Friday, August 28, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

Well, I can't find the little picture thingy, and I've been WAY in the slackage department when it comes to my Friday MHR posts (umm... more like blogging in general, eh?!) but I definitely wanted to post something today for him.

My McStudly is pretty awesome.  And although we've been married for almost 2 years, now (holy cow, already??) and we've learned a lot, we still have SOOO so much more to learn!  About each other, marriage in general, our friendship, our love languages (which seem to be ever changing), our passions, and our skills and giftings.  

We've been trying to be better about vulnerability with each other, lately, but like I said - we're still learning.  Still reminding ourselves that we're a team and we've got each others backs and we don't have to worry about how the other is going to respond or react.  

Marriage is like a tag-team wrestling event.  I'm not typically a fan, but this is a good metaphor (and I don't remember where I read that - so if I accidentally stole it from a blog, somewhere, PLEASE forgive me and feel free to site yourself in the comments)... it's like you have to have each others back in everything.  You may not agree with your spouse's actions, but you work that out later, not in the moment.  Know what I mean?  

Like when you storm home from work all tiffed about something or other and you just want to vent about that moron at work?  You don't want advice or help, most of the time, you just want them to agree with you and back you!  Later on you'll be pretty open to advice of some sort in the situation, but not while it's fresh, right??  Am I the ONLY one that's like that?

Because you're a team!  And if McStudly doesn't have my back, who will?  Who can I count on?

Anywho - that's a lot of what we've been learning, lately, along with being vulnerable with each other and not feeling embarrassed about things.  I mean - you are together for life.  If you're too embarrassed in front of them, you have a LOONNG ways to go!

So basically, though it's not always the easiest to admit, my McStudly is really awesome and I love him beyond measure.  I couldn't have asked for a better match.  

I love you, baby, and I look forward to learning more about you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

MORE Fabulosity

Who knew?! C over at Wedded Whims gave me an award! Can you believe it?! I know I sure can't... somehow my random blabberings are award-winning. I may not understand it, but I ain't too proud to take it any day - thanks C!!

Well, with this award, I'm supposed to list 5 current obsessions. Some of these may be obvious, given my recent postings, but others may not so much. Ready? Here goes:

1. Music. Well, this is kind've an all-time obsession, but that technically makes it "current", right? I love all things about it, really. I attempted to try and explain it on a friend's blog (Melody seems to have an equally obsessive take on music), but even explaining it to a fellow obsessor made me feel like a big dweeb. Oh well. It's part of me.

2. Decor. Seriously - I've been SUCH a decor fiend lately!! And I'm not just talking about how I'm trying to decorate our living room, but everything in general. I even convinced McStudly to chauffeur me out to the local Ikea last Saturday just to have a peak around and get some ideas, etc. We did buy a few candles, and cheap-o blankets for Austin, but it was mainly a giant brainstorming session. Believe it or not, I got SO many ideas there and NONE of them involved actually buying Ikea paraphernalia. Can you believe it? I'm out of control...

3. Crafts. Some may lump this with the previous obsession, but I will not! I've been itching for a sewing machine for almost a YEAR now and plan to sew clothes, decorative items (pillows, table runners, etc) and other things like baby gifts and maybe even purses. I can't WAIT to get started on that stuff! But other than sewing, I've been nonchalantly perusing thrift stores, etc, in search of new craft ideas. I made that picture piece a few posts back with a plate rack and a few frames. And I spray-painted a candelabra thingy or 3 a wrought iron black (pics to come, hopefully) to decorate my fireplace and mantle. And I've got SOOOO many more ideas that I feel like I'm busting at the seems!! Sometimes I wish this was my day job!

4. Movies. I am usually a take it or leave it kind of person when it comes to movies. There are occasionally a "must see" movie, or two, that comes to theatres, but outside of these, I'm not a huge movie buff. Lately, however, we have had a 3 month free trial of HBO and Cinemax and we're recording and watching movies like NObody's business (minus the fact that I just made it your business, anyways). And we've been using the RedBox up the street (SO convenient!) and our Netflix to fill any voids we may have. We're loving that we get to see movies for little to no moola, so we're even seeing movies we wouldn't have otherwise watched (which is a good and a bad thing).

5. New recipes. I don't know way, maybe it's Mrs. Stethoscope's fault for posting so many fabulous recipes, but McStudly and I have both been into new grub lately. I could probably attribute part of that to our health issues, as well, and the fact that we really have needed to change some eating habits, but mostly I think it's Mrs. Stethoscope's fault! :-P We've been trying new stuff left and right, at home, and loving it! Well, not loving all of the recipes, but loving the experimentation and excitement of it all. And tonight - we're eating out at Chik-fil-a for the first time in QUITE a while (which is huge for us, since we're such self-proclaimed addicts of the place!) because it's a fundraiser for the local Air Force ball (which I'll be attending... EEK!).

Hopefully that list wasn't a) disappointing and/or b)a little too much for you guys. But that's where I've been... well, not quite, but it's been taking up a bit of my mental energy for sure!

Stay tuned for more adventures in the Puhl House. <~ Ha ha... Puhl house - like "pool house", get it? Oh jeez. I need a time out!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Space Between

So close, yet SOOOO freaking far!

I found some table alternatives for our living room. I stalk craigslist on a regular basis (like some of you recommended), and it seems that the people in our area either have the same taste as me, or aren't quite ready to give it up. I got nothing. That's usually how it works around here, though there are typically a few hidden treasures, from time to time.

Anywho - I was perusing Target and Wal-mart, because they typically make cheaper versions of nice furniture and I figured it was worth a shot. What could it hurt, right?

Well, apparently they didn't get the memo that they're supposed to have LOWER prices. Target had an almost IDENTICAL set of the coffee table and end tables, but they were priced higher than the originals, by about $25 each piece!

Can I get a "HECK NO"?!

So I mosied (mosyed? mossied? mozied?) on over to Wal-Mart's site and found two sets they are clearly brothas from anotha motha. I mean - they look SO much like the originals, but have a few striking differences. And just to prove my point, here you go (PS: Bonus points to whomever correctly guesses which is the more expensive set!):

Set #1:

Set #2:

Okay - so how much do you think these beauties cost? And which one do you think was more expensive? Answers to come...

But seriously, I keep hoping that I'll find this amazing deal somewhere and be just blown away by how affordable and stylish the find really is. I know that's pretty much living in dream-land, but hey, what's wrong with that, right?!

I can't imagine Craigslist coming up with anything very soon (though you betta bahLEE dat I'll be stalkin' that junk! ... I'm sorry. I'm not typically that gangsta, but we ARE talking about home decor, here, people) and I haven't checked out Overstock, yet (which is funny because I used to have an OS addiction like NObody's business!), but that's next on my list.

Are you done guessing, yet? Well here it is - the cost of the alternative sets:

Set #1:

End Table - $139.00

Coffee Table - $229.00


Set #2:

End Table - $79.88

Coffee Table - $119.88

The problem? Set #1 is the set that I really really LOVE! I mean, it's the perfect wood-tone for the look I want, and it's got this amazing realistic (possible even real?) wood grain throughout. And it looks like identical to the original set that I feel in love with!! Another funny little ha ha is the fact that the tables we currently have (found at Goodwill for - what was it Ma? $25?) are similar on the top portion, in that it looks like wood planks fashioned in a similar manner, but it's a really like oak-y color and the bottom is all wrought iron with a wicker basket inside. It would still work great if there was a way I could darken the fake wood top to a different darker shade and somehow have the basket match. But it's not real wood there's NO way I could create a fake wood grain on that sucker OR have the basket match.


Who knows. Maybe this dream set will show up on craigslist for $50 soon, and I'll get the deal of a lifetime?! Yeah. I know... I won't hold my breath.

***UPDATE: I checked overstock, and even they have it more expensive than the originals. Oy. Why did I have to fall in love with THIS set??****

Feeling Crafty

This is my most recent crafting adventure - a plate rack turned picture frame piece. What do you think - success or cheapy?

What's the Verdict?

Is this too orange or just right (in natural light in this picture)?!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Task at Hand

Your job... should you choose to accept it... is to help me find affordable tables like these for my living room.

Coffee Table:
End Tables:

I LOVE them! They are exactly what I'm looking for and would go PERFECT with the theme I'm headed towards. And just to get your minds a bubbling, I'm getting ready to paint an orange accent wall.

*GASP* Did she say orange?!

Yes. Yes she did - er I did. BUT it's not the primary school sun painting orange that you're probably thinking of, it's more of a faded clay or a burnt, softened orange. It's going to be AWESOME with my pale green accents and our new living room furniture. I'm SO loving the idea! Some of you are really scratching your head at my intentions, but I promise you that you'll like the end result. And if you don't?! Ah, well you don't live here, so you can rest easy, right?! :-P

Here are some of the inspiration pieces that led me to this point:

The Rug - KMart, $68:

The Pillows - Bed, Bath & Beyond, "Make Your Own Pillow" covers:

The future Kitchen accent colors (Wal-Mart and Target finds):

As you'll soon see in our walk through my home, our kitchen and living room and dining room are all opened up to each other. So we'll need to incorporate the colors into each room to keep it more fluid. These colors, my friend, are the key. It's going to be amazing, and I cannot wait!

My dream is to paint the accent wall, the wall that runs from the dining room through the living room, in this faded clay color (Valspar's Faded Clay, WV37013 - warning, it looks horrible on computer but amazing in person) and then the remaining walls in this Almond Oil color (also Valspad, but don't have the code with me). Then along with a few added corresponding orange accents, there will be a few green accents (think Valspar's Sag Harbor, WV36011) as well. All of this is building up to the Contemporary Country Casual style that I adore. I think I made up that name, but it's SO me (uh... and McStudly?)!!

Tonight, I'll be buying samples and painting a bit of the wall to make sure everything is kosher. Then we'll hopefully be painting one upcoming weekend in the near future (anyone want to dog-sit my over sized cuddle-bug? He's got loads of personality, and tons of spunk!). I'm so excited! Little by little I feel like our house is really becoming our Home. (for those of you that saw the bathroom in the previous post, you know that this place is in some serious need of help in that area).

Anywho, that's your task, if you have a chance. Maybe you've seen something similar while window shopping, or have a comparable piece in your own living room? These pieces are out of our price range (about $150 per end table, and $250 for the coffee table!), for now, so we're hoping to find something less expensive, if possible, or we'll just have to hold on until we can save up and get a few other things done around the house.

So, what do you think - am I nuts for painting ANYthing in my house orange? Can you find/Have you found anything like these for less than those unreachable prices? Are these tables too simple and look like you could make them yourself (I'd be willing to pay!)? Will our house EVER become a home? Stay tuned and I guess we'll all find out.

I would post pictures of tonight's effort tomorrow, but my camera's battery charger is still missing. Speaking of, if you happen to see her, would please tell her that she's in BIIIIG trouble?! Kthnks.

Home - Pt. 1

It's where we live. Where we're making memories. Where we fight. Where we make up. Where we laugh. Where we cry. Where we learn. Where we build our life.
It's home.
And I've been saying for SUCH a long time, now, that I would take you on a tour of our home, but I've been slacking. Well, I FINALLY remembered to get the "before" pictures from my Big Sister and I can FINALLY show you! I know you're just tingling with excitement, so here we go.

Reminder: this is what the house looked like the day we moved in, so there's nothing... no furniture, not nothing and that HIDEOUS wallpaper got pulled down OH so fast!! So - feel free to comment on how tacky everything looks, okay? I will not be offended in the least. And then later on at some point, I'll show you some of the little progress we've made. :-)

So today we'll start with the hideous main full bathroom. Oh. Em. Gee. It's horrendous. Are you sure you're ready for this?

This is the view from our bedroom entrance. *shivers*

From the hallway entrance.

You see that lovely splash of color sitting on the back of the toilet? Yep - that's the wallpaper's MATCHING shower curtain. *gag*

SO that's that. Home not-so-sweet home. It's MUCH sweeter now, of course, but... we'll get to that later. I'll be showing more of our home over the next few days, so stay tuned!!


And guess what - I WON!!! Mrs. Stethoscope's giveaway, that is. Free food! I like never win giveaways. I am SO stoked, you have NO idea. Go check it out so you can be jealous of me and my awesome cookies. Yumm-O!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free FOOD!

Mrs. Stethoscope is doing a grub giveaway! It's like the best combination like EVER, right?! Food and free. Those words make my heart go pitter-patter.

Get your potential grub on here:

Go check it out and don't forget to mention that you found the link here at the Deep End of the Puhl!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Slackstown,USA. Population: Me

I finally started sending out my "Pay It Forward" stuff (Yes, I'm Slacky McSlackerpants from Slackstown, Alabama) and will send more soon.

You see, I'll be sending something different to each person, for a few reasons: #1 - allergies. It's "Pay It Forward", not "make 'em suffer", right? #2 - personalities. Call me old fashioned, but when given the opportunity, I like to make a persons' gift reflect them, somehow... in blog world, that's taking the very little bit that I've picked up from reading and trying to find a way to apply it to the gift.

For those of you yet to receive your gift, it won't be fancy, but hopefully it won't be a disappointment, too much. I'm spacing them out due to finances, but I promise you will get it eventually, so don't hate me!!

On a totally different note, we've got some DIY projects coming up shortly. A few trips to goodwill and I'm stocked up on a few ideas for the coming weeks (granted I need some free time, first... but that's sure to come eventually, right?). Hopefully it'll become a regular thing, this Do It Yourself, stuff, but for now... we'll start out small.

Anywho, stick around in the upcoming days - we've got the American Idol concert/meet & greet recap and some 'round the house projects coming up alongside of the usual everyday random stuff. I'll try to be better about blogging as things start to slow down a bit at work, again. Even though I haven't been writing a lot, I have still been reading. Are you kidding me?! I couldn't stay away from ya'll blogs if I had to! It's my drug of choice...

... and I think I'm okay with that. ;-) Toodles!

Friday, August 7, 2009


I arrived home, yesterday, to a box with my name on it. Am I the only one who likes that? It's like Christmas ... only I didn't remember ordering anything.

So I ripped the box open, feeling like I was a kid again, and loe-and-behold it was a gift!! Kelly (from Kelly's Place) totally sent me my Pay It Forward gift and (as Celine Dion, would say) I LURVE it!! It's aDORable!!

Check it:

How awesome is THAT?! I LOVE it!! And even though I'm not a coffee drinker (which I believe is the typical drink of choice for cups like these), I decided it was MORE than suitable for my juice this morning. So I popped in an ice cube and poured in some juice. WHAM! Instant pick-me-up for the road!

Seriously, Kelly - I LOVE it!! Thank you so so much. It's so stinking cute that I plan to use it all the time. McStudly will probably be jealous, but oh well. It's got my "S" on it!! ha ha



For those of you whom I owe Pay It Forward stuff to: I'm so so sorry. We've had a few bumps in the road lately with regards to finances and we're still trying to level things out. You will be getting something from me - I promise! But it may be a little bit longer, yet. Forgive me??

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


A dear friend of mine, Queen Rosh, just called and has free tickets to the American Idol concert tonight in Baltimore. After a quick check-in with the hubs, you bet your TAIL I'm going!!

So hopefully there'll be lots of stories and pics/videos tomorrow. And for those of you on twitter, follow me ( and I'm sure you'll get pics and updates as the night progresses. SCORE!!!


Uh-Oh, but Yumm-O!

SO yesterday I played housewife.

Okay, you're right, I kind've play housewife every day, BUT I was a little better at it than usual yesterday!! You see, I kind've planned a few options for dinner this week and everything ready for me to just decide which meal I (we) want that night and WHAM-o. Get to cooking! So I went shopping Monday and wah-lah. Awesomeness for the whole week. Rock on!!

I even bought some things for us to try out a few new recipes from the AWESOME "Cooking Light Cookbook" that I picked up (at Lowes, oddly enough) and absolutely love!! There's SO many good ideas. And the food isn't like gross healthy, it's like "I'll probably even LIKE that" healthy type food. Know what I mean? Sure you do. ;-)

Anywho, yesterday I got home from work. Spent a little cuddle time with McStudly (shh! Don't tell, he's sure it'll ruin his street cred.) and then started on dinner before realizing I needed another ingredient (dang it... SO close!). So he ran to the store while I hung out with the pup.

While I waited to got dishes done (the sink was EMPTY folks!) and wiped down all the counters and the stove... blah blah blah. When he got home, I made dinner (Chicken Spaghetti - if you ask real nice and you're lucky, maybe I'll give you the recipe - and no, it's nothing at all like Chicken Permagiana, just FYI), washing and putting away dishes as I went (that's right - hand out the bonus points!). After we had dinner, I finished dishes, put leftovers in the fridge (one of a very short list of meals that tastes just as good, sometimes better, as leftovers).

Then I sat for a few before rushing to meet Mom and lil' Sister at goodwill for a shopping date. I scored a few shirts, nothing good in the home-front section (not even anything to work with, I mean) and then headed to their house for a quick stop. I picked up my Aunt's old dress (as in she wore it when she was my age, and now it fits me perfectly... just gotta get some shoes - post w/ pics probably to follow) and headed home to my McStudly.

We were anxious to try out a new Strawberry Banana shake recipe (we're not the healthiest eaters, but we'll try it if there's a good picture!) so I set out to get started. I cut up the Nanas, and pulled out the Strawberries to find... MOLD! Ugh! I JUST bought them Monday (call me uneducated, I thought they'd be fine to sit out one night before putting them in the fridge - okay I forgot - but ONE night and they already molded? No fair! I call a do-over). I was SO upset!

But then, McStudly came to my rescue. He reminded me that we had some blueberries in the freezer (old as they may be... still blueberries nonetheless). So I replaced the strawberries with blueberries and wah-lah. It was actually pretty tasty!!

Happy ending: McStudly saved the day, I left the kitchen clean and [somewhat] organized, and all went to bed happy. And for those of you wondering:

Blueberry Banana Shakes!

2 cups sliced bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup orange juice
3 cups low fat/fat free vanilla ice cream

Mix first 3 ingredient in a blender until smooth. Add ice cream one scoop at a time, blending until smooth. Then dish-out and serve immediately. Makes about 4 servings, 1 cup/serving.

So there you have it - sometimes even oopsies in the kitchen can turn into quite a yummy (and somewhat healthy) surprise. Score for all!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A MishMosh of Sorts

So I'm totally a slacker, but it's because I've ACtually been busy at work. Crazy, right?! Yeah. Totally nuts. Who'd-a-thunk?!

But I've also been more focused on bettering my relationship with McStudly and enjoying our time together before he deploys. I don't know if I've told you all, yet, but he's set to deploy in October and it'll be our first. :-(

I know we'll be fine, but it's put a few things into perspective and we want to take a more proactive approach to our relationship while we can. It's been great! We're cooking more (together, even!) and spending more time just the two of us (and the pup, of course). We've grown more and more comfortable with each other, even beyond where we were already. Sometimes it's so amazing to think you're at such a good place, but then go way past it to see how it could be better even still.

Well... we think it's cool, anyways. So we're being more open, even about the thoughts in our heads that we wouldn't normally speak out loud and it's been eye-opening. And SO so encouraging!! We're more supportive of each other than ever before and are loving every minute of it, for sure!

On a totally random note, I have this recipe for you that's SO unbelievably simple that it sounds boring. BUT it's SOOO yummy! You're going to be wondering why you haven't thought of it before (I was - and now it's like a new fave). Promise me you'll give it a try (unless you have allergies, that is. Otherwise - no excuses!) and then let me know what you think, okay?!

Cucumber Salad

Cucumber (sliced, then cut to preferred bite-size)
Feta Cheese (crumbled)
Italian Salad Dressing

Just mix it together and chow down. It's SO stinking good. You'll LOVE it, I promise!!

I can't remember, for the LIFE of me, where I got this from. I think I was perusing one of the home-decor blogs that I love and it was a little tid-bit there somewhere, but I can't remember for sure. Have any of you tried this before? It's AH-mazing. Seriously. I LUURVE it!!

In other news, I don't have much... I haven't been running a whole lot, lately, because the humidity has been killer, around here, and then there's the rain. These crazy spaztic rainstorms that come out of NO where and then they are over just as suddenly. Like... W-T-Fudge?! So, rather get caught up in a few of those, I've been pansy-ing out. But Austin has TOTALLY been acting out. He wants some exercise something fierce and he's making sure we know about it! ha ha... Luckily the dog park isn't too far away and there's a little baby pool for him to cool off. It's nuts out there!!!

I promise I've been trying to stay up-to-date on my blog reading, even though I haven't been posting much. So, what's uppy with you guys??