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Mr. Handy Man

You would think having known someone for over 16 years you would know how handy they are around the house, cars, etc.  Especially if that person worked on multi-million dollar aircraft for 10 years!  Even with the work my husband had done with our two previous houses I really had no idea how handy he could be until the past couple years.

Lucky for me my husband is very handy.  What he doesn’t know how to do he will research until he’s confident he can do it.  And since we (still) don’t really know anyone here in Connecticut he’s excited to do stuff around the house.

After moving into our new house we quickly realized how much we wanted to do to fix it.  Aside from getting new carpet and a new front door there wasn’t much we had to do right away.  I think everything we’ve done so far has been easy fixes – though some have been frustrating and slightly time consuming.  When we first moved in we changed out the kitchen faucet, the bathroom shower head, and the light fixtures in the kitchen, hall, and basement.

old fixture

old dining room fixture

With each light fixture Brian fixed we laughed about how old and dated they were.  The next fixture that needed to go was the dining room light.  I knew I didn’t want just any light for the room after I found a beautiful multi-colored mosaic pendant light online.  The fixture I found was too far out of my price range, priced at just over $500.00.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it out of my mind once I found it.  Since our dining room can be seen from our living room and kitchen I wanted something that we wouldn’t mind staring at regularly.

new fixture

new mosaic fixture

After hours of searching online I found a beautiful satin nickel chandelier with neutral colored mosaic glass; with a coupon and free shipping I was able to get it for under $150!  We tackled the project Friday afternoon while the Boo was at daycare, this allowed us uninterrupted time to put the fixture up and unlike the other fixtures we put up after bedtime there would be no stumbling around in the dark to do so .  We had several frustrations with the fixture, the biggest being a gap between the ceiling and the lighting cap.  After some clever thinking from Brian we were able to add a decorative ceiling medallion which fixed the issue and completed our classy look.  I am completely in love with our new light fixture and am glad Brian didn’t give up on making it look perfect!

In addition to installing the dining room light Brian also spent a chunk of time this weekend working on my car: oil change, installing a new door handle (the original broke off after an icy, snowy and downright frigid day), replacing fluids, and figuring out why my car alarm goes off at random.  I am so thankful for all the time he has spent on the house so far, not to mention the plans he has for it down the line.  I’m very lucky to have such a handy husband around the house!

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Starting off on the right foot

Last week was one of ups and downs!  The biggest “down” being that I found out I did not get a job I had interviewed for the week prior.  It was a HR opportunity with a large and well-known pharmaceutical company in my area.  While I knew I did not have all the experience they were looking for I still had hope that they would take a chance on me anyway.  I am definitely having a tough time lately maintaining my optimism that a good job opportunity will be coming my way… SOON!  

We had a good weekend at least.  We (mainly Brian) were productive around the house and we took Boo out to a local farm yesterday to check out a sugar house to see how maple syrup is produced.  Of course, we HAD to buy some local maple syrup and candies to bring home with us.  That inspired a brinner (breakfast for dinner) of blueberry pancakes, sausage, and eggs that none of us could get enough of!

Last night after Brian went to bed I sat there thinking of the job situation, mainly how desperate I’m starting to feel about finding one.  I also woke up thinking the same thoughts.  Not exactly a great start to this new week.  I decided that instead of staying in bed feeling sorry for myself I would get my ass in gear and start back on my couch to 5k training.  A friend of mine had posted the other day on Facebook that she was going to start training again and wanted to see if anyone else was interested in joining her as a way to hold each other accountable.  Since I’ve been trying to motivate myself to jump back on this for weeks I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.  This morning I rolled out of bed just after 7am and threw on my workout clothes.  My setup took a few minutes – had to get the treadmill ready to go, cranked some Justin Timberlake, and played Sunrise Earth on Netflix (a little added inspiration since I was running indoors).  Thirty minutes later my first day of week 1 was complete.  I did some stretching afterward and was ready to face the day.  The best things about working out first thing this morning (aside from the initial gratification of getting it out of the way) is that I felt energized – no more “just waking up” grogginess for me – and the stiffness that accompanies me every morning was gone!

I literally started my week off on the right foot and am so happy I did so.  After I got Boo up we had a healthy breakfast (fresh fruit, granola, and Greek yogurt parfaits) and took some time to check out a local kid’s fair today.  She was so excited to pet a python, get a tattoo (temporary of course), and a lollipop!

Now I just need to figure out a good dinner and keep this positive attitude and inspiration going forward throughout the week!

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I’m back, again!

Hello there!

I’m back again… for now.  Let’s face it, I kind of suck at this whole blogging thing.  I’m still not sure what I want the focus of my blog to me.  I know I definitely don’t want it to be only a place for me to bitch and vent about all the negative things running through my head – what a downer that would be.

This first new post will be a quick catch up since I last decided to blog and then after that who knows.

So, since my last post a lot has happened.  First, our garden was a huge success!  So much so that we plan to do it all over again, trying out new veggies (Brian has plans for a salsa garden) and growing my favorite flower, the sunflower!  Boo and I have already painted some bird houses that will be part of our garden decoration – along with some awesome gnomes my in-laws sent me.

Next up, we bought a house!  We found out in early fall last year that our landlord had plans of returning to his house once our lease was up.  We spent about 2 months hunting (many hours researching online, long days and many Saturdays spent touring houses) and then another 2 1/2 months getting the paperwork and loan information taken care of.  It was right up to the last minute but we were able to buy our house – guess we plan to stick around for a while.  We now live in Newtown, Connecticut – still a small town though a bit larger in terms of space and population than our previous town of Bethel.  What I like most about our new house is our backyard – plenty of trees, deer, and an occasional fox!  It doesn’t hurt that most of the town is beautiful and once spring hits I have every intention of exploring it to the fullest.

The last big change, and reason that I have time to be blogging in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday, is that my job was eliminated in January.  I found out two days before we were scheduled to close on the house (talk about pretty horrible timing) and although I was offered a different position within the company – one that was almost exactly like the one I accepted when I first joined the company – it would have come with another substantial pay cut and eventually a (lack of) work/life balance that I just couldn’t wrap my head around.  I can’t say I was happy with my job or even the company at the time that I found out the news, or even for a while prior to, but it still hurt regardless.  I was two months shy of hitting my 10 year mark with this company and had worked hard in each position I held, which ultimately helped me advance when I was still working in the office in Virginia Beach.  Was I bitter – yeah, you could say that.  Was I angry – definitely.  But, surprisingly, I think I’ve handled it well overall.  In the week or two following the news Brian told me that I seemed much happier and was much more agreeable than I had been recently.  So I guess it’s true what they say… everything happens for a reason.  Maybe in my case it was a chance to give me a break from a situation I wasn’t all that happy with anyway and to give me a swift kick in the ass to really get serious about finding something else that would be a good fit for me.  Of course, that remains to be seen… I am feverishly job hunting… every…day.  I’ve had some interviews here and there along with one amazing offer that I had to turn down due to commute time and the excessive daycare hours that would have come with that.

Outside of job hunting and settling in to our new place I am also now a part time stay at home mom – a job description I never thought I would have.  The upside is that it has given me a lot of time with the Boo – most days we have a lot of fun, some days though are draining and frustrating.  The terrible twos may in fact be real – but just like colic I think we refuse to label it that way.  The worst part though is that it’s winter and it has been downright freezing 95% of time while I’ve been unemployed.  That makes it difficult to find things to do – all I want to do is get out of the house and do things that don’t cost a lot of money.  I’ve been trying to be creative.  I always thought I was creative but as I get older I realize that I really just like the idea of being creative and that I don’t necessarily have the skills to make creativity happen.  Oh well… painting birdhouses and making peanut butter and birdseed feeders has been fun nonetheless.

So there ya have it… my update.   A bit longer than I planned, but it’s been a while.  Til next time!

Danielle

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