Archive for ‘seriously fun’

May 26, 2015

‘A’ is for Allergies & Assassins

Seasonal allergies hit us pretty hard this past weekend. Between the heat and the breeze, the seemingly innocent, white cottonwood fluff whirled around everywhere. We laughed at the black Chimney Swift that lives in our eves as it attacked a puff floating by. With it’s nest near, it turns out, it clearly had the right idea. Later than evening, while trying to escape a slight fever, sinus pressure so bad it made my jaw ache and a nose running like a faucet, I finally fell into a fitful sleep.

The next thing I knew, I am part of a small team of highly trained, covert, black-clad individuals planning a sneak attack. It turned out that one of our people had defected from our operation. There was a high probability that the perpetrator was going to deflect to the enemy lines. We had many adversaries, each being more deadly than the last, so we were sent on this mission to take out the rogue. Good intel led us to an abandoned mining entrance on the side of a mountain, where our former colleague was in hiding. We moved quickly, checking for possible traps and mines along the way. The defector didn’t anticipate our arrival, at least not so soon. Working together, my team was able to take her out adeptly.

In a stunning twist of the plot, it seemed not everyone in the group was apprised of whom exactly it was that we were hunting. Upon seeing the fallen female, a male member lost composure, suddenly turning and firing on the rest of us. We later learned that the two had recently begun seeing each other on the sly. Fraternization was strictly prohibited for this very reason. It was sad, but with heavy fire coming my way, there was no time for sympathies. I had to act fast, because at this point in the game, it was each person for themselves.

etsy Mystery intruige print copy

I stumbled out of the rocky caverns back into the blinding daylight just in time to see the new foe make his escape. Quickly starting my hidden ATV, I sped after him. He was surprisingly fast, using the rugged mountainside to his advantage. Seizing an opportunity when a lone flatbed truck passed by, I sped up and jumped my 4 wheeler directly on the back. The landing was a bit turbulent, but this option offered me a chance to focus. We engaged in a Western type shoot-out, me using my vehicle as a type of shield, while barely balancing on the edge of a moving truck. My gun was an odd combination of a taser and a mini-harpoon. It was around a turn when I finally nailed him. I watched as he fell down the mountainside and landed on the rough pavement. I’d have to send a fresh team to ensure he was dead. I didn’t need any surprise visits seeking vengeance in the future.

At this juncture, I awoke when Arden popped her head in our room, before heading to play with Cam in his crib. I excitedly relayed my adventures to a groggy Joel, then stumbled downstairs listening to Arden happily chat about the newest addition to her Camping/Planetarium diorama. Bathrooms with no toilets. Because she doesn’t know how to make a toilet out of paper and the villagers can just wipe it up as they go. (Ugh!) While Joel brings Cam down and runs to the store, I begin making fried potatoes for breakfast. In a few minutes, I check on Cam only to find that his diaper is so overly full that the inner gel balls are leaving a sticky trail behind him as as he quickly Army crawls along the floor. Scooping him up, I peel off his pajamas to wash him in the kitchen sink and resign myself to thinking that (for now) only in my dreams, am I a badass.

April 23, 2014

Our Mini Spring Break : Louisville, KY

It’s been weeks since I posted and I’m sorry to leave you all hanging! Between finishing Dresden and lots of orders for dfmi designs and getting sick (AGAIN!) the blog was the first to be put on hold. Something has to give, right? We did manage to spend a little fun time taking a trip to Louisville. We left Thursday night and drove down for all day Friday, coming back Saturday night in time for the Easter Bunny to arrive the next morning. At 3 1/2 hours away, it was perfect. I can’t handle much of a car ride anymore with this baby belly, everything is super uncomfortable.

What’s there to do, you wonder? Well, on several trips to Nashville there is a large dinosaur that you can see from the freeway inviting you to come to Dinosaur World. I’m not going to lie, I was totally into this! I wanted to be able to visit when we had Arden along though. They have 150 life-sized dinosaurs on display. You take a walking path through the woods and encounter all the creatures along the way. Some are better than others, with plaques providing information about each one. When Arden was in her dino phase a couple years ago, we learned about way more dinosaurs than I ever did in school. This place provides even more!

Dino 1 copy

Bronciosoris pic copy

They also have a “Fossil Search’ for little kids, which Arden was super into. Basically the children sift through a sand table with their little tools and discover fossils. There are tons, but they can only keep 3 favorites. Then Arden went to the Dino Dig, which is basically a faux dinosaur skeleton covered in sand that the kids (with their shovels and brushes) have to unearth. It was cute, she was into it. There is also a museum, a cave with a video about the life of a dinosaur and a gift shop.

Joel vs. the T-REX 1

Dinosaur World was about an hour and a half from Louisville and didn’t cost much. There are lots of other attractions like caves, ziplining and a Corvette Museum in the area to check out too.

family pic at dino world 1 copy

During the researching portion of the trip, I was really drawn to the East Market District of Louisville. What was once a small town that would look like any other that you’d pass through, this place has been revived with an edge. Lots of cool eateries and interesting shops line the streets. Some of our favorites was ‘Garage Bar’, a converted service station with an interior I could live in! Lots of reclaimed metal and wood.

Garage bar sign copy

Arden at bar  Garage copy

Garage bar doors up copy

A cute shop for coffee and treats was ‘Please and Thank You’, which is also a tiny record shop. Loved their sign!

please and thank you sign copy

Awesome street tacos were found at Taco Punk. How cool is this sign?

Punk taco sign copy

We also went to at Easter Parade on Frankfort Avenue, where Arden collected an insane amount of candy! It was almost Halloween amount of candy!

I super love this building photo taken while driving through the Historic District!

Awesome topography building sign copy

All the while, we stayed at Hyatt Place in Louisville. It is considered a 3 star hotel, but was really nice. The room was spacious, modern and had a handy mini-fridge. (I love this for drinks and snacks!) We opted for the king-sized bed and it was cool, because it also included a sleeper sofa in the sitting area and a stylish partition divided the two. So we could put Arden to bed and hang out for a bit on our side watching t.v that swiveled in either direction. The downside is that she was sick most of the trip (allergies are killing us at our house this year!) and kept me on my toes getting her ice chips and meds to soothe her constant coughing in the middle of the night. The BEST part of this place was the complimentary hot breakfast. Special breakfast sandwiches made fresh, sausage gravy & biscuits, oatmeal & cereal bar, fresh fruit and yogurt, muffins, pastries & bagels, plus a wonderful drink selection. Maybe I’m easily impressed or maybe I just really like food, but seriously, the spread was great! Perfect for a family stay, especially for this pregnant/hungry mama!

Here’s Arden setting up her bevy of stuffed animals she brought along.

Arden making her hotel bed copy

Overall, it was a nice little get-away. What fun things did you guys do over your long weekend?

February 25, 2014

Drumroll please: IT’S A …

It's a boy banner copy

I cried.
It felt like a long time waiting for this moment. I had wanted more kids as soon as I met Joel, but the timing just wasn’t right quite. Looking up at the screen today for the ultrasound, I wanted a boy and there he was. All kicking and waving his arms.
Arden got to be there with us. She had talked about wanting a baby sister for so long. I kept her out of school a few hours just so she could witness it for herself. She laughed as she saw the baby move. It’s a cool experience for anyone to see their baby on the monitor. For her I think it was a little magical. I hope that it will be something that she always remembers, how she got to be part of it all.

Baby Stead 18 wk 2 days 001 copy

The other day, I stupidly looked at my paperwork from the previous appointment with my ob/gyn. Under diagnoses it read ‘Supervision of high-risk pregnancy of elderly multigravida’. It simple terms it means at 37, medically speaking they consider me old. As someone who has never quite looked her age, yeah, it’s super insulting. So by yesterday, as the gender determining ultrasound AND the DNA blood-test neared, I had a bit of a meltdown. I suddenly was worried that the baby wasn’t growing right, that a million things could be wrong. We did find out today that he has a tiny hole in his kidney. The doctor seemed pretty nonchalant about it, but ‘hole’ and ‘baby’ aren’t really two words you want to hear together. We still have to wait a couple weeks now for the test results to come back to find out if our son has any other issues.

{OUR SON!!! OMG!}
I cannot believe I’m going to be a mom of two kids. A girl and a boy. It’s wild and surreal.
I already feel like a whale. I don’t recall being this tired with Arden or this large already. Maybe it’s due to MY ADVANCED AGE. I still have 22 weeks to go. Our boy is due around July 27th. I was hoping for sooner. At least it’s not August. Between Arden on the 19th and me on the 26th, we do not need another birthday in August. Arden proclaimed that it would be “SO FUN” until I told her that if that happened, she certainly wouldn’t get a birthday party this year. That shut her right up! LOL.

Arden always has lots of opinions about everything (shocker, right?) A few month ago, she told us that if we had a boy, for his birthday she would have a flag party or a car party. Because boys like those things, she said. {HA HA HA!!!} A flag party, what is THAT? I think she will be pleased to find out that he will probably like a lot of the same things she does. Pirates, ninjas, cars. Possibly even horses. Guess I better start designing more party invitations. 🙂

HOORAY 001

December 31, 2013

Things that are *HAPPY* about : 2013

This adult life is not what I anticipated. I’m pretty sure there was supposed to be way more going to the beach, fun and frolic. I imagined my life as a well-framed music video, where all my friends came over for parties and we danced around with glitter, loud music and fun. (Sort of similar to “Tonight’s Going to be a Good Night” by the Black-Eyed Peas.) But oddly enough, it is not that way at all. First off, glitter is messy as shit and terrible to clean up. Secondly, I really dislike loud, crowded parties. (Joel, Arden and I do turn up the music pretty often and have dance parties and THAT is pretty awesome.) Third, real life is rather mundane and dull. And hard. IT’S REALLY HARD. It’s been challenging for not only us, but for seemingly everyone I know. The only thing that keeps me for losing my shit is making an effort to focus on what good things have happened. Because seriously, it sounds like we could all use a break. So have a drink and throw some glitter. (Possibly outside.)

Here’s my happy list of 2013:

1.) Christmas came early to Hallie.
We have these friends, Jeff & Averel. They were technically Joel’s friends, but once we we became a couple, we combined all our stuff, so they are my friends now too. They were cleaning out their basement and offered us a (brand new /still in the box) pedestal sink and toilet. They are awesome and we are extremely grateful for their charitable donation. It was quite timely, since we were just starting the upstairs bathroom and the existing toilet had cracked when Joel was removing it. Once they are up and in place I will post pictures. (Hi guys! & THANK YOU!)

2.) My Aunt Sue and Uncle Mark gave me a really awesome gift this year.
They were cleaning out my grandma’s house and found some of my toys from my childhood.
I will probably write a separate post about this, but for now, I am VERY appreciative to them.

erins little kid toys copy

3.) My kid.
‘Cause she’s ridiculous and amazing and makes me laugh all.the.time. I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around being a mom. In my mind, moms are old and I don’t see myself that way, so it’s just weird. This year she started kindergarten, talks too much (and gets in trouble for it at school.) She has also learned to read, add & subtract. I know most kindergarteners do now-a-days, but I’m still impressed. I love hearing her sound out words and read books aloud. So big thumbs up to you kid and your awesome teacher, Mrs. Cousino for dealing with a entire room of crazy kids all.day.long.

Arden school photo brightened cropped to 5 x 7 copy

4.) My husband, Joel.
He is ridiculous and amazing and also incredibly skilled. Without him, the rehabilitation of Hallie would not be possible. Or most of the things that have been repaired at our house or my car or the many other people who he fixes things for OR the people he teaches how to fix things. We work really well together as a team (and I have never liked being on teams previously.) You are the best person I know and I still am baffled how I snagged you for my own.

Joel up on ladder copy

5.) Me, writing this blog.
I only have about 70 readers, which is not much by blog standardards. Most of you are my friends and family, but for all of you, I am thankful that you choose to follow along and read about our projects and our lives. In previous times when I wrote, I usually managed a post a month, if lucky. I took a little break around Christmas, because there is always so much going on. Since giving it another try at the end of August, when Arden started school, I have written 32 post (including today’s.) Again, not a lot by blog standards, but I don’t do it for a living and the important part is that I have proudly stuck with it. It’s been a goal of mine to keep up with writing. I’m excited that, even though it’s time consuming and I don’t always feel like it, this year I have made that happen.

6.) The time I get to spend with Arden.
It’s not quite as much anymore. But I am thankful for the time we sit in the school parking lot and talk about her day. And I’m thankful for unexpected snow days, we she is home with me and we do fun little projects like make this snow flake bunting.

snowflake bunting in livingroom copy

7.) Hallie-the-Duplex
The seemingly, never-ending project. You have come a long way, with still SO FAR to go. It is inspiring to see what just mainly 2 people can accomplish together, but a lot of times, I’m pretty sure we are just plain crazy. I can’t wait till you are completed so we can go on vacation. 🙂

8.) My best friend, Amy, gave me this awesome ornament.
Thanks for stopping along the way on your travels to visit. It is sweet and thoughtful and I love it.

snowmen ornament from Amy copy

9.) And in case you didn’t catch it on the photo above, our family is expanding by 1.
We are expecting a child this Summer. Joel is beyond thrilled. Arden can’t wait to be a big sister. Me, I’m like ‘Oh shit!’
So now you know why my butt has been dragging the past couple weeks and why Hallie projects aren’t moving along as fast.
Baby Stead is sucking my energy level and REALLY likes meat. Last night, for example, I made dinner. Fish, baked potato and salad. A half hour later, I was starving. Needed more protein. If I eat a bowl of cereal I need a side of bacon. It’s sad, yet also delicious.

joel erin arden and baby copy

So that concludes my list. I’m sure I am missing things, but I need to wrap this up and run to the grocery store.
I wish you all a safe and happy NEW YEAR’s EVE! I am hoping that we all get a bright and glittery 2014!

December 4, 2013

I’ve gotta up my game.

When I was in 3rd grade, our teacher did a thing for each student called “Your Special Day’ and it would be a surprise. We would all color that person a picture and make a book. Then their family would come in and show pictures of them as babies, tell funny stories and the class would laugh. Your friends would stand up and tell about your favorite things and then we would all eat treats. It was awesome.

I had been trying since the beginning of the school year to get picked for the task of ‘Errands’. I wanted it desperately. To escape from the classroom and be on important mission. Then finally it happened. I got picked. I had to take a note to the 5th grade class teacher. It was awkward standing in front of the older kids while the teacher took her sweet time replying. I shifted my weight back and forth to each foot now eagerly wanting to leave. Once I returned to my class, everyone’s head was bend hard at work coloring and I KNEW.

It was MY Special Day.

Being so sassy, I said to my teacher “What should I be coloring?”
Yeah, I was a pain.
I got it from my dad, my eye for detail. It serves me well as an adult. But if I wanted to get away with something when I was younger, I had to work REALLY hard at it. Videotape #’s had to be recorded at the exact number they started in the VCR, that way they could be rewound exactly to the right spot he left them. I learned a cold, wet towel kept on the back of the console would defer the heat the tv put off while on. Which really came in handy if my step-brother and I would be watching the tv in the living room and we weren’t supposed to be. My dad would always check when he came home.

So it’s only fitting that now as I try to think of ways to move Arden’s ‘Elf on the Shelf’ around that she of course, calls me on it. I got the elf out yesterday, while she was at school. I sewed it a little skirt and put a button on it’s hat, so it could be a GIRL ELF. I put it in the basket along with my stuffed animal collection (they are cooler than it sounds, not just any stuffed animals will do.) To finish off my ensemble, I made a tiny card. (Actually, I made 3, because I kept messing up writing so small.) I set it on the Elf’s lap until Arden arrived home from school and I couldn’t help but point it out.

note from sassafras copy

She was thrilled. But she noticed immediately that the Elf’s skirt was made out of material I owned. She was fired up and said “That Elf should have asked first!” (LOL) When I said it was okay, then she wanted me to read the card. It said :

Hello Arden,
My name is Sassafras. I’m Santa’s little elf.
I heard you are trying to be good, but I came to see for myself.
You must try hard to listen and not to be mean.
And most of all, to always stay on green. (it’s a classroom discipline technique her teacher does)
I’m so happy to be here and when we are done,
I hope to be telling Santa to bring lots of gifts an lots of fun.
,Love Sassy

Arden loves it and I have to read it to her like 5 times. She asked a million questions about Sassy and Santa.
Then she says “Hey, I think Sassy used your card stock. I remember seeing envelopes like this upstairs.”
(I had cut the freaking envelope in half, for goodness sake!)
Then the real kicker came when I tucked her in last night.

“You know what, Mama? Sassy writes just like you. Did you see that?”
I said I hadn’t. When she kept pressing the issue, I simply told her that we probably had the same teacher that taught us how to write.

Who does that? She’s only 5.
I’ve gotta up my game.

Sassafrass the elf copy

November 30, 2013

Hallie-the-Duplex : Week 10

In rehabbing, there is A LOT of dirty work. So many individual tasks that join forces to lead up to an actual completed project. Not really fun to do, let alone write about. They are often dull and mundane. One of these is emptying the house of debris. Vines, broken drywall, busted up flooring, a bevy of tires that resided in the basement, all of it must go in order to make room to start fresh. By doing so, we’ve loaded up and disposed of 10 trailer fulls so far. It is definitely the unglamorous side of rehabbing Hallie.

Trailer of trash copy

Another thankless task would be overhauling the sewage drain pipes in the basement. Unfortunately, a toilet doesn’t just get placed in a bathroom and Voilà = usable! There is this enormous cast-iron pipe in the basement, that was (of course) ripped out by scrappers. (Actually 2 of them were.) This one, similar to the water pipe line debacle, was broken off at floor level, making the task of replacing/fixing it a tremendous pain-in-the-ass.

Hallie the Duplex Week 9 sewer pipe copy

See that black square on the wall? It’s the crawl space. It’s dark and creepy and fairly uncomfortable, especially because Joel is not small. He has bravely climbed in there numerous times to repair leaks in that portion of the pipe. Once one was fixed, another one sprung. It’s a vicious cycle.
It’s fair to say that the bathroom we’ve been working on is almost complete, but we have had to keep you in suspense just a bit longer as all the kinks are worked out.

In the meantime, here are photos from the 1st floor living room.

Hallie week 10 living room copy

Halliie week 10 , windows and fireplace copy

You can ponder to yourselves how we will fix this monstrosity. The ceiling damage was caused by a previous burst water pipe, which caved in both this room and a bedroom on the other side of the wall. All the warped flooring (both original and a layer of laminate) has been removed from this room, as well as a small adjoining bedroom to the right and the dining room to the left. It is safe to say that it is already looking a bit better than what this pic shows since this was taken a few weeks ago. I’m really excited about the windows and fireplace in this room and plan on really making them pop. Until then, hope everyone has a great weekend!

November 20, 2013

Larry.

Larry on the stick copy

The date October 26, 2013 will forever be etched in my brain, for that is the date of new beginnings. That is also the day I stumbled across Larry.
Joel and I were working at Hallie with Arden. The weather wasn’t the best, but I was finishing up lining the flower beds with mulch. In the trench I dug surrounding the bed housed a little, fuzzy, brown caterpillar. A Woolly Bear! At least that is what we called them as kids. We had plenty in the middle-of-nowhere, where I grew up, but this was the first time since I’ve lived in Columbus (going on 14 years) that I had come across one here. I was excited! I called over Arden and told her to pet him. She was apprehensive, but delighted to find him so soft to the touch. She asked to keep him as a pet and much to my surprise, I agreed.

Arden has been asking for a pet for ages, probably because we have 2 cats that we are all allergic to. They have free reign of their basement domain, get lots of petting and have regular supervised visits outside, but it’s not quite the same as having your own animal to boss around and keep in your room. From the get-go Arden announced that this would be a boy caterpillar. WAIT! Stop the presses! In Arden’s world, nothing is EVER a boy. We could be reading a book that specifies that the main character is indeed a boy horse, but she will adamantly deny the printed words and instead insist that the animal be given a name of Purple Rain Bow or some other ridiculousness.

Until now.

Not only was it a boy caterpillar, but she would christen him ‘Larry’. We were stumped by the name choice, as none of her classmates, friends or any of the shows she watches have characters with that name. Either way, it was a dawning of a New Age. One that finally included Arden’s acceptance that boys did indeed inhabit the earth. The rest of the day she carried him around everywhere asking his opinion on just about everything. Larry isn’t a big talker, but Arden didn’t seem to notice or mind. I promptly parted with my plastic bungee cord container that was in the back of the Outlander added some dirt, grass, and a couple sticks and suddenly Larry had a home.

Larry leaf nibbles copy

On the way home I did my caterpillar research. We learned that he likes clover and green leaves best. That he drinks water but it comes from the plants he consumes. If you look at the 3x enhanced leaf photo, you can see tiny Larry nibbles. We found out that the caterpillars are most commonly found in October when they are out and about and actually make good pets for kids to observe. Larry likes to party at night and sleeps during the day. Pretty soon he will hibernate for the winter and then in Spring, spin a cocoon and emerge a Tiger Moth. I’ve never witnessed this process in person before and find myself facinated yet sad that at some point we will have to let him go again.

In the month since we have welcomed him into our home, Arden has quickly tired of the responsibility of having a pet that she has to care for. He is pretty low maintenance, but she requires regular harassing to remind her to clean out his home and fill it with fresh food/bedding. On more than one occasion, (usually when she is staying at her dad’s for the weekend) I find myself out in the yard picking him new greens. I feel responsible for his well-being and happiness since it was me that mistakenly introduced him to my pint-sized tyrant daughter. He is very undemanding and for that I gladly want to take care of him.

October 29, 2013

Sliding Doors.

Poster GO YOU! copy

A couple weeks ago I received a message from an acquaintance. I don’t know this girl particularly well. It’s not like we have ever been close friends. We met due to mutual interests and I admire her talents. She wrote me to tell me that an article that I had posted on my dfmi designs Facebook page had spoke to her. Now, I try to find things that I think are of interest to my few followers of the page in addition to my blog posts. Sometimes crafty or decorative or how-to’s, sometimes making changes in your life to make it better. That’s the one she referenced.

I was surprised and pleased. For one, I was pretty sure no one reads my random tidbits, except Joel because he’s the only one that usually clicks the “LIKE” button. For two, I’ve read to use all sorts of social media to help boost your business. But I am the worst at just mindlessly pushing a product. Like, straight up awful. I’m a designer, not a sales person. I’m too straight forward. I like making a genuine connection with my clients. To me, I like knowing that the unicorn invite I’m making is going to a make a 4 year old very happy. That they are decorating with rainbow balloons to match. That the child was so excited to send out the invites I made, because it meant her friends were coming to her party. I love getting those emails.

So this situation is like that. But instead of a party, this girl told me the article I posted resonated with her deeply. It made her reflect on what was broken. What wasn’t working and made her want to change it. To make herself right, to take the necessary steps to make her and her family happier. To change her life. How exciting is that?!
To be honest, this is the kind of stuff I live for. To know that I played a very small part in it, makes me incredibly happy. I am so grateful for that knowledge, because on my darkest days, I can reflect on it and know I’m doing something right.

It has always been one of my goals, to make a difference in every person’s life I meet. Granted, for some people it definitely hasn’t been a good experience. For them, I hope it was because they needed to go in a different direction than the one they were headed. Hopefully, me pissing them off was the push they needed and set them on the right path. My techniques are still quite unrefined, but I do my best. 🙂

If there is something in your life that is weighing on you, I hope that you realize that you alone have the power to change it. Find the strength in yourself to let go of “What you think you SHOULD do.” OR “What others EXPECT of you.” Let go of the doubt and fear, because that nagging, sick feeling that something is wrong, won’t go away till you face it. There’s no reason to live like that. It’s no one’s life but yours. Make it the best it can possibly be.

ONE REPUBLIC : I LIVED

October 24, 2013

Hallie the Duplex : Week 5

We’ve been working feverishly around here to get things painted before the weather became chilled. Not exactly expecting winter winds to roll in already, but as I worked on more landscaping last night it started hailing. Always a good time to be had in Ohio!

Here’s what’s new:

Joel removing boarded window

First glimpse inside Hallie. (Audible gasp!) I know, it’s atrocious, but you haven’t seen anything yet! LOL Here, Joel is removing the board off of the kitchen window of the first floor.

Open window

kitchen window removed

Installing glass block.
It’s tedious, messy and oh-so-time consuming! However, it’s much sturdier that regular panes (aka less likely to get broken) and much less expensive, so YAY for that!

Block window in place

It’s absolutely wonderful finally having some light in this place! (Because we still do not have electric (YAY! for the slow moving wheels of ‘the process’.)

Here’s all the windows Joel has installed. (The one things are for dryer vents.)

Hallie week 5 007 side block window view copy

Moving around front, let’s take a gander at the newly painted upper portion of the house. Looking sharp with no boards and some snazzy new white trim.

Hallie week 5 front of house painted upper copy

(Joel used to do slate roofing, so he’s all pulling a giant ladder up by himself to paint the blue. Ohhh, I have a photo here! ->

Joel painting upper front copy

Meanwhile, I’m clinging onto the window with one hand (for dear life!) and painting with the other, because heights MAJORLY freak me out.

Here’s a closer look at the front porch. If you recall from earlier posts, it was pretty nasty. All new wood siding was put in. Joel did a rocking’ job on the trim. And I painted and painted and painted some more. Aside from the random light we need to replace that’s hanging, it’s really coming together.

Hallie week 5 front doors and porch copy

Hallie week 5 005 porch ceiling copy

And last but not least, around back, this lonely door here, got a coat of fresh paint!

Hallie week 5 blue back door copy

There are still SO MANY odds and ends to get done. The entire other side of Hallie is still covered in vines. Wood siding and glass block windows also need put in there. We need new railings out front and in the back, the brick needs filled with mortar in it’s bare spots. And the back upper portion of the house still needs painted blue. We are supposed to have weather in the 60’s next week (so it will dry well) so fingers crossed!

The very best part is that we have gotten SO MANY compliments from the folks in the neighborhood. One older guy that had previously shook his head in disgust when we told him we were going to paint it blue (a few weeks ago) strode by and just smiled and said “I see what you mean, it looks great! The white really pulls it together!’ Then I had another guy inquiring about renting there. He said to his friend “They are out here working every day. Every day! Can you imagine? It’s going to look amazing when they are done. I want to live there. It will be so nice!”

I can’t even tell you how rewarding it is to hear that. 🙂

October 22, 2013

Food on the Move : Columbus Food Trucks

If you are not familiar with Columbus’ Food truck scene, you are missing out.
Fast and affordable, these mobile chefs have so much to offer. Joel and I were getting adventurous with food trucks before they were popular, but now there is so much more variety to chose from. This may not apply to you, but for me I am easily daunted by trying out ethic-inspired restaurants, only to find after I’ve gotten the meal that I don’t like it. Figure in a family, plus tip and it feels like a wasted endeavor. I find food trucks so appealing because every thing is simple. Their small menus are written out, detailing the real and fresh ingredients of each item. You can try several dishes, without breaking the bank and best of all they are kid-friendly. Keeping Arden contained in a car seat to enjoy a meal has proven much more effective than trying to drag her out from under a table and keep her from eating the ABC gum.

Places like Dinin’ Hall in Franklinton, 400 W. Rich (right next to downtown) https://www.facebook.com/DininHall http://www.dininhall.com/ offers a common ground for food trucks to meet through the week. Not only does it provide recognition for up and comers, they provide a welcoming spot that they’ve carved out of an abandoned industrial building for folks to grab a bite inside or out. Their website explains the ordering process, as well as provides a monthly schedule of the trucks lining up to feed Columbus folks.
1236070_430828470368767_1763399692_n

If you don’t live or work near downtown, here’s some other ways to track down tasty eats.

1.) http://streetfoodfinder.com/

2.) http://roaminghunger.com/ These first two allow you to search for trucks by choosing a city.
Next a map will open up, showing who is serving during
that day and where they are located. Be sure to check the times they are operational, it fluctuates.
(For you folks that don’t live in C-Bus, try it out for your city too.)

3.) Facebook or Twitter. Don’t have time to stop, but see a truck you’d like to try? Chances are they have some sort of social media presence. Look them up and track em’ down.

395150_555157431168199_1464010263_n

Our Favorites!

GREEN MEANIE
http://www.greenmeaniefoodtruck.com/
https://www.facebook.com/GreenMeanieFoodTruck
An eclectic mix : Try the panko breaded chicken croquette sandwich and fresh cut fries. (OMG! SOOO good!)
Location : On the move, but post locations on Facebook. (Usually the night before.)

CILANTRO
http://cilantrofoodtruck.com/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cilantro/378766378915419
Latin Fusion : Try the empanadas or the Californian (this guy’s sauces are amazing!)
Location : On the move, but can frequently be found at 3000 Morse road in front of Ohio Academy.

TATOHEADS
https://www.facebook.com/tatoheads
Potatoes: Specifically hand-cut fries with all sorts of toppings.
(Joel and I tried some loaded with meat & cheese and it was more than a meal. We were in a delicious food coma!)
Location : On the move, but does post locations on Facebook.

RAY RAY’S HOG PIT
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ray-Rays-Hog-Pit/110463212345454
Located: 2619 high street (behind ace of cups)
BBQ : Yum! tasty brisket!

BOSTON BERT’S SEAFOOD
http://www.bostonbertsseafood.com/
https://www.facebook.com/boston.bertsseafood
Located : 3867 Indianola (in the parking lot of Keith’s Service Center, across from Marzetti’s)
Seafood : I enjoyed their shrimp po’boy sandwich.

MYA’S
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myas-Fried-Chicken/219658511482327
Located : 3166 N. High Street. Corner of Pacemont & High (on the side of convenience store)
Fried Chicken : Get it WITH the honey sauce drizzled on top. Believe me, it’s a mistake not to!

We also have a no-name, obscure little truck we LOVE for tacos. The best we have had by far!
Located out on the West Side by James Road, across from the CVS. Sometimes it’s open. Sometimes it’s not.
(I know, not very helpful.)

We’ve just had the most enjoyable experiences with these trucks. The people are so super nice.
Everyone is always so gracious and thankful that you took the time to come by and support them.
So the next time you want something different, try a food truck and support local!