Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last week, the weather forecasters started hyping a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean that looked as though it was going to hit the east coast.  By Friday afternoon, the office was officially in a frenzy as we covered computers and claims files in plastic and put sandbags in front of all of the doors.  For those of you who don't know, I really like weather-related stuff.  When I was in elementary school, I used to watch the weather channel and hope that one day I would be a meteorologist.

On Saturday, Adam and I went to the Penn State game with his parents.  While we were there, they issued evacuation orders for alot of the Delaware coast.  I started to get a little bit worried, but still figured it was all just weatherman hype.  On Sunday morning, we got up early and went to the store in Pennsylvania to pick up a few things because I knew Delaware stores would be crazy.  We drove home and settled in for the "storm of the century".  Around 7:00 on Sunday night, my boss called and said the office would be closed on Monday.  Cue happy dance!

When we woke up on Monday morning, it was raining, but there was really no wind.  Throughout the day, the wind picked up little by little and I watched nervously as the trees in the backyard swayed back and forth.  I issued a few prayers that they wouldn't topple over onto our house.  By Monday night, the lights were flickering and I was sure that the house would be powerless by Tuesday morning.  To my surprise, we woke up on Tuesday with power and just some extra leaves on the porch.  The office was closed again, so I spent the day reading and doing some things around the house.  Luckily, Adam's parents house on Rehoboth Bay made it through the flooding unscathed.

So thanks, Sandy for keeping my power on, for not knocking down any trees in our yard; and, for a four day weekend


Over Columbus Day week, Adam and I took our first big vacation since our honeymoon almost three years ago and went to Tybee Island, Georgia.  On Friday evening, we started the long drive and after an overnight stay in Richmond, we finished the drive on Saturday.  We arrived at our condo on Saturday evening, unpacked the car and settled in for a week of relaxation.

 On Sunday, the weather was a perfect 85 degrees and sunny.  We spent the day walking on the beach, laying by the pool and sitting on the oceanfront balcony reading.  On Monday, we woke up to cooler temperatures and a rainy forecast, so we decided to drive into Savannah for the day.  After finding a place to park, we bought tickets for a trolley tour, and proceeded to learn about the city for the next 90 minutes.  After the tour, we wandered around, got some sandwiches and headed down to the riverfront to check out the touristy shops.  By that time, it was raining and we were umbrella-less, so we decided to go back to the condo. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we followed the same relaxing routines with walks on the beach and reading.  By Thursday, we were ready to get out and do something, so we bought tickets for an hour-long dolphin tour, which quickly became my favorite part of our trip!  We went out in a big open boat and the dolphins literally swam up right next to  us.  It was gorgeous day with a cool breeze and I managed to not get motion sick, so I’d call it a success.

We spent our last day of vacation soaking up the sun and the surf and being depressed that we had to go home.  After our day in Savannah, I really wanted to go to the Pink House Restaurant, but unfortunately, there were no open reservations.  When I got out of the shower on Friday afternoon, Adam surprised me and told me that he was able to get us reservations for dinner.  We got dressed up and drove into the city for an amazing dinner and then walked around a couple of the Savannah squares.  By Saturday morning, it was time to load up the car and get going and after 11 hours, we finally made it back to Delaware.

Overall, it was a great vacation and gave us a chance to relax and unwind. I'm already looking forward to the next one!

DIY Planter Boxes

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2012-10-02 05.26.51 A few weeks ago when Adam was out of town in Austin, my Mom came to visit and spend the day with me.  While we were out, we saw some adorable planter boxes that I thought would look great on the front porch.  The downside?  They were $50 each.  Unable to fork over $100 for two wooden boxes, I went home and began researching.  Before long, I came across this tutorial.

I mentioned the idea to Adam when he got home from his trip and while he didn't seem incredibly excited about yet another project, he agreed to look at the plans.  On Sunday, we went over to 84 Lumber to pick up the wood we needed for the job.  We came home and got to work and within three hours, we had all of the wood cut (I even used the electric saw)  and one box put together.  We called in quits just in time to watch the Steelers game and finished the second box the next day.

Over the course of the next week, I painted the boxes Soldier Blue with milk paint and finished up with three coats of sealer to protect the wood from the elements.  Last night, Adam lined the boxes to prevent the dirt from slipping through the cracks and today I was finally able to put plants in them!

I am happy with the statement they make in the front of our house and I'm pretty sure they could withstand a category five hurricane or a fall from a ten story building.  The best news of all?  We were able to build both of the boxes for about $40...less than the cost of one of planter boxes I saw for sale.  Ours our alot more attractive, plus, we're proud of the work we put into them.

What do you think? 2012-10-02 04.59.11 By the way, can you find the praying mantis that photobombed my picture?

Baby Got Back(splash)

On the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, we ventured to a huge tile store (The Tile Shop) in Wilmington with a plan to pick up some beige-colored penny tiles for our kitchen backsplash project. However, once we started perusing the many different options the store had to offer, we decided to go with a bronze hexagon mosaic tile instead. After receiving much instruction from an employee and cashing in on their Labor Day sale, we headed home with $200 worth of tiles and materials for our project.

Following much preparation the next day (covering countertops, removing switch plates, laying out materials) we were FINALLY able to start tiling. While Adam worked on attaching the tiles to the wall, I concentrated on making the necessary cuts and being OCD about how everything was lining up. Two hours later, we had only covered about a foot and a half of wall space next to the fridge and I began to get worried that the backsplash wouldn’t be finished before Christmas.

Luckily, we started getting in the groove, and by 10:00 that night, we had completed almost the entire job. On Monday morning, we woke up bright and early at 10:00 to finish up the tiles. By 5:00, we were ready to re-prep the kitchen and get our grout on. While Adam smushed grout into every crack and crevice, I followed behind wiping off all of the excess grout and doing damage control (aka vacuuming stray grout from the floors and counters). If you’ve never worked with grout before, it’s a messy process.

An hour in, we were both covered in a mixture of grout, water and sweat. What a perfect time for the in-laws to show up on their way home from the beach to check us out in all of our grouting glory! By the time we finished the grout and cleaned up (again), it was 10:00 and we were pooped. However, the backsplash looks fairly good overall and I think we’ll be pretty happy with it! I’m also extremely thankful we’ll be on vacation over our next long holiday weekend. 2012-10-02 04.19.13 2012-10-02 04.19.36 2012-10-02 04.20.04