My feet hurt.  Like real bad.

My arms don’t hurt, my legs don’t hurt…not even my back.  But those tootsies.  Umpf.

Overall, our move went really well.  We’re having a couple issues with some of the appliances, as in: they don’t work.  My beautiful double ovens?  Well the top lock is stuck (but we can open and close it) and the bottom oven is stuck closed in the lock position.  Oh, and our dishwasher?  Half of the cycles don’t work.  Sigh.  We have an email in to our realtor and I’m calling MetLaw tomorrow just to learn more about our rights.  I think it’s a little muddy because the sellers had Use and Occupancy rights for a month after we closed.

Anywho.  Here are some scenes from the weekend!

Getting an early start: packing and cleaning

Getting an early start: packing and cleaning

The cutest little sister lending a helping hand!

The cutest little sister lending a helping hand!

I can’t decide which part I like better…

The tweeeees in the bedroom

The tweeeees in the bedroom


The random gween details in the bathwoom

The random gween details in the bathwoom

Ugh.  Both are being fixed asap.

I DO love how my kitchen looks when it’s cleaned and organized, though!

move kitchen

And look at what a difference a little contact paper makes in the bathroom drawers!

move broom4

And finally – perhaps the only thing I like about moving is stumbling upon little treasures like this – the letter my kid sister wrote to me on my wedding day.  It made me cry standing in the kitchen, trying to remain productive.

move treasure

Both Saturday and Sunday were incredibly productive.  We had the best help on Saturday.  My MIL came to help clean, our friends Tom and Lindsey came to help move totes, and Kels came to do anything and everything.  Sunday, was equally as busy, we went to grandma’s to relieve her of some of the things I had been storing there and she unloaded a fridge, ladder, and desk on us.  Oh, darn. 😉

I have today off, too.  On the agenda is more organizing and furniture shopping with Kelsey.  Whoop, whoop!


Sunday Social

Good morning! I’m waking up to my first official morning in our first home! What, whaaaaat. I will be a busy, busy bee unpacking. We’re also headed to my grandma’s to relieve her of the oodles and oodles of items I’ve kept in “storage” in her basement for the past few years. Bonus is that we’re also headed home with some other goodies for the house!

Until I can get around to showing you the booty, let’s get to Sunday Social!

1. What do you miss most about being a kid?
Not having to worry about a thang. Mom and dad took good care of us kids. We always had good food in our bellies, clothes on our back, we traveled a lot, and of course, our home was always filled with love. It still is, for sure, but man, I’d love to go back and just have mom and dad fund my lifestyle. Maybe they’ll think about it? Whatdoyasay, mama? Papa? ….no? Oh, okay.


Love ’em.

2. Did you have a nickname growing up? What was it?
I did, I did. Whether it was was “Big J” (Kelsey was Little K), “Flounder” (I loved to swim!), “Pookie” (hayyyy, Kels!), I had a number of them. But, I gained one in high school and it’s stuck the longest: Ducky. All thanks to my dad. But, honestly, it’s endearing, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it.


3. What was your favorite thing to do at recess?
4-square, hanging on the monkey bars. The usual.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
Who didn’t want to be a doctor, veterinarian or teacher? While I never wanted to be a doctor, I spent time contemplating the other two.

5. Did you participate in any school activities?
Yeah, yeah. Basketball, soccer, poms. The only one I did for four years was poms, I love me some dancin’. I even danced into my junior year of college. I miss it like crazy, but I had the opportunity to give it another go this year and was reminded that I’m not a “spring chick” anymore. Oof. My body hated me.

Dance Collage

Huge reality check seeing 2003 and 2013 – A SPAN OF 10 YEARS – on this collage.

6. What is the funniest thing you did as a kid that your parents still remind you about?
Nothing came to my mind immediately. The two stories I think of most often revolve around my sister. She was a little hellion, that one. And they both took place at Disney World, separate trips. I’ll just share one.
1. Waiting in line to see Bernstein Bears and Kelsey pitched a fit. They told her if she didn’t stop, we were leaving. …she didn’t stop. So, we left the world of children’s dreams. Kels had to stay in the hotel room, while mom and I went to the pool to play. We could hear the screaming and crying from the pool – dramatic little girl, you could say. It’s no surprise she ended up enjoying (and being very good at!) theatre. Love you, Little K.

kiddo pic

Mom/Dad, If you can think of a goodie about me, comment. For the life of me, I can’t come up with anything. I guess I was just that perfect. 😉

Moving Day!

I thought this day would never come…


The Great Outdoors

Huge news in my family!  Thursday was cray-zy.

1. I was flippin’ accepted to law school, guys.  I had sort of “let that dream go” and had started working on an alternative plan.  Wouldn’t you know that the moment I’ve moved on, the best kind of reality comes crashing back in.  I start Tuesday.
2. I presented to my largest group ever last night.  We’re talking 200-plus people.  And I didn’t fall over or make a complete fool out of myself.  Even though I was on a crazy emotional high from receiving my law school news literally 15 minutes before going on.  Win.
3. We were in our house last night! AH! We dropped off a few totes to empty rather than buy more.  So crazy.  It’s so pretty.  I’m so excited.
4. My kid sister is headed to Spain!  Yes, she is brilliant; yes, she is bilingual.  And now she gets to head overseas and make us all envious of her European lifestyle.  I’m so excited for her.  It was hell trying to get her Visa straightened out, but she persevered and has all of her documents in for processing.  Way to go, kid.
To say I’m on an emotional high of sorts today would be an understatement.  Whew.  Good thing I have the weekend to recover.  Oh, wait, that’s right.  I don’t.  We are moving!  Wahoo!


Well, yesterdays post left Craig with some very strong feelings.  We are able to chat online while we are at work, and the arrival of my post to his inbox prompted the following – And I quote:

Craig: garage is my territory. get back in your territory
…and a little bit later on:
Craig: you stay out of the garage and basement
It made me laugh quite a bit.  Well, I suppose if that is what he wants, he better get used to the idea of me just doing whatever I please in the other spaces that he has since deemed “my territory.”  Mwahahaha.
Finally, we’re moving outside!  Thanks for sticking with me this week and offering so many great tips, tricks, and ideas!  I’m beyond excited to load up tonight to move tomorrow!  Our home will be a clean slate for us to do with what we please.

You’re going to recognize these first two inspirations from yesterday.  Jen, from IHeartOrganizing, and Cassie, from Hi Sugarplum! are just beyond talented.  Look at these outdoor spaces!  Wowza.


I love the out door rug!  Though, our deck is a very dark brown color, so I don’t foresee me being able to go too color crazy until the day we decide to lighten it up.  But, the mixture of patterns, the chairs, and table are so nice.  Very classy!  Another fabulous project completed by Jen!


Hello color and happiness!  I’m digging the mixture of patterns and the furniture.  It’s so cheerful!  And that table in the lower right corner?  Yeah, that was a DIY project of Cassie’s.  No biggie.  It’s only awesome.  I love this space.  Like, love, love, it.  This combined with her garage space I shared yesterday, she just may be too talented for her own good.


Our deck is massive.  Craig and I are trying to decide how we want to furnish it.  Do we want a table and chairs to eat at?  More comfy chairs like what Cassie has above?  Someday I’m sure we can do both, but money doesn’t grow on trees, so right now we are going to have to make the choice.  We are leaning towards the comfort part.  Craig and I aren’t huge on eating outdoors anyway.  The weather has to be perfect for that to happen.  It can’t be windy.  And their can’t be bugs.  So, basically, we do it once a year. ha. In the meantime, we can sit in our dining room and open all the windows.  Sounds good.  But, in the meantime I will just admire this picture of a combination patio/deck.  Purrrrdy.


The colors! The rug! The tent/awning/thingie.  So great!


It’s those light colors again, guys!  This is so pretty!  I don’t think it’s feasible with two dogs that will undoubtedly be running around with muddy paws.  But, a girl can dream.

Thanks for humoring me this week!  I had a lot fun going through to find some of my dream spaces.  Thanks again for all of the thoughts that you’ve offered up this week.  Maybe some point down the road I’ll do another mini-series for bathrooms, laundry, dining room, etc.  Until then – wish me luck!  We loadin’ up and headin’ out!

Outdoor space: what do you all think?  Any tips for making outdoor furniture multi-functional?  Anything you’ve learned while doing your own space?  Let me hear it!

A Pretty Garage?

Now we are making our way towards the outdoors!  I’m not talking about kitchen and bathroom for a couple reasons.  For one, my kitchen is absolutely perfect.  Move-in ready to a T.  Beautiful counter tops, cabinets, appliances.  We might change the color or something, but otherwise, it’s just simply amazing.  The bathroom is quite small and it, too, is move-in ready.  We will probably just pop in a new shower head and give it a fresh coat of paint.

Craig is most excited about the attached garage we will have.  We had talked about perhaps getting a chest freezer, but while we considered that, my grandma updated her fridge and gave us her 8 year-old (in incredible condition!) refrigerator.  (Hey, Grandma, thanks again!).  For whatever reason, my family has always had the dual refrigerators, so I’m excited not only to finally have a second one, but to have a garage to put it in!

Anyway.  So, this lovely 2-car garage will be a god-send this winter.  NO MORE SCRAPING ICE AND SNOW.  hellz yea.  We are also fortunate to have 2 storage sheds in the back yard, so that means that the garage doesn’t have to store the lawn mower or other lawn care items.  Woot.

That being said, I know I need an organized garage.  This always seems to be the first area to “go” when people get comfortable in their homes.  I hate it.  It so quickly becomes overwhelming and before you know it, it’s just a place for junk.  Well, I’m resolving to not let that happen to me!  I’m going in with a plan and sticking to it!

Some of my favorite blogs have done some amazing garage makeovers/organization overhauls.  They have some great tips, for sure!


Just by the name of her blog, IHeartOrganizing, I knew I would love Jen’s blog.  She is a fellow Wisconsinite.  She is one of the very first blogs I started to follow, before I even considered one of my own.  She has a bajillion awesome projects and is full of great tips.  Her garage overhaul was great.  I see lots of baskets, bins, totes, and if you check out her page, you’ll see some peg boards, too.


WOW.  Seriously.  This isn’t just organized.  It’s beautiful.  Leave it to Cassie at Hi Sugarplaum! to make a garage a beautiful place.  She is also one of the first blogs I followed.  And I love her.  She is funny and obviously talented.  I mean, just look at this picture!  Do you see her spray paint?  In the shoe holder?  CLEVER.  The shelving, bins, colorful labels…oh dear, and THAT DOOR.  So unexpected.  Totally wonderful.  Anytime she wants to come beautify my home, she is more than welcome!

So, what about you?  What tips do you have for an organized garage space?  Leave your advice and blog links in the comments!

The Room of Living

Day one of half marathon training in the books!  I even talked Craig into joining me, so that was a nice surprise. I really enjoyed running in the dark.  The trial is really flat and straight so I didn’t have to worry too much about tripping.  Best part was the lack of sunshine beating down on me though!


Next up: the living room.  We plan to purchase new living room furniture – we just aren’t sure when.  We’ve been looking, but we just haven’t found exactly what we are looking for.  We’re stuck between reclining furniture and just getting a great big (pretty, patterned) ottoman.  Anyone have any opinions on that?  I, for one, hate the way recliners look, but do quite enjoy their comfort!

living room 2||source||

I love the colors and patterns.  Though, if I’m honest, a rug like that would never work in our home and Craig would never ever buy that chair.  Even if he had a recliner on the other side of the room.

living room 3||source||

I love the couch and chair.  I love the size and idea of the ottoman, though I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this one in particular.  Craig and I have pretty much agreed that we won’t have a coffee table, but it’d still be nice to have something to prop your feet up on!  Plus, it can double as seating if you have a number of people in your home!

living room 4||source||

Again, the patterns and colors!  Love!  Not sure how the light colors I’ve been loving lately will work out with 2 dogs, who will be running around a fenced-in back yard and with the kiddos we may have one day…

Living Room||source||

I love every single thing about this.  The chair, ottoman, glass doors, decoration.  Swoon.

living room 5||source||

My favorite for last!  The colors, pattern, texture, couch, chair, EVERYTHING.  I swooned at the last picture, but this time I’ve flat-out keeled over.  I love this room.  So, so much. Which sort of funny the more I look at it – these last two are quite different, aren’t they?

What do you all think?  Am I nuts for the color palette I covet, given the fact I have dogs and babies on the brain?  What do you think of the patterned ottomans?  Leave your thoughts and links to posts you’ve written recently about a living re-do of your own!

Magic In The Bedroom

Yesterday, I had the pleasant surprise of attending the new employee convocation at work.  It had been on my calendar, but totally forgot about it until the reminder popped up on my computer, 15 minutes before it was to start.  It was really nice to spend the day in a room full of “newbies” like myself.  Though, compared to many, I was old news!  A man at my table had just arrived from London YESTERDAY.  Crazytown.  It was a day spent just reinforcing how happy I am to be where I am and how lucky I am to have found such a great place to work.  Higher education employs very special people.  Good people.

Oh, oh, oh.  AND I changed the tabs around a bit. At the top you’ll see that I took away the Run, Run, Running and House Hunt tabs.  I changed the Run, Run, Running to Fitness and the House Hunt is now Hjem (Danish for home!).  You can still find our house hunt journey up there, but now that we are home owners (eeeek!), I wanted to change it so I had the perfect place to add the transformations I hope to complete!

Day one of four, people.  Get your creative juices flowing!

In our new home, there are two bedrooms on the main level.  Obviously, one is serving as the master and the other will double as a guest room and office.  Today, I’m just going to focus on the master.  I really want a “charming” bedroom.  I don’t want country or modern.  I’m more than okay with mis-matched furniture and I’m insisting on a DIY headboard.  I’m torn between the curtain headboards I’ve seen (how unique) and other DIY with upholstered headboards.  I love them both.  Here are some of my inspirations.  What do you think?  I’d love your feedback!  And if you’ve posted anything in recent history about a decorating, DIY bedroom project, leave it for me in comments, I’d love to take a peek!

Headboard Curtain||source||

So pretty!  I love that it’s a little bit unexpected.  I also love the texture!

Headboard Curtain 2||source||

Another curtain headboard.  I love that the frame adds a little something to it.


I’ve seen quite a few tutorials on how to DIY.  I’m sharing this one because I love the final result SO much.  I also love Lisette’s blog.


I love the bed.  I love the furniture. I love the fireplace.  The floors. The window. Everything.

shabby chic room||source||

The texture.  Color. Bed. Chandelier. I die.  Beautiful.

The more I’ve looked, I guess I have a name for the bedroom style I like: shabby chic.  However, I have to say I don’t like all that is shabby chic.  I’m not a big fan of floral stuff.  At all.  But, I love the light colors, the texture, and general style.  I love that the rooms are typically bright and happy.

Craig is more a fan of the darker woods.  And I am too, just not in the bedroom.  We shall see how the compromising goes as we start to decorate our home.  …hopefully he will take on the “typical” role of a husband and tell me he just doesn’t care!

Leave your thoughts and links to your own DIY and ideas in comments!

A Week’s Worth of Inspiration

In five short days the M fam is kissing the rental life goodbye and moving into their first home!

We ended up getting a decent amount of things packed this weekend, despite the fact that Friday night and Saturday morning were pretty brutal for me.  Honestly, I’d be fine if this damned tooth got pulled.  I don’t think I care if I’d be 26 with an implant.  For real.  Just make the pain go away.  I hate taking pain medication, but it’s been a staple the past 48 hours.  It’s either I take the meds or I lay in bed and cry.  That isn’t even an exaggeration.

As we start to pack up, we’ve started to make a “wish list” of sorts.  Things that we know we will need to function as new home owners.  Things like a lawn mower, ladder, etc.  Thanks for my fawsome (effin’ awsesome) family, we have a few items already marked off of our list.  Some of our list items are really more “wishful thinking,” but some of the items are real necessities.  I just know there will be a day in the next few months that I wake up and realize that I need something that doesn’t exist in our home.

So – I’m interested to hear from you all – what are some of the things that you consider necessities?  I know we are going to wake up one day and need something that hasn’t crossed our minds yet.  I’d love to hear what you think – leave a comment!

inspirationI’m also getting really giddy about decorating and painting.  I’ve stocked up on paint samples from Menards and Home Depot.  I think we’ve pretty well decided on how to finish up the dining room, but I’m still looking for inspirations for the remainder of the house.

Since I’ll be busy this week packing and dealing with the devil-tooth, I’ve prepared a week of posts centered around decoration inspiration.  Tuesday through Friday will each focus on a different space.  I’ve found some rooms that I adore, but I’m looking forward to see what spaces you’ve recently transformed.  What is your style like?  What suggestions do you have?  What are you opinions on the styles I’m drawn to? Let me hear it!

Here’s what I have planned – so start gathering your thoughts and recent posts for me!

– Tuesday: Magic in the Bedroom
– Wednesday: The Room of Living
– Thursday: A Pretty Garage?
– Friday: The Great Outdoors

At some point I’ll return to this idea for the laundry room, bathroom, basement, etc.  Maybe even a nursery  😉  …don’t get any ideas yet, mom.  I’m just teasing.

Sunday Social

Welp, I’ve had a completely unproductive weekend, which totally wasn’t planned.  My tooth pain is back with a vengeance and the pain meds left me down for the count yesterday.  So what, we’re moving in a week?  Who needs to pack?  *sigh*  Pretty sure it’s an infection now and I’ll be headed back to the endo next week.  That’s super fun.


It’s time for Sunday Social!

1. What is something you’ve always wanted to do but are afraid of?
Sky dive.  The feeling has to be incredible.  But I will never ever, ever do it.  Not ever.

2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
In my perfect world?  At home with a kiddo or two, homeschooling.  Yep.  Homeschooling.

3. What are you looking forward to before the end of 2013?
Getting settled into our new home.  And settling the discussion of when/if we will start our own family.


4. What are your hopes for your blog?
For the words to keep coming and for me to keep enjoying it!

5. Do you always see yourself living in your current town/city?
Not necessarily.  I’m not married to it.  I’ve enjoyed living other places.  But, this is good for us right now.  I don’t foresee myself moving south though, I enjoy the winter too much!


6. What is your morning routine?
Get up, shower, get dressed, brush teeth, dry hair…oh you didn’t want a step-by-step?  Really though, my morning is exactly the same Monday through Friday.  Lately, my weekends have meant sleeping in far too late.  There is absolutely no morning routine on Saturday or Sunday.


Oven Fried Chicken

I’m really starting to enjoy cooking and baking.  Well, I’ve always loved to bake (hello, sweet tooth!), but the cooking part is a newer development.  I got pretty lazy when Craig had class this summer, hence the hiatus of any eatable food here on my blog, but since he’s been done, I’m back at it!  Disclaimer: as we gear up for our move next weekend, I won’t be cooking at home.  I think I have a couple recipes up my sleeve to share, but just in case my act doesn’t stay together, What The Efff may be recipe-free next week.

For Christmas last year, Kim gave me a Williams-Sonoma cook book for couples cooking.  Yes, that was eight months ago and yes, this is the first recipe I’ve made out of it.  It was intimidating!  They were, like, real meals, guys.

This recipe was rated 2 out of 3 spoons, which means it was intermediate.  BOOYA.  Yep, I made an intermediate-level recipe.  And rocked it.  It might sound ridiculous, but the fact I used a real head of garlic and chicken legs (not breasts!) totally made me feel legit.  Small victories, I guess.

oven fried chicken

– 2 heads garlic
– 8 whole chicken legs (drumsticks and thighs), with our without skin*
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
– 1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano
– 1 1/2 c fine toasted bread crumbs**
– 1 c flour
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 c butter

*I used 6 chicken legs.  I didn’t have the guts to try and manevuer whole chicken legs.  Not yet, anyway.
**I used store-bought Italian bread crumbs.  They worked well.  And it was easier, because I wasn’t crisping bread crumbs.  Who really has time for that!?

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Separate the garlic heads into cloves, peel the cloves and then cut cloves lengthwise into 32 small slivers about 1/8″ thick.  Place the chicken pieces on a large platter and season each piece liberally with salt and pepper.  Pierce each chicken piece to make 4 small incisions, each just large enough to hold a garlic sliver.  Reserve any leftover garlic.

photo 1

Stir together the parsley, oregano, and bread crumbs in a shallow bowl, large enough to dip the chicken pieces one at a time.  Put the flour in a separate shallow bowl.  In a third bowl, beat the eggs with 2 Tbs water until well blended.

Melt the butter in a large glass baking dish by placing it in the preheated oven.  Meanwhile, dredge each piece of chicken in flour, shaking off any excess, coat it in the egg mixture, and then dredge it in the herbed bread crumbs.


When the butter has melted, remove the dish from the oven and nestle the coated chicken pieces, skin side down, in the warm butter, arranging the pices to fit tightly.  Tuck any leftover garlic between the chicken pieces.

Bake for 45 minutes, then carefully turn over each piece.  Continue baking until the chicken is well browned and crisped on the edges, about 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving with any caramelized garlic slivers sprinkled on top.

photo 3

First of all, I love garlic.  I love the smell of it baking.  Waiting for this to finish was torturous.  It was so worth the wait, though.  Probably one of my most favorite meals in months.  Secondly, there is no second.  I love garlic.  ThatIsAll.

If you’re watching what you eat, you probably shouldn’t eat fried chicken, but you could just remove the skin, too.  It’s much more moist with the skin.  I ate my leftovers cold the next day and it was ah-mazing.