Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Late Night Swim With New Friends

Last Saturday, we went to a local event, and had some new friends over afterward.  Until 4am.  Who knew we could still hang in there like the 20-somethings??  

It was an interesting thing, allowing strangers into our home.  Two of our girlfriends were out in St. Petersburg and they asked if they could bring these four people to our house for an after-party.  At 1am.  We seriously considered saying no, since we had never met the people, but since our friends deemed them cool, we said why not.  They came bearing snacks and beer, so obviously we made the right choice.  

I can only imagine what the neighbors thought if they could hear us outside at 4am with the outside tv playing cable radio and one of our new friends swimming in Zach's board shorts.

See the guy in the far right corner of the pool?  He was in heaven sitting on our little seating area back there, drinking beers out of the floating cooler.  :)  It was pretty cool enjoying our new back yard with these people.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

Hey there April, you gorgeous, gorgeous month.  The weather here has been on the hot side of perfect.  Blue skies every day with a nice breeze in the evenings to keep things cool.  I hope you are enjoying Spring!

I just had to add this picture of Bella.  She had a seizure today, it was pretty rough.  She was such a doll about it, licking Brinkley's concerned face when she could and trying her best to stay mobile despite my restraining her.  Bella is truly the best dog I have ever had. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Greenies' Visit 2015

Dear friends of ours, the Greenfields (aka the Greenies) visited us a couple weekends ago with their kids, Shawn and Sadie.  We enjoyed gorgeous weather, walked to the local park, swam in the pool, visited the Glazer Children's Museum and ordered pizza.  Here I am helping Shawn navigate a leaf playground at the Museum.  

The guys did their baseball pool.  Here they are trying to act casual.

Sadie loved soft things, so this fluffy pillow was a favorite.

 Shawn is SO cute with his baby sister.  He shares his toys with her and incorporates her into games.  

Kids do not get much cuter than this.  <3

Zach is going to make a fantastic dad.  He played with the kids all weekend.  

Shawn enjoyed our local Corona Park

I hope you're having a great week!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What Not to Buy Online

Do you ever purchase something online, only to realize when it arrives that you have no business ever buying such an item online, due to the necessity of seeing the item in person, the shipping fees, or some other reason?  (Can you tell this post is going to be deep and super important?) 

The other day I received two outdoor pillows from One Kings Lane and I was disappointed that despite them being discounted from $80 and being a respected brand, they were the same quality pillows I could have purchased for half the price at Home Depot.  Note to self: do not buy pillows online!

I also learned not to buy lighting online, as it is hard to tell what the quality is like.  Same goes for rugs (unless you are familiar with the brand).  I also learned my lesson buying rocks for the back yard on Amazon - the same rocks were cheaper at my local Home Depot and I didn't have to pay for shipping.  Swimsuits need to be tried on and glasses too.  Hopefully these friendly tips will help you avoid these little pitfalls.

On an exciting note, I signed up for, a website that collects your style, size and pricerange info and sends you clothes and accessories every month, which you can choose to accept or return.  I hope to have a good experience, as I have heard good things, but I am suspicious.  Happy (and savvy) online shopping!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Completed Back Yard Before and After

The time has finally come - the unveiling of our complete back yard!  It only took us a year to get it where we want it.  :)  

Total completed tasks: painting the fence and the house exterior, repaving, installing an outdoor tv, installing sod in the side yard and extending the fence to the front of the house, installing a gate between the back and side yards so the dogs don't fall in the pool, putting in a doggie door and a step for the dogs, which we covered with travertine pavers, pressure washing the roof and the house and last but not least - the outdoor kitchen, complete with a sink, a grill, a smoker and a bar seating area.  

No more pink house and pink pavers!  No more moldy fence!  Yay for pool days with our double chaise, side tables and foam floats!  The yard may be tiny, but we made the most of it.  :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


This year for our friend Keith's birthday, his fiance Eileen arranged for 24 of us to enjoy a night at TopGolf, a new upscale golf, food and drink venue in Brandon, Florida.  We had a ball.  Get it??

Eileen ordered these awesome goodies for the party.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Back Yard Renovation

Zach has wanted an outdoor kitchen since the beginning of time, and now we're getting one!  Work is well under way and it should be finished by mid-April - in time for The Masters (golf tourney- very important).

If you haven't already seen it, this was our back yard when we moved into our current house.  Note the yucky fence and pink pavers.  The pavers were sunken in places, creating puddles when it rained.

We painted the fence right away and recently replaced the pink pavers with these red brick beauties.

See this lovely particleboard wall connecting the house to the garage - I mean man room?  The previous owner had a wrought iron gate here.  She took it with her when she moved out (along with everything else, including the doorbell, flush kits, sink drains and light fixtures) and the bank replaced it with this eyesore.  We are SO happy to have this thing gone.

This is the wall now - it is a work in progress.  We're pretty excited about it.

Up next?  A grill, green egg, sink and bar sitting area.  I'm excited to see the finished look!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Down Time

Bella is sooo over Breaking Bad.  Zach and I finally started watching the Breaking Bad series.  All of you who told us how good it is?  You know your television.  We are obsessed.  Bella disagrees:


Happy Friday!  I hope you have a great weekend.  We are looking forward to celebrating our friend Keith's birthday at Top Golf Saturday night.  

Here's Zach and his buddies Nick Nass and Doug Goldin hanging out last weekend.  We hit up Bizou, a fancy restaurant in downtown Tampa, and then had a post-dinner drink with these two out-of-town friends.  It was great seeing these guys.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Origami Mysteries

One day a few weeks ago, I arrived at my office to find a purple origami crane on my desk, made from a post-it note.  The next day, the green guy joined him.  I asked around about who was making these cuties and I joked with the guy across the hall from me that all I needed was a nest and some eggs.  Monday?  BOOM I arrived to find a small nest and eggs on my desk, with the cranes on top.  The  guy across the hall fessed up to bringing the nest and eggs, but no one admitted to making the cranes.  Last week, someone dropped off the two tiny baby birds you see below.  It turns out that about four others in the office have also received origami cranes.  We still don't know who is making them, but it's a fun office mystery!