Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something Beautiful For Bums

Our new living room chairs finally appeared yesterday. I got the call at around 3:30 PM yesterday afternoon that they had arrived at the Cortate Furniture warehouse. Now that they were in town and so close, I couldn't wait a few more days to get them home! So John made some calls and procured one of the family trucks in town (thanks, Aunt Ann and Uncle Bill!). Soon we were on our way, in rush hour traffic, to pick up the new beauties.

It never fails that receiving new furniture always gives me butterflies. I ordered these two armchairs over four weeks ago, and (really have) been patiently awaiting their arrival. Because they were all boxed up, and a dirty drive home was still ahead of us, I didn't get to actually see them until we arrived at our house. Luckily, our front door was too small to fit the gigantic boxes, so we had to open them on our porch to take them inside. Oh, that first glance at new furniture!

It's always a risk buying big pieces that we've never sat upon or even seen in person. And selecting a color from a 3x5" swatch can always be an alarming process. But you know what? They are perfect. It's exactly what I had in mind to complete the living room furniture. I love how happy and colorful these things are. It's the very first thing you see when you come into our home, and it's so dang happy! I am also tickled with the size and shape. We went with something a little more curvy and traditional than our sofas to balance out my apparent love for clean lines. I like how they are a soft blue...much more muted than I was expecting. But muted is good. I don't know a single soul who enjoys burned retinas when entering a household for the first time.

So they are here to stay. And I keep walking into that room, just to drool over them. They really complete the package. Oh, sure, I still have some shopping to do for this room. But the big stuff is in and I am in love with it!

What should I buy next to invite those butterflies once again?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Homemade Lamination At Its Finest

Apparently, the pots we purchased for herbs don't like sticky things on them. My homemade pot labels from a few weeks ago have slowly but surely fallen off, much to my disdain. Since I wanted to make some labels for items in our newly-planted garden, I thought I'd start fresh with everything and make new herb labels as well. Rather than making a trip to Office Max to get all of them laminated, I made my own water-proof version here at home.

I designed the labels in my ACDSee program, then printed them onto card stock using my lovely HP P1006 B&W Laser Printer. Once you go laser, you never go back. Then I used a paper cutter to make perfect little squares. Next, I cut out pieces of shipping tape for the front and back of the 1.25" label. After pressing hard and sealing all the edges, it was time to trim around all four sides to make a cute little box. The "laminated" label was now ready to be mounted to a skewer...which I still have left over from our wedding reception. Since they're sharp on one end, they are the perfect tool to tap into the ground to label each vegetable. Once I completed the steps for all labels, I headed outside to place them in the garden and pots.

As if I could forget where we planted things! Now we know exactly where everything lives in our beautiful garden boxes. Some of the plants are still recovering from transplant shock, and we are wondering if the homemade dirt is sufficient enough to get any yield this year. The healthy, huge plants are ones we purchased already big, so we can't take any credit for that! Hopefully, all of our little guys will start making the garden boxes their home soon and will grow once again. At least we'll have onions! Those little monkeys are growing like crazy!

What about you? Have you ever made something homemade and been more pleased with the results than with a store-bought option?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Date Night Champs

I get excited when Friday night rolls around. For a while shortly after moving into our new home, we got out of the habit of going out for Date Night every week. And I started to really miss it. So we've been much more adamant about trying to get out of the house that evening for some fun food and activities as a couple. It is rather easy right now, since we don't have to find a babysitter. Independence can sure be a good thing!

I received a text message from Hubby that morning asking if we had any plans that night. Oh, that dreaded question! I answered no, and he thankfully said the right thing back. "Find a place for dinner near Recker in Gilbert." It meant he had plans for us, and I got to pick where we ate. Being the one to select a place for dinner is such a treat...especially since we've been trying new restaurants. I think we hit the jackpot Friday by eating at Liberty Market Restaurant in downtown Gilbert.

We beat the lines, thank goodness. Since we hadn't been here before, it took a little while at the register to select what we wanted in our bellies for the evening. I opted for a margherita pizza from their wood-burning stove...probably my favorite type of pizza! I also quickly ordered a piece of triple-layer red velvet cake for us to share later. John decided to get their special burger, which they switch out every week. He really liked it because it had guacamole, but he wasn't a fan of the sprouts instead of lettuce. Hubby also got to pick a side dish from Liberty's awesome salad selections, and he got the Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad. Take it from me...YUM! I accidentally tried it before he had a bite.

The best part of dinner arrived after we finished our last bites. Red velvet cake is by far my favorite baked good, and this just happened to have the best cream cheese frosting I've ever tasted. So smooth, tart, and not too sweet! It was heavenly, and I need that recipe.

Soon we were off to Higley Performing Arts Center to watch the Cooperstar Production of Into The Woods. We've been there before to see The Sound of Music not too long ago, but we enjoyed this show even more. In fact, even Hubby has been singing the songs from the show! We've looked up lyrics and laughed. It was very well done and certainly worth the $12 tickets. It was fun to recognize some of the same cast from the last show we saw, and we agree that their performances were better than the versions we later found online. What a wonderful night!

While waiting for the show to start, we wandered the theater lobby to check out some featured artwork by local K-12 students. One picture caught our attention, for some unknown reason, and we still can't figure out what body part is being featured! Again, a fun laugh. It's nice to be immature every once in a while!

Liberty Market is now one of my favorite places to eat, and the show was just amazing. Sounds like a pretty perfect Date Night to me!

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