Girls Weekend in Hershey

AT and I have been friends for 26 years (what???).  We were roommates in college and she was my maid of honor.


this picture was from a couple of years ago at Seven Springs. 

The sucky part is that she lives in Philly & I live in Pittsburgh so we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like.  Fortunately, we are good at planning little get-togethers and manage to cross paths a few times a year.

This trip was a visit to Hershey, PA!  Specifically, the Hershey Spa at the Hotel Hershey.



Seriously, this hotel was amazing.  Our weather was gross and rainy but I can imagine how fabulous it is in the summer.


Alas, this is not where we stayed.  THIS is where we stayed.

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The White Rose Motel.  Now, AT and I are far from pretentious.  And this place was cheap ($61/night!) and very clean…two things we both care about.  It was a little dated…ok, really dated.  In fact, I was watching Weird Science while AT took a nap on Saturday afternoon and Wyatt’s bathroom has the same tile as the White Rose bathroom!



Weird Science was made in 1985.  Just sayin…

But we weren’t there to hang out in the hotel all day.  We were there for the Spa!


We found this to be hilarious….AT and I never shut up when we’re together!

After getting a tour of the Spa (I felt weird taking pictures in the ladies locker room), we hit the gym for 1/2 hour and then changed into our robes and went to the Oasis room to wait for our massage appts.  They had coffee, tea…and hot chocolate available as well as various kinds of muffins.  And there was chocolate EVERYWHERE!  Bowls and bowls of it.  I may have had more than a few Hershey’s miniatures.

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We both enjoyed a Cocoa Massage…which incorporated cocoa infused oil to our treatment.  We both smelled like a big Hershey Bar after we were finished!


After the massages, we showered and headed to lunch at Harvest, which is located on the Hershey Hotel grounds.   I had one of the most amazing burgers of my life!  Sautéed onions, roasted mushrooms, pepperjack cheese on a soft brioche roll.  The burger was perfectly seasoned and you could definitely tell they are passionate about the quality of beef they use.  And the mountain of fries was a nice touch too.


AT & I spent the rest of the trip being lazy and relaxing.  We watched some TV (oh HGTV…how I’ve missed you!!) on Saturday night and were both snoozing by 10:00.  We felt like grownups!

It was an awesome way to spend the weekend and I miss my BFF already!


Adventures in Shopping – Levin’s

After our trip to Ikea, we decided to stop at Levin’s in Monroeville.  That store is massive.  Much bigger than the one in Wexford…it’s 2 floors!  Almost to the point that it’s overwhelming.  We kind of focused our attention to accent pieces.

This Monterey Sofa Table is exactly what I’m looking for in our entryway.


And we saw some great accent chairs for the living room.  We love this Raines accent chair and I’m in love with that blue/green leather!

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This Avignon accent chair was also really stylish and comfy.  And it comes in a billion fabric choices.

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Accent chairs are one of those things, however, that I don’t think we need to spend a lot of money on.  For as much use as they will get (minimal), I think we could opt for a much less expensive option and put the funds somewhere else.

We went to the second floor and Oh Jerry, look at that bed!


This headboard…amazing.  And to my shock and delight, he loved it too!!  Not sure if we’ll go with the cream…I envision black Jacob furs all over the thing!  But we are in agreement that this is the direction we want to go for the bedroom.

And just like that, his grand plans for building our bed were nixed.


Adventures in shopping – Ikea

Hey I have a great idea!  Let’s go to Ikea to scope out some furniture on Sunday. 

Dumb, Dumb, Dumb…Ikea during any part of the weekend is just a dumb idea.  To know me is to know I. HATE. CROWDS.  And Ikea on a Sunday is one big crowd.

Regardless, Jerry and I know we need to start collecting ideas for what kind of furniture we want when we move into Lot 256.  Our place on Shelly was 1100 square feet.  The new place is 2600+.  We will have extra bedroom and 2 extra living spaces.  Which terrifies and thrills me at the same time!  And while I’m all Let’s get all the furniture we need NOW!!  Jerry is much more practical and Slow your roll Jenny…we need to live in the place first.  (Reason 948 why he is very good for me).

So we went to Ikea on a Sunday and took our time walking around, getting ideas for the new digs.  These pictures are all awful…Ikeas lighting is horrible.

I love the Karlstad line. This chair and ottoman would be perfect for the family room (in my reading nook)


This couch would also be great in the family room.


And it is stunning in white but…well, it’s white.  And I’m a disaster.


I also talked Jerry into considering some of the unfinished bedroom furniture.  I think I impressed him with my skills when I repainted the bathroom vanities on Shelly Street.


I’ve been reading way too many DIY blogs featuring Ikea hacks!  Dark stain or paint, funky knobs…I like the idea of having something unique. There are really a lot of fun options we could do and if we really hate it after a few years, we buy an new set.

We also found some good options for lamps, shades, curtains, accessories, etc.  Ya know…all that stuff Ikea is known for!

And we didn’t leave empty handed.  We needed a small piece to set our printer on as well as provide some storage.  Enter the infamous Rast 3 drawer chest!

We decided we weren’t going to buy any furniture for the apartment that we couldn’t use in the new house.  This little piece was perfect b/c it was cheap ($35) and pretty versatile.  It would also serve as a good practice piece for my refinishing skills.

When we got it home, Jerry was quickly reminded why he hates Ikea furniture…

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Yep, a million little tiny pieces and parts and a 2 hour assembly.  We may be rethinking the bedroom furniture idea.


Southwestern Shrimp Salad

Friday night is Date Night in our house.  I try really hard to stick with this rule because 1) on Friday night’s I’m beat 2) I like to have some chill out time with Jerry.  90% of the time, date night is spent at home.  I make dinner, we catch up on the DVR and it’s light’s out by 9:30.  We’re old.  I’m perfectly OK with this.

This was a particularly long week and I didn’t really feel like spending a ton of time in the kitchen.  Salad is always a quick go to option.

I made my favorite cilantro lime vinaigrette:  juice of one lime, one clove of garlic, big handful of cilantro, a couple tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste.  Whirl in the mini food processor (or magic bullet)…done and done.

I sautéed some large shrimp in my favorite hot pepper oil from Trader Joes.  2 minutes per side is all it takes!  Once the shrimpies are cooked, toss them in 1/2 the vinaigrette and set aside.


The remaining viniagrette gets tossed in our favorite salad fixins…romaine, spinach red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded cheddar.  Pour the shrimps (and all the yummy sauce) over the salad and dig in!


We currently are without cable.  It’s only 3-4 months. (No HGTV, No DIY, No Food Network…ARGH!!!) and we’re making due with Netflix and Hulu streamed through our AppleTV.  Right now we’re on Season 5 of Mad Men. Ugh, that Don Draper…he is something!

And as it is STILL FREEZING in Western PA, I’m bringing the springtime indoors!  Courtesy of Costco…



Happy Spring!!

Yesterday was the first day of spring.  Today it snowed.

Excuse me while I bitch slap Mother Nature.


Yes, it is snowing in Western Pennsylvania.  And while I am really sick of everyone complaining about the weather…I can’t stop complaining about the weather.  Even those who embrace Winter (neither Jerry nor I are one of them) are over it.  This has been the worst I can ever remember, between the massive, constant snow and the ridiculously cold temperatures. Over. It.

One day last week, I got in my car and it was 7 degrees.  And I burst into tears.  Puhlease, Mother Nature…throw us a bone!  I think we’re due.


Hair DO

When Jerry and I got married, it was kind of a joke that he thought I would cut all of my hair off as soon as we said “I do”.  Well not only have I not cut it, it’s longer than it was on our wedding day.

But long doesn’t equal good.  If you ask Jerry, he’ll tell you it does.  But it was dull, lifeless and the ends were a mess.  So I booked an appt with RB’s infamous stylist, Shawn at Eikon Salon and he worked a small miracle on me.  Behold the before and after!


I wish I didn’t look so stiff and awkward in selfies.  And I wish they never would have come up with the word selfie.  Bleh!

My head looks about 1000% better, however Jerry keeps insisting that it is So Short!   I had to remind him that it looked like THIS when we first started dating:


Awwwwwwwww.  This was about a month into our romance.  And I look awkward in this picture too.  And young.  And skinny.  Dammit!

Lot 256

Breaking Ground!

Jerry and I had our Pre-Construction Meeting (aka Pre-Con) this evening.  And we were thrilled to see the diggers doing their thing!  They are finally breaking ground!!!



The PreCon meeting was essentially a review of all of the choices we’ve made regarding cabinets, outlets, flooring, counters etc…all of that good stuff.

One thing we were unsure of was the color our actual townhouse will be.  One thing about the Heartland townhomes is they come in multiple colors so each one is different.

There is a blue/yellow/cream scheme


Neutral Scheme

Edgewater in Oakmont, PA


Green/beige scheme


We found out that the exterior color of our townhouse will look like this:


It’s a dark slate blue and I LOVE it!  Things are starting to get very exciting!


Say Goodbye to Shelly Street

Well, all of our stuff has been moved out and we have a little bit of cleaning to do…but it’s time to say goodbye to Shelly Street. 


The empty rooms look so sad.

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As much as I complained about the parking, the numerous hills, the stairs, etc…we’re going to miss our little townhouse.

It was the first place we lived together, where we got engaged and had the first look for our wedding.  It was Sherman’s last home…and Jacob’s first.  We will always look back at our time on Shelly Street and be thankful. 

We climbed on to the deck that sold us on the house in the first place (and probably sold it for us in the end) and said goodbye.


Thanks for the memories….