Thursday, May 30, 2013


Matt and I have a tradition where we take a mini-vacation over Memorial Day Weekend. Last year was my very first trip to New York City. The year before my oldest friend Molly's wedding in California, and the year before that my sister's wedding in Pittsburgh. This year we decided on Williamsburg. Yes, friends, you read that correctly. If you know me, you know my disdain. If you read this blog, you have probably read about it on more than occasion. I often reference my time at William and Mary as "the worst two years of my life." Well, I guess I was finally ready to go back after five years.

It was a nice weekend. We pretty much just did a lot of relaxing. We walked around Colonial Williamsburg and waited to see the Fife and Drum. We also went to an auction which was fun to watch. Of course we ate at the Cheese Shop for lunch! My favorite! We walked around the pretty parts of W&M and went to look at Jones Hall...which Matt, without any prompting, called the most depressing building on the whole campus. Truer words have never been spoken. We picnicked and drove the Colonial Parkway. Ate at delicious restaurants...all in all it was a fun, relaxing weekend. Then we miraculously drove home with very little traffic and promptly went to buy plants to landscape our yard this weekend. Wish us luck in this 90 degree heat. Homeownership as usual will be giving me another reality check this weekend.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Emergency Funds

Back in the day, before I met Matthew, I didn't really completely understand the phrase "8 month emergency fund." I have come around the last four years. I now know and understand more about finances than your average chick. One might even say I like having a financial discussion every so often. I might even go so far as to divulge I have spent quite a few Saturdays planning my nightly activities around the Suze Orman Show (cringer).

Anyway, nothing really makes you understand the importance of an emergency fund the way you get repeatedly smacked in the face financially as a home owner. Just this past week alone I have figured out how to fix a running toilet (and it was not the flapper, friends), remount a toilet paper holder, continually bought tools and investigated how to re-manicure my lawn, and then there was the the real kick in the butt - I accidentally ripped our pedestal sink out of the drywall. I'm fairly certain I have never been so angry with myself. I'm still a little in disbelief it happened. Now, not only did that happen last Saturday night, but this week it's been in the upper 80's and lower 90's here in the Old Dominion state. Matt and I usually try to ride out the high temps with windows open as long as possible, but Tuesday night we caved. I turned on the air and about 45 minutes later it was no cooler. I checked stuff then went outside and realized nothing was going on out there, even though it sounded like something was blowing inside. After trying all suggestions on my new handyman consultant the internet, I didn't get anywhere. Side note: google and youtube are saviors when it comes to home repair.

I went to work on Wednesday and got advice from every coworker that would listen to my tale of woe. They all gave me suggestions, I tried them, and I still had nothing. Then I remembered an electrical box that was the source of much contention during our home inspection and negotiations. I played with some red thing in there that people kept pulling in and out and realized that when I put it back in a little window said off so I flipped it around and it showed another window saying on and suddenly the fan started moving and it was buzzing about. I think I literally jumped up and down and screamed. I thought I would die from happiness. Throughout the day and when I got home and tried all suggestions I was completely convinced I was out 5K on a new air conditioner. I'm still so happy about that stroke of momentary genius, but I guess now I have to go back to facing the facts - I have ripped drywall in a bathroom. It's possible this could never end.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Recipe of the Week!

Slow Cooker Enchiladas
Friends, it has been awhile, but I did finally make a new recipe. It went pretty well except I forgot to take a picture of my Slow Cooker Enchiladas so I had to borrow one from the internet. Also...mine looked absolutely nothing like this. Mine looked more like a mess. Seriously. They did taste good though. I pretty mush followed this recipe exactly except I didn't put peppers in mine. I also added some sour cream when serving them.

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (16 ounces) pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese
6 flour tortillas (6 inches)

In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper until beef is browned and vegetables are tender; drain. Add the next eight ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, layer about 3/4 cup beef mixture, one tortilla and about 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until heated through.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Teacher Friends: Can You Even Imagine?

I've been on a few field trips in my time. While mostly a good time with at least a few ridiculous stories to tell, they can be at least slightly anxiety provoking. You never know who might do what, and you just hope and pray you come back with the same number you left with. I read this blog called "NYC Taught Me." I think it started when a family moved from San Francisco to NYC with three small kids and how the mom was learning about getting along in NYC. It talks about all different kinds of things now. Today was about field trips in NYC. Follow the link. I think I would need a Xanax.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

It's Been Awhile...

Let me bring you up to date. It's been a productive week. Last weekend my parents came to visit and brought some furniture with them. It's so nice to have a kitchen table to eat at every night for the first time in five years. My mom and I went to Ikea to invest in some new bookshelves. That means all of our crap is off the floor and I feel like I can have someone walk into my house and not be embarrassed. While we were taking care of that, Matt and my dad tamed the jungle that was our yard. We do still have a lot of work to do in the yard category, but at least we aren't borderline HOA fine at this point. Since then we have been busy trying to figure out what to do next/where to start. Matt will turn in his last final tomorrow. I'm not sure who is more excited about this.

The seriousness of TNR
On another note... Thursday marked bowling awards! Yes, our 35 weeks have come to an end. In the end it was definitely an experience and I am glad we did it, but I think once might have been enough. The regular members of the Thursday Night Rollers were sad to see us go, and I think they are holding out hope for a big return next season. On a good note, I did come home with more money than expected.

Black sheep on TNR in the back row. 
I so wish this was my trophy
Yesterday I finally got back on track with making a new recipe. I'm excited to post it later this week.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Suburbia: Week One.

Here are some lessons learned this week:

7th Floor Living: Remember in my "things I will miss/not miss" post how I mentioned I was ready to not deal with an elevator and living 10 stories up from my car? Well, turns out it did have some benefits. Now I realize I can't just have my windows open all the time cause people can see what I'm doing all the time. Good thing I adjusted quickly to my ground floor living.

Yard: Currently it's a jungle. I would love to pay someone to revamp it. Condo yard lifestyle is a lot less maintenance.

Channels: So one of the reasons we almost didn't buy our house is because our HOA fees are super high. The reason they are super high is because it includes cable and internet. Well we set up our TV and stuff last weekend and HOLY CHANNELS! OMG! You might remember when we went through the big cable debate in 709. Well this is a world of difference. We have networks called "love," "drama," "WE," and most exciting of all game show network and big ten network!!!!

Stairs: What a pain in the ass. Enough said. 

Role Reversal: For the entire time we lived in 709 I had to get up earlier to get to work. Most of the time when I left Matt would still be sleeping. He would always make fun of me for going to bed early. How times have changed. Matthew has to get his butt out of bed unless he wants to miss the train into the big city. I have also received many texts about how he needs to go to bed early.

Bus: Monday morning I was getting ready for work and I heard what sounded like fighting and arguing. I thought the people next to us were like fighting or something. So I looked out the window expecting to see neighborhood drama. That's when I remembered we now live among many, many children...including the children who are of the wonderful middle school age. It was just boys being boys waiting for their bus.