Fall Finds

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I LOVE decorating for the holidays! Seriously. I get it from my mother who usually puts up THREE Christmas trees (last year she only did two since I took one of the trees with me when I got married). What I can I say? It runs in the family! Normally I'd be pulling out the Christmas stuff from the garage but since Jonathan and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year (which I am super excited for) I wanted to have a fall-y feel to our home.

It all started with Target. I went in for my biweekly visit while Poseidon was at the groomers. Yes, I schedule my Target visits and no, I don't think that's weird. I prowl the the clearance sections waiting for stuff to go on sale. Doesn't everyone do that? Anyways... I found a metallic gold pumpkin that was originally intended as a outdoor candle holder on sale for half off. You know I put that straight into the cart. I also found a pumpkin scented candle shaped like a pumpkin and a leaf decorative plate.

Since Poseidon still wasn't done I head over to HomeGoods. All of the Halloween stuff was deep discounted and I found large glass pumpkins on sale for $3.50 and $2.50!!!!! I befriended another shopper and between the two of us we took home all of the clearance pumpkins. Obviously I didn't buy all the pumpkins for myself. I shared with my mom and cousin. Duh.

Once I got home I started decorating. The dining table was the easiest place to start. I pulled out a red runner that I got on super sale from Kirkland over the summer and added three pumpkins in the middle. I made the twine wine bottles by glueing some twine (from Hobby Lobby) around them. I already had the wine bottles and the twine cost me around $6 total thanks to a coupon. I wanted to spell out fall on the bottle but never did... maybe next year. I'm thinking about adding some faux fall flowers or leaves into the wine bottles to add some height and visual interest but we'll see if I ever get around to it.

The leaf platter went on the coffee table with some natural wood looking balls. I placed a few faux leaves underneath so there would be some color.  I moved the candlesticks from the dining table to the coffee table. Inspired by Pinterest I used twine to secure leaves to the candles. To keep it from being too monochromatic I placed my new shiny orange pumpkin in the middle.

My mom gave me a ton of faux fall leaves and since we were about to have guests arrive I stuffed them into a red vase on the side table. They're right next to a wedding photo frame that I have yet to fill.

Our console table is a little less decorated. But it did have a beautiful bouquet of flowers sent to me by Jonathan's mom and her fur baby.

The fireplace mantel also received a mini makeover. Since our TV is mounted over it I can't really do too much but I relish any opportunity to use some wire mesh to hide our cable boxes. The banner is my favorite (after all the pumpkins). I wish I could take credit for it but it was made by a couple of my student employees. They cut out the circles and made a font template to add the letters. So pretty.

And that's step one of many on my Thanksgiving To Do List. The only other thing for Thanksgiving I wish I had was a turkey costume for Poseidon. But I don't think he'd ever forgive me!

A Witch, Bat & Walter White

Monday, November 18, 2013

Check out the Stubblefields on Halloween 2013!

I was a witch (with Minnie Mouse ears), Poseidon was a bat and Jonathan was Walter White from Breaking Bad. Obviously Jonathan's costume was the best. He came in second place at his office costume contest and even grew out his mustache. Way to commit babe!

I may have gone overboard with Poseidon's Halloween attire. He was rocking his pumpkin shirt leading up to the holiday (you know,  just to get into the spooky spirit). He also had his costume. They were a pair of bat wings attached to a harness. They moved up and down as he ran around. And of course he had his post Halloween shirt. 

My cousin and her husband had a Halloween dinner for the family. We had terrifying tacos for dinner and for dessert we had peach schnapps jello that came in the form of a brain. 

Since Halloween is my cousin's favorite holiday her and her husband go allll out making a haunted house. We were just on hand to help give out candy and to admire their hard work! They hung body parts on the porch, added some red lights and a fog machine. 

They had a crazy skeleton driving a car. This was actually very popular amongst the Trick-or-Treaters and some people even posed with the skeleton. 

There was also a huge spider web with a gigantic spider but I didn't get a photo. Obviously its my cousin's favorite holiday and I'm really excited to see what she'll do next year since Halloween falls on a Friday! Poseidon just asks that I chose a less embarrassing costume. 

Our First Anniversary

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jonathan and I recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary! This is us a year ago.

Don't we look happy? BEST. DAY. EVER.

We decided not to do anything fancy since we just got back from our trip (Jonathan still bought me a beautiful bouquet of roses). So to celebrate in a low key we decided to open our wedding wine box and watch our wedding video. Please ignore the mess that was our dining table.

What is a wedding wine box? Its a box that a bride and groom place a bottle of wine, two glasses and letters to each other. The letters are secret and we wrote about why we had decided to get married and the qualities we love in each other. At the wedding ceremony the box and its purpose. The idea is that a couple puts it together before the wedding and open it on a certain anniversary. However if they ever find that the marriage is in trouble they are supposed to open the box, pour the wine and separate to read the letters.

Last year we decided to open the box on our first anniversary and then on every fifth. So a couple of weeks ago we pulled out the top tier of our wedding cake from the depths of our fridge and sat down with our wedding wine box. We bought a fancy bottle of wine on our mini honeymoon in Napa and placed that into our box.

We opened the wine, grabbed some defrosted cake and sat on the couch to read our letters. I won't say what they contained (that's between Jon and I) but they were very sweet. I, of course, cried. Then we settled in to watch our wedding video.

Originally I was a little apprehensive about eating cake that's been sitting in a freezer for year so I called the baker who did our wedding cake. Luckily she gave us a whole new cake for free! Since I called at the last minute we had to wait until the following week to pick it up. We ate the defrosted one on our actual anniversary to keep with tradition and the new one the following Sunday. Cake two weekends in a row? Yes please!

It was a perfect way to remember our first year of marriage and six years together. Check out our first photo together (way back in 2007!). Just for fun.

Remember The Hallway?

Friday, November 8, 2013

The one we started painting but never quite finished all the way back in August? Well we finally got around to the finishing it!

If you recall we left off here:

With only two walls painted. Since our hallway contains stairs and a nice big vaulted ceiling its impossible to reach the top of the walls with a regular ladder. When we initially started the project we figured we'd just do what we could until we found a taller ladder. In the midst of Halloween decorations, Poseidon's hospital stay and preparing for our European vacation it got pushed to the back of our minds. Until we decided to host Thanksgiving this year.

There was no way I was letting guests into our home with a halfway painted hallway. I mentioned this to a coworker whose boyfriend has a variety of ladders and was willing to let us borrow one (thanks guys!). So I bought it home from work on Friday and Saturday Jonathan got to painting.

He prepped the floors, cleaned the walls and positioned the ladder. Since the ladder leaned against the wall he started at the top and worked his way down.

In order the reach one the walls he did have to lean dangerously over the edge of the banister.

And in the end we have a completed painted hallway!

New York

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sorry this post is soooo late. It took me two weeks to write this!

In the last post before we embarked on our European Getaway I stated that we would be starting our trip in New York. Since we were going for a family wedding my parents and siblings were also making the trip. Everyone arrived on different days since we all have different work schedules and travel plans. My sister and I arrived first. Since we were bridesmaids we had to arrive prior to the rehearsal dinner.

Our plane landed early Wednesday morning and one of our cousins picked us up (Thanks Amy! You rock for getting up so early and driving us to Brooklyn). We had a little bit of time before she had to head back to Long Island for work so we grabbed some breakfast. Afterwards my sister and I decided shopping trumps sleep so we set off for Manhattan!

Our first stop? Canal Street. But first I may have needed a subway nap.

Canal Street is notorious for selling counterfeit items and for being a tourist trap but since we are tourists we love it! We just walked around and did some light shopping.

Then we wandered over to Herald Square to go to Macy's because it is humongous and fabulous.

And visited the Empire State Building.

Then we went back to Brooklyn to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. Sadly I didn't take any pictures. All I can say is that the drinks were flowing and I was having a great time. Jonathan and my brother arrived early the next morning and after they dropped off their luggage we set off to do some sight seeing.

Our first stop was the 9/11 Memorial. This was my favorite part of our time in New York and by far the most moving. I don't think any American could visit and not react emotionally. Seeing it in person really puts the day into perspective and it seems incredible that such a massive loss could take place in a such a small area. Truly heartbreaking.

They have two pools that mark where the towers used to be. All of the names of the victims are organized by groups. The first responders are all together and then broken down by agency and companies. For example, the names of firemen from the Fire Department of New York City are together but then they are organized by battalion and so on.

Some of the hardest names to read are those pregnant women. It will have a name followed by "and her unborn child." The memorial staff will also place flowers on the names on what would have been that person's birthday. I wasn't the only person crying.

The most unexpected part is the Survivors Tree. It was found a month after the attacks in the rubble of the towers. It was badly burned and reduced to an eight foot tall stump. It was taken to nursery in the Bronx and nursed back to health. Then it was replanted in the memorial piazza. Visitors place flowers and other items around it.

Next we walked over to Battery Park and boarded the ferry to Liberty Island.

It had been years since I been to the Statue of Liberty and the last time Jon and I were in New York it was closed. Due to security concerns and new safety measures instituted after 9/11 the island and pedestal are open to the public but only a certain number of people a day are allowed up to the crown. When we booked our reservations there were no available crown tickets until November. Despite our disappointment we still had fun.

By the way did you know that it's not called the Statue of Liberty? The actual name is Liberty Enlightening The World.

We ended the day by charging our phones on the street and grabbing some pizza.

Then we had a big family dinner at my uncle's house before going to bed to rest up for the wedding the next day. There should be a ton of wedding photos here but once again I failed at taking pictures. But it was really fun and the bride was stunning.

The day after of the wedding was our last day in New York so after we slept in a bit we met up with my parents in the city. We walked past the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. Federal Hall was the first capitol building on the U.S. and its where George Washington's Inauguration took place.

Then we went to Central Park and wandered around until it time to meet my aunt for dinner in Queens.

We went to an Ecuadorian restaurant where we got down on some traditional dishes. My mom makes some dishes but not very often so its always exciting when we can get some!

And that concludes the New York part of our trip. Once dinner was over we hailed cab and made our way to the airport. I love visiting New York. I have a fabulous time every single time and I love getting to see my family. My sadness at leaving my family was tempered this time by our excitement to go to EUROPE!