The Adventures of Stinky Sweet:

Sometimes stinky. Sometimes sweet. But it's our life - and it is always good.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A productive day.

One of the things that I wanted to do for Chad for our anniversary was to deep clean the house. I know, it sounds really 1950's housewife and not at all the independent woman that I believe I am. But, in my defense, since I work so much, sometimes my share of our house duties falls by the way side. We share most things evenly - or just take turns doing them - but admittedly, it had been a while since I had done THIS much cleaning. (Don't think we live in messy house - unless you count Gwendolen hair - we do clean!). Bottom line, I knew that a deep clean would probably bless him more than anything I could purchase him so it is one of the reason I took 2 days off this week.

So, here was my TO DO list for yesterday - updated with what I actually got done:
- sand mud on walls in bathroom
- wipe down walls and dump drop cloth
- paint ceiling and walls in bathroom
- paint bathroom cabinet
- vacuum all floors
- do all laundry and put it away (this ended up being 5 dryer was exhausted)
- clean up hiking stuff in guest room from Leconte trip
- clean up kitchen and put away dishes
- clean up craft stuff in spare room
- clean out/wash/wax car (this one is totally for me!)
- clean up dining room table
- clean up the other guest room that has been holding bathroom renovation stuff
- hang Chad's 3D map that he got for Christmas (this is almost embarrassing)
- deep clean hall bathroom
- clean off front porch (the number of spider webs is unreal!)

Obviously, I didn't get everything done in the bathroom that I wanted to get done but my arms were tired from nearly 2 hours of sanding! I need a little help/advice from Chad on the next step (ceiling) anyway so I was sort of in a holding pattern until today anyway.

My house is so clean that I feel like we should leave so we don't mess it up! p.s. he also noticed, which only slightly surprised me. I was still awake when he came home last night and he was like, whoa, thanks for cleaning! and THAT rocked my world.

Today's plans include catching up on our favorite TV shows, hopefully lunch with his parents to celebrate his mom's birthday (which, by the way, is the same day as our anniversary. Another story for another day), a trip to Lowe's (because what romantic day doesn't include a trip to Lowe's?) then a matinee movie and dinner down by the river. Le sigh. I love days like this.

 (Edited to add: I DID actually buy him things but they aren't here yet. I'll show them off when they arrive.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

5 years.

Today marks being married 5 years to one of the most patient, generous, dedicated, hard-working, funny - in his own way, thoughtful, weird (I had to say it!), and loving man. It has been an honor to be his wife - through good times and bad times - he is my cool, calm, collected, always making me think about life differently guy.

A lot has happened these last 5 years - we've marked a thousand memories down but surely we have millions more to go. I know people always say this but sometimes I feel like it was just last week that we were standing there in that park by the water making our lifelong promises to each other. And sometimes, I can't believe that we've made it this far.

Chad is surely my gift from God. He is calm when I am anxious, offers thoughtful responses that make me see the other side of every situation, challenges me spiritually, leads our family, makes hard decisions and easy ones when I can't, and continues to love me when I might feel unlovable.

I took today off work to spend some time with my guy. It's been too long coming! Granted, he has to work today so we are only going to get the morning together BUT...I also took tomorrow off work to hang out with him the entire day. So, we'll truly celebrate tomorrow and today we will just hang out at the house together. I love this guy...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mt. Leconte - Picture Overload!

Total proof that Chad hiked miles carrying a smooshed box of Dunkin Dount Munchkins. This guys loves doughnuts.

Alum Cave Bluffs. About halfway to the top.
If you have a chance, read about how the mining of the bluffs has created an atmospheric phenomenon - incredibly dry, dusty ground in the middle of lush, humid forest. Its strange and beautiful!

One of the cabins at the lodge. Admittedly, this is a great time to hike to the top because the wildflowers are in full bloom at that elevation!

Proof that we made it and what day it happened!
I love that they do this on the front of the lodge...

Our group - minus Sandy (who was resting? photo taking?) plus J's friend who got us the tickets.

Dinner served family style, delivered by llama.
Potato soup, peach half, roast beef, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread, and a cookie!
It is exactly what you will have if you go!

View from cliff tops. Further proof that I survived. :)

My pink socks and hiking boots. Of course.

My guy - that puts up with a lot.

We went to Cliff Tops to watch the sunset and it was a little cloudy so this is about as much as we got.

Last glimpses of the sun...

This is Rainbow Falls - about halfway back down. Admittedly, if I had hiked 2.7 miles to get to this point - uphill - I would have probably been disappointed.
All in all, not as bad as last year. But I don't plan on doing it again. I think I'll pick some easier day hikes and find a place to shower at night. :)

August Birchbox!

Hurrah! August Birchbox time!
Almost as good as a Sister Box and a step below a Mom Box - but none the less, easier on everyone I'm sure. :)
This month's theme was "Finishing School" - not your grandma's type though - more like thinking about the details type of thing.

Upon first opening, this is what you see. I guess the little monthly inside boxes are here to stay. At least this month's is a beautiful teal!
First sample (as always, apologies for the terrible pictures. I am WAY to excited about all of this to stop and take great photographs of my haul!) is a Jasmine Seven brand Fresh Feet Wipes. These are two little towelettes to cleanse and soften feet...interesting. I don't usually go barefoot in public but I do love to wear my Chacos so it might be nice to be able to cleanse the footsies every once in a while. These will go in my purse! 

This is a uniqONE hair treatment - a leave in conditioner basically. I have superbly thick and dry hair so I'm always up for a try on one of these. It actually smells awesome - kinda like dryer sheets? Very clean. It'll be nice!
 This is the Jouer brand Eye Definer in the color "gris" (which I believe is grey?). Either way, it is a smudge-resistant eye liner which after testing on my hand - I'll attest to the fact that it isn't moving! I actually really like the color - I tend towards a more smokey liner instead of solid black so this will be great! It is not the twist up variety so I'll need to locate my sharpener soon....because I'll definitely use this!

 These were the two items in my inner box. The Coola brand sunscreen  - the perfect amount for a face application in sport, meaning sweat proof and water proof, in SPF 45. Awesome! Another purse addition for surprise trips to the park, etc. I used to think I looked better tan but now I'm realizing I look better skin cancer free and I'm pretty serious about the sunscreen! I don't want to open it to smell it since it is a once time use thing but I can't wait to smell the mango!
Second, there was a stila brand "stay all day liquid lipstick" in the color Beso. might look pink in the picture but it is RED. Like candy engine red. I'm gonna try it but I think I will look silly. This one might get passed on to my more adventuresome sister. :) Either way, I really want to like it because I tested it on my hand too and it isn't moving! I would love to have a different color and have it stay all day for real!
Finally, Birchbox also partnered with Anne Taylor this month sot here were some styling tips and coupons in the bottom of the box. Fun! I don't love the way their clothes fit on me but they have some GORGEOUS statement jewelry pieces so I will definitely slip in there to use my coupon.

All in all, a pretty great month! Some things that I am super excited about trying - sunscreen! hair conditioner! - and at least one thing I am a little intimidated by but want to give a chance - RED LIPSTICK!

Birchbox rocks!

Friday, August 16, 2013


I've been on another vegetarian kick (apparently one happened back here in 2009 - obviously didn't stick) for the past few weeks and trying out new recipes to try to get protein with less meat. It is semi about health - fewer burgers?? more veggies?? yes, please! - but really more about hearing about how our animals-for-meat are treated. And that gives me an icky feeling in my insides.

I'm not strict my any means. I still love a good burger - not giving those up anytime soon! - but trying to be more conscious about where my meat comes from and getting good quality meat. And p.s., if you didn't know, good meat is expensive and we are far from rich so less meat it is! One of the only upsides to Chad and I being on a different schedule is that I can try out weird recipes and he doesn't have to suffer through them at dinner if they are weird/bad/meatless. I enjoy eating them for lunch the next week and he is none the wiser.

Tonight's dinner was: sweet potato burritos from a recipe I found on this blog and they turned out surprisingly delicious. Sweet potatoes, black beans, and caramelized onions made up the filling in wheat burrito shells with a little cheese melted on top under the broiler.

I also made them with a recipe we had first at our neighbor's house the other night. Food Network's Fried Corn - which, if you haven't ever made it, STOP NOW and do it. Seriously. You will pay me for my advice.

So, all in all, a super successful dinner with no meat! Let's see if Chad likes them as much when we have them for dinner tomorrow. :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mt. Leconte

Sorry it has been a while again. It is just a busy, busy life.

Update on last weekend's trip to Mt. Leconte in the Great Smoky Mtns. National Park. Admittedly, it wasn't as bad as last year - that pretty much sums it up. I don't think I was in any better shape this year because I had not been able to train as much as I would have liked. Last year's hike in was about 8 miles and gained about 300-ish feet per mile. This year's hike in was "only" about 5 miles but gained about 500-ish feet per mile. So, yes, it was steeper but I think the second half was way worse than the first (which lulled you into a false sense of "oh, this isn't so bad"). Either way, we arrived at Alum Cave Bluffs about halfway in and I would totally hike that trail again - it winds along a creek for the first mile plus and it was cool, scenic, and lovely. The second hike was a little closer to torture so we won't get into that. The last .2 mile is level - rocky and slippery - but level and it is the most welcome blessing.

The hike out was a different story. Closer to 7 miles and downhill all the way. I know, you'd think that would be easy but downhill for that many miles is pretty hard on your body. Knees, hips, and toes can start hurting pretty fast. I did pretty good following along with the rest of our mixed-aged group but about 2.5 miles form the bottom I was really ready to be done. I sort of booked it and left the rest of them to fend for themselves (figuring they would catch up with me if something happened!) We - Meg and I - finished about an hour before the rest of our group but that hour was a take off your shoes and air out your feet miracle.

I had decided that I was going to make the best of a long uphill trip before we ever got started on Friday so I spent a lot of time trying to be intentionally thankful for things. I thanked God for my breath, my healthy body that could hike, the scenery, the family and friends I was with, the view...and for waterproof hiking boots. :) It was a nice test in determination and thankfulness. Sadly, I might do it again.

If you have never hiked to Leconte, I suggest you do it just once. It is a pretty cool experience. Super rustic, no electricity - just the folks you love and a nice view when there isn't lots of fog. Dinner and breakfast are included as part of your ticket along with beds in some pretty sweet cabins. Tickets sell out over a year in advance and they are closed during the winter because it isn't really accessible so get tickets now for the year after next. It's worth it...even the climb. 
In other good news, I sent in my Chacos to the "Re-Chaco" folks. The soles were coming off - like separating  from the footbed, which they should not do. I hoped it was a warranty thing and I wouldn't have to pay to get them fixed. Thankfully, it was. Their customer service is top notch. I was only without my shoes about 2 weeks from sending them off to getting them back. And they were repaired free of cost - I even got to pick which sole design they fixed them with. This is my "so happy to have my Chacos back the day we left for our hiking trip" face. :)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

August Sister Box

Omg, omg, omg. Now my sister has sent me a box that rocks my world. I have - by far - the best family out there. Sorry - no argument from any of you folks. :)
(And blogging from the phone so excuse the crazy formatting).
I got an awesome stamp set that any teacher would be super jealous of.
I got pink grapefruit chewy candy - pretty much one of my favorite candies and something my sister and I used to always eat together.
Super cute washi tape - and I am already trying to decide where to out it! Omg - tape all the things!
And the most awesome - a benefit brand kit that has pore perfector, highlighter, lip gloss, and mascara in it. Can not wait to try everything out!
Birchbox, eat your heart out!
Sis - you rock.

Friday, August 2, 2013

August Mom Box!!

My mom sees that I get so much joy from my monthly Birchbox subscription - and that it makes me write a blog post - that she decided that she needed to send me a MOM BOX to get a giggle and a blog post. Now, this is not your everyday beauty subscription - this is the real deal, comfort food and all! What does that mean, you ask? Well, she sent me all the ingredients for a chicken casserole (minus the onion and carrot, thanks to the P.O.'s hesitancy to ship perishable goods) along with a giant bag of Peanut M&M's - because that is my guy's very favorite thing. She even sent the recipe card written in her own sweet handwriting which I will treasure in my recipe card box (along with others from my grandmother and great-grandmother...nothing like a passed down recipe!).

I can't wait to try this casserole and I think my always hungry dude is gonna love it. Thanks Mom! You are awesome!