Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our New House Update #5

Yes, it's been another month since my last house update, and what a crazy busy month it has been!  We've gotten a lot accomplished, although it may be hard to tell from the pictures (or lack thereof) this time around, but we're still on pace to be completed by the end of August / beginning of September!  (Right, Nate?????) 

First, our plumbing, electric and mechanical "rough ins" are in place.  On our part, this has included the fun tasks of deciding where we want electrical outlets, recessed lighting and light switches; finalizing where our toilets/showers/sinks will be and what kind of shower heads we want (just wait until you see our master shower(s)!); and determining the optimal place to house our HVAC and other mechanical systems so as to minimize the amount of ceiling duct work.

In the process, we have lost our office on the first floor which I had told Nate I wanted for myself (hello craft room!) but really intended to turn into a home office for him.  Trust me when I say my husband needs a dedicated room at home to run his business, and I need to be able to shut that door and not see what it looks like... Though it will now be a mechanical room, all is not lost - more room has just been freed up in the garage for his mancave...a place I think I'll only step foot into to retrieve my beach cruise and maybe the baby stroller (but I think I plan to keep that in my car at all times to avoid any cross contamination with Nate's orgnaized chaos).  Dad T - this also means there will be more space in your garage, too!  When should we expect the tool delivery?!  :)

Our rough ins are currently being inspected (and re-inspected) by the Ocean City inspectors.  They are, in my opinion, the worst (!!!).  And another prime example that Ocean City is still run by a small "old boys network"...  We are just small fish.

We're ready to start sheet rocking...any day soon as we pass said inspections!  Fingers crossed!

One of the most exciting moments for me this month was when Nate installed our 16' sliding glass door that basically spans 2/3 of the entire second floor (the front of the house)!!

First, because this door has been something Nate has talked about since before we started building.  It was a MAJOR investment for us (16 feet of hurricane proof glass does not come cheap, my friends!).  And it is something that will really make our house stand out from the rest in Ocean City - which is something Nate takes great pride in doing.  I have learned that Nate is an idea guy - if someone else is doing it, he not only doesn't want to...he wants to do the exact opposite!  This makes me so proud of how much of an artisan he really is!  And I'm continually amazed at his execution of his vision.

And second, because Nate actually installed the door by himself.  How cool will it be when we're sitting in our finished living room and looking out at the bay across the street through our massive glass windows?!  (Or if it suddenly won't open, how fun will it be to bust his balls?)  Nate has spent so much time and energy managing the construction of our house and I know how much he enjoys when he gets to be the one who gets to swing the hammer! 

If you can believe it, we still haven't ordered our kitchen cabinets!!  Although we have (finally!) selected one that we both are happy with.  We're waiting to get our final kitchen layout back (and quote on how much these cabinets will cost) hopefully by the end of the day.

Finally, our house is currently going through a major face lift!  Last week while we were on vacation, the siding crew was busy transforming our exterior into my dream gray and white beach house!

right side

left side


I'm so anxious for them to finish the front of the house, and will definitely share a picture or two one she has her whole face one.  (Yes, our house is a girl, and our baby is a boy!)

We have a lot of visitors in town next week - Nate's brother and his wife, Nate's parents (who have seen the house quite a few times already) and my younger siblings Patrick and Emily will all be making an appearance in Ocean City during the holiday week.  I am so excited to show them our progress!

Until next time...

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures.  I promise more next time!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Even with my generous 40% employee discount, Anthropologie is expensive!  Beautiful, exciting, unique, special...but definitely not friendly to the wallet!  

And right now every penny counts (building our house, baby on the way...need i say more?).  Throw in the fact that my body is changing and I'm wearing sizes and silhouettes I never thought I'd try on (empire waist just screams pregnancy, doesn't it?  or at least foopah! wait is that a bad word? opps sorry!)...  Well, I really can't justify buying myself expensive things right now!  (You're welcome, Nate!)  

Except of course this dress...which I literally wear once a week.  And this one, in blue, that I wore to my gender reveal party!  Both I know I'll wear post-pregnancy!

I actually discovered this dress via a friend on facebook
who wore it to her baby shower and looked adorable!
The dress I had planned to wear from Lilly Pulitzer
arrived a day too late...and in the wrong color!

Thankfully, I've had some success at more budget friendly retailers like H&M, J. Crew Factory, Old Navy and Target.  (No maternity purchases yet, just sizing up!)

But, to satisfy my Anthro cravings I've turned to Ruche - an online-only retailer that I recently discovered through some market research (on Anthro competitors nonethless) at work.  I told you part of my job requirement was online shopping! 

Ruche is absolutely adorable - it mixes the aesthetic of Anthropologie and the prices of Modcloth - and was launched by a newlywed couple who was having a difficult time finding affordable clothing that was "her" style!

I literally want to buy every dress on the site, and the shoes are so on trend I can't stand it!   

Pink Parade Ruffle Dress - $38.99

Stick Together Braided Sandals - $34.99

They even have bridesmaid and wedding dresses! 

Bridal Collection
 Oh, and the cutest toys for your children and pet!

Pink Roses Play Picnic Tea Set - $35.99

melrose milk and butter treat tin
Melrose Mike and Butter Treat Tin - $17.99

Anyways, I couldn't resist sharing this new fashion find of mine...even if my loyalty (and paycheck) belongs to my beloved Anthro!

Are you a fan of Ruche?  I'd love to hear about your recent purchases!

Have you shopped Ruche before?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Back to Reality

I don't know whats worse: the Sunday anxiety before your first day back to work after a long vacation...or the actual first day back to work after a long vacation! 


Regardless, I am back!!  A little bigger (mostly due to 24/7 cruise food vs. pregnancy tee hee), much tanner (hello sun!) and well rested (despite barely sleeping a wink last night due to said anxiety...and those crazy storms). 

Regular posts will resume tomorrow (fingers crossed) - or once I'm able to catch up on work and life in general!

Hope you all had a great week-and-a-half!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Sail Away, Sail Away, Sail Away

Nate and I (and the Rowley clan) are setting sail today on an 8 day cruise to the Carribean.  A celebratory cruise of my mom's life if you will...and what we will be calling our "babymoon"! 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, week and Father's Day.  Don't miss me too much :) And I'll see ya next Monday!


P.S. In case you missed the news yesterday: It's a...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's a...

It's a....


Thank you for all of your love and well wishes!  We could not be more excited to meet our little guy in October!!!!!  :)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

How did you ask your favorite gals to be in your wedding party?  Did you send the flowers?  Ask them over a bottle of wine??

At the request of a newly engaged lady friend of mine, I wanted to share some cute new ways to ask your 'maids that I have seen around the web! 

"More than a question—a keepsake for years to come."
BHLDN sells these gorgeous handprinted, vintage handkerchiefs made by the very talented ladies at Bird and Banner. Each comes wrapped around a card in which a personalized note can be written. 

Maid of Honor Kerchief

Bridesmaid Kerchief

I recently discovered these beautiful, hand-engraved spoons made by Etsy vendor L'Esperance Design Inspiration.  I think this is a piece I'd save forever in my china cabinet!

3 Hand Engraved Will you be my Bridesmaid spoon useable- WITH PERSONALIZATION
Bridesmaid Spoon -
$15 for 3 (bulk discounts available)

I've mentioned what a great gift these custom hangers make before, but thought this DIY touch featured on Something Turquoise was too cute not to show you again!

Something Turqoise DIY Tutorial

"Will You Be My" Cards
I think people underestimate the fun of getting mail.  Like actual snail mail with an envelope and stamp.  And I can't think of a more proper way to ask someone for something than by sending them a card!

Rifle Paper Company, a favorite of mine, sells this gorgeous card:

Will you be my Bridesmaid?
Will You Be My Bridesmaid -
$4.50 per card
$18 for a box of 8

Oncewed featured this adorable Bridal Party card...with DIY instructions!

DIY Bridesmaid Card

Care Packages
Forget snail mail, who doesn't love a good ole care package?!

I personally love this champagne themed box because, if there ever was a time to celebrate with your friends, it is now!  :)

Pinned Image
Something Turqoise DIY box

Painted wood box from the craft store plus some goregeous fabic and little mementos equals instand jewelry box.  Swoon!

Pinned Image
Bridesmaid Box

This idea has so much potential...but is definitely lacking on execution.  I know you ladies out there could pull this off much cuter!

Pinned Image

But this girl got it right.  Mmm..cookies!

Pinned Image

Have you been asked to be a bridesmaid in a unique way lately?

And of course, don't forget to check Etsy - this site is swarming with cute, handmade "Will You be My Bridesmaid" cards!  (Which is actually where I got the card I used to ask my my bridemaids!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Big Reveal...

We've been so busy (and I've been under the weather), that I've barely done party planning for Wednesday!!  That means tonight will be filled with lots and lots of errands!  :)

Of course, the part I'm most excited about is the "big reveal"...and how we will pull it off! 

Nate can't think of anything more exciting than to find out at the party by opening a present or cutting a cake...

But, I personally don't think that I will be able to go through the entire ultrasound without needing to see it for myself! 

So we had planned that I would find out that morning at our appointment, and he would be the one to do the big reveal at the party.  (If you're worried about be spilling before the party, don't.  I could never let myself ruin this surprise for him!)  I wanted to share the moment together, but I also want to find out the way we both feel comfortable and are excited about.  Great compromise, right?

Well, last week I saw this adorable video...

...and now I'm completely confused on what we I should do!  Talk about major goose bumps! My heart completed melted <3

I think this one is going to be a game time decision!  Care to weight in?!


P.S. Don't forget to cast your vote!  Polls close tomorrow at 11:59pm!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Recipe: Funfetti Cake Cookies

Funfetti is, without a doubt, the best cake / cupcake flavor out there.  Nate and I go crazy for it, finding almost any excuse (or none at all) to make a batch of the little mini cupcakes (our favorite)! 

We love it so much that we wanted our wedding cake flavor to be Funfetti!  Unfortunately both the baker and the caterer said they did not recommend doing this...  (But I wish we hadn't listened because our cake tasted and looked like garbage!)

But anywayssssss, back on topic!  This past weekend Nate and I attended a central, PA wedding where they upheld the yummy tradition of serving assorted cookies made by relatives of the bride/groom in addition to cake.  And when I was dominating every cookie in sight just happened to stumble upon the cookie bar, I found gold: Funfetti Cake Cookies!!!

My taste buds were seriously doing flips before the cookie even hit my mouth!!  And I was googling recipes in the bathroom before the night was even over...  (#fatgirlproblems)

To my absolutely delight I learned two things:

1. Pillsbury makes a Funfetti Sugar Cookie Mix with Candy Bits (unfortunately, not sold in any of my 4 grocery local stores...)


2. You can alter the Funfetti Cake Mix to make Funfetti Cake Cookies (that cook on 375 for just 6-8 minutes)! 


So on Tuesday night, when I was in dire need of eating my emotions, I broke out the spare box of Funfetti cake mix I had in the pantry - ya know, for emergencies - and got to work.

  • 1 (18.9-oz.) pkg. Pillsbury® Moist Supreme® Funfetti® Cake Mix
  • 1/3  cup oil
  •  eggs
  • 1/2 (15.6-oz.) can Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Funfetti® Vanilla Frosting

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; stir with spoon until thoroughly moistened. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With bottom of glass dipped in flour, flatten to 1/4-inch thickness.

2. Bake at 375°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets.

3. Spread frosting over warm cookies. Immediately sprinkle each with candy bits from frosting. Let frosting set before storing. Store in tightly covered container.

Now that is one good looking cookie!

P.S. Don't forget to vote on what you think Baby Torok will be!  Girl or Boy?  Did I mention I'm craving sweet not salty? :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What will Baby Torok be?

19 weeks
(And yes, that's me in this dress in the bathroom at work!)

Our Gender Reveal is officially one week away!!! 

We've asked our family members to wear pink or blue to the party to "cast their vote".  But we're curious to hear what YOU think!

*One vote per person.  Poll will close at 11:59pm on June 12th!*

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gold Wedges

Since clothes are hit or miss on me these days, I've taken up a new shopping obsession: shoes!  And I've been on the hunt for the perfect of gold wedges all spring!

I've search website after website (my preferred and primary form of "shopping"), with little success.  Nothing - by style or price - was tickling my fancy.

And then two weeks ago, the perfect pair turned up where I least expected: Target!

Now, it's not that I've never bought shoes from Target before - I bought my first pair of rain boots there, and have a few pairs of "going out heels" that are cute but far from comfy...  

But Target is not a destination place when I think "I need a pair of..."  It's more the aisle you peruse right after you've picked up the toilet paper and shampoo that you originally went to the store for.  And after you browse the clothing.  Because let's be honest, we all have some great finds in the Target women's (and junior's) sections (including my most revered fake leather bomber jacket)!  But now I'm adding the shoe department to my must shop list.

I liked loved them the moment I first saw them. And even more, they were only $25.  Not a huge gamble if they fell apart or hurt my feet after only a few hours of wear...

Women's Mossimo Pam Wedge - $24.99

And then they've passed both the "people at work have complimented them" (a huge fete for me at URBN) and the "they didn't give me blisters" tests.  A complete win in my book.  And why I'm sharing the news with you.

So, if you're in the market, go to Target!  I'll be going back for a pair in black!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gender Reveal PARTY!

If you guessed that we are finding out the gender in just a few short were spot on!  :)

Like I said, I've always wanted to know beforehand.  I'm a planner.  I want the "right" stuff (can you believe I haven't bought a thing yet for Baby T?  My poor credit card is in for it these next few months..).  And as a few of my dear commenters said so perfectly: finding out earlier does not make it any less of a surprise, it just makes it an earlier surprise!  (Thanks Casey & Uncle Ray!)  Something a control freak like me appreciates - more time!

Buttttttttttt, when Nate and I discussed this when we first started trying for a baby, he held the exact opposite view on the subject....  (Insert sad / horrified / disbelief face here!)  So, I really didn't know what we'd end up doing since the decision isn't/wasn't/couldn't be 100% mine.  (Believe it or not kids, this baby is half his!!!  haha)

Then, about a week or so after we found out the most amazing news, Nate and I were at the drug store buying god knows what toiletry item and all of a sudden he is trying to convince me to buy a $50 gender prediction test!  (If you're wondering, we did NOT buy said test.  What bologny!)  He suddenly could not wait to know whether or not we were having a little girl or a little boy, and from that day we've both been counting down the days to my 20 week ultrasound! 

Anddddddd for the gender reveal party we decided throw that night to celebrate! :)

(Isn't it crazy cool that you can throw a party for finding out the gender of your baby?!  Any excuse for cake, right?!)

Diaper Invitation
Etsy: KardsbyKaylee

And yes, I did send out handmade diaper invitations for a party that will be attended just by mine and Nate's immediate family members!  I know, completely not necessary...but c'mon, so freaking cute! 

What do you think, boy or girl? :)

Of course, more party planning details to come! xoxo