Sunday, May 13, 2012

Race Season

I ran my first 5 mile race this weekend! I was proud of my 50:03 time even though I placed 62/86 in my age bracket. I had only ran 5 miles straight once before (which happened to be 5 days earlier) The beginning of the race was a little crazy. They close the roads at USF for Miles for Moffitt. It was 15 minutes to race time so Cassie and I just parked somewhere and hustled for what seemed like a mile to the start. We ended up being at the very back of the pack- running to catch up with the crowd. The race had started and we were still working our way to the starting line. I had trouble pacing myself at first, but once I found my rhythm I was fine. I think I can improve my time, my 5th mile was my fastest and I wasn't dying at the end. Dedee made it just in time to see me turn the corner and cross the finish line.
I've got to stop doing this. It happened 2 weekends before when I ran the Iron Girl in Clearwater. It was stormy all night long so Cassie decided not to run that morning. On that day, I just assumed it would start where it usuallly does-Pier 60 . Guess what? I assumed wrong. The start was across the bridge at Curtis Hixon Park. I was on time but in the wrong place! Once again they closed the roads for the race. Dedee was driving so I just hopped out somewhere. As soon as I shut the car door, I heard the announcer counting down from 30. I started booking it to the start line. I just jumped right in a pack and took off. I was pretty impressed with my time for this one too. I hadn't been running regularly and couldn't tell you the last time I ran 3 miles. Take this into account with not having anyone to run with, running against the wind the ENTIRE time and running up a huge bridge, my 31:22 time is not too shabby.
I couldn't find any of my friends in either race, so my goal next race is not to improve my time, but to arrive earlier so I'm not panicked at the start and I can catch up with some friends.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We're getting MARRIED!!

April 12th is our anniversary. We've been dating 7 years. Each year we do something extra special to celebrate. Because we just bought the house, I knew we couldn't afford to do something extravagant. I had been asking Dedee for a few weeks what he wanted to do. The only answer I ever got was "I don't know." Finally the 12th was here. I had to stay late at work so I called Dedee to let him know. He informed me that he was going to cook dinner for us. When I got home, he had just started cooking so I hopped in the shower. As soon as I turned the shower off, all I could smell was something burning. I opened the bathroom door and was greeted by a cloud of smoke. The entire house was filled with smoke. (Don't worry, the house isn't on fire) Dedee had opened all the windows and the doors because as he was cooking the chicken chimichangas, one piece of chicken got stuck in the bottom of the pan he was using to deep fry them and continued to burn. This was just a minor glitch in our romantic dinner. Once I got a chance to look out back, I could see that Dedee had set up my moms card table, her table cloth and some candles in the back yard. (At this point I was hoping to get a ring, but not expecting it) Dedee sends me outside and then pours us some wine and serves dinner. Dinner was delicious! I love Mexican food. As it gets dark the mosquitoes come out, so we head inside. I give Dedee my gift- a year worth of dates. (I got the idea off pinterest- here is the link) After he opened it, I just sat looking at him like "Now it's your turn. Where's my gift?" He then asks me if I want dessert. Of course I say yes. Who am I to turn down ice cream. While he is in the kitchen I'm cant help but get a little disappointed. Not only was I not going to get a ring like I hoped; I didn't get ANY present. (I'm sorry. Dinner was nice, but it doesn't count as a gift) After icecream, I suggest heading to bed and reading some of the Hunger Games. (This is the first book we've ever read together) I get all situated in bed (I noticed all the pillows thrown around but Dedee said he was playing with the dog on the bed. I didn't think anything of it.) Dedee turned off all the lights in the house. When he waleds into the room, he turned of the lights. I asked (a little frustrated) "What are you doing?!?! I thought we were going to read." Silence. I'm looking around unable to see a thing- not even him, and he says "Read it!" It is then that I see this above my head.
Dedee had stuck glow-in-the dark stars on the ceiling to spell out his demand (notice it's not a question). When I looked down, although I could barley see him, he was on one knee beside the bed holding a ring.  
All I could say was "Are you serious?" He replied with "I wouldn't have a ring if I wasn'" and I said YES!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm Back!

I know I fell of the face of the Earth, but I'm back now. The reason for my disappearance was actually a few things:
#1- I had to evacuate my house for a few days. I had an insect problem--on my head--and had to have the house fumigated. When we came back, EVERYTHING had to be cleaned. Between the hours spent combing through my hair strand by stand and all the cleaning and washing, it was the worst experience ever. I've never had it before. Now that I'm grown I get it! Yuck! I guess it's one of the hazards of working with kids.
#2- I was in a car accident on Valentines day (very romantic I know). My car was totalled, so I spent a lot of time dealing with insurance, getting a rental and finding a new car.
and lastly #3- (which was actually caused by number 1 and 2) Having to deal with all that put me behind at work, so I had to spend a lot of time last week playing catch up.

So do you want to see my new car?
Here it is!

2010 Nissan Altima

This is what I was driving before.

2008 Honda Accord

but this is what it looked like after the crash.

I do love my new car. It's very nice-it has all the bells and whistles and its a V6. Definite upgrade...but honestly I miss my old car, Suzy Shark. (Yes I name my cars. My best friend started it.) Which car do you like better? The Accord or Altima?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Super Bowl Success

We had our first Super Bowl Party and I must say it was a success! About 12 people showed up. Dedee made his famous mac-n-cheese and I make my now famous red velvet cupcakes. My friend Jessica sent me these really creative bingo cards. Only the girls played (but I think they boys wanted to). She did a little research to find out what type of commercials were going to be aired. You had to watch and spot the items on your card. Some of the items included: an african animal, a vampire, clydesdales and a talking animal.

So here's the secret to my redvelvet cupcakes...
use a box cake mix, but add a box of dry chocolote jello to it.

The light and airy cream cheese icing is what makes these magical. I make it from scratch, but it's sooo easy!

  1. Beat a 8oz block of cream chese and a stick of butter with a mixer (I used my new red KitchenAid that I got for Christmas).
  2. Gradually beat in a 16oz box of powdered sugar.
  3. Finally whisk in a small container of Cool Whip.
I put it in a a ziplock baggie and then cut of the bottom corner to frost them, but you could just spread it on if you want.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

brownies + cookie dough = heaven

Last weekend we had game night at my BFF's house. Her hubby cooked delicioius ziti and we played the board game Loaded Questions. I had never played this one before but it was fun. Basically, a question is asked, everyone must write their answer down and then someone guesses which answer belongs to who.

I decied to use my bran-new baking stuff that my mom got me to make these cookie dough brownies. I love, love, love my stirling silver measuring spoons. :)

I found the recipe on my newest addiction...pinterest. It's from the recipe girl site. She made her browneis from scratch--mine came from a box and were still A-MAZING! I used Betty Crocker's Ultimate Fudge Brownies mix; the one with the pack of fudge inside. I didn't use the fudge...I saved it to squeeze on top of the cookie dough. Making the cookie dough (without any eggs) from cratch was easy. Simply:

  1. Use an electric mixer to combine 3/4 cups of butter, 3/4 cups of brown sugar and 3/4 cups white sugar.
  2. Mix in 3 Tbs milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla.
  3. Add in 1 1/2 cups flour until just combined.
  4. Then fold in some chocolate chips.

When finished, spread the cookie dough over cooled brownies and put in the freezer. When ready to serve, cut into squares and drizzle the fudge over the top. Word of advice- cut small servings; these are very rich and oh so yummy!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Frankie went to the Doctor

Franks has been licking his paw for about a week, but I didn't see anything wrong with it until yesterday. He had this large red bump on his thumb. I was really worried about it, so I took him to the vet. Turns out he has a hematoma. I had never even heard of this before, but I guess its common and not a big deal. Hematomas are caused when the body over-reacts to some type of irratiation. It could have been a splinter or a bite. It is supposed to go away on its own...but it's not. I guess it iches, so he is always lick it which stops it from healing. Our new vet is super. She gave him a band-aid to prevent the lickety instead of licking it, he's biting it. Luckily he only has to wear it for 2 days.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Tour

Here's a tour of our new home.

The garage was an new experience for me. I've never had a garage to park in before, so I had to have lots of guidance parking the first few times...I still can only park on the left side. When I try to park on the right, I end up in the middle with no room for another car.

This is the view walking in the front door. The master bedroom is off to the left. I just love how open it is when you first walk in. When the sliding glass doors are open, this area seems extra spacious.

Standing in the living room looking back at the front door, from the foyer, the 2 other bedrooms are off to the left and the laundry room is on the right.

You can't really tell in the pictures, but the counter tops are BLUE! Not a navy blue--a bright country blue. I loth the counter tops and will find a remedy for that eye-sore sometime soon (too bad new countertops are not in our budget). Other than the countertops and the country feel of the kitchen (which are both fixable--the second one easier than the first), I love it! There is a lot of counter space and tons of cabinets to store all of the cooking thing I don't own...yet.

The breakfast nook has a lovely bay window that looks into the backyard. One day I want to put a bench there. I'm not in love with the table (too busy with a country feel for my taste), but it came with the house...and not having a table meant don't complain.

At one point, this was a patio. They did a great job converting it into a sunroom.

This is my favorite part of our house...the backyard. It's small (which is good for Dedee), but we don't have any neighbors behind us. The beautiful view is part of the Jewish Community Center. You can't see them in the picture, but on the right you you can see a bit of thier tennis courts through the trees. I wasn't too sure about them at first, but I don't even notice them any more. The previous owners had a hot-tub on the deck, but since we're not the hot-tub type, the deck is perfect for
bar-b-q'ing and entertainng; it just needs
to be stained and sealed.

There are no pics of the bedrooms because they just look like a box with 4 plain white walls in the pictures, and none of the bathrooms becasue I can't seem to get a picture that does either one justice. I will be posting pictures of the room as the develope more.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So this is our 3 bedroom; 2 bath, 1648 sqft home.
After looking for months at what seemed to be hundreds of houses, we found his beauty..but I wan't sold right away.

These are the things I loved:
  • the openness of the living area
  • the backyard- the deck, the view...and no neighbors!
  • the floors- wood laminate throughout except tile in the foyer and bathroom
  • the master bath- newly remodeled, spacious shower

But here are the things I wasn't too sure about:

  • the architectural design of the walls- there are cut-outs, indents, and angles everywhere (I'm more of a simple kind of girl)
  • smaller bedrooms
  • blue countertops in the kitchen
  • tennis courts visable from the backyard

In addition to being indecisive, I'm the kind of person that likes to shop around and know exactlly what's out there before making any type of decision; so needless to say, I had a lot of trouble commiting. I liked the house. It was one of the nicer ones that we'd seen, but I wanted my parents to see it and to get thier opinion. I also wanted to keep looking to see if there was anything better that I hadn't seen yet; but I couldn't do either. There were already multiple offers on the table and they were meeting that day at 3 o'clock to make a decision. If I wanted it, I had to make an

After looking at 2 more houses, we decided to go back to this one. The entire ride there was spent on the phone with my parents (who just happen to be having lunch together). I was getting their advice and explaining what the house was like and all the details. When we got there, everyone took pictures and sent them to my mom because she couldn't leave work to come see the house.

Meanwhile, my heart is going a million miles a minute and I can't sit still. This was a huge decision; probably the biggest one I've ever made. I had already fallen in love with a 1920's bungalwo in an ideal location, but couldn't afford the repairs that it needed. I also had my eye on another fixer-upper, but it was bank owned and they wanted way too much for the condition it was in. I wan't sure I was ready to take a chance and have my heart crushed again.

Finally, after a huge push from everyone (especially by my BFF Heather), I decided to go for it. We grabbed lunch and then met our realtor to finalize the offer. We sat down and worked some numbers finally decided on a bid of $152,000. We bid slightly higher than the $149,000 asking price because there were already 3 deals on the table and other houses in the area that were in worse condition had sold for around that price. I signed the papers and after that, all we could do was wait.

The next day (which turned out to be my 26th birthday) I got the phone call...

our bid was the best! THE HOUSE WAS OURS!

On September 9, 2011, I signed all of the papers and the house offically beceme our home.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New year, New blog

So here it goes… my first blog post.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a year now, and I am finally here. I’m going to do it!

Hi, my name is Pamela Hughes, butmost people just call me Pam. I love crafting, decorating, and DIY projects. I also enjoy baking—but NOT cooking. During the day I’m a first grade teacher. In my spare time (which there isn’t too much of that) I am usually hanging with my family, on the computer (I’m addicted to pinterest), or reading magazines. I like to run too. Notice I said “like”—not “love”—for that one.

I just bought my first house in Tampa, Florida. I live there with my boyfriend of 6 years and my dog Frankie.

I’ve decided to start blogging as a way of journaling my adventures of being a home owner. I am not the domestic type, so this could be interesting. I’m sure that this blog will include many trials and errors, as well as life lessons along the way. My goal in blogging is to keep myself and others motivated. I hope to inspire, as well as be inspired. Most of all, I would like to connect with others. Feel free to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!