Thursday, December 27, 2012

New House, New Mattress

When you give a blogger a great big new house, what could be better to have in the new house than a brand new mattress? I know we would love to replace ours. Here's a chance to do it for free:

Good luck! Wouldn't it be great to get a new mattress, either for yourself, one of the kids, or the guest room?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Snowman Cupcakes


Merry Christmas, kids! Here are some snowman cookies you can't eat because you aren't here. Make yourself some! 

Bake cupcakes and let them cool.
Get tub of frosting and put in microwave for 30 seconds.
Dip cupcakes in frosting. This gives you a smooth top.
Let cool and set. 
Use additional melted frosting for adhesive for adding decorative bits. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lights and Outlets

     Something to think about when building your home is where you may need additional lights and outlets. Think of it before it is too late, and you'll never be sorry.


Do not take the standard kitchen lighting or basement lighting. You will be disappointed. Greatly. If you don't believe me check into it and make sure you know what you are getting. You really should go ahead and get the recessed lighting in these spaces.

We added light rough ins to each bedroom and each room which did not have lighting already, including the living room and office. 

We added recessed lights the alcove in the bonus room and in the large closets. The large utility closet on the 2nd floor got a recessed light. At some point it may serve as a small craft area or office area. (I wish I had also put an outlet in that closet). You may wish to ask for a recessed light toward the front of any large closet, including the pantry. 

And sincerely, as I sit here now I would definitely go back and put at least one outlet in every closet in the whole house, including the pantry. 

In the finished part of the basement we put in recessed lighting, but we also thought of the storage areas, how they would be utilized, and where we would need additional lights. 

We put in dedicated outlets for the freezers and the range in the basement. 

We added an outlet in the garage, and I wish I had added three more. two outlets on each side wall, in addition to the one which Ryan places near the light switches would have been perfect. At least one towards the front of the garage would be a help with Christmas lights, etc. As it is we are running an extension cord from the back wall. Not a huge issue, but it would be nice to have an outlet where the control for the driveway light is. 

In the master bedroom I would have added an outlet exact middle of the headboard, and also asked for a light switch for the big overhead light near the bed. 

We put a switched outlet above the mantel and above the kitchen cabinets. I wish I had added outlets at the bottom of the stairs and in the half wall for the purpose of Christmas lights. 

I also wish we had placed an outlet on the stair wall of the entry hall. It's the proper place for an entry console and there should be a lamp right there as well. It's also one of the largest blank walls in the place, and just ought to have an outlet. 

I would like one near French doors we had put in, to do decorations around them as well. Since they normally do not do French doors in the kitchen, for many people it may be a non-issue. 

If you have any other lighting/electrical ideas, feel free to leave them in the comments. It's great to see this stuff as you build!

  *To read more about our Ryan Homes Ravenna click the "Our House" button at the top of the page.    

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Merry Christmas, Stress-Free Style

See? This part of the tree is fine like this. It wont fall over. Promise!
 This year we aren't buying a bunch of gifts. As a matter of fact, the plan as it stands this year is to buy everyone a new pair of jammies so we can snuggle in and enjoy our own company. On Christmas day we will attend a family gathering. The other part of our plan is to go see Les Miserables. Maybe on Christmas day, maybe after. It's low pressure, can you tell? And guess what? It feels great. I invite you to relax and enjoy the season. If it is already too late for you this year, then I invite you to try it next year. 

      Yes, we have five children. They range in age from seventeen to twenty-six. And you know, the thing is, we have everything we need. We have a lot of what we want. This year I felt no pressure to go and buy things we may or may not even want. Ask yourself what you bought for people last year. If you can't recall or they can't recall, take a few minutes and decide what that means to you. Do you find yourself in stores looking for stuff to buy to fill a certain amount of space under your tree or lines on your list? 

     I have seen a lot of people suggesting the 4 gift rule, and it looks pretty sound to me:
  • Something to wear 
  • Something to read
  • Something they want
  • Something they need
      This Christmas I will not be putting iffy gifts on credit cards, spending countless hours with aching feet and shoulders shopping aimlessly for things, or wrapping them. I will use that time baking,  creating, or enjoying the company of my family. 

     If you need someone to give you permission or the little push you need to call off the madness yourself, consider it done. Merry Christmas. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

Amazon Gift Card Winner

Amber P said...
thanks to our 12 month old and 24 month old the tree is only decorated on the top half :) i love your decorations though.

Congratulations Amber! You are a big old winning winner!

Amber, since you did not leave contact information you are going to have to get in touch with me to claim your prize. (I hope you are one of the regulars)

Because I hate it when bloggers only give you a certain number of hours (usually 24-48) to respond to their win announcement I will not do that to you.

It's always a good idea to leave your email, twitter handle - something when you enter a giveaway. Either that, or subscribe to the blog by email so the information hits your inbox.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

You Fellow Ravenna Owners

     To the fellow Ravenna owners,  I would love to see what you did with the entry area by the front door. (And the back door, too, but especially the front) I mean, we have no closet, and a really long wall on one side, but it's not really a hall since it is open to a room on the other side. I'm very curious to see what you guys did with that entry area. Warning: I am looking for swell ideas to steal.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A New Kind Of Nightmare

     Last night I was not in peaceful slumber. What made it remarkable is that this time my nightmare was the kind only a homeowner could have. It involved: our old landlord, who was also our neighbor, our old next door neighbor, and other people I do not think I know. Also? People from our normal Chinese takout place. You know dreams are always weird. 

     The worst part of the dream though, the thing that pushed it from a very weird dream to a nightmare was that I had an issue with my floors. If you have been following along for the whole ride you know how much we are in love with our 'perfect floors'. We really chose well. But you would also know these are not the floors either of us really wanted. I wanted the drank brown hand-scraped hardwoods. He wanted the yellowish ones. 

     When he looked at the ones I loved a college professor came to mind - one he didn't adore. When I looked at the ones he wanted I pictured my whole house looking like an elementary school gym. So we compromised.  By compromise I mean we chose the only floor one of us didn't hate. I had my concerns about it being to orange once it was in the house, and he wasn't in love with it either, but at least we were able to look at it without one of us feeling repelled. 

     It was such a strange way to make a choice about the house. All of our other choices had been led by one or the other of us having a strong desire. I really wanted slate around the fireplace, oil rubbed bronze everything, gray siding, the really nice cabinets,and a jetted bathtub. He insisted on the type of stone we got, the granite, the really nice tile in the bathroom, 

     So our floors, our one big compromise, they turned out to be one of our favorite selections. And when people see the house, the always comment on how much they love our floors. When I become sainted the whole world will consider them the 'holy floors'. Too much? Okay. Anyway, the floors are a great source of happiness and we really can not imagine them any other way. 

     In my dream, though, there was a problem with the floors. (This may stem from the issues we had with the baseboards being put down before the wood floors and so instead of the floors going wall to wall with the baseboard on top the floors were, at least in some places, crammed under/between the baseboards, causing them to buckle) But in my dream we were not just fixing the issue in the upstairs hall. They were replacing the whole downstairs, too. 

      I woke up in the morning, and saw, much to my horror, the floors I had originally wanted. And they were very imperfect, had lots of places where the dark brown was missing so the floor was a sad, depressing gray. I freaked out and ran downstairs to my husband's office, which was not really the same office he has downstairs. It was cold and uglier than an old unfinished basement. The whole downstairs was covered in the really crappy looking dark brown plastic (?) flooring and I was upset. There was an area where they covered great big junky tiles - with old white carpet. But not all of it. So there was my house with dirty carpet, junky tile and tacky plastic floors. Nothing was cut properly and there were places missing flooring. It was so upsetting and so ugly. The whole house was very dark. I cried. 

     Then I was with other people - can't remember who now, in a vehicle. Whoever was driving was using their phone so we were stopped at the crest of a hill.Because dreams are weird. 

     *Proving once again that life is also weird: last night my cousin ripped out my mailbox with her mom's beautiful leased car. One minute later my mother tripped over the other side of the end of my drive and fell. She was carrying a glass casserole dish and a glass pie plate. Result: One messed up car, one messed up mailbox, and one mommy with cut hands and a very bruised knee. The only thing worse than seeing your kids hurt is seeing your mom hurt. With your kids some weird mom hormone kicks in. With your mom - you just want your mommy. Except it's her you need to help. 


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Go - Go - Gelato. Paciugo in SouthPark Center, Strongsville, Ohio


You want gelato in northeast Ohio? Strongsville? Medina County? Well guess what!? Now there is a place called Paciugo to get great gelato right at Southpark Mall! Can you believe it? I couldn't! It's right under the escalator, so don't miss it. You don't even have to go upstairs into the food court for it. Bonus!

It costs about the same as whatever you would get upstairs at Dairy Queen, except it's amazing! And has real flavor. Remember real flavor?

Also, check out > their facebook page,< where they sometimes put out coupons you can't get anywhere else. 

The staff is always friendly and you can taste any flavors you like before deciding. According to my husband they have excellent espresso. 

Want to take some home? No problem. They have styrofoam to-go packs from 5 serving sizes up to 15 serving sizes. 

No more searching for a great dessert in northeast Ohio/Cleveland/Medina County - go gelato! (Yes, I know Strongsville is not in Medina  County, but it's just a toe over the line for us) 

Want to call them? (440)238-5106

*This is not a sponsored post. I am thrilled to find them, excited they are nearby, and would love to share the greatness of their gelato with you.