Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall Hobby 2014: Apple Orchards

About a month ago, Mr. RH and I were with his family when we made a spontaneous trip to the local apple orchard.  We bought lots of random, fun goodies - and I knew I was on a dangerous path.  I literally couldn't live one more day without a flippin cup of honeycrisp apple cider every hour on the hour.

Damn, I wish this picture was better.

Anyway, as we drove home, I immediately texted both BFF's with babies and told them we needed to make immediate plans to get to an orchard.

Plans were set and we were off with two tiny princesses in tow.

Princess #1 - my #BFFbaby who apparently doesn't have a name on my blog, except #BFFbaby.  It was so much easier when there was only ONE BFF baby, but now that there are two... I mean... #BFFbaby2 doesn't really have a great ring to it...

Princess #2 - Miss Maeven, the tiny peanut of the group.

Anyway, I loaded Miss Maeven into her carseat and she immediately gave me a big smile.  We had a 30-minute drive to the orchard, so I took this as a GREAT sign.  She was excited, we were going to have a great day!!

I mostly missed her smile with my camera... but trust me, she was happy!

We arrived at the orchard and were immediately assaulted by... bees!  Definitely not what we had planned for, but we improvised.

We found a random apple crate in the parking lot, ducked ourselves under a giant apple tree... and, well, #BFFbaby really worked it. 

You guys, I love all my friends babies with the fire of a thousand burning suns... but this cheese is literally too much to handle.

Her mom claims she learned all her cheese from me... and truthfully, I can't dispute that claim. 

That tongue kills me dead!!

On the other hand... #MissMaeven got like .24% of a nap in the car, which wasn't exactly her favorite thing ever.

And it might make me a bad aunt that I was like... well, sorry Maeven, we take what we can get around here even if that means a screaming baby.

Luckily, she had some cute buns on so that we could ignore her screaming face and focus on the cute butt.   And it was a really cute, pumpkin-y butt.

Don't tell me it makes me a bad aunt that I let her scream her head off for bursts so we could take a few photos.  Girl needs to learn how to act right in a picture or she's in for a world of pain with Aunt Sarah.  #poorbaby

Someday we will use these photos as proof that diva/sassy personality traits emerge early in the first year of life.

Until then, we can just use them to remember a lovely trip to the apple orchard.  Screaming baby and all.

Why oh why doesn't fall last forever?!  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Arkansas 2014

If you asked me what was the halfway point between my Texas family members and my Indiana family members was, I doubt I would ever answer Arkansas.  However, if you ask my dad and aunt, who were searching for midway-locations for vacation loving families... apparently, it's Arkansas.

Anyway, way back in August we packed up a (rented) minivan and drove 3 adult males and myself to Arkansas.  On the way, we played a game where we flipped the XM radio to various stations and if you guessed the correct artist you would win a point... and it was a CLOSE call with around 100 points each to my brother and I.   

Side note: Ed Sheeran and the guy from Passenger (the guy called Passenger?) sound almost exactly the same but they aren't!  Also, Ed Sheeran has more songs on the radio than ANYONE ELSE EVER.

Clarification:  Indiana to Arkansas is a long-ass drive.

The fun part about vacation is that it's basically a non-stop photo shoot because all of the new places and sun-kissed skin and good vacation happiness.

Luckily, we hung out in Arkansas for the most mild week of "southern" weather ever, meaning there was low low humidity and the temperature never got above 90 degrees.  MAJOR score.

We stayed at a vacation-rental-by-owner property that wasn't necessarily the nicest vacation home I've ever been in, but it was clean and had plenty of space, so everyone survived.

Of course, the private dock down by the water didn't exactly hurt our good moods.

I can't say that we really "did" much on vacation - other than roast marshmallows, catch up on my Goodreads reading list, take a duck-tour of downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, and go up and down every single aisle at the local Wal-Mart (when in Arkansas...).

We also rented a pontoon boat on a pretty small lake... which resulted in Mr. RH shouting out to me that my hair looked bad and if I was going to be doing more posing than tubing that I should at least fix it if he was going to take a picture.

Noted.  Although I can't say it looks any better.

I forced my dad and brother to take pictures, and they only look 25% like escaped convicts (yay for vacation beards?) so that was exciting. 

We also discovered that certain candy wrappers (like leftover ones from my wedding) actually burst into colorful flames in the campfire.  I'm 99% sure that it's not super toxic or cancer causing, so we threw approximately 20 dozen of them into the campfire.

 Can you see the colors?!?

Luckily, we had the lake to ourselves for the entire week until our last day... at which points the hellion-raising neighbor children arrived.  Luckily, we had pretty much reached our lake quota at that point... and I was 20% covered in mosquito-welts.  Scratch scratch.

 Pffft as if I would waste a decent hair day by jumping in the lake.

And last but not least, I think we took my new favorite picture.  I can't say it's particularly flattering on my upper arm area, but the sun was so glowy that we literally look airbrushed.

And next time somebody asks me if I want to go to Arkansas in August.... I would probably say yes.  So relaxing, I almost forgot we had a 14 hour drive to get our butts home.

Is it vacation time again?  

(Sad note: NO.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


So - this past week, I turned the age where I officially have forgotten what age I am.  No joke, I've officially answered wrong more times than I've answered correctly.... therefore, I believe I am diagnosed as senile.  Or old.

I have to put it in writing because it won't count otherwise - but this is the last year that I'm allowed to make my own cake.  It's time to pass on this own time-honored tradition of homemade cake and good frosting to my husband, who can one day pass it along to my children.

Because if I one day birth children who do not grow up to make me homemade cakes with delicious icing... my life is for naught. 

On another note... what in the eff can I blame my lame cake-frosting skillz on?  I'm pretty sure I need to take a class in this ASAP.  Cause whoa, bad.

Maybe next year?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Paper Anniversary Trip

Almost three weeks ago now, Mr. RH and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary!  It came and went so damn fast, and that was after the solid 2+ months of agonizing over what would be special enough to celebrate such a lovely (LONG - and yet short!) year of marriage.

We thought about going to Chicago, where we celebrated our engagement.  Then maybe we were sick of Chicago - how about St. Louis, or a trip to IKEA for the wife... for some reason, Mr. RH wasn't into all that.  Weird.

So after much googling, I decided that we would really enjoy a trip to French Lick, Indiana, to the gorgeous and romantic West Baden Springs Hotel.  It's a gorgeous, old historic hotel that's been completely renovated and updated... and we were so excited to check it out.

Of course, 3.5 hours into our little road trip and a million construction cones later... we were both pretty dang cranky by the time we arrived.

As soon as we got into the hotel, though, we were both blown away.  The hotel encircles the main lobby, which is a giant, domed atrium straight out of a movie set.

Fancy shmancy.

I, being the village idiot, decided a room that wasn't overlooking the atrium would be oh-so-much better than the atrium views - because you could overlook the giant property, gardens, etc.  FOOL.  Those rooms with balconies overlooking the main lobby are where it's at.  Sigh, perhaps when we return.

We took ourselves on a tour around the property, gardens, and read up on the history of the resort.  I could literally go into it, cause it was fascinating, but I'll spare you.  Needless to say - super cool place, lots of history, almost spooky cause it was very quiet and the place was quite the roaring establishment in the early 1900s.

Of course, there were many selfies.... (ok, like... maybe 4 all weekend).

And I forced tortured blessed my husband with many requests to smile for a picture.  Or not, I basically just snapped away at my pleasure.

And - is it sad that this is one of my highlights of the weekend? - my cute husband snapped a pic of me that's in focus!!  On the fancy camera.  I have hope that my future children or grandchildren will someday know that I existed in a tangible way. 

I mean, I may have a slightly bitchy look on my face, but that's mostly because every other pic that my darling husband snapped was of my boobs.  Cute.  Not.

Of course, time flew and it was time for us to head to the nearby French Lick resort for a fancy-shmancy dinner.  Cinderella put on her finest shoes.... my wedding shoes.  I was so happy to see them again, although I don't remember them hurting like this last year. 

 Apologies for the foot selfie.  

I must say - last year I wore the shoes for a few hours every day for about a week leading up to the wedding.  It must have worked! 

I dolled myself up extra-fancy and spent forever on my hair and makeup... which I would like to document in this lovely selfie... which I will entitle "Do You Know How Difficult It Is to Selfie in a Strapless Dress Without Looking Nude?"

Very. Difficult.  Hence the lovely background, sorry.

Two minutes after that lovely photo, the surprise September Summer we are having in Indiana reared it's ugly, humid head, and left me with what you see below.  You win some, you lose some.  At least my hair looked good last September.

The property that was bustling with tourist-y types earlier was surprisingly vacant when it came to photo-snapping time, much to my everlasting disappointment.  Selfie it is.

We went to the adjoining property's "award-winning" steakhouse, which  is to say - it was a very fancy hotel, a nice steakhouse, but kinda lacking in ambiance for such a lovely, historic property.

  •  My pork something-or-other was maybe one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, but things went semi-downhill from there.   We had a waiter and another, random attendant... who basically disappeared when they delivered our check.  Seriously, we tried to pay the bill for 15 minutes with no luck.  There was a place to write our room number in to bill it there, and we eventually did - but I wonder what would have happened if we just walked out.  Luckily, we paid.
  • They brought us chocolate-covered strawberries for our anniversary, which I could barely enjoy because my dress was quite corseted.  
  • They deliver a rose at the end of your meal and I was happy to report that my wedding-day nail polish (Essie's Head Mistress) still matches a red rose quite exactly.  I was embarrassed to snap a pic at such a swanky table early in the meal - but after they started ignoring us, I just decided to go for it.

We returned to our hotel as the sun was setting, and sat in the lobby and soaked it up.  There was a lady playing the piano, and maybe a cellist.

We watched the ceiling do it's swanky thing, which totally explained the abundance of chaise lounges in the place.  We sat in chairs and were totally, awkwardly bent staring at the ceiling... like most everyone else in the place.

I am still kicking myself for not going through with my original "paper anniversary" plan of hiring a local photographer to do a little mini-session on the gorgeous grounds of the hotel.  Cause that would have been AMAZING, no?

And... photos can be printed on paper, which would satisfy the paper anniversary requirement, no?  Luckily, we snagged some postcards of the hotel - done.

The question remains - do I want to come back with my husband?.... or would this make an even better place to meet some girlfriends for the weekend?  Cause I know they would really appreciate my photo-shooting ways.  And the gorgeous spa.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Get Yo Craft On. Twice, Maybe Thrice.

We're gonna skip over the fact that I've dropped off of the blog planet and just act like I dropped off in the middle of a paragraph, ok?

And GO:

Way back a thousand years ago, when I was a young(er) newlywed and was consumed with creating The Perfect Home (bwahahahahaha) for my groom, I saw a craft on Pinterest and damn if I didn't want a piece of that action.

The original pic (below) has been re-posted and pinned a ton, and the original "post" I found links back to pinterest, so SOMEBODY out there came up with this genius idea.

I think, PERFECT, I can totally make that happen.  Cue act 1.  That started in FEBRUARY.  As in, 9 months ago.

If you are interested in killing yourself slowly, you can find buttons at JoAnn Fabrics, but, in my case, not Hobby Lobby.  They don't sell bulk packs.  (See, now you can say a blog taught you something today!)

I was proud because the start of this project was going so smoothly.  When it got to shaping the perfect heart, I very lightly traced out a heart... and then effed it the heck up.

I still can't figure out how it looked pretty before I started filling in the buttons... and then not pretty.  It was wonky.  Lopsided.  SAD.

Now, 9 months later.... I'm not sure it really looked that bad.  It looks symmetrical-enough to me...

And then, I re-did the damn thing last month.  This time, with 2 layers of buttons.

Guess what?  I broke my iPhone's camera (unrelated except for the horrible quality of this pic) AAAAND I still hate the damn heart.  Hate hate loathe.

In pictures I feel like I'm over-reacting... but in person, NOPE.

So now I'm debating if I want to start over AGAIN.

But I almost can't bear to rip it all off and re-start.  So instead it's been sitting on various tables around my house making my husband consider divorce.

Which is completely irrational.  Which I'm fairly sure is what he would say re-doing a craft project 3 times is... but then again, some would say it's art and you can't rush a masterpiece.

And masterpiece is loosely translated into "copying something from Pinterest."

The End.

Soo... start over?  I think the original picture shows they have a burlap/fabric heart underneath the buttons, which would TOTALLY help my wonky-heart problem.... except then I would have 4 wonky fabric hearts and have to choose one of them.  Paralyzing.

I've missed it around here.  Let's meet again soon, shall we?

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