Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tour of "Home"

Right now I'm living in my parents' upstairs guest room. (Also known as my brother's old room when we were growing up.)

This is how it looked for about 3 weeks. I didn't want to unpack because I thought I was moving into the apartment soon. It seemed easier to live out of boxes and suitcases then unpack/repack twice. Not a fun feeling, though.

Now this is how it looks once I realize I won't move into the apartment and my mom forced an unpack upon me. (I'm stubborn, I had a good cry about the unfairness of the apartment situation and a stubborn attempt to find a replacement apartment.) This is the desk area with Poe's glowing eyes. I am sitting there RIGHT NOW!

My hastily attempt at making a bed and all my brother's artwork still on the walls. Oh! And a TV with cable! Haven't had that in months. I've been enjoying all these cool shows I missed like Storage Wars, Extreme Couponing, etc.

Thumbs up for my own bathroom!

It's not too exciting, but like Biz pointed out in my other post, at least I can stash some cash in the meantime I'd otherwise be spending on rent.

So, there it is - my home for ...the next few weeks? ...the summer? ...the next few months? Who knows!? Hopefully the house will sell soon, Johnny can come out here, then we can move into our own place together. Because I'm really starting to miss him. :(

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tour of Work

I am working at Hawaiian Island Sno Balls in Duck, NC. It is a quiet little town that is designed for lots of foot traffic. The speed limit is only 25 mph, and they are really good about a bunch of crosswalks, pedestrian signs, and really wide sidewalks to share the road with. There are a bunch of little plazas and boardwalks with tons of gift shops and restaurants.

To the east is the Atlantic Ocean, and less than a mile to the west is the sound, a body of brackish water, which means it is half salt-water, half fresh-water. There are lots of places to rent bikes, kayaks, windsails, or just sit and enjoy the sunset.

When you walk in the front door you're greeted with tons of bright colors! There's one of my bosses, Linda - posing with her can of soup. I caught her while she was making lunch one day.

To the right is the area where you order, and the ice cream cases. We have 24 flavors of "hard" ice cream that we scoop, plus a soft serve machine with vanilla, chocolate, and swirl. We make all kinds of floats, malts, sundaes, shakes, etc. with the ice cream if you are interested in more than just a scoop!

What we're really famous for, though, are sno-balls. This is a coarsely shaved ice served in a cup, with flavored syrups added. There are literally hundreds of flavors and special recipes my other boss, Jeffrey, makes by hand. People also get funky with the toppings on these too, we have a sno-ball cream, chocolate, and marshmallow.

Here's a better view behind the counter and of the sno-ball ice shaver.

The industrial fridge, which I'm always insanely jealous of. I wish I had one of these at home! It has so much room, and is so open and easy to see inside for easy organization.

We also do all kinds of specialty coffees, espressos, lattes, etc. This was the part of the job I was most anxious about when I first started 4 summers ago. But now it's like 2nd nature to me and I love whipping up drinks. I also find that people ordering specialty drinks tend to tip better than those just ordering a scoop of ice cream! Cha-ching!

This is Linda's home made fudge section of the store. Every Sunday is her day "off," but it's anything but. She spends the whole day making new batches of fudge for the store. Everything from plain chocolate and vanilla, to crazy renditions of a Snicker's bar.

Above the fudge is a container of salt water taffy that I steal pieces out of all the time. I love our taffy, it's so soft, unlike the rock hard pieces I remember when I was little. And on the right are little bags of crack chocolate covered espresso beans. I steal some of those too.

And there you have it! That's where I'm working, saving up the moolah, and hopefully working off some excess pounds! We have free access to anything we want, but thankfully I'm not much of a sweets eater, so I generally abstain.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Moving Adventures

We picked up the 16' moving truck on a Wednesday.

We loaded it, with the help of our friend Goran, on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

After loading my Jeep on the trailer, we were ready for the drive on Friday!

There was just enough room between the seats for Poe's cage. Corky shared the passenger seat with whomever was sitting there at the time.

video

Poe amused himself by munching on Corky's tail.

Johnny started the drive off first, once he fueled himself with Starbucks.

After that we took shifts each time we stopped for gas. Honestly, the drive wasn't too bad. I was nervous at first about driving the truck and towing something. The worst part were people who loved to cut in and out in front of me. It was annoying to have to adjust the speed so often in something so big and heavy.

We drove through the night Friday. After being up over 30 hours, we rented a 16 x 20' storage unit and unloaded the truck, with the help of my dad, before returning it. Then, we got up early on Sunday morning and I drove J back to the airport to return to IL.

Needless to say, I slept pretty much the entire day Monday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

House Before & After

In no particular order...


Back patio before and after being pressure washed.


Downstairs fireplace area before and after being finished.


Upstairs bedroom/office before and after being painted/carpeted/new windows.


Before and after of foyer area staircase with new railings and banisters.





Before and after of messy and dirty laundry room.


Before and after of 1970s exterior light (and unpictured broken intercom) with new light and plaque.


Before and after of upstairs bathroom counter.


Before and after of upstairs bathroom shower.


Before and after of shed, which got a new roof and door.


Before and after of downstairs bathroom.

Before and after of downstairs family room.



Above sink kitchen light installed.

There are obviously many, many other changes. I have folders and folders of photos documenting the whole thing. But I thought I'd just show you the main rooms.

Johnny is now in the process of interviewing real estate agents to put it on the market. If you know anybody in the SW suburbs of Chicago that would be interested, please don't hestitate to steer them our way! We put a lot of work into the house, from roof to crawlspace. My dad is a licensed contracter in NC, so everything was done meticulously and correctly. No slapped-up, quick-fixes here!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where I am/What's going on

I know my blog has been all over the place the past few weeks. I simultaneously apologize and thank you for hanging in there.

For those of you who have no clue what is going on/want more info. let me fill you in:

1) My dad came out to IL and worked on the house for several weeks to finish everything so we could put it on the market.

Photos of the progress are in the following posts (oldest to newest):
Pepperocini Beef Roast + House Progress!
House Updates + Engagement Pics
Wedding and House
Roast Beef Dinner & House Pics
Cream Cheese Cookies + Update Photos
Burgers, Beef, and Building

I have yet to put up the finished photos, I will get to that in the next post. I thought it would be easier to wait and do an organized before/after for easier comparison and instant gratification.


2) I moved to NC first, leaving J behind in IL to sell the house. This allowed me to haul a bunch of our junk out of the way, get the pets out of there, and start getting settled down here. This makes for easier house-hunting and saving money while I work to make the transition easier when J comes.

I'll post a few fun pics of the moving truck/storage unit/18 hour drive crammed in the moving truck with pets in a future post as well.


3) I have a job now. I'm working at my usual summer job at the ice cream shop. It was waiting for me when I got here, with open arms. It's great to just jump into a job you already know and not have to deal with the awkwardness of being trained/meeting new bosses and coworkers.

A future post with a "tour" of my work is upcoming! I thought you'd like to see everything, since it involves all types of food!


4) I am living in my parents' guest room. The apartment situation fell through. First the tenant was going to leave May, then mid-June, then the end of June. Now he isn't leaving. But he might in the future if he doesn't get a raise. (Yeah, I know. Too much to deal with.) So I finally unpacked. I have my computer, my stuff is put away, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I'm not thrilled to be 26 years old living in my parents' house, but thankfully they're gracious enough to let me.

I'll also post a "tour" of my current living situation soon.


So I hope that answers some of the questions I've been getting! Now that my computer is hooked up I will be back to regular posting and updates. Now that I'm working, I don't have as much time to comment on all of your blogs, but I do check them out when I have the time (usually on my phone before I fall asleep).

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Korean Pancakes

When I opened the box from Sophia, this was one of the things I was most excited about. To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect. I saw "Hot" and I saw "Sweet." I thought it would be like a sweet batter with a spicy filling.

The photos on the back are adorable. Why can't our American packages have cute little cartoons showing us how to cook each step!?

I saw the brown spoonful of filling and thought perhaps some sort of bean paste?

Well, needless to say, I was wrong! First, you mixed water, an included packet of yeast, and the pancake mix in a bowl and kneaded for 5 minutes. You rolled this mixture into 10 balls.

Next, you rolled out the dough into your hand, put a spoonful of the mixture, and sealed it. You placed it in a hot pan with a little oil. After the bottom browned, you were instructed to flip it over and mash it with a spatula. Then, you cooked each side an additional 1-2 minutes.

I anxiously broke into the first one and promptly burnt my mouth on the molten hot filling. Turns out, it is like a cinnamon sugar mixture. It melts down to this gooey, maple syrup kind of jam with little bits of nuts in it. Sinfully delicious! Thank you, Sophia!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

FroYo

You guys post about fro yo all the time and I have never been! Sure, I've eaten frozen yogurt in cartons you buy at home, or made my own. But as far as these trendy little by-weight froyo places? Never been.

Until last week. Visiting my God daughter, we went for it after dinner since they ate all of their turkey.

You grabbed your bowl, filled it up with the flavor of your choice (under the spoons), then had fun with the toppings! There was a salad bar area with lots of fresh fruit and candies. Along the wall was a row of gumball machine-like devices for even more toppings like cereals and other crunchies.

The cash register had a scale in front of it, so you put your bowl there and it was .39c per ounce. I got strawberry yogurt, banana yogurt, and put fresh strawberries, blueberries, and crumbled sugar cone on top. It came out to about $3.

Here is my God daughter, Marissa with her bowl. I promise she's not always a blur! I'll have clear pics of her in future posts.

And her little sister, Cecelia, shouting "CHEEEEEEEEEESE" while she poses with her bowl!