Post One Hundred

Finally, the 100th post. Most people fall upon this milestone well within their first year of blogdom. However, I must be a late bloomer when it comes to blogging as my  post one hundred is falling 4 months after my first blogiversary. Which by the way, I nearly forgot about, and had to include in one of my monthly wrap ups. Unfortunately, those monthly wrap ups have also fallen to the way side. Consistency is boring don’t you think?

Anywho, to celebrate 100  well written and life altering posts (Har-Har), I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the milestones that occurred here at Casa de Yellow. So let’s revisit those bad photo laden and run on sentence  ridden posts shall we? (Not that you can’t find those in more recent posts.)

Way back in May 2010, this little blog that could was born. My first post extolled the joy that is Polyvore. Within this post I explained my plans for our living room, which at the time was Caribbean Sunset, a nice warm yellow tone. However,  that has recently changed to Oat Straw by Behr. It’s more of a tan with some nice grey undertones. Not as bright or jarring as Caribbean Sunset, but no less smile inducing. Here’s what I had planned for my living room in May 2010. Click the picture to see what I said about the room.

Apparently, my style choices have changed over the past 1 1/2 years.  Those choices now lean more towards neutral walls with pops of bright color here and there instead of bright walls with pops of color everywhere. I have found this change to be much more soothing to my style palette and my little eyes. Although, I still have an appreciation for color, and see nothing wrong with homes that still favor the bright walls. It’s just not for me anymore, or at least for right now. Whose to say that I won’t be repainting my walls yellow within a year?

After sharing the joys of Polyvore,  I finally talked about painting our one and only bathroom. This may not seem like a huge feat to some, but for me and Bubba it was a big deal. Our old bathroom was peach and minty green with hints of mold and water damage. So, after finally getting an exhaust fan installed to eradicate future mold issues, I was able to paint our lone loo, Cincinnatian Hotel, a pretty light blue by Valspar. Here’s what she looked like after I stuck a fork in her and called her done. (Please excuse the poor quality photo, this was taken at night with my simple point and shoot and long before I got my fancy schamancy camera.)

Not much happened in July 2010, just the usual inspiration pictures from the interwebs. I did try my hand at a book review without much ado (Woo-Hoo! Rhyming is fun!). August came, and finally something big and life changing happened…

That’s right, Bubba finally gave in and put a ring on it. Once I was over the stunned shock of being a betrothed woman, the wedding planning frenzy began, and then quickly fizzled. At first I was super excited about having a shin dig all my own. But then the stress started in, dates were set and then changed,  illnesses came and went and then came back.  All of August and September 2010 I was  laid up with a horrible case of bronchitis that caused me to lose my voice. Bubba thought this was hiliarious. Until he realized this meant he would be making all the phone calls to priests, preachers, and dressmakers. (Karma rears her ugly head! MAWHAHAHA)

With wedding planning going on, I really didn’t blog much, except to share some verses that were pretty poignant to me at the time. Actually, I still read through them. It’s like April from a year ago is teaching present day April. Those posts touched on subjects such as timing, waiting, impulsiveness, patience, and constant prayer.  At the time I was struggling with these issues, in fact I still do. So thank you 2010 April! Maybe 2011 April should leave some wise words for 2012 April.

The fall of 2010, marked a very short engagement to Bubba, teeny bit of illness and some wedding plans mixed in for good measure.  Bubs and I toyed with the idea of running off and getting married with just us. We also thought it might be nice to wait until spring had sprung to say our vows. But in the end, a quick engagement is what best suited us. After 7 years of dating bliss it was time to experience martial bliss. So, on December 29th 2010, we became Mr. and Mrs.

Getting married was stressful and if I could there would be things I would have done differently. But the man I chose to marry? I wouldn’t change that for the world. And I got to share our special day with some of my loved ones and lots of his. It really was a blessed day.

January flew by, and before we knew it we were in February. The month of love brought a new furry friend cuddle up with.

Goldie, the lovable yellow lab mix. In this post I talk about having her on a trial basis, but little did I know I’d fall for her loving brown eyes and sweet tail thumps “hello”.  I am proud to say that Goldie is now a permanent fixture in our home.

March blew in and brought with it more cold weather, and the hope of a green lush yard. Bubba and I ripped out our crusher fine in preparation for grass seed. So our yard went from this:

To this:

You can read about the beginning of the yard saga here and here. Sadly, after looking at these photos, I can see that the plants were in better health before any work happened. Wonder if it could be linked to some bad wood chips.

Here is my yard a couple months ago:

The grass that is 50% dead there, is now more like 75%. I’m hoping that by watering a little more and fertilizing it should come back. I may also over seed this fall. Here’s to hoping the dogs don’t completely destroy my efforts!

In April, things were still windy, but that didn’t stop me from celebrating my 30th birthday and taking a quick roadtrip to Arizona. Where I partook in the hype that is In-n-Out Burger. The verdict…meh. I much prefer the local favorite Lotaburger. But I’m not biased.

In May, I finally took the plunge and had our block wall stabilized and extended. In the lower part of this picture you can also see our attempts at grass seed.

June flew by, and I was working too hard to worry about maintaining a silly blog, there was a party to plan for darn it! But I did manage to complain about cheap mulch I paid a pretty penny for. Which still causes me grief when I’m stabbed by mysterious sharp objects every time I weed or clean the yard. Honestly, the stuff gives me the creeps and I fear it may be responsible for my dying established plants. GRRR

After the frustrations of June, July finally arrived! Which meant that it was finally time to party!

A great time was had by all. Even I had boo-hoos of fun! All that work and stress was so very worth it to be able to share my home with friends and loved ones.

After all the work over the summer, I wasn’t really up to much in August and September.  I spent my time trying to catch up on blog posts, general house maintenance and reconnecting with my old friend, Sir Sofa.

That’s my year and 6 month review, lots of big milestones happened over the past year and a half, our lone loo got a small makeover, I went from girlfriend, to fiance, to wife in less than a year, the backyard is slightly more grassy than it was last year, and we have our own little fortress of solitude in the back. Wonder what the 200th post will bring…

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Tastes like burning…

A thousand points to anyone who can name that T.V. show!

In my post about our backyard party, I talked  about the joy of sharing our home with our friends and family for the first time, the work that went into preparing the house for such a gathering, and I touched on some of the stress that went along with such an undertaking. Like working for 3 solid months to get the yard slightly presentable, by planting grass seed then when the seed didn’t take,  having to sod over the seed just to get the dirt covered up. Then on the day of,  running to the grocery store to pick up my pre-ordered cupcakes, only to realize I really needed to go to another one a few miles further down the road. But thankfully the sweet ladies at the first grocery store kindly called around until we located the elusive cupcakes. Thank you thank you for such kind and professional people!

Unfortunately, losing the cupcakes was not the only sweat inducing obstacle of the day.  Remember in my party post I’d mentioned another stressor that involved law enforcement, the fire department, and a very sleepy April?

Well, it all started at 6 am that warm and sunny morning. You see, Bubba and I decided it would be  nice to have some home smoked brisket and pork loin so that there would  be some balance between store bought dishes and homemade dishes. So, a week before the party Bubba and I ran to the store to buy nearly 30 pounds of brisket. (No worries, we kept both of them nice and chilled in the fridge that week, so no spoiling.)

The morning of, Bubba woke bright and early at 5am to start the smoking process. Having smoked meat before, and not having any problems in the past, Bubba decided it would be fine to take the doggies on an early morning drive/stroll. While leaving me in bed asleep. By this point, I had only been in bed a couple of hours, staying up late to do some very last minute cleaning. So off Bubba, Annie and Goldie went on their adventure, while I lay peacefully asleep dreaming of a perfectly clean house with a meticulously manicured yard to host my garden party. Until I was rudely awakened.

At 6am, an hour after the meat had been put on the grill to smoke, I heard a ring at my doorbell. Thinking it was just another salesperson or possibly a Jehovah’s Witness, I ignored it and went back to sleep. 5 minutes later the door bell started ringing again, this time the door bell was accompanied by a bang on the door. I got up in a sleepy daze with my eyes barely opened, grabbed a cardigan and shuffled towards the front door. Not wanting to catch the attention of the rude soul who woke me from my slumber, but still wanting to see who it was, I peeked around the corner. Not seeing the rude soul at my door, I stumbled into the kitchen hoping to find my husband (I didn’t know he had run off with the dogs for an outing). Peeking into the backyard, I saw the grill with a few flames coming out the sides. Before I could grab my cell phone to call Bubba, or run out there with the garden hose,  I heard a bang on the living room window.  I turned around to find a police officer, who was quite perturbed it had taken so long for someone to answer the door.

Again, not really knowing where Bubba and the dogs were, I answered the door fearing the worst.  Upon opening the door , I found a police officer on my front porch, with 4 others blocking my street. Quite shaken I honestly can’t remember what the police officer’s exact words were, but it went something like this:

Officer: “Did you know there is smoke coming out of your grill?.”

Me: “Meh?”

Officer: “There’s smoke, coming out of your grill in the back.” *In a rather condescending and perturbed tone*

Me: *Rubbing my eyes to focus and actually see who had woken me up.* “There might be, my husband was going to be smoking some brisket. There’s supposed to be smoke when one is smoking meat.”

Officer: “Not that much smoke! I could see it from the highway!”

(Which highway I am unsure of, surely it couldn’t be the highway that is more than a mile from my house.)

Me: “Well, let me put it out with my garden hose. It’s not that bad.”

Officer: “Ma’am you need to get out of the house, I have dispatched the fire department.”

From there it gets blurry again, but being half asleep I still understood that he was being over cautious, which I am grateful for,  and slightly over zealous.  I told him I would be out in a minute, I just needed to grab my cell phone.

Even half asleep and in immediate “danger” of getting my eyebrows singed off I still considered my cell phone another appendage. However, there was no time to grab the cell phone, the officer grabbed my arm and not so gently guided me out of the house and across the street. Apparently, the two very large very heavy, and slightly expensive briskets had caught on fire. Which would explain the fairly small flames I saw shooting out from our beloved grill.

So off I went, to stand in front of my neighbors house, in my purple polka dot pajamas, no shoes, old NMSU t-shirt, a purple cardi (at least the cardi matched my pjs!), and a grouchy I-only-got-three-hours-sleep look on my face. The officer charged with making sure I didn’t go berzerk and say use a simple garden hose to put the fire out, kept asking me where my husband was, where the dogs were, and why we were cooking so much cow. I remember grumbling something about the party, assuming my husband took the dogs on a walk, and not quite comprehending why I had to stand across the street from my home in my pj’s when not even 10 minutes before I had been blissfully asleep in a nice warm bed.

In between his questions and my rather grumpy answers, I had requested that Bubba be phoned so that he would know our feast had been ruined and his wife was quite irate. However, (yes, there are a lot of “howevers” in this story), the number of the dispatcher appeared to be several zeros instead of an actual number on the Bub’s cell phone. So, Bubba did not pick-up nor did the dispatcher leave a voicemail.

All the while, off in the distance I heard the sirens of the fire truck  getting closer and closer. With each wail of the siren and howl of nearby dogs, I  prayed that the neighbors didn’t come out to see what all the hub bub was about. (Oh, and also that the house didn’t burn down!) Thankfully, it was so early everyone was still asleep. Besides that, hearing a siren through our neighborhood is not an uncommon occurrence.  One point for urban living!

Once the wailing had died down and the fire truck arrived with its  FIVE firemen they pulled the huge hose out (that sounded dirty) and put our little fire out. It took all but 5 minutes, and the firemen and their red firetruck were on their merry little way back to the station. I heard one of them mumble something about just using a bucket of water as he climbed back into his seat on the truck.  Apparently, my pleas for leaving me alone with a garden hose were not unfounded.

After the firemen left, the original police officer checked the grill,  and declared the backyard and my home safe for occupation once again. Thankfully, there were no citations issued only a warning to be more careful next time.

Even though I felt the police officer had over reacted, I am thankful that he did. We could have lost so much more than a couple pieces of burnt bovine and grill brush if this police officer hadn’t been so attentive. I certainly commend those who serve and protect our city, it’s certainly a difficult and under appreciated job. Oh, and our grill was saved to live on and smoke the pork loin we served at the party instead of the brisket.

Here’s a shot of the grill a couple weeks later, I was too shaken to take a picture of the charred brisket and ash after the “rescue” workers left.

(Don’t pay any attention to the crack in the patio, or the innocent Annie-dog in the background.)

Party Pooped

Finally, the much awaited party post!!! Unfortunately, there aren’t too many pictures of the party itself. As mentioned here Bubba and I were much too busy hosting to snap all those artistic photos I had hoped to capture. You wouldn’t believe the last-minute running around involved in setting up for a little party. Or maybe I’m just an inexperienced hostess with poor time management skills…. Naw, that couldn’t be it!

Anywho,  the photos I plan to share with you will be a mix of  the few photos I was able to snap. But most  have come from my sweet uncle and my Bubba’s brother, who is also very sweet. They did an excellent job of capturing the “essence” of the much planned for party.

It all happened in our little casa’s back yard…

(Wish I had remembered to put my luminarias along the walk way. That would have really dressed things up out there!)

This was the scene before we laid the food out or any of the guests arrived.

All those milk glass vases came from my Goodwill and thrift store collection. I didn’t realize how many I had hoarded collected over the past few months.

I decided to go with a lemon lime theme, so everything was shades of yellow and green citrus-y goodness.

All of the tables had a grouping of my milk glass vases filled with my favorite yellow flowers.  In the background of this picture you can see that we used plastic dinnerware. For the next party, I think I will use real dinnerware if possible. It really classes things up, plus a metal fork won’t fly away in the wind like a plastic one will.  But, it was nice not having to wash a kazillion pieces of cutlery. In hindsight, those table runners really didn’t work in my breezy backyard either. Things to note for next time…if there is a next time, I had no idea how stressful this little event would be!

In the tree we hung tissue paper pom-poms in shades of yellow, green and white. Along with yellow and white lanterns that looked oh so romantic when lit up.

As the guests walked into my urban oasis, they were greeted by the Wedding Tree, one of my first Etsy finds!

Instead of going with my original plan of the thumb print tree, I decided having the guests sign their names on a leaf would be much less messy than sticking their thumbs onto an ink pad. Plus it saved everyone from worrying about getting finger prints on their pretty clothes. And I still have a sweet memento to hang on my wall and enjoy everyday.

Going with my lemon and lime theme, I found a sweet seller on Etsy to design a tree in yellow and green. Can you believe I ordered the Wedding Tree the morning before the party, and that evening the PDF file was waiting for me in my inbox?! After I was over my shock of such quick service, I planned on popping into Staples the next morning to have our tree printed. And print they did. If I ever need any type of graphics work done, I’ll be sure to contact that Etsy seller again and have it printed at Staples!

The green bowl you see  is one of Bubba’s Goodwill finds, the pen holder is a crystal vase my mother gave me for Christmas. And the verse in the frame…

Is my father’s favorite verse:

“But they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 43:31

And above that, I hung an airplane from Dad’s collection. Since my father passed away several years ago, it was so very important to me to have an element of Dad incorporated into the celebration.

After everyone had signed the tree and oohed and ahhed over my flower arrangements and pom-poms (not really)  it was time to eat!

On the menu was smoked pork loin, potato salad, pasta salad, and bbq’ed beans. And for dessert, cupcakes in three flavors: chocolate, carrot, and vanilla. Along with oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip and lemon cookies. I also threw in some brownies for good measure. You can’t have a party without some cavity inducing sweets!

(If I had thought to take some shots of the food, you would find those photos here. Instead I’ll share shots of everyone enjoying the festive feast.)

All of the sides and desserts I picked up at the grocery store, but  not after visiting two different grocery stores the morning of the party. Being the scatter brained little party planner I am, I had forgotten which store I’d ordered the cupcakes from! Thankfully, the sweet ladies at the first grocery store were ever so helpful and called each Albertson’s in the area until we located the right store. That saved me so much time and frustration!

Unfortunately, that was not the only sweat inducing obstacle of the day. But I plan on dedicating an entire post to that story. Let’s just say it involved law enforcement, the fire department, and a very sleepy April.

All in all, the party was a success. Both Bubba and I enjoyed sharing our home with friends and family. Our guests enjoyed the food and the atmosphere. My fears of cops coming in and breaking up the party, or angry neighbors calling said cops to break up the party were all unfounded. Everyone enjoyed themselves, there was lots of good food, and lots of good company. That’s really what a party is all about anyways right?

Both Bubba and I are so very thankful for the guests and all those sweet people that helped out. Those that helped in the set up and those that helped us take it all down, and for those who simply graced us with their presence. I know a lot of our guests traveled from far and near and sacrificed money and time to be in attendance. Not only am I thankful for our sweet guests, I’m also thankful for local law enforcement who saved our house from being burnt down (again, that’s for another post), and for the sweet ladies at Albertson’s that saved me time that I didn’t have.

Before I sound like an actress tearfully accepting an award and thanking all those that ever “spared a square”  (thousand points to anyone who can guess which television show that’s from!), let’s share some advice.  To all of you who are planning a backyard party or any type of event at your home, if someone offers to help, take them up on it. Yes, you can do it yourself, but do you really have time? The answer is a loud and resounding NO.

Between landscaping the yard, scrubbing the kitchen, and pulling Bubba’s dirty socks out from underneath the couch I had no time. There was hardly enough time to buy the food and other party supplies, design and mail the invitations (which by the way were not mailed until 3 weeks before the party!), plan on the decor (I forgot to put lighting up, instead of the cozy romantic evening I had planned on, we ended up with a dark and spooky evening), or have an impeccably clean or at least moderately clean  home (There were parts of my home that were used to stash clutter and other I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with items while in my mad frantic rush to clean two hours before the party. I just know some of my guests saw what horrid conditions my washer and dryer live in!). Aside from those things, relax , enjoy your guests and all of your hard work! And remember, cupcakes can be tracked down, fires can be put out, but memories cannot be remade.