Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Birth Announcement Cross-Stitch

I have recently gotten back into cross-stitching after a very, very long break from it.  When I was growing up I used to do small cross-stitch projects all the time.  My mom even still has a bunch of them hanging in her house.  While I was Christmas shopping I came across a very cute birth announcement cross-stitch project and decided to make one for Portia & Laila to give as a Christmas gift.  I got it done just in time, squeezing the last stitch in on Christmas Eve and framing it in time to gift to them on Christmas Day.  I think it turned out quite nice!  My next cross-stitch project will be the Four Seasons Birds for my bathroom.

Purchase this Balloon Birthday Ride kit.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Painting Elephants

Last week I attended a two hour acrylic painting class at Pinot's Pallete in St. Matthews with my friend Brooke and her sister-in-law.  They do classes almost every night and have a bar where you can buy beer, wine or mixed cocktails to sip on while you paint.

We painted an elephant and it was a lot of fun!  I went in there anticipating a canvas with an outline of the elephant already there, but much to our surprise, we all sat down to a blank, white canvas.  At first we were extremely intimidated, but our instructor was awesome and did a great job of showing us how to do the outline of the elephant ourselves. We started with a grid on the canvas and she instructed us where on the grid to place dots of paint and then which dots to connect until we had our basic outline.

Once we had the basic outline, we filled in the grey for the elephant, which looked like this:

After that we filled in the background before adding detail to the elephant:

After adding details step by step to the background and the elephant, we ended up with a final painting!  They all looked a bit different, but yet very similar.  Here was my end result:

And here is a group shot from the whole class:

It was a lot of fun and I definitely want to do it again soon!

Christmas with Mama Rosie

Tuesday Mom, Portia, Laila, Aunt Cindy and I all headed to Liberty to have a girls Christmas with Mama Rosie.  Usually the whole family goes, but Mama's brother has needed her help while he heals from a bad fall so she just didn't have it in her for a full family get together this year.  But, even so, we had a great time!  Mama, Melvin and Cindy all got to meet Laila for the first time, also.  Taylor couldn't go this time because she had school and it was the only day the rest of us could go.

We enjoyed a lunch of carry out pizza and then opened gifts and chit-chatted for a few hours before heading back home.  Laila was the center of attention, of course, and I'm so glad Mama and Cindy got to finally meet her.  We were also able to get a photo of FIVE generations together!  All photos from the festivities can be seen here.

Tomorrow is the big family Christmas gathering where the other side of the family will get to meet her.  More pictures to come from that one!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Poofy Laila Cheeks!

Laila just turned three months old last week and we got to have a little visit over the weekend.  How adorable are those poofy cheeks, pudgy legs and big blue eyes - not to mention her cutie hat!?  She's starting to coo and smile a lot and beginning to notice the things around her and be aware of her hands and other things.  It's amazing how fast they grow at this age.  I wasn't around Portia until she was close to three years old so all of this is new to me!  I got a lesson in strapping an infant into a car seat while she was here as well - I think it's the only time I've heard her really get upset!  Christmas should be really fun this year - I can't wait for the rest of my extended family to meet her!  <3

Monday, November 11, 2013

Red River Gorge

Click here for all trip photos.

This past weekend we made a trip to the Red River Gorge area in Stanton, Kentucky for our friend Mr. Charlie's 40th birthday.  This is the second time we've been to the Gorge in November ( we went for Mr. Charlie's birthday in 2010 also ) and, in the end result,  it did not disappoint.  We stayed at a very nice cabin called Lakewood. The cabin itself was gorgeous, as were the surroundings with all the woods and creek running through the bottom of the property.

The weekend started off with picking up Christina and Charlie at their house and then Beth from her house.  We had a great, slap happy time on the way to the cabin, laughing all the way.  There is never a dull moment with this group, ever!  After many "just around this curve" comments, much joking and laughing, we pulled off the exit and had a quick lunch at Hardee's before going to the local tiny Kroger to get groceries for the weekend.

After lunch and shopping we headed up to the cabin site.  At the head of the road we stopped in to check in and get the keys to the cabin.  There is a whole story to the ten minutes we were there, but all I will say is that there were gassy fumes in the truck cab and step issues at the check in house!  The perfect start to our exciting weekend.

Once we got to the cabin, the only complaint was that the rental site touted the good cell phone service due to a cell phone booster and WiFi.  We did have so-so WiFi - but the cell phone reception was non-existent.  We realize that most people go to these places to "get away from it all", and while we would love to do this, we just can't due to our jobs.  Thus it was very disappointing for our friends to rent this place just for us because it was the only one with cell coverage and WiFi, only to get there and it have zero cell coverage and very spotty WiFi.  To make matter worse, firewood was purchased for a steep price of $20 to be delivered to the cabin.  As the wood was being delivered we were informed that the cell phone booster did not work at all and anyone with Verizon would not get any type of signal (though our AT&T people didn't get a signal either).  On top of that, all of the firewood that was brought in (all 10 pieces of it - for $20 mind you) was wet and would not burn.  Not turning out to be such a good deal, eh?
However, it all worked out in the end.  Jason was able to get an app on his phone that would allow a phone call to get through if there was an emergency.  The fire was a bust that evening due to wet wood, but at least the hot tub was in good working order.  So after a yummy steak and potato dinner the guys did their own thing and the girls went to hang in the hot tub for some good, old fashion girl talk.

The next morning we had a yummy breakfast of bacon, eggs and biscuits while we waited for Lydia and Ben. to arrive.  We met them up at Kroger and went directly to a hiking trail that led to Hidden Arch.  It was a very nice two mile hike and was beautiful!  On the way back to the cabin we took a short detour to drive through a natural rock tunnel.  It was a tight squeeze for Big Nasty, the F-350, but by pulling in the side mirrors we made it through.

After that we headed back to the cabin where lasagna was prepared for that night's dinner.  Lydia and Ben went in search of dry firewood and came back with a mother-load of great wood for $10.00...and it was dry and burnable!  So we spent the evening on the porch burning our dry wood in the outdoor fireplace.  It was a pretty calm evening - though we did have to make a human ladder at one point to turn off the outdoor ceiling fans since it was quite cold and no light switch seemed to work the fan.  At the end of the night we sang happy birthday to Mr. Charlie, let him blow out his cheesecake candles and one by one drifted off to bed.

It was a fantastic, fun weekend that I will always remember.  And, as always, I got lots of photos. Next year we will replicate the trip, but instead of a cabin rental we will be taking our travel trailers!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Starve Hollow - Vallonia, IN

Click here for all trip photos.

This weekend we had our maiden voyage out in the new Jayco Eagle camper with the three dogs at Starve Hollow State Recreation Area in Vallonia, Indiana just outside of Seymour.  The park was absolutely beautiful with all the trees in full fall color. We were not on the lake, but we were within a five minute walk to the water's edge.

The dogs all did very well, much better than we had anticipated, especially since they were all restricted to their own screw in the ground lead.  We intended to have an X-pen dog run area set up for them, but were not able to acquire the necessary parts to do so for the first trip.  After their initial excitement dwindled down they got tangled in each other's leads less and less.  They did really, really well, much better than we thought they would.

Since this was our first trip out in the new camper it was also a learning experience for us.  Our last camper didn't have holding tanks or a slide so we had to figure out all the workings of those functions - which makes camping all that much better, by the way.  It was very nice not having to run up to the shower house every time we needed to use the restroom or take a shower.  Having the comforts of home on the road is a giant perk!

The only complaint about the park that we had was that there was supposed to be a nice hiking trail.  We saddled up all the dogs and went out to go hike.  However, after following all the signs pointing to the "hiking trail" we ended up in the cabin rental area of the park with no hiking trail in sight.  So we doubled back and headed home after much searching.

The only other issue we ran into was lack of wifi and cell coverage.  According to Verizon's map, we should have had a good 3G connection, however it was very spotty. Due to Jason's line of work, we generally can't go anywhere without a good signal in case something comes up.  We will be looking into a booster for upcoming trips.

Since it is November and pretty chilly out, the park was very sparse.  The full hookup area where we were probably only had 10 other campers around, where normally 50 sites are available.  The waterfront, electric only sites were pretty full though.  After walking through the waterfront area, I can see where campers would make the sacrifice to give up full hook-ups for electric only sites for the waterfront views.

I walked down to the beach area and can easily see why this place would make an awesome summer campground. There was a very nice sand beach area along the lake shore with sand volleyball courts, life guard stations and lake boundaries where the swimming area dropped off.

I would love to visit here again.  We were at site 239, which was on the end of the road and looked into the woods.  I particularly chose this spot for the dog's first outing so that they were not near a lot of distractions.  I would totally pick this spot again, no matter what time of year, due to the privacy and the shade it provides.  Definitely a place on the list to come back to!

All photos of our trip can be found here!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

L.B.'s Blanket

L.B. the Chiweenie has a specific blanket that he absolutely loves. It's actually not a blanket, but a Queen size comforter.  A Queen size comforter for an 11 pound dog.  Rotten!  I picked it up to wash it the other day and he about had a fit. As soon as I pulled it out of the dryer he made a bee-line to it and snuggled in.  Much to his dismay, this comforter is going on the bed in the camper so he'll have to find a new favorite house blanket.  But it may help him enjoy camping that much more!  :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Party 2013

Our fourth annual Halloween costume party went off without a hitch!  We had our largest crowd to date and ran out of Jason's Guinness chili fairly early - sorry for the late-comers that were hoping to get a taste!  Usually we make way too much and have too much leftover for us to deal with.  Go figure!  Anyway, thanks to all of the yummy goodies everyone brought along, it all worked out just fine.

It was too windy to do a fire while the majority of the guests were there, but later in the evening it calmed down so a few got to enjoy it.  But it was COLD so most people were content to stay inside or on the front porch where the house blocked most of the wind.

There were lots of cool costumes, great conversation and it was awesome having so many our friends together again!  The only hitch we had was people kept getting locked in the bathroom for some reason. The knob was malfunctioning so several people had to be rescued.

I also managed to get lots of cool costume photos this year.  Take a look and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2004 Jayco Eagle Travel Trailer

I finally got around to getting photos of the new travel trailer!  It's a 2004 27 foot Jayco Eagle with a Super Slide.

Here is the front - you can see there are two doors - the main one in the back that walks into the living rom and another one in the bedroom.

Front w/ Awning Retracted

This is the back side that shows the slideout where the couch, dinette and closet resides.

Back with Slideout

This is the view from the main door stepping into the living area.

From Main Door

This is the living area.  The couch folds down into a double bed and the dinette set converts to another double bed. Behind the dinette is a large storage closet with room to hang clothes and 6 drawers at the bottom.

Living/Dining Area

The kitchen has a refrigerator, microwave and stovetop.  There is no oven in this one, but we have a toaster oven that we prefer to use anyway since it can be used outside and won't heat up the inside of the camper and will use electric instead of propane.  The fridge can run of of electric or propane as well.  All cabinetry is solid oak.

Kitchen w/ Fridge, Stove & Microwave

This is the view looking back towards the living area from the bedroom doorway. I love the picture window in the back!  All windows have pull down day and night shades.

Kitchen, Dining &Liiving Area

This is the bedroom with a Queen size pillow-top bed.  To the right is the other entrance door and to the left is another window and a fold down shelf.

Bedroom w/ Queen Pillowtop

The bathroom has a sink, toilet and a bath/shower.


Full Shower

And finally, this is the view from the couch of the entertainment area.  We need a TV with a HD tuner in it, but no rush on that as I don't think we'll really use the TV much anyway - we didn't in the past, but it's nice to have for a rainy day to watch movies.

Entertainment Area

 Hope you enjoyed our little tour of The Eagle!  We have an upcoming camping trip planned so more RV posts to come!  Sadly it's already getting really, really cold here in Kentucky so we may only make it out once before having to winterize, but we will play it by ear.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

River Valley Winery - Evening of Wine, Music and Friends

Saturday evening we took a short trip with friends to River Valley Winery in Carrollton, Kentucky. This winery was established in 2001 and boasts award winning wines made with 100% Kentucky grown grapes.

The evening we visited they had live music by Jimmy Mundane and the uKnown iNsanes and the performance was fantastic!  Awesomely unique music with a few covers thrown in here and there.

We also did some wine tasting.  Jason favored the Cabernet Sauvignon while I favored the Bobby's Blush, which we each purchased a couple of bottles of.

An even more awesome note to the evening - all tips to the band and wine tips, along with tips given in the passed around hat, all went towards supporting the Carroll County Animal Shelter - something we always enjoy supporting.

The farmland at the winery also included three Great Pyrenees dogs (same as Giant Dawg) protecting their flock of llamas and sheep and single white duck.

It was a beautiful place to visit and we had a wonderful evening out.  We will definitely be visiting them again!

Friday, October 11, 2013

The New Rig

Today we picked up our new Travel Trailer. We met the seller in the strip mall parking lot where the county clerk's office was located.  It was a simple title transfer and since the seller brought the camper with him, we were able to swap hitches and head on home with our new toy.

Once we got it home we immediately leveled it and opened it up - slide and windows since it was a beautiful, crisp October day.  Jason got the radio working and I got busy with stocking it with the few camper supplies we already had.  While I did that, I first brought Lois Lane into the camper with me.  I think she remembers camping with us before because she settled right in after taking a good smell of the new place.  Next I brought in L.B.  I don't think he really knew what to think - he sniffed around the same path that Lois did and then took his spot on the couch for a nap.  Next I brought in Buddy (aka Giant Dawg).  He did the same sniff and explore and then settled in to nap in front of the couch.

We made a Wal-Mart trip to get a few things - tire chalks, blankets, roasting sticks, table top grill, dishes, etc.  I spent another couple of hours gathering extra household items that we didn't need in the house and transferred them to the camper.

I was hoping to book a weekend trip next weekend for a trial run with the new setup and the dogs, however the timing isn't working in our favor.  Since it is Halloween season and perfect camping weather it seems all campsites are pretty much booked solid.  I'm still hunting around, but due to our busy weekend schedule in the next several weeks we may not make it out until mid-November at this point.  I am determined to get out at LEAST once this year!

Here are a few phone photos I got from today's adventures.

The initial pick-up:


Lois Lane:

Giant Dawg:


Monday, October 7, 2013

Travel Trailer Acquired!

Well, almost!  We found a "new to us" 2004 Jayco Eagle 278 Travel Trailer on Craig's List and put a down payment on it yesterday with plans to pick it up on Friday.  We were initially looking at Fifth Wheel campers but decided we're not sure if we need that much space.  So we went with a lower cost travel trailer for now and if we find we use it more than expected and need more room, we will upgrade down the road.

The Jayco Eagle is a very nice 27 foot travel trailer with a 15 foot super slide out.  It has an outdoor shower, surround sound speakers, pillow top mattress, bathroom with full bath/shower, awning, fridge/freezer, stove top, rear picture window, day/night shades and the couch and dinette make double beds, if needed.  It's in pristine condition with real oak cabinets and floors that are so clean you'd never know it was pre-owned and tons of storage.

We're going to try to get it out at least once before it gets too cold this year.  We have an eventful couple of months planned so hopefully we can work it out for at least one test run before we have to put it up for the winter!  More photos to come once we get it home. Now I get to focus on researching pet friendly campsites and accessorizing the RV!  Camping here we come!

Here is the floorplan diagram:

And here is a photo of the outside from the sales ad:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pink October

So, it's Pink October once again.  Once upon a time, I would have acknowledged the month and moved on with my next thoughts.  Now, October has a whole new meaning for me.  At one time it was about me walking for "the cure" as a generic term. Now, it's walking "for the cure" for me and my family.  It's amazing what a year will bring.  The first time I walked my first breast cancer walk, it was for a "good cause".  Now when I walk a breast cancer walk, it is for my Mom, my Grandma, my Great Aunt, and for Myself.  Who knew what a difference a year or two would make.

I do not necessarily support all of the foundations that claim to "support breast cancer", but I do try to do my part to show support where I can.  I do not actively donate to breast cancer organizations, mostly because I have yet to find one that genuinely gives to the cause at hand.  I do participate in Dirty Girl Mud Runs and some Komen Walks, just because it is a cause I believe in - but not necessarily because it's a entity I support.  At any rate - the month is upon us.  I will not ask anyone to donate to any specific organization - but I do ask that you do your research before you donate to ensure your money donation is going to the best possible place it can go to.  Your money does not need to go towards advertising and "swag".  It needs to go towards research, donations to those that can't afford mammograms, and awareness.  Without awareness, there is no initiative.  Without initiative, there is no prevention.  Without prevention, there is no cure.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Re-Painting Garden Frog Statues

My mom has two cute frog garden statues that have seen better days.  They are structurally sound and aren't chipped or cracked, but the orginal paint colors had faded to white and grey.  Who wants grey garden frogs?  So I brought them home and spiffied them up with a new coat of paint and weather sealed them so they should keep their vibrant colors year round now.

Frogs & Butterfly Before:
Frogs & Butterfly - Before

Frogs & Butterfly After:
Frogs & Butterfly - After

Frogs & Butterfly After:
Frogs & Butterfly - After

Swinging Frog Before:
Swinging Frog - Before

Swinging Frog After:
Swinging Frog - After

Friday, September 13, 2013

Power 90 Completed!

Today marks the completion of our Power 90 program!  We only missed a few days ( those with the lines through them ) and most of those were replaced with another type of workout.  We  missed our deadline by one week since we took a rest week at week 11 - we were feeling a bit run down and it did us good to take a small break. It feels awesome to have completed it!  Now we have a rest week while we wait for our two pull-up bars to arrive. Once we get those installed in the ceiling and the tv swapped out for a larger one ( which we already have ), we'll be good to start P90X together!  I'm ready to Bring It!

Power 90 Losses:
Weight - 14.5 pounds
Waist - 4"
Hips - 2.5"
Chest - 3"
Arms - 1" each
Thighs - 2" each

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Nice, Relaxing Evening.

Spent the entire evening reading on my Kindle Paperwhite.  I'm currently reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King - it's very good so far!

Someone's gonna have a happy kid at Kroger. ;)

I had a bag full of stuffed animals to take to Goodwill.  Instead of making the trip, I left random stuffies in carts in the Kroger parking lot.  Hopefully it made someone's kid happy. If not, I guess they ended up in lost and found.  :P

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

L.B. the Chiweenie - 37/365

Little Bit is just so cute - he has taken over our house and our hearts in such a short time.  We are so glad we gave him a chance. We knew we would save him from impending death at the shelter, even if it meant fostering him until a suitable home was found, but we had no idea he's march into our lives and take over!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lazy Buddy - 36/365

This was one of those last minute "crap I forgot my daily photo until right before I head to bed" photos. Luckily Giant Dawg is always a willing subject.  And this shows me that I need to clean the mirrored doors to the pantry ( and the rug but that's a daily chore with all the dog hair in this house ).

Monday, August 26, 2013

National Dog Day - 35/365

Since today was National Dog Day we spoiled our pups a little extra.  This is L.B. napping on the ottoman that sits between my and Jason's desks in the office.  Jason fluffed up a pillow for him and slipped it under his head for added comfort.  Spoiled little fur kids!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Laila and Papa J - 34/365

Laila, Portia and Chris came to visit us this morning while they were out this way.  Laila turned 2 weeks old yesterday and is doing awesome.  She is the most content, sweetest baby!  :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Dirty Girl Mud Run - 33/365

Today was the Louisville Dirty Girl Mud Run 5K obstacle course race. I had a team of 8 women running for our "Breast Friends" team. It was so much fun! I'd love to do this every year!  All the muddy photos can be found here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Fair Day Girls - 32/365

Today I went to the Kentucky State Fair with two of my girlfriends, Beth and Christina, and we had a blast! We walked 4.5 miles, visited exhibits, rode some rides and acted like a bunch of kids. Awesome day!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pink Knockout - 31/365

This is one of the four knockout rose bushes we currently have in the front yard.  We have a red and yellow one also. We plan to line the driveway with these in the longrun.  They have at least doubled in size from when we planted them last year.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Waiting for the Thaw - 30/365

Waiting for my frozen strawberries to thaw so I can add them to my cup of Danon Oikes plain Greek yogurt.  A great 130 calorie snack that helps curb ice cream cravings - which seems to be the only thing I always crave these days.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Banana Plants Planted - 29/365

Today we went over to the old house to dig up a couple of the banana plants that have been out back for many, many years, before we close on the sale of the house ( hopefully this week ).  We got three of them - the one pictured here and another about the same size on the opposite corner of the back lower deck.  There is also a third tiny one that is with the other plant for now until it is large enough to transplant.  The leaves got a bit torn up on the drive from the old house to our house since they were hanging out the back of the truck, but the new leaves should be fine.  Besides, it's always windy here so they may just be fringy banana plants anyway!

We're finally starting to get some decor going on the new porches - most of the rest will come next spring.  We also plan to plant lots of shade trees in the backyard since right now it's bare of trees until you get to the back or sides of the lot.