Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crafty Sunday.

 I've been crafting away this summer!  I had a couple of commissions, which helped motivate me to finish these projects quickly.  

Commissioned bib.

Booties for Kierin, my cousin's son.

Commissioned booties; I used Knit Picks "Guppy."
I actually finished another pair of booties and a winter hat (to match Jason's scarf) in the last few days, but haven't had a chance to take pictures.  I have two bags filled with projects to finish before school starts in a month, so I need to work quickly to get them done.  

I can't believe school starts in a month!  I need more time!

 - M.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

They're here!

For years, Jason and I have gone back and forth over the appeal of e-readers and tablets.  We both love the feel of a real book.  I'm pretty sure we own over 300 books, and after moving them 6 times, we manage to still like having them.  However, the moving also made us consider the notion of an e-reader.

Cut to the beginning of the summer.  I received another scholarship from Penn State, similar to one I got the first time.  I had said that if I got the same scholarship this time around, I would get a Kindle or an e-reader to make my back-pack lighter.  So, we started shopping.  I was a supporter of the Kindle Fire, but Jason did a little more research and found that Google was releasing a new tablet soon.  It would sync up with my Gmail, calendar, and other Google platforms that I already use.  I was sold.

We had to pre-order them, and they finally got here!  It's charging right now, but I already love the size, feel, and look of the Nexus 7.  I won't have to carry my laptop all over creation every day.  I don't have an office at Penn State, so I'll have to carry everything with me.  A tablet is going to make this so much easier!

We'll give another update once we've had a chance to play.  :)

- M. & J.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Fun

In addition to moving, we have been doing a lot of fun stuff this summer!

Before we left Philadelphia, we made sure we ate at some of our favorite places:

Tampopo, 44th Street, West Philadelphia

El Limon, Fayette Street, Conshohocken

Frankford Hall, Frankford Street, Northern Liberties
That was just the week before we left!  I think the only place we didn't get to was From the Boot in Lafayette Hill, but my cousin lives close, so we can get our visit in then.

My first outside-baby Mothers Day was really special.  Jason made me breakfast, and he gave me new running sneakers and a nice dinner out (which we haven't had a chance to take yet!).  Elliott (read: Jason) made me a Shutterfly book.  We spent the weekend with my family at Aunt Chris' and at Longwood Gardens, which I had never been to before.  So beautiful, and so big!

My special mothers day pancakes.

Elliott and his grandparents.
The next few weeks were consumed with moving and other family issues.  We started June with a visit to Mt. St. Mary's University, which is my dad's alma mater.  It was alumni weekend, and mom and dad's friends' band was playing on campus.  It is a beautiful campus, and it also houses the Our Lady of Lourdes / Mother Seton shrine.  My parents got married there, and they have the most beautiful wedding photos as a result.

Beautiful campus.  That's the dorm my dad lived in!

Elliott and Mom in front of the chapel.
Father's day was pretty quiet.  That's what the dads wanted.  We had a joint bar-be-que with both families and played wash-shoes, which is a combo of washers, horseshoes, and bean-bag toss.  I got Jason a cast-iron skillet.  :)

The next weekend, my parents, sister, and I took my aunt and cousin from California to New York City and showed them the sights.  We tried to see the Ground Zero memorial, but the tickets were sold out (they're free, but they require advance reservations to keep the crowds at bay).  It was an interesting trip (thanks to some noisy neighbors at the hotel), but we still had a lot of fun together.

Flags at the World Trade Center site.

Salad at Carmines, an amazing Italian restaurant in Midtown.

Lights at the Marquis Marriott, where we beat the heat with a beer.
Our summer has been quite busy, and it's only half done!  We have baby showers, arts fests, birthdays, and lots of pool time planned before orientation starts for grad school at the end of August.  I'm also hoping we can take a weekend beach trip to OCNJ after the season is over, maybe in mid to late September.

What fun things have you been up to this summer?

- M.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Little Man is One!

Our Elliott Zachary is one today!

Newborn Elliott.

One year old Elliott at his party.

We love you Little Man!

More updates soon!  We've been so busy moving and planning and living life.  

 - M & J.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mischief Managed.

With the new house, graduate school, and life in general, we came to the realization that we need to be better organized when it comes to schedules and keeping the house in order (read: livable for child and cat).  So, I investigated what goes into a House Management Binder.  I had seen them on Pinterest, but I wanted to know more.

Basically, there is no one-size-fits-all binder.  I looked at about 10 different styles and suggestions and found what might work for us.  It will also be a perpetual work in progress.  Right now, I'm getting ready for school and teaching for the fall.  In a few years, it will be Mr. Elliott who is attending school.  Things will change, our life is always in flux, so I made sure it was going to be a fluid organizer.  The suggestion here is just that: a suggestion.  Check out how others do it and perhaps you'll find that perfect set-up.

First, and this seems universal, you need a 3-ring binder.  I got a Martha Stewart one from Avery, which is sturdy and sophisticated:

I have it in the blue.

I'm using my favorite dividers (What is wrong with me?  Who has a favorite divider?!), which are Avery Style Edge Insertables, which even come with printable labels!  Woo-hoo!

Aside from that, I'm using print-ables from all over the internet.  I'll post those in the House = Home tab soon.

My sections are this:

(Not inside the other dividers)
 - Post-it Project Dock (I'll explain at a later date)
 - Daily Docket

 - Calendar: Schedules, week-at-a-glance, and anything else that is need to know about our day.
 - Finances: Budget sheets, bill checklists, and reference material (copies of important financial docs, car stuff, etc.)
 - Cleaning: Weekly cleaning checklist, as well as items for daily and monthly consideration.
 - Food: Meal planning worksheets, grocery lists (reusable), recipes for the week, and take-out menus.
 - Health: Health records and paperwork for every member of the family, including Barney.  Also, insurance info.
 - School: Paperwork I'd need to quickly reference about Penn State.  Later, I expect that this will be used for school items for Elliott.
 - Planning: Party planning worksheets, trip planning, holiday get it.
 - Reference: Phone numbers, birthdays / anniversaries, periodic table, measurements...all that stuff.

I'll go into more detail once I have more detail to give!  We'll also have house updates know, once we actually move in.

- M & J.