Friday, July 15, 2011

The Designer I'm NOT!!

I finally gave in this morning and provided Tank with a "long-lasting" chew to keep him occupied for the remainder of the morning.  He's been BEYOND unruly for the past couple of days!!  It's Friday in the Burg, which means that I'm busy enjoying my last day of un-work before it's back to the grind on Monday.  (Update as I write: apparently all Tank needed was the thought of a soon as I gave him his chew, he sat down right next to it and fell asleep...ahhhhh, SILENCE!)  

Did a little retro-home-consignment-touring through the city yesterday; found a fun place called the Red Door Consignment Gallery.  They have lots of interesting stuff from retro to modern to traditional--keeping my eye out for a fun set of chairs to create a conversation area either in our main great room or master bedroom...I'll keep you updated!  I did pick up a couple of countertop office files that are going to serve as a handy little home for our kitchen spices and a fun little geometric canvas/cloth piece that is going to find a home in the powder room.  Here's a sneak peek...

Spice Storage
Stay tuned to see the finished product!
Also thinking about hitting up a place called AtomicWarehouse in town to see what they've got!  Trying to kick up my decorating skills a bit and find some fun and new which Mike usually replies something to the effect of is this you trying to be creative?  No joke, pretty sure that was a word-for-word quote from last night...truth is, he is almost always valid and correct in his observations :)  The source of my new found inspiration is a GREAT blog I happened across called Young House Love...I'm hoping it will turn me into an instant design sensation, LOL!!

Before my excursions yesterday, I finally mustered up enough energy to tackle the 3rd floor bedroom and give the hardwood floor a nice deep clean.  Amidst all of the move-in madness, Mike and I had to quickly choose a bedroom so the movers could unpack everything and reconstruct our furniture.  We debated for a bit, but in an effort to streamline the process, decided upon the large bedroom on the second floor with the attached (largest) master bathroom.

Alas, this is where we've been sleeping for the past few weeks...sans decor :-/  The room is large and complete with bay windows and a small little balcony, is west facing and gets really warm from all of the afternoon sun.  I'm just not diggin' the vibe!  What I really mean is I'm in LOVE with the room on the third floor which feels a bit more lofty, has an asymmetrical vaulted ceiling, exposed beams, refurbished hardwood floor, and has LOTS charm (although it boasts a much smaller bathroom).

Going up...(another stairway)
View from the top of the stairs
Another bay window, nice and spacious room!
Bathroom & closet on the right, stairway area on the left
View from the bathroom...a little bit of exposed brick wall
Maybe I'll find a new bed, have it delivered, and have the room decorated by the time Mike gets back from Canada @ the end of next week...ha, doubtful!  Well, we've got a busy weekend ahead--happy hour downtown this evening, possibly hitting up 3rdInTheBurg afterward (a monthly occurrence in gallery exhibits, refreshments, music, etc.), neighborhood clean-up Saturday morning/afternoon, meeting some of my new RN colleagues Saturday evening, and taking a day-trip to Baltimore Sunday (i.e. dropping Mike off at BWI, then shopping and sightseeing my way home)!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Attack of the Giant Blackberries

Monday marked the beginning of my last week as a Harrisburg housewife...the official start of my career as a registered nurse comes on July 18th.  It's bittersweet, really--I sure have been enjoying the time off, having my days completely free to do whatever I please.  On the other hand, I'm going a bit stir-crazy and realize the importance that my career plays in my life (and our checkbook!).  I'm excited to meet my new colleagues and embark on yet another new journey.  That being said, I decided that much of this week should be devoted to getting out of the house and doing a little more exploring of the city and surrounding area (not just cleaning, organizing, and grocery shopping)!!

So...I spent Tuesday morning tinkering with my camera just down the road at Italian Lake; what a cute little park nestled just blocks off of front street in Harrisburg! The surrounding area has some unique architecture that we've spent time exploring while walking around the city.  What follows is a sampling of the photos I snapped--it's too easy to take hundreds of pictures with a fast camera and a 2 GB memory card!  As I begin to take more photos to continue blogging, I realize that I should probably learn at least a little about the modes and settings of our camera (mind you, we've already had it for over 4 years and know little to nothing about it...but both Mike and I can work the automatic mode like professionals, hahaha).  Mom & Kels--that's where you guys come in, you should probably teach us a thing or two :)

Geometric hedges line one wall of the park 
I did not bring home a pet duck.
Central sculpture and pedestrian bridge
Hot & sunny morning in the park
Looking south
Pretty sure this was the google earth car or something similar! You can just barely see it by the street sign.
Looking southwest
Nearby homes 
I was waiting for a frog ;)
According to the sign, not much IS allowed!
Japanese-style pedestrian bridge

By mid-morning I headed to check out the farmers market in the parking lot of the PA Farm Show Building, just a short drive from our house.  We've been eager to find an open-air market here but they don't seem as common (or I just haven't found them).  There are a few large, well established and continually running markets that have, over time, built permanent structures to house their market activity.  Heading inside a semi air-conditioned building to shop a farmers market just seems strange to me.  I don't know about you, but there's just something special about perusing a farmers market from tent to tent with the hot sun beating down on the pavement--it just makes the fruits and veggies look that much better!  It was a small market with plenty of produce choices...everything looked delicious, I wish I would have taken a few photos while I was there...but I didn't, so you'll just have to settle with the few I took when I got home!

I haven't been able to get enough black raspberries since we arrived...they've become my new favorite, by far! One of these days, I'm going to have to do a little investigation and perhaps make an attempt at homemade jam (sounds like a hefty task so if you have any tips or tricks, feel free to share)--although, if I run across a jar or two between then and now, I might just cheat and say it's homemade :)

Can't get enough of the black raspberries!
These are some monster blackberries, maybe they're on steroids!
They're HUGE but oh so fantastic!!!
One of these weekends, we're going to head down to Lancaster which is about 40 miles to the southeast.  I hear they have a fabulous city market--The Lancaster Central Market--that we have to check out.  I also hear the city has some great restaurants, outlets, art galleries, and other attractions; perfect for a weekend day trip!

Feel free to leave any questions, comments, or ideas for future blog posts that you may have.  I'm totally open to suggestions as Mike and I continue on this blogging journey...ideas to keep the posts fresh and fun would be appreciated, I certainly wouldn't want to bore any of you! Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Conversion to Pennsylvanian-ism

Mike and I spent much of Saturday with new friends--hitting up a bluegrass festival at Dickinson College and then a BBQ with friends.  We capped off Saturday night with our new neighbors sitting at the bistro and chatting it times and a late night :).  I have to give a shout-out to the Olde Uptown crew who have all been more fun, friendly, and welcoming than we could have ever've all made us feel welcomed in our new city!!! 

Don't I look excited to be listening to bluegrass...LOL!
A picture is worth a thousand words...these two pretty much sum up our Sunday :)  We spent a hot and sunny afternoon with friends floating down the Yellow Breeches Creek nearby.  Our chain of tubes and "refreshment raft" became a floating beer distribution center to a couple of swimmers wading in the water and a few kayakers paddling by during our trip.  The afternoon wouldn't have been complete without Mike and I completely getting dumped from our tube and completely SOAKED as the current flipped us (too bad we have no photos to capture the complete surprise on our faces)! Lots of relaxing and lots of laughing!

Ready to float!
That's my husband...inner tube monster??

In other news, I finally converted to Pennsylvanian-ism.  By that, I mean that Mike switched over the license plates on the Prius over the weekend (he knew that I wouldn't take on the task myself).  What a sad, sad occasion...I think she looks much happier in MINNESOTA plates.  However, I am pretty excited to order and sport my 'donate life' license I guess it's OK.

Mechanic Mike

The new hardware
Stay tuned for more updates on the first half of our LAST free week before going back to work (I better make the most of it) and Mike's last week before heading back home for a week-long fishing adventure in Ontario, Canada (jealous)!!  Hope you've all had a great beginning to your week!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Birthday Week

Get out the cake, the streamers, the nachos &'s time to celebrate!!! Today marks the beginning of BIRTHDAY WEEK in the Andreen household, a much reveled and important occasion (if you're not familiar with birthday week, you're definitely missing out...who could pass up the opportunity to celebrate for an entire week, rather than just a day)! A big shout-out to my mom, Deb, who celebrates a very special birthday today...I'll let her fill you in on the details!


My grandma's birthday was earlier in the week and my sister, Kelsey, turns the big 24 tomorrow :) Mike and I had homemade chocolate chip waffles to celebrate the occasion from afar, then a nice skype session with the fam, complete with a video tour of the pad in Harrisburg (I'm sure a bit jumpy as I was carrying the computer around the house with me).

Friday was a rainy day in Harrisburg; luckily, I used the time to do a little cleaning.  Those of you who know me know that I love to clean.  No joke, it's definitely something that I've grown into, but I love, love, love to have a spotlessly clean's my way to organize and de-stress, I'm much more relaxed when I can sit down in a clean home! Anyhow, this space is proving quite the challenge...our entire main floor is hardwood and seems to collect all sorts of dirt and chihuahua hair.  Needless to say, I spent a great deal of time wiping the floor :)  Soon enough the house will be pulled together and decorated enough to post some photos on the blog.  Slowly but surely it's starting to feel like a home, not just a shell of a house!

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain...

The Prius misses it's garage...oh well, impromptu car wash!

Thursday night, Mike and I finally made the trek across the river to Al Retherford...basically a local greenhouse/flower-mart of Market Street in Camp Hill, PA.  Market Street is the route I use to get to TARGET (no longer 2 blocks away, but something like 6 miles, eeeekkk!) so I drive by quite often.  The entire front lawn is covered in the most gorgeous hanging baskets and potted plants I've seen--Lynde's has nothing on these baskets! After 20 minutes of browsing and talking to the proud "flower parents", we finally decided on two baskets to bring home and hang from our front porch.  I've never heard someone talk so much about the love and care and babying that goes into growing flowers!  The love definitely shows...these two beauties now have a new home, viola!  Now...let's just hope I can keep them alive!!

Friday evening cleared up and after a run to the grocery store, we made some deliciously spicy sweet and sour shrimp with basil, cracked a few beers, took the chi's on a walk, and watched the Twins bounce back against the Chi-sox.  All in all, a nice relaxing Friday night! Not that you all want to see last night's dinner, but I'm trying

Lots of fresh, colorful veggies
The finished product
City Dogs
Tank is NOT a fan of the neighborhood kids...he likes to run the other way as fast as he can!!
Cheering on the TWINS
Ready for bed

After a little work this morning, our flowers and patio set have found a fresh, new arrangement...perfect for morning coffee or evening drinks!

Now it looks like someone lives here!
A glimpse of our new patio set-up
Alright, alright...enough photos of the flowers!
Off to soak up the sun and enjoy a beautiful weekend...hope the weather is great back home or wherever you happen to be :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Welcome to Harpersburg

Over 8,000 fans watched him on the 4th of July
I've been keeping my eye on Bryce Harper's progress ever since he started playing for the Single-A Hagerstown Suns in Hagerstown, MD.  I told Lyndsey (and almost everyone) that as soon as he got called up to Double-A Harrisburg I would get tickets to watch him play.  Well, Monday morning I decided to check a sports website and sure enough..."Bryce Harper has been promoted to Double-A Harrisburg and is expected to play tonight."  I immediately got online and had tickets within 10 minutes of hearing the news!  Watching a phenom prospect play in person AND 4th of July fireworks?!?  It couldn't get any better.

Oh, but it could...

He didn't give out many of these!
Lyndsey and I got to the park about an hour early to try and catch a glimpse of Bryce Harper warming up.  She thought I was crazy when I went down into a sea of Senators fans to try and get the coveted autograph of the next big thing in professional baseball.  After about 20 minutes of warmups, Bryce Harper finally made his way over to the right field stands.  One by one, the front row cleared out and I snuck my $7 ticket I printed online into his sight.  He grabbed and signed it (it took him about 20 seconds to sign with such an intricate signature).

Needless to say, I was ecstatic!
Lyndsey and I then watched the rest of the game and the post-game fireworks!  One of the best nights ever!  

Having fun!
Bryce Harper finished the night 2 for 3 with a walk...not bad for his first game at a higher level!

All Harrisburg Senators home games are played at Metro Bank Park.  It's actually on an island called City Island (clever) in the middle of the Susquehanna River.  It seats just over 6,000 fans but there was standing room only by the start of the game.  Metro Bank Park was built recently and replaced an old ballpark that hosted Babe Ruth!  I overheard someone telling a story about Babe Ruth and how he hit a HR into the river!

Left Field...Ollie's Bargain Outlet sucks btw
Behind home plate (pre-game)
Harper on 3rd base

The entire night couldn't have been any better!  We are certainly looking forward to going back and watching Bryce Harper continue his domination of minor league baseball in our new city!  I'm sure we will have plenty of posts coming up with other fun nights!!

Here are some random photos of Metro Bank Park:
Left Field

Right Field wall

Right Field