Thursday, March 26, 2009

AT&T U-Verse: Rocking Our Universe

Last Friday, as we were getting started on the living room paint, we hear a ring a ding-ding on the doorbell. I open it and it is a solicitor (ugh). “Mrs. Rudolph?” “” (Door slam) Just kidding – she tells me who she is and blah blah blah and basically she is selling the new AT&T U-Verse cable.

My dad, who also works for AT&T, has been talking about this new IP-based cable. I didn’t understand the awesomeness until the girl at my doorstep completely rocked our world with the details.

Here are the highlights:

  • You can record up to 4 shows at the same time.

  • Over 100 HD Channels – and once you go HD you never go back

  • DVR – no charge

  • Modem/router – no charge

  • Receivers on the other TV’s so that I can (drumroll, please) watch movie channels in my bedroom! Absolutely god sent.

  • Picture-in-picture capabilities

  • DVR stores up to 230 hours of standard shows OR 65 hours of HD shows

  • Awesome On Demand movie library

  • Lots ‘o sports – ESPN U, NFL Channel…

Plus, we have it for the first 30 days for free with the option to cancel at any time. If we decide to keep it, it is only like $6 more expensive than Charter (my current provider). AND, AT&T will give me $100 for signing up! Woo hoo! How shall I spend my, I mean our, money???

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Onions in the Yard

That’s right…I’m pretty sure that I had onions growing in my front yard. Here’s the story:

About a month ago, these random bushes started growing in the middle of the yard – and not just weeds, but full on bushes. So, we didn’t do anything….and then they started to bloom these really pretty yellow flowers. We couldn’t get rid of the flowers! But again, they were randomly interspersed in our yard – very tacky. We started to notice that they were blooming everywhere in Smyrna…on the sides of the roads, in other people’s yards, in landscaped areas by the grocery store – so weird. And then the flowers died, but the bushes stayed. And we did nothing.

UNTIL last night! I was tired of looking at them so I put on my flops and gloves and went to pulling…and this is what they looked like:

Is that not a freakin’ onion? It smelled like an onion.

But two funny things happened – I was pulling one of the big bushes (just leaning over and pulling) and it ripped and I fell. That wouldn’t have been a big deal if it was me and Shane in the yard messing around, but it was just me – so I fell, immediately jumped to my feet and then looked around to see if anyone saw. If someone was looking out their window at me…they would have definitely said “What an idiot. Cut your grass while you’re out there.” Or maybe that is something that I would have said…

AND a bird pooped on my arm. This takes me back to about two weeks ago at work, when I was walking between buildings and a bird pooped on me. I got in the elevators (which are mirrored, lovely) and I thought that I had a ball of lint on the front of my shirt. I go to pick it off and it is not lint. It was poo. Good thing that my shirt was red – so it wasn’t that hard to get out, but I was wearing a white tank underneath and the ‘greenness’ had soaked through. Absolutely disgusting. Why, all of a sudden, am I a magnet for bird crap?

So, Shane has committed to cutting the grass this weekend. It’s not really that bad, I mean I’m not going to post pics or anything – but it def needs it! We also need to start seeding and doing whatever else you do in the spring to make your yard grow…any suggestions?

And stay tuned because April is the month of the new Honeysuckle back yard deck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Trip to the Outlets

Shane and I got A LOT done this weekend! It was so nice to have a weekend with nothing planned, other than house stuff, of course. First, we painted the living room and were able to knock it out with only one coat. But before I show pics, I must share our fabulous finds and deals at the outlet mall…

First, with the new sectional – we really had no idea how we were going to light the space. We lost the side table, and room for a floor lamp, so Shane had the fabulous idea to put up wall lamps. (He is learning.) Really great idea, but I remember the issues that I had when looking for one for the bedroom…issue being that they are all ugly. But I figured that we would just deal with what we had and when we found one that we loved – we would make the move. So, back to the outlet mall. We go into Restoration Hardware, not thinking that we would find anything, or find anything at outlet prices anyway, and are pleasantly surprised. In the back area where the ‘50% OFF’ signs are located are none other than…freakin’ wall lamps! Venetian bronze ones too! So we are looking at the price and they are $155 with 50% off….$75. Not great, but not too bad. Then we find the shades and they are $11 a piece. Rip off. But then the sales lady came by and said that the lighting section was actually an extra 15% off – totaling 65% off (for those who are bad at math). So two lamps and two shades wound up totaling a little less than the price of one lamp! Score! Take a look at this luminous wonder: We then move on to Pottery Barn and score a $198 wool rug for a measly $45!!! What?!? This rug was also chosen by Shane…I’m still deciding if I love it:
After Pottery Barn we head over to Kirkland’s – we always find the most random, good deals there. We walk in and they have a ton of mirrors…hmmm…I need a new mirror for the guest bath. (The powers that be over at the bathroom mirror making companies like to jack the price up significantly for bathroom mirrors. No matter if they are the plainest of plain…they just know that you have to have a mirror in the bathroom. You know, that whole supply and demand conspiracy.) Well, all of these are gold and silver and either really plain or really ornate. Nothing appropriate for a bathroom. BUT I could totally buy one of these and paint it white, so I did. Check my new $25 bathroom mirror pre-white paint:
And our last stop was to the Home Depot across the street from the outlets. You never know, they may have some good deals that we couldn’t possibly get at our local HD. Well, it was a success. Not so much on a great deal – but to find our living room rug! Finally! So without further ado – here is the new living room (new lamps and rug included):
Our trip was a success!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Happy Thursday everyone…only one more day until the weekend. Thank god.

We had our new security system installed this week, and it comes at a great time because apparently Smyrna has turned into the new South Central. No drive-bys or street crime, but a ton of robberies. Between the number of stories that I have heard at work and the actual peeps that I know that have been robbed, this was a very good investment.

We had ADT and Brinks come to the house a few weeks ago and give their sales pitch. We just didn’t like Brinks…didn’t feel right. ADT was okay, but wanted us to spend almost a thousand dollars to install the system (unfortunately, our 1960’s casa isn’t pre-wired for a security system, go figure). We tried to haggle with them, but they just weren’t having it. Apparently they missed that memo about the horrible economy.

Shane, who is an avid 680 The Fan listener, has been hearing these ads for Ackerman Security and how cheap it is – so I gave them a ring. Why not give my business to a local company during tough times? Wow. Hundreds of dollars less to install than both Brinks and ADT, and almost $10 less a month than the other two! Sign me up! They came out yesterday and installed that bad boy – but I have just a few things to comment on (of course):

  • Our security keypad is humongous. It looks like a 1950’s calculator mounted to my wall. Or better yet, a more realistic comparison, one of those really big notecards…4x6 I think? Yeah, massive.

  • The door chime sounds whimpy. I wonder why we can’t choose our own tune? When I open the door it sounds like those chimes that are in thrift stores or deserted gas stations. Sounds kinda’ cheap in a way. I wanted like a bright, chirpy sound – like a bird. Or maybe a tweet…I’ll have to check and see if Ackerman carries the ‘Old McDonald Had a Farm’ soundtrack for door chimes.

  • I’m skeptical about the motion sensors. They don’t register small movements of the arms or head turns. Shane brought up a good point that a burglar would not just be standing in a room twisting his head or flailing his arms…but I guess I’m looking for Mission Impossible style technology.

So, all complaints aside – I definitely feel a lot safer over at Honeysuckle. But I now have this gnawing urge to set it off…just to see what it does.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty’s Day and Happy Birthday!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Hope everyone has a little luck o’ the Irish on this special day…which also happens to be my dad’s 51st birthday! Take a look at Jim C back in the good ‘ole days…
Happy Birthday Dad!

And check out that paneling, looks just like the kind in my house...30 years later. Hmmm...

Monday, March 16, 2009


Where have I been? I fell off the blogging wagon there for a second – but I’m back!

The Weekend

Not sure where it went, but I didn’t get much done. We purchased the paint for the living room, but none of it actually touched the walls. Friday night, we went over to my dad’s for dinner to celebrate his 51st birthday, Saturday was running around and then some bar hopping on Saturday night, and Sunday consisted of me laying in the bed until about 1 and then Shane’s parents came over for some hang out time and dinner. It definitely flew by!

The New Furniture

The couch is really, really big. I was a little bit worried that it was too big, so I may take out one of the inside chairs and put it in the sitting room. Not sure yet, though. We’ll see how the paint makes the room look. Also, as part of our running around on Saturday we think that we may have found a rug for the living room at Lowe’s. They actually have a pretty good selection and they are C-H-E-A-P! Just what we were looking for! I can’t find them online and I didn’t take a pic, but we’ll be back to Lowe’s (trust me) and I’ll try to snap a quick pic for your viewing pleasure.

Book Review

So, as you may have noticed, I was reading Twilight (started two Thursdays ago) and am now reading New Moon. I’m officially on the bandwagon and am thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t think that I’m as crazed as some about the book, but oh, but I’m hooked. I want to become a vampire and date Edward – stat. And I’m so excited that the Twilight movie is available OnDemand this weekend – I know what I’ll be watching!

The book that I was reading before Twilight was The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold. Absolutely horrible…horrible. I loved her book The Lovely Bones, but this one didn’t hold a candle to that book. Horrible.

So, work is really busy this week, but hopefully I’ll be able to at least get the kitchen trim painted during the week so that I can focus on the living room this week. Stay tuned this week to details about our new deck (yeah, come on) and our search for a security system.

Hope that you all have a great week!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Progress and Furniture

We made progress on the kitchen this weekend...take a look at the Olympic Dusty Trail:

The new color makes the kitchen seem so much bigger and it doesn't take away from the countertops like the red did. But don't look too closely at the trim because I let loose on needs to be repainted anyway. What the heck.

AND, the new furniture arrived today! (As well as the plumber to fix the guest bathroom, but that isn't nearly as exciting). I'm very excited about my new couch and TV console, but they are some big pieces of furniture. Take a look:

Shane was home today when they delivered everything. He called me at work to let me know everything was there and looked good. I asked how the couch looked (I was a little nervous that it would be TOO big) and he responded 'Looks good.' 'Well, like how good?' 'It's good babe.' So then I begin to quiz him on how the couch connects. Maybe I'm crazy, but I am pretty positive that sectional couches latch together in some form or fashion. So, of course, I don't believe Shane and I immediately google the model information about the couch...but can't find anything. I get home...and it is confirmed - the couch doesn't fasten together! What tha'!?! What happens when I plop down on it and it slides around on the floor? I have to stand up and put it back in place? Pashah!

But in all honesty, the couch is really heavy so it isn't that easy to move it around. And I'm sure that if it was sitting on carpet it wouldn't be a problem either - so hopefully when we get the rug down our problems will be solved.

It's pretty much Wednesday already, so time to start thinking about the weekend!

Plans for this week/weekend:
  • Paint the trim in the kitchen (hate, hate, hate this)
  • Paint the living room the same color as the kitchen
  • Pick a neutral color for the fireplace and do it to it

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our New Additions

No, no new puppies, or people for that matter...

Just these:

They are being delivered tomorrow - Can't wait! Stay tuned for live pics of them in the Carlisle/Wilson home!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plumbers, Dentists and More Backsplash

Plumbers are worth their weight in gold. After our countertop and new sink installation in the kitchen, we contacted a plumber (actually the same one who fixed the drain lines after the rug situation) to hook up the sink plumbing and new garbage disposal. For anyone looking to install a new countertop – this is somewhat of a hidden cost. Well, when I called to set up the plumber, I told them that I had two sinks that needed to be reconnected…the kitchen and the guest bathroom. After mulling it over, the cost that is (not cheap), I decided that Shane and I could figure out the guest bathroom sink. Kitchen hookup goes splendidly…it looks so clean and organized and professional under the cabinet. Just what you like to show off at parties and stuff…

Guest bath is another story. On Saturday, Shane and I take a look at the under-workings of the sink and think that we have it totally in the bag. The main pipe from the wall doesn’t match up with the drain of the new sink, but we just figure that we can push it back in the wall (first mistake) and force it to match up. So we take care of that and proceed to hook up the faucet pipes and the sink drain. First try we realize that we didn’t tighten the faucet pipes enough – which resulted in being squirted in the face. Second try, after putting on plumbers tape, we realize that we still didn’t get the pipes tight enough. Third try, we realize that shoving the pipe in the wall wasn’t a good move. After both Shane and I had been showered, squirted, and doused with water, using our small shop towels to soak up the water from the vanity and surrounding floor – we have decided to pay the additional $125 for a plumber to hook up the bathroom sink. And that will be the best hundred bucks I’ve spent all year.

On to today…I had a dentist appointment this morning where I had to get a cavity filled. For those who know me, I am DEATHLY afraid of needles…like I go into hysterics if I see one. Or like the fact that I set a goal when I was 22 to give blood by the time I was 25…missed that goal and made a fool of myself by having too high of blood pressure because I was crying at a Red Cross Blood Drive. I get to the dentist and see the finger pronged needle and I am, surprisingly, fine! I sit down, start talking to the hygienist, the dentist comes in and tells me that he is going to numb the ‘shot’ area first with an analgesic. So he puts this Orajel type stuff in my mouth and then gives me like five shots – I swear. I am totally fine…still! My hands were shaking a bit, but at least I’m not crying, hyperventilating and planning my escape. He fills my cavity and even says ‘You are doing great!’ I’m sure they say that to everyone, but I especially took it to heart. Afterwards he tells me that I can rinse my mouth with Listerine so I pop up out of the chair, so proud of myself, and go to grab the little plastic mouthwash cup. But my hands are shaking so hard that I can barely grab onto the cup…what was in that analgesic – speed? So the dentist sees me and asks if I’m ok…at which time I proceed to cry. Here it comes – all of the tears that I held back during the filling have just been unleashed as it is time to leave. I tell him that I think that it’s the Novocain…that MUST be what is making me cry and shake. Definitely the medicine. He makes me sit down and asks the hygienist to stay with me – so embarrassing. After about 10 minutes I finally settle down and am ‘allowed’ to leave. For the next 4 hours, I had a crooked smile, huge left cheek and a real problem with drinking liquids.

And on to more of the beautiful backsplash…here are some of the in-progress pics:
I'm planning on painting some tomorrow night and this weekend, so stay tuned for more pics!

Oh - how could I forget?!? Shane and I just bought a new couch and TV console for the living room...wonder what we decided on? Remember the poll from forever ago? It wasn't any of those. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Kitchen: Before and After…

A picture can say a thousand words…enjoy the kitchen before and afters (minus the painting - those will come this weekend)!