Monday, August 29, 2011

Harry Potter Obsession

Look how young they look!!
Now when you read that title, don't think that I've gone crazy and create a Harry Potter room or anything. (Which, by the way Ryan's grandfather has actually done. Very cool looking with bedding, all sorts of memorabilia and artwork. Next time I visit I should totally post photos!)

Nope, my Harry Potter obsession is in regards to the books. With the last movie being released I feel a sort of nostalgia for Harry, Ron and Hermione when they were little. The fresh, new and timid wizards just starting out and learning the magical aspect of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. I know so many people who have read the books and I foolishly thought I would be content with just watching the movies. That is no longer the case. My Harry Potter reading obsession is taking on new life. I have felt this way about reading since the Twilight books were published (don't laugh). I have read a total of three books thus far and I started reading them almost two weeks ago! I am certain that within another two weeks I will have finished the series. It's crazy. Ryan says they are "easy" reads which is why I'm breezing right through them. Be that as it may, I'm still kicking butt reading up on these crafty young fellows.

I've known this with my Nicholas Sparks reading habits that a lot of times the books give a lot more details than the movies; obviously so since a book can go on forever while the movies have limited time to catch the audience and deliver it's message. And it's true with the Harry Potter series as well. There are a lot more details in the books and some "nuggets" that I found very interesting. Such as a Squib which is a child of magical parents but has no magical powers him/herself. I knew the term Muggle and Mugblood, but not Squib.

Anywho, I'm really digging the series and recommend to anyone has not yet read them to hop on it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

True Blood Phenomenon

Do you watch #TrueBlood?

While writing about my Harry Potter Obsession I was reminded of the magical aspect of wizards and witch craft. And as I started typing I remembered that some of these "magical creatures" are not viewed as enchanting as Harry Potter. Case in point, True Blood. Now for those of you who do not watch this television series on HBO-shame on you-it's about vampires, shape shifters, witches, fairies and ware-panthers...

Taking place in Bon Temps, LA this show goes into the good, the bad and the UGLY about each of these mythical creatures. I have been a faithful watcher since the first season and it's gotten better and better!

Snookie Stackhouse-she's what every creature wants! First it was Bill Compton, a handsome vampire who was her fiance, then it's Eric, another vampire who we see a new side of this season and I have a feeling Alcide, who is a werewolf, wants her as well. Snookie is a telepathic waitress who also appears to have fairy blood in her which makes her all the more desirable to vamps. She seems to get caught up in all sorts of trouble all over Bon Temps and is miraculously saved each time. This girl has gumption that's for sure. And just for kicks, you've gotta watch/listen to this video Snoop Dogg did for Snookie.

Bill Compton-this handsome 173 year old vampire is absolutely in love with Snookie Stackhouse. Even though they are not together this season, due to his string of lies, there is no doubt that their love still runs deep in both of them. He was recently promoted to King of the vampires in Louisiana and power looks look on Bill! He is Jessica's maker and has a strong bond with her (lucky her)! With his new responsibilities he has the difficult task of defending his kind against witches who can bewitch vamps to do as she commands.

Eric Northman-he's handsome and mischievous. In the previous seasons he was bad and darn good at it. This season he has forgotten his past life due to a witch's spell which erased his memory. We get to see Eric's soft side with his memory being erased and apparently we are not the only ones taken for a ride. Snookie has let her guard down and is now with Eric. But I'm still waiting for the shoe to drop on his new "human" side. Eric is Pam's maker.

There are tons of other really great characters including Lafayette, Jason, Tara and Sam Merlotte. You can learn all about them on the website or by watching the show on HBO (or It's definitely for adults only, so get the little tykes off to bed before you turn it on!

Enjoy... =)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lake Tahoe Trip

I'm currently in the beautiful Lake Tahoe for the MediaPost Social Media Insider Summit and I have to say, it's gorgeous here!

I'm attending the summit as a work trip and I am glad it's in such a beautiful place. The taxi ride from the airport was long, about an hour, and very twisty with the mountain roads, but the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lake Tahoe is incredible. The lobby when you walk in is very rustic and full of charm. The staff is super friendly and all the outdoor activities...oh my!

This conference varies from all the other conferences I've attended. Majority run sessions from 8:00am till 6:00pm or later. This conference runs educations sessions in the morning and just after lunch you break for outdoor activities. Yesterday there was a catamaran trip or horseback riding and today was ATVs and golf. Sadly I was not able to do any of those activities....the ATV ride was booked (with a waiting list) before I got a chance to register. Yesterday I tried to go hiking in one of the 10 trails they advertise. There was only one within walking distance of the hotel, hello-no car, and after about 40 mins of walking trying to locate the trail I turned around and walked back! But I did get to explore some of the beautiful landscapes that Lake Tahoe has to offer. Across the street is a beautiful beach looking over the lake (pictures below) and my stroll through the neighborhood provided an interesting insight into residences inside Incline Village, NV. (VERY COOL)

Its been a great conference and I've learned a few things (typed up a few pages of notes), but I'm ready to go back home. I've been traveling since last Friday and there is nothing I'd like more than to lay on my comfy couch with Ryan and Bailey...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

30 Before 30 List Update: New Car

Bringing it back old school, do yah'll remember my 30 before 30 list? Well, I've got a couple updates to that list.  Thus far I have completed the following (those crossed through):

1. Get another dog (Bailey needs a playmate)
2. Mend broken relationships
3. Do a full marathon (run/walk)
4. Take a cake decorating class
5. Take the next step in my career (management)
6. Buy a new car (that I LOVE)!
7. Have a professional maid come in and clean my house
8. Do a home renovation project on my own!
9. Become a mom
10. Create a piece of art (painting or drawing) I’d be willing to hang in my house
11. Get back into scrapbooking; make scrapbook of home renovations
12. Pay off my student loans
13. Read the Bible cover-to-cover
14. Finally be happy with my body
15. Redo two bathrooms in my home (gut & start over) RENOVATED ONE BATHROOM, SO 1/2 A POINT! ;)
16. Visit all the wineries in Virginia (that’s 156 wineries)
17. Go to Boston and see the RED SOXs play
18. Do another tropical vacation
19. Go camping
20. Not have a farmer’s (soccer) tan for one summer!
21. Take a cooking class with Ryan
22. Go on vacation and bring Bailey
23. Paint a mural on a wall in my home (future baby Luce room)
24. Take one full day to watch old classic 80’s movies (This list looks good:
25. Keep a plant alive for longer than 1 week!
26. Convince in-laws to move back down to Virginia
27. Get a Smartphone
28. Run in a race with Ryan (5K, 8K, 10K…whatever!)
29. Make my own greeting cards for every occasion
30. Throw/host an elaborate black-tie affair! (Perhaps for my 30th Birthday)

Okay, so my first update to this list would be.....I BOUGHT A NEW CAR!!! :) Yup, Ryan and I are the proud new owners of a 2011 Nissan Rouge! Here are some photos of what it looks like (camera on phone is broken so can't send my exact car photos). 

Two Saturdays ago I went for a test drive with my mother (been trying to test drive multiple car makers to narrow down the search). Ryan had mentioned the Juke & Rouge, so I went to test them out. The Juke is a fun car! With turbo and it's small like stature, it's a great car to ripe around and go crazy; however, not exactly the upgrade I was searching for as far as space. The Rouge however, is amazing! As soon as I started driving it I was amazed at how easy it was to drive! I immediately went home and asked (more like BEGGED) Ryan to come up to the dealership to see it. It's pretty much a blur after that....he said we could look at the financing and BAM...we bought a spanking NEW car!!!

We are beyond excited for this newest addition! My little Hyundai will be retiring soon, we're giving him away to charity so he can help someone else. We were actually so excited about our new car that we drove it on vacation this week....yup, all the way to Indiana!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beautiful DIY Dresser/TV Stand Complete

In my previous post I wrote about my dresser/tv stand purchase and how my tastes were changing. This past Saturday I picked up the dresser and immediately began working on it. It took two days, but its finished! Take a look...

Remember what the before photo looked like:

I'm very pleased with the results. There were so many combinations that ran through our head once we got the colors picked out (which took a while as well). Although it took two days to finish, it really was very easy! I cleaned off the furniture with a Clorox Wipe and let it dry. Then I removed the drawers and handles and placed them on a separate blanket for painting. I used a combination of spray paint and regular paint. The light color is Valspar Ivory and the green is a Valspar Spray Paint called Evergreen. I proceeded to spray paint the green on the stand. Once dried, I taped around the green (on the sides) and painted the ivory. Given the original gold color, this required a couple coats. Then I put a clear coat on it!

I went  to Lowes to look at handles and pulls but I didn't see any I liked that would also match the style of the stand. So I just painted the existing handles. I didn't get 100% coverage (on the inside) but I like the imperfect nature of it. I like the distressed look but didn't incorporate it in this piece, maybe on my next project (I have a bench I'm very interested in painting)!

 Positively Splendid