Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dirty Laundry

Breaking from the wedding recaps.

Before I bought a domain for this blog, my URL was AnnaHatesLaundry...and that is a literal take on the way I feel about laundry. I hate it.  And I'll put off doing it for as long as possible. Thank goodness the amount of panties in my drawer is embarrassingly high. And Mike wears a uniform that he has multiples of. Anyway - the laundry room at our house got out of hand, not only because the laundry was piling up, but because it was out of order and just in complete disarray. There were things that needed to be taken out to the shed, trash, random tools, I didn't even want to go in there because of the way it looked.

Now, I am not the type of blogger that has a perfectly designed home, an eye for interior decor, or the endless budget to post regularly about the fabulous clothes I wear (also, the dress code at my office is ridiculously casual and I don't have to look cute. Ever.)

But every once in a while I figure out how to redecorate a room in a way that leaves me feeling like I've accomplished something. And that's what happened this weekend.

To give you an idea of what I was working with, here are some before pictures:

I know, right? And no, I'm not ashamed to post these.  Nobody is perfect. Not even in the blog world. And if half of the blogs I followed were a little bit more realistic, maybe I wouldn't be so bitter after browsing Pinterest for an hour.

Here is the after (2 days of work):

Here's what I did:

After we remodeled the kitchen (THANKS MOM AND DAD), we saved two of the cabinets. I repainted them with some leftover paint so that we could add storage above the washer and dryer. Yes, I did this all by myself (the painting part)! I ventured to my beloved Hobby Lobby, and whattya know, 50% off ALL KNOBS, so I scooped up some adorable fixtures for said cabinets. I wanted something to hide the water heater, so I went to Habitat for Humanity and found a folding closet door. To hide the ugly storage shelf, I bought a pattern curtain and hemmed it to the correct length. With the left over, I made a little panel curtain to put in the empty space under the shorter cabinet.

Cabinets and Paint - $0
New knobs for cabinets - $8
Habitat door - $12
Curtains for under cabinet and shelf - $24
Total - $44


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wedding Day: Part 2

**Side Note - look at how far we've come since a little over a year ago!**

After we arrived at the venue, I found a cool place to sit down and the waiting began. We got periodic updates from the wedding planners, including a butterfly inducing countdown. At the five minute mark, I started a little bit of an internal freak out. I didn't want to trip down the stairs or pass out or something.

I was oddly calm during the entire process - everyone kept asking me if I was nervous and I really wasn't.
Riding up the elevator with my loves.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wedding Day: Part 1

I spent the majority of my wedding day dousing myself in perfume and searching out the air conditioning vents at our venue, simultaneously cursing the 90-degree March air and unheard of springtime heat index. My temperature sensitivity, despite countless pleadings from this bride's inner diva, decided not to take a leave of absence on the most important day of my life. My maid of honor followed me around when she could, fanning my under arms with a god-sent shoebox lid, and dabbing my forehead when and where sweat beads developed. Mother nature didn't seem to care that my dress weighed more than a chocolate addicted sumo wrestler after a year of binge eating, and layer upon layer of tulle and lace created an environment for the lower half of my body that I would not wish for my greatest enemy to endure. Should I ever feel the desire to be an inventor, wedding dresses with built-in skirt fans will be the first thing I patent.  Nobody steal my idea.
At around 9:00 Saturday morning, my bridal party and I woke up and ventured down to the dining room of the Inn. My parents booked all 6 rooms for us, and the owners didn't seem to mind turning their property into a sorority house for the weekend. Of course we had rules to follow, like when and how to properly lock the front door, not to leave flat irons on for extended periods of time (apparently 19th century bed and breakfasts are exceptionally susceptible to fire), and things of that nature. 

We had appointments downtown for our hair and makeup after breakfast. My carb radar smelled something delicious coming from the kitchen, and the lady of the house ended up bringing a tray full of croissants and warm butter out as a starter. I debated eating them all on my own, but opted to share in an effort to fit into my gown later that afternoon. The croissants were followed by an egg casserole and fruit salad, along with some thick sliced bacon and hash browns. We ate like birds, and in hindsight might have offended her. But when 6 sorority girls are in the same room, they tend to spend more time talking about eating than actually indulging in the act.
We'd gotten our nails done the day before.
The photographers arrived around 2:00 and documented the remaining preparations. My bridesmaids has already gotten dressed, so pretty much all that was left to do was zip me up. As soon as the dress was on, I started sweating and immediately wished I'd chosen to get married in the dead of winter. If there is one thing I absolutely do not tolerate, it is sweating for no reason. If I'm working out, that's one thing. But simply standing outside in the shade in MARCH and sweating infuriates me. I started complaining and any hope of capturing the dream photos I'd found on Pinterest went out the window. All I wanted to do was escape the B&B (because the innkeepers didn't believe in AC apparently...) and get to the venue where I knew it would be cooler. Obviously I regret this now.
 Suiting up
 I had two garters - my FSU garter was the one I tossed. The blue garter was also my mom's on her wedding day and doubled as my something blue.

The boys got ready at a B&B across the street -
And then we headed to the venue! Stay tuned...although I guess you already know how this story ends...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thank You

"Our nation has paid a high price to preserve freedom, and our servicemembers and military families have paid the highest price of all. No tribute to these sacrifices is more enduring than a grateful nation determined to live out the promise of liberty. So let us all do our part this Memorial Day - whether it's standing in silence, whispering a prayer, or simply saying 'thank you' - to honor those who did their duty. Thank God for our heroes. May a piece of each of them live on in all of us."

Happy Memorial Day. And thank you to all who serve or have served, especially my Daddy. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Parade

So, yesterday I went downtown to watch Mike in the memorial day parade. I didn't take any photos, but here are some from last year -

I always get emotional when the cars with veterans and parents of those KIA drive past. I have so much love for our armed forces and I don't know how to express my gratitude, especially in a world where so much of what they do goes unnoticed or gets criticized.


And I did take one pic yesterday, but it was with my phone:
That's Sampson, probably Mike's favorite bloodhound.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Are you ready?

We got the disc of pictures from our photographers, so the wedding day posts are about to begin!!!!!!

I'll start on Monday - you should mentally prepare.

For now, here's a happy friday shot of my bouquet. =) I did the editing on this one because I was feeling photo shop happy.

And one of my favorites: (I edited this one too - see below for the comparison. The shot on the left is what I got from the photographer.)


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Burgers from Hell Round 2

So, a long time ago we discovered a burger recipe that we absolutely love and it became an easy favorite. We make it from time to time, sometimes on the grill, sometimes on the stove. We make it a lot when we have people over - it's always a hit.

We made it on Monday night, but this time instead of home made french fries, Mike experimented with a home made onion ring recipe. The were deeelish. If we ever open a restaurant, they'll be on the menu.

 Onion rings on the stove. Moose offering some cooking tips from her spot on the floor.
 Jalapenoooooooos. We love heat in the Taylor household.
 Spanish onion. For the onion rings, and Mike also sautees them for his burger, but I leave them off mine.
 Onion rings end result.
Ta-Da! =)

Mike usually makes me a 1/4 lb burger and I think he fixes himself a 1/2 lb patty. He melts the cheese over the meat by placing a bowl over each individual burger - something about doing it that way steams the meat for the last few minutes and ensures extra juiciness or something. At least that's the word on the street.

I think my original post about these burgers details the recipe a little bit more thoroughly (we use a LOT of burn your nostrils for 15 minutes if you stand in the kitchen for too long seasoning...) but the end is definitely worth the means.

Happy Thursday, y'all!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to Change Your Name in SC

So, I was really putting off the whole name change thing because I was dreading spending my day at the necessary government offices. You can read about my last DMV adventure here.

I googled the process and figured out that the first place I needed to go was the social security office. If you're in South Carolina, you'll need to take:

1. Your current social security card
2. Marriage License
3. Driver's License
4. The form from the SS office website for applying to get a new SS card
5. I also took my passport, just in case they needed another form of ID.

I pulled up to the SS office and was OVERJOYED because there were only 2 other cars in parking lot. Naturally I assumed the building would not be crowded and I would not have to wait long to be served. I walked in and almost EVERY seat in the waiting area was taken. And not to go directly to the race place, but they were mostly Mexican. At the end of my story, this matters. Well, not really.

There was also a row of seats to my right. Full up.

I drew a number and patiently waited my turn. Once I was called, it took less than two minutes for me to be issued my temporary card with my new name. When I turned around to leave, the entire room had emptied out and I found myself alone. It was a VERY strange feeling. Where had they all gone?

I walked outside and saw LITERALLY upwards of 20 Mexicans piling into ONE vehicle. With the exception of maybe 3 people in the picture above, they were ALL getting into the same car. UHHH, WHAT? It was baffling. BAFFLING. BAFFLEMENT. I hoofed it to my car and sped off to the DMV on the off chance that they were headed there, too. Didn't want to have to wait in line behind them twice.

I got to the DMV and was set up with a new license relatively quickly...unless you count the 5 times Miss Food Stamps forgot to send my paperwork from her paperwork checking station to the license making station.

At the DMV you'll need:

1. Temporary SS Card
2. Marriage License
3. Old license
4. The appropriate forms (they give them to you there and they only take a few minutes to fill out)
5. Form of payment - I think it cost me $10.

I also hadn't practiced my new signature enough times, which is evident, and as Mike pointed out, it looks like my last name is Raylor. Other than that, (and the zombie flu virus I was incubating at the time) it was a borderline enjoyable DMV experience.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Insta Update

So, last week I managed to catch a cold to rival all colds. It put me out of commission for a few days and served me up with what I'm going to deem the most miserable weekend in recent history.

I finally went to the doctor on Monday, and after waiting 2 hours to be seen, I was examined for 2.5 seconds and diagnosed with an ear infection, because apparently I'm 3 years old and live in a very sad version of Neverland.

Anyway, I'm saddled up with some sweet antibiotics, namely Amoxicillan and some numbing ear drops that make me look and feel a leaking freak. Why the Good Doctor didn't give me any narcotics to remedy my wheezing couch or stubborn congestion beats me, but I'm on the mend so I guess it doesn't matter. Sad face. Said cold, while thoroughly annoying, allowed me to spend some QT with my cats on the couch and Bones on Netflix.

On Friday before I was completely lost in my sick oblivion, I managed to make a wreath for our newly painted front door. I positioned everything and then hot glued the hell out of it to make sure it stayed put. It was a feat of craft magic with two curious kittens padding all over the place. Cats make doing projects on the floor a hellacious task...especially if you're trying to use anything that's round and is easily batted underneath a table. We also put up an American flag and added cushions to the rocking chairs. =)

Last night, Mike took me to eat at Outback and then to see the Avengers again, this time in 3D. It was just as good, if not better. If you haven't seen it yet, you must.


Monday, May 14, 2012

50 Shades Darker

**edit a few weeks after writing this**

I've received quite a few comments on this post and also the original post about the first book regarding common grammar and writing practices. I think a lot of the people commenting are coming here from somewhere in Britain. This means that your understanding of how English works will vary greatly from mine, and we most likely will not read a book like this the same way. For instance, a recent commenter harped on me for using the wrong form of the word "practice." Read the comments to see what I mean, but in American English, there is only one form of the word "practice." So get up out of here with your snooty attitude.

"In British English and most other varieties of English from outside North America, practice is the noun, and practise is the verb. There is no such distinction in American English..." - from

Also, the author of these books is British, which is why I think fellow Brits are so quick to jump to her defense. Now before I get attacked for being an ignorant American, I would like to put it out there that I lived in London for well over 6 years.

*** end edit ***

Alright. I read the 2nd book. And I didn't hate it as much as the first.
In fact, I was quite pleased with how quickly James picked up from where she left off without much hesitation. This might be troublesome for people who haven't read the first book, but it's clearly not meant to be a stand alone novel, so I can't find fault there.

The writing is still haphazard and the grammar is still cringe-inducing, but I've decided that I quite enjoy the love story (kinky-f*ckery aside), and I don't let it bother me anymore. Also, at this point, Christian has essentially thrown his creepy S&M stuff out the window and agreed to pursue a "normal" relationship (YAYSIES). And much to my dismay, I'm growing fond of the ridiculously cheesy "laters, baby" expression. All of his annoying qualities have suddenly become endearing in the second book. I am mad at the author for accomplishing this.

I read the 2nd book quite a bit faster than the first because I found myself skipping over the sex scenes. They're repetitive.  And after I've read the first five, I found I've read them all. I really enjoy the core of the story - learning more about Christian, the turmoil between the two of them, etc.

My biggest problems with book two were James' hideous attempts to build suspense and thicken the plot. I laughed out loud while reading numerous times, simply because I could not believe how downright SILLY some of it was. Especially the ending. BUT this time, I do not have ANY interest in reading the 3rd book.

Christian and Ana are engaged, which as of right now, leads me to believe they will live happily ever after, no matter what some crazy ex-boss tries to do. I have already learned that Christian is all powerful - so it seems like her "plot twist" in the last chapter has failed itself. I am perfectly content to pretend that the last few pages don't exist, and that Christian and Ana live in bliss forever. THE END.
So yes, the 2nd book was much better than the 1st, although neither will go on the list of books I recommend to people.

Final Verdict: Easy reads, good for time wasting if you're not picky about how a book is written, and I would say the vast majority of people probably wouldn't even notice the problems I mentioned in my original review. I'm sad to admit that I will probably go watch the movies.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Dear Mom,

You are the unsung hero of our family. You are the heart beat that I take for granted. The solution to every problem.

Like all moms do, you drive me nuts some times - constantly reminding me to do things and asking me if I remembered this or that. But it's like when the air conditioner at our house goes off after quietly humming for several hours - suddenly I don't know what to do with the silence. It's nice having the background noise. The quiet seems unsettling. That's how I feel when I don't talk to you for more than few hours. Restless. I know that's a weird comparison.

I call you when I don't know where to find a something in the grocery store. You know where to look. I call you when I don't know which medicine to take. You'll know which one will work best. If I need a recipe, I call you. I call you when I'm not sure whether or not two colors match. You'll have the answer. Even though you're several states away, I am still pretty dependent.

Growing up, you worked more than 40 hours a week and still found time to help me with my homework and nag me about the cleanliness of my room. Not to mention the constant encouragement to pursue extracurriculars, and when I finally settled on volleyball, you were pretty gung-ho about being a "Team Mom" of sorts, buying cute gadgets for the girls, like matching socks and scrunchies. I think you also scored us a Gatorade sponsorship, but I don't really remember the specifics on that one.

I know I was probably a pretty ungrateful little biotch. Teenagers are the worst, and I wish I would have said "thank you" more often. Like, thanks for letting me have all my friends over for fooseball parties upstairs, and thanks for letting me go to my friends' houses pretty much whenever I wanted. Thanks for letting me roam the streets of Naples at all hours of the night. I can't imagine how much sleep you lost. Thanks for letting me move my furniture around at 2 AM and not throwing me off a cliff. Thanks for feeding me, buying me things, teaching me the difference between right and wrong, making me read books, showing me the importance of a good education, brainwashing me to hate UF, and raising me overseas. Thanks for not being too strict, but letting me learn from my own mistakes. Thanks for the unconditional love, and for having a good sense of humor. Thanks for not telling Dad everything.

Just...thank you.

I know you think I don't, but I miss you every day.

I love you very much.

Mother really does know best.


Friday, May 11, 2012

El Sneako de Peako

Our wedding photogs posted some sneak peaks of our wedding pictures...

Do you love them? I love them.

Also - Annahita is about to have a baby. Like...give birth. I think Baby J is going to come on Mother's Day...but that's just my humble opinion.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Quite a Weekend

April came into town, which means we tried to squeeze as much fun into every second of the weekend as possible.

Friday after work, we ventured downtown to the Lobster Races. Yep. We race lobsters here in Aiken. I was pretty excited - it was my first time going!
 This mommy/daughter duo trio was SO intense.

On Saturday, we went to see the new Avengers movie and it did not disappoint. It was funny, action packed, and full of eye candy. Definitely worth venturing to the theater. I kind of want to go see it again. Afterwards, we went back to Shonn and Gena's house for dinner, margaritas, and a backyard volleyball tournament.

On Sunday, Mike had to work an outdoor country festival on the Savannah river. So I stayed home and painted the rocking chairs for the front porch. I also finally hung up our magical iron/ironing board storage thing. So now the ironing board isn't just propped up against the wall. I'm all...Rosie the Riveter with my power tools, you know.  =)

Also, I've found myself deliberately not following a new blog if I see a post where they've positively reviewed 50 Shades of Grey. I really need to get over that book. I know people are allowed to like it, I just really want people to dislike it the same way I do. Not to mention I just downloaded the 2nd book in the trilogy because apparently I have LITERALLY NO WILL POWER. I don't know what it was about the first book that rubbed me the wrong way. I am so weird.

Also - I lost 6 lbs last week on Weight Watchers. And this weekend, I gained 5 lbs on Margaritas and my general "family is in town let's pig out" mentality. So there's that.
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