to the IRS) we began saving for the supplies we would need for our project!!

One of my husband's employees is also a General Contractor and VERRRRRY skilled carpenter.  So, he and my husband worked Sundays and evenings {after work} to put the frame of the building and roof up.  I have to say.....I am a BIG fan of the HARD work they did----well into the night.

The framing began............

And, so did the construction chaos, sawdust and clutter!!!!  Even the pool was full of sawdust!! 

Fast forward a bit.......actually a LOT....and the framing has been finished.  My hubby now worked on installing the inner and outer walls.  Installing the metal roof was SUCH a challenge with such a steep roof pitch.  I actually had to go inside and stop watching him!!!! 

There are not many photos of this stage!!  I literally closed my eyes most of the time, while handing tools up to him!  I wasn't much of an assistant at this stage!  :)

I AM, however, proud to say that my hubby and I built the entire cabinet and counter area ourselves....in ONE day--------------one verrrrrrrrrrrry loooooooooong day!!  (That's me taking a break inside the corner cabinet! 

Uh-huh~~~  I am a multi-tasking assistant!  Not only did I help with the design, measurements and build of the counter/cupboards, I also played project photographer!

I also did ALL of the tiling!  We found this backsplash tile at Home Depot.  It was one of their "special purchases", so we bought every sheet they had!  We even had to go to the other Home Depot in our town and purchase 6 more sheets!  We did pretty good estimating how much we would need....only ended up with 2 sheets extra at the end of the project.

I'm pretty proud of my work.........

These were taken before grout.......

A close-up shot to see the colors!  Aren't they beautiful?!  They remind me of the sand & sea.  Perfect!  It's the effect I was going for~~~a calm & relaxing 'surrender'.

In this photo we are ready for the 4th of July cookout.  We had friends and family over---including family from Florida, here all week.  So much fun....swimming, playing and LOTS of laughing!

Towels and cover-ups already occupy the hooks! 

The door on the end of the building is to the 1/2 bath that we all agree is the BEST addition to the pool area!!  I love the outdoor kitchen with the sinks, built-in grill, the refrigerator and the XM radio!!  But, even I think the bathroom has been the most used and appreciated items!!

Even with the addition of the 12'x32' building, there is still PLENTY of seating and lounging areas all around the pool.

Wish you all were here this summer to enjoy our work (including blood, sweat, and yes---tears)!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring 2012

It's been MUCH too long since I've updated my blog!! I've had a very busy couple of months...So, just to catch you up to my "doings", I'm just going to post a collection of pictures!!

I attended a friend's wedding and made it a girls-getaway! It was a very nice & relaxing 4 days!

I met up with my fellow, local P.I.N.K. Method girls for a healthy (of course) lunch and lots of walking around downtown Asheville, NC. We had so much fun "catching up" and sharing our successes, struggles and seeing "less" of each other! :)

And now, here are some photos of our beautiful (and early) spring weather & scenery...

The azaleas, the tulips, the sunsets, the morning fog......it's all a part of our mountain springtime!!
I was blessed to be a part of the N.C. Ms. Wheelchair Pageant as the Judge Coordinator. It was such an honor & blessing to meet these wonderful women & be a part of their special day.
I've been doing a lot of praying for a few of my friends who are dealing with cancer.....I am inspired by their courage, their strength and their faith.
Shirley and Clay are dear friends of ours. Clay has been diagnosed with angiosarcoma. He has had 4 surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. He has chosen to not go forward with anymore treatments, surgeries or scans at this point. Love and prayers are sent to them daily....
Others are also dealing with this horrible disease....a very special little 7-year old has been fighting her diagnosis for about 3 1/2 years now. At this point, she is showing "No Evidence of Disease"! And we all celebrate this statement!! Her Mama has become very, very loved by us and so has her big-sister. Out of respect to them, I have not included any names or photos----but would LOVE to ask you all to include them in your prayers, too.
We are now busy preparing for summer! We've opened up our pool and have it ready! Soon, we begin building our pavillion/outdoor kitchen!!! Pictures and blog will surely follow that project!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Addi's Busy Day

Monday proved to be a busy day for Addison & Mimi (me)! I picked her up at 10:45am.....her brother had a doctor's appointment and I was relieving Addi's daddy of having two kids at the appointment!
Addison and I first went to the beauty supply store so I could get a new blow-dryer. Yep---mine bit the dust. Of course, Addison "needed" a new brush and some nail polish. {I think I got out of there pretty inexpensively!!}
When we left, Addison said she was hungry....so we went to Papa's Pizza (one of our favorite local spots) to get some lunch.

Addi ordered "plain" spaghetti ("I need parmesan!") and a big glass of milk. {I'm not sure what's up with this new "pose", but she 'struck' it several times during our day!!}

*Silly* faces while waiting on our food!!!

OH!! The joys of slurping up spaghetti!!!!

After lunch, we went to visit Great-Gramma!!

Addison was showing Gramma "how-to" do Mimi's hair!!

*Lovely, eh??


"Joe Cool" in Mimi's sunglasses! {I told you that this 'pose' would reappear!}

We left Gramma's house and went back to Mimi's so Addison can play with the dogs; Jack & Beau.

Addison and Jack immediately plopped on the floor in the living room and watched cartoons on TV. *Best dog EVER!!!

After some playtime outside, Addison and Jack are 'exhausted'! They've curled up on the couch and are watching a movie!! *Ruff Life*

After a full-day of fun, it was time to take Ms. Addison back to her own home...at first, she didn't want to go....but I reminded her that Andrew would be recovering & happy to see his sister. That's all it took!

While I was putting her in her car seat, I said, "You look tired, baby!" Of course, she insisted that she was NOT tired! *Ah-hem....we hadn't driven but a couple of blocks when I saw this in my rear view mirror!!!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

P.I.N.K. Method Girls

Since I started the P.I.N.K. Method, I have found incredible support from literally HUNDREDS of women on the same path. We have an awesome page on facebook where we share our triumphs, our downfalls and our deepest secrets. I have never been part of such a large group of absolutely supportive and encouraging women before.
This group of women have shown me that it IS possible for women to get along, motivate each other and not have ANY of the gossiping~~back-stabbing~~or negativity. It is BEAUTIFUL!!
My best friend also started the P.I.N.K. Method after seeing my success and happiness and we've had so much fun sharing our new lifestyle, foods and JOY over the pounds we've 'released'! (We don't say 'lost'~~~we don't want to ever 'find' them again!!!)
Last weekend, I was lucky enough to meet a couple of the girls from our P.I.N.K Method Support Facebook Page! We met in downtown Asheville and had lunch at the Laughing Seed Cafe on Wall Street.
We took pictures, we talked, we laughed, we shared ideas & recipes~~~and best of all?? We got to 'know' each other, in a face-to-face way. Sharing honesty, fears, feelings and understanding.
It was an incredible afternoon and I am so thankful for these awesome friends I have created. I'm looking forward to May, when hundreds of us P.I.N.K. girls will descend upon L.A. and walk the PINK carpet!!
Thank you, Diane, Mary and Amanda for such a FUN Saturday!!!
Amanda, Mary, Me & Diane
Mary is taking a picture of me taking a picture!!
This is Diane's *yummy* salad!!
Amanda, Mary & I had the Raw Spinach Manicotti....OMG!!! Can you say---"lick the plate clean"???
What a *lovely* table of healthy foods!!!
Diane, Me, Mary & Amanda at The Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville, NC. Just love this picture of the four of us!! Between us, there's over 50lbs of 'released' weight and LOTS of inches gone!!
Thank you, my P.I.N.K. girls for your inspiration, your motivation & your true caring and support.

The P.I.N.K. Method & Me

As so many of my friends and family already know, I've been using the P.I.N.K. Method for losing weight, eating healthier and getting into much better shape. {You can go to www.pinkmethod.com for more information on the program}
I started on Jan. 2nd and so far, I've lost 18lbs. and about 12" off my body. It's been a process of learning to eat healthy and whole foods~~~and enjoying them!
I've been asked for recipes, so I decided to do a blog on some of the most requested *yummies*!
First, here are some of my favorite veggie 'chips'.......

These are beet chips and crispy spinach. I had a 'slight' problem while slicing the raw beets....lets just say that I've learned to ALWAYS use the vegetable 'holder' while using my mandolin!! :)

Recipe for Kale/Spinach Chips:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry vegetable "leaves". Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray or with your own oil spritzer. {I use the "Mister" filled with my olive oil.} Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste. Bake in oven for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until 'browned' and crispy.

This photo is the VERY scrumptious sweet potato chips and surprisingly good kale chips! The kale is very crunchy and delish!!!
Recipe for Veggie Chips:
Ingredients: 2 cups veggies (can use beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, squash, carrots, etc. or mix and match!), washed and thinly sliced 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil Celtic sea salt, to taste Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place veggies in bowl and pour extra virgin olive oil on top. Mix until veggies are well coated. Sprinkle lightly with Celtic sea salt. Arrange slices in a single layer on baking sheet and bake until crispy and slightly brown on edges.
My new favorite treat is the Cauliflower Poppers~~ I SWEAR they taste like you're being 'sinful' and eating fried potatoes!! So very, very decadent!!!!
Recipe for Cauliflower Poppers:
2 heads of cauliflower 1/4 cup of olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of pepper Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Wash and clean the cauliflower. Cut off and discard the stem. Cut the cauliflower up into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower pieces and thoroughly coat each piece. Place cauliflower pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for one hour and turn 3 times during cooking until each piece has a nice brown coloring. The browner they are the better. Remove from oven and enjoy!
This was my dessert last night.....banana "ice cream".....such a simple creation and soooooo good!!! And the easiest 'dessert' I've ever made!
Recipe for Banana Ice Cream:
Slice 1 banana, place in a baggie and freeze.
When ready to eat, place in your food processor and blend until creamy.
*THAT'S IT!!!!!
Let me know if you try any of these recipes! You'll never believe you're eating 'healthy' or 'diet food'!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Craft Room Completion!!!

Here it is.....TA DA!!!! My office/craft room has been decluttered, reorganized and repainted!!
From one of my most favorite blog/shop, I got the beautiful ombre wreath for the door to my office. {Also the beautiful clay 'tags' that hang from wreath} You REALLY should check out Linda's blog and her shop. http://burlapandblue.com/
So, we'll start the photo 'tour' off with some views of the wreath and door......

I love how this wreath looks....and it just reminds me to be happy and creative upon entering!!

I love the added tags to remind me of the importance of dreaming, loving and finding my joy!!

So, this is a shot of the computer area....I don't "decorate" too much in that area, as the hubby uses this area a lot. So, I try to keep it as clutter free as *possible*!!

This is a photo of the scrapbook & crafting area. I bought the jars and bottles to organize the "stuff" that was floating around in some of the drawers!

This is a larger view of the crafting area.....remember what it looked like in the *before*?? Here it is......


I used a pants-hanger that I had in my closet to organize ribbon and tape! Easy to get to, easy to return to it's 'proper' place!

Created my own "art" to hang on the walls....favorite sayings and motivational words! Much needed with my current goals and aspirations! (Nice blue wall color, eh??)

With these homemade "prints", I can change them out and create new ones as needed! CHEAP DIY!!!

This one was fun to create....using different fonts and some clip art! I saw one *sorta-kinda* like this, but some of the words didn't apply to me, so I created my own! {You can, too!!}

The closet has been *mostly* organized....it took me forever to go through all of the scrapbook paper and "catagorize" it~~~according to color, striped, patterned, etc... {And, yes, Daisy is investigating!!}

Scrapbook "packet" projects and 'notebooks' of scrapbook papers.

Loose, but, organized scrapbook paper....if I buy ANYMORE paper, I could open up my own store. ~GEESH~

Also, note the new wall color!! A softer blue!! The chair is awaiting reupholstery....I have the fabric and now I have the *space* needed to work on it! YAY!!!

So, there is my promise to myself and ~the hubster~ that this room WOULD get done! It was just ONE of my resolutions for the New Year.

How are you doing with YOUR resolutions?? Any luck in sticking to them? This was actually one of my resolutions last year! So~~I feel pretty good about completing it!

BTW~~Here is how my crafting area looks tonight....I'm working on a wedding project~~~{for a friend}.