Red bull and purple skies.

I still wake up irritable. This completely boggles my mind. I mean, really?  I expected every morning to smell like roses. And why shouldn't I? I have no boss, no co-workers, no commute. Even the weather doesn't hamper my daily agenda. This is my own personal happy project. Somehow, phantom forces must be working against me. Sometimes, the bedside is just simply the wrong side. There's really no one to blame but myself. This morning, when I realized the wrong side of the bed was unsuccessfully averted, I did the only thing I know to do when I'm throwing a mood for no known reason at all. Red Bull. It's like my magic happy maker. Some people have their coffee. I have my red bull.

Later... much later, once my husband returned home and both our bellies were full, I decided to turn to more natural stimulants. Following our feast, we decided to take a walk around our community lake. This weather! I knew Nati (as I learned today some use to reference this city) is south of where we came from, but 81 degrees in October!? I thought my flip flops would have been long gone this late in the season. The warm breeze made for a perfect pairing during our post-dinner walk. It aint no red bull, but it'll certainly do :)

ROSYRILLI.COM Red bull and purple skies
The view, a stones throw away from our sliding glass door.

Apple Butter + Pumpkin.

Now that I'm playing 50's housewife, I thought it only proper to visit my hometown bearing pies in hand. Naturally, given the season, I wanted to utilize the once-a-year orange deliciousness that is pumpkin. But from there, I was at a loss. Of course there's the obvious winner - pumpkin pie, but it just seemed, dare I say, boring? So I did a little research and found a recipe for Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie. Because really, who knows sugary sweetness better than Paula Deen herself? I've never used apple butter when baking before and thought it could add just the dash of variety I was craving. If you like the robust spiciness of gingersnaps (and I do!), than you'll certainly enjoy this last course. Add a little whipped cream and caramel praline crunch frozen yogurt and... mmm, you've got yourselves a winner!


Yes, I'd venture to say that's a success!


Teacup's model behavior.

Typically my Teacup gets a treat after we've finished our walk around the lake but recently I started noticing some rather obvious adverse behavior. After one measly lap, she started tugging on her leash, in the opposite direction, no doubt in an attempt to reward herself early. Being the nice mommy I am, I decided to take a different approach and treat her occasionally while we walked. Oh my goodness, the cuteness! I noticed that treat no. 1 wasn't consumed, but rather, she held it firmly in her mouth while we strolled. Somehow, she managed to fit the second treat in there too. So now, this tiny little puppy was gallivanting around with, not one but, two treats stuffed in her mouth. I couldn't help but chuckle at her obvious pride. In a moment of sheer amusement, I gave her a third treat. Clearly, there was no more room in that mouth of hers to hold all three. Adorable doesn't even begin to describe her idiocy. She refused to open her little mouth, which inevitably would have led to the loss of treats 1 & 2 from her grasp, and instead bumped her tiny head into my treat holding hand in frustration until I finally forced her to drop her two precious treats. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, but clearly the cutest!

Okay, okay... maybe you had to be there. Regardless, I decided to take an impromptu photo shoot yesterday to capture this adorable face. She did such a brilliant job, don't you think? Clearly, a natural :)

ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
ROSYRILLI.COM Teacup's model behavior.
Teacup, modeling our new sofa oh so stylishly.

For those of you curious, Teacup is a 4 year old Poodle and King Charles Cavalier mix. No barking but some very entertaining howling occasionally occurs. Complete lap dog too. In other words, my perfect fur ball!

Ring-ting-tingling too.

It's too early, already, to be thinking about Christmas lights and sleigh bells... right?  I  mean, I just sprinkled our apartment with a small smattering of Fall decorations yesterday, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a Pottery Barn magazine and ten tiny... percentages off! I can already hear the hum hum humm-along of the holiday music now. And in all seriousness (because this is a VERY serious matter), my husband asked me last night where, in our new place, did I think our Christmas tree should be positioned.

Cannot wait.

Pottery Barn owns my heart.

Foray into the life of a fifties housewife.

I wear aprons and wake up early to cook my husband breakfast before he leaves in the morning. My wardrobe, for once, isn't being held against business casual standards. I take long, leisurely walks around the lake in our community mid-morning and I look forward to tomorrow, no matter what day of the week it is.

It's odd, being unemployed.

When my husband and I decided to make the move to Ohio and, in doing so, part with our previously known lives, we also made an agreement. I had a job at an organization I enjoyed and he was asking me to walk away. That reality was one I'd come to terms with, under one condition: we re-make our lives the way I'd always wanted to live. I've often pondered how it would be preferential to live life based on one income instead of two. Sure, there would be two incomes, but only budget based on one. I'd always longed to live life in that manner before but had found it profoundly difficult to accomplish.

You hear it all of the time nowadays - this is a two income society. And it's absolutely true. When my parent's were young and getting started, there were no internet bills. There were no cable bills. There were no cell phone bills. All of those costs were non-existent. Oh, and lest we not forget that housing was much more affordable. So, yes, I agree, life is simply more expensive nowadays than it once was.  I think it's worth asking, at what expense? What am I really working for? Is it the manicures, the designer handbag, the dinners out with friends at swanky bars? Is it the extravagant vacations, the gourmet meals I cook and the highlights in my hair? And well, the answer to that, too, is yes. You work to afford luxuries and many luxuries are most certainly worth working towards.

Women have fought long and hard to be able to join the workforce and be treated equally.  What saddens me, however, is that it seems somehow along this journey we've lost out on choice. During the fight, did we disintegrate the integrity and option of a mother staying at home to raise her children? It kind of feels that way to me. From my very limited vantage point, it also now seems like women are carrying a heftier burden. Not only are we putting in full time hours at the office, but often seem to still be managing the home and doing most of the child rearing.  Of course, there are always the exceptions.  To me, it just seems like either we both work and split all responsibilities perfectly down the middle, which seems absolutely reasonable, or else there needs to be a trade off.  And here's my proposed trade off. No more fancy hair appointments. No more gas money spent on commuting or money spent on lunches, happy hours or nights out with co-workers. No more shopping endlessly for new work wardrobes. Instead, replace that all with sacrifice. Being home with my children is worth the sacrifice to me. It's a choice. A decision. Or at least, it should be.

And enter my test run. I don't have children, so it honestly feels...wrong? Out of place. Not quite right. But hey, why not see how this feels before I hit the pavement in an attempt to find that new job. Is there resentment? Is there too much boredom? Does socializing with only one person, my husband, drive me up a wall after two weeks? What will this look like? Can I do this? And even more importantly, do I want to? Is it worth all of the sacrifices I will undoubtedly have to make? Do I even enjoy endlessly cleaning and cooking?

This is my test run: Me, as a fifties housewife.

ROSYRILLI.COM Foray into the life of a fifties housewife
Apron inspiration: Anthropologie's Tea-and-Crumpets

I even went so far as to mimic this inspired hairstyle, in the grand spirit of things.  As a disclaimer, I'd like to emphasize the fact that everyone, and every relationship, is different. This is the beauty of people. My husband doesn't take enjoyment out of tinkering with mechanics, fixing cars, and certainly could do without having to take out the trash. If he were busy doing those traditionally "manly" tasks while I busied myself with the cooking, cleaning, and laundry, I think it may have tipped the equality scale. Instead, my husband prefers football and beer. This is how I met him and this is how I love him. He also has a strong preference for me handling all of the traditional wifey duties, so our relationship has always worked a certain way. And clearly, I'm not an entirely selfless person. I will be the first to admit that I have my limits. Our relationship, created between him and I, is entirely unique to us. I've observed other people's relationships which have included, but are not limited to, boyfriends who wake up at 4am to shovel off the snow from their girlfriend's cars. Those relationships work a little differently than mine. I am certainly not suggesting a one size fits all. I am purely requesting a choice in the matter of stay-at-home mommyhood. A choice, judgement free.

Me, in the Midwest.

Oh my heavens! This is how you know you're in the Midwest - when the convenience stores are named after dairy farmers. It hasn't ceased to amaze my husband and I. Still wrapping my head around the fact that, within walking distance, I can purchase alcoholic beverages from said convenience stores too.

Ohio, I knew I loved you.

Simply made.

It's really no secret that I'm not much of a cook. It could help to explain why I love sandwiches and salads so much. Both are chock full of healthy, fresh ingredients and both can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. But hey, I bet none of those raw food diet followers would judge me for my habits! It's at least a rather healthy, if not partially lazy, go-to meal of mine. The other day, after preparing my usual, I took a step back and looked at my mini-creation.  I'm making a lot of hoopla out of a simple sandwich, but how does it get much better than this? Simple can be quite delicious.

Fresh bread from the local bakery
Baby spinach
Sliced tomato
Turkey meat, deli style
Swiss cheese
A little dab of mayonnaise, for good measure

Fortunate forecasts.

Prior to our departure from Philadelphia, there was one last individual I had to meet - a neighbor I hadn't previously known. My knowledge of her existence came to be in a rather peculiar way. I was called upon the great city of brotherly love as a juror, and while there, I happened to notice another gal that sounded just like me during questioning. We even moved to Manayunk the same year. She was also selected, ironically, and we soon realized that her and I both grew up in small, neighboring towns. A very brief time later, she asked whether I happened to be a Virgo. And why yes, I am!. Her ability to decipher one's sign from so little information awed me and it soon got us talking about our mutual interest in astrology. During the conversation, I timidly admitted that I sometimes frequent psychics, to which she answered with enthusiasm that she often spoke to Valerie on the radio. Valerie, I said? Yes, Valerie from Manayunk, she answered! I had never heard of this woman and my new found friend from jury duty informed me all about her - how she lived in Manayunk, spoke every Monday on the radio, helped the police etc. I was immediately intrigued and even more so when I realized the street she resided. I thought to myself, hm.. what are the chances. It's a long street, but how incredible would it be if Valerie was right around the corner. So naturally, I did what every curious person would do, and went home to google her address. Lo and behold! What do you know but she lived in VERY close proximity! This, surely, was a sign that I needed to meet this lady. And so, I scrambled to schedule an appointment with her before leaving town.

I was not disappointed. Valerie's house is quite eclectic but she's so sweet and kind, you immediately feel at ease.

There are some things I don't necessarily feel comfortable sharing due to the personal nature of her revelations but below are a few of the more general observations:

I will have a boy and a girl. The girl will be born around 3 - 4 years later than the boy. Valerie mentioned that if we're not careful, there could be another child right after our son is born. If it happens, it will be a boy. She mentioned that my children will be healthy, but that she sees an operation. I will most likely have a preemie which will require a c-section, but she said not to worry as all will work out fine.

[And this is where I'd like to insert that I enjoyed Valerie's approach. She doesn't make you feel like there's lack of choice. She makes it very clear that she's not God. She sees visions but can give you advice or recommendations. So here, she made comment, that we in all likelihood could have three children, but that I'll have my hands full after the first. She pointed out the costs of college these days and hinted, in so many ways, that financially three children could end up being a strain. Now, if you recall, I shared past psychic forecasts here which are pretty similar to this one, right? Three children. Two boys and a girl. Right a bell!?]

Valerie said she could see me as a homemaker and made comment that my husband will really love it. She also hinted that I could go back to work - back to something administrative or HR related, but that she ultimately sees me at home (much to my delight!).

I showed her pictures of my family and she went through each member - how she saw my sister getting married to a good man, and a big event occurring around August 11th (the same weekend as her wedding!), how my youngest sister will get married around the age of 26, how my parents will go on a big trip, which will be fantastic. Italy, she said. And you know the craziest thing? My parents have been talking about possibly making a trip of Italy for the past few months now. I mean, how do you account for something like that?! Valerie also said that she sees my husband's job change being very positive and that he's only going up from here. More money. More travel. We chatted about my sister-in-law and how she'll remarry in a few years to a more mature man and that she sees another child - a boy. We also had conversations with Valerie about my deceased father-in-law and there were some pretty interesting aspects there as well. To my husband, she said that he'll say "hello" in the form of a co-worker telling him about his/her pet bird, which will be white in color. I could go on and on.

Everything I've listed above is pretty superficial information. There were a lot more details discussed, but as I mentioned, I'm only willing to send so many of them out there to the land of the internet. Time will ultimately tell, won't it? There's really no fooling accuracy so we will see!

Home sweet home.

We're here! We're here! We're here! After spending one last gorgeous weekend at the shore with my husband's family, we packed up the essentials from our house (in record time, might I add) and drove the 10 hour drive to Ohio. Well, technically we drove about 5 hours, stopped overnight to lounge at a hotel, and drove the remainder in the morning. Regardless, we're here! We've officially taken up new residence.  It has all happened so quickly that I don't think my mind has yet caught up with my physical location. After running what seemed to be an endless stream of errands upon our arrival, hubs and I were finally able to relax and enjoy a little adventure on Sunday, prior to the start of his first day at work. For our inaugural trip, we headed down south to Newport on the Levee, which is actually located in Kentucky. Kentucky! Who goes to Kentucky!? Well, apparently, we do. We splurged on a late lunch at Mitchell's Fish Market, where they import fresh fish daily. It was the prefect day, and as we sat outside enjoying our meal, I was able to glimpse the Cincinnati skyline for the first time. 

This is it. This is officially home.
This is it.

Blackened tilapia with a delicious, creamy lobster bisque.

9/17: On the rocks.

What seems like a very long time ago...

Ironically, the time when most is changing in our lives, I'm unable to update my blog with any new posts. We've rid ourselves of both internet AND cable in our home, in an effort to stay motivated and focused on cleaning, clearing and packing. And boy, has it worked. You wouldn't believe the things you find to do late in the evening when the couch and TV are no longer beckoning. We're off to Cincy in less than a week. It has all happened so fast and I certainly feel the constant push of the propeller forcing us forward. I think the timing is just right, while we're still young enough to pull off a move like this, without children. On the evening in which my husband and I toasted our beers in celebration of our decision to move, we both chuckled that we'll hopefully look back at this time with fondness. Even if we "fail", this is what life is about. These are the memories we'll remember tomorrow. It's not everyday, after all, that you pick up your entire life and move it to another state. 

As a temporary farewell, we had the pleasure of a perfect, chilly, Fall September weekend in the Poconos with my family, minus one sick sister. It was leisurely and relaxed, a nice change to the frantic pace we've been experiencing as of late. We drank wine, ate delicious home-cooked food, played corn hole on the lake beach and even saw a rainbow in broad, sunshiney daylight. We also grabbed lattes at the local cafe and traveled to Boulder Field, a place which my family hasn't visited in years. It's quite spectacular to view and even more exciting to cross. I'll definitely put it away in our book of memorable moments.

Phillies vs. Reds

A few weeks ago....

I've been feeling considerably calm about the whole moving-my-life-to-another-state inevitability. Okay, calm enough that the only real aspects stressing me out lately are the immediate tasks at hand - cleaning, meeting, selling. But the big part - the part that requires me to leave my family and friends and everything I know, behind.. well, that part has felt surprisingly like a quiet undercurrent. So clearly I'm either suffering from acute shock or else utter denial. I've felt the sad twinges or little strikes of fear to my heart every so often, but I've done my best to push them all away. This impending move feels more like a vacation, one which requires a lot of last minute preparations. If I'm being honest, I've already started to dread those first few days in our new apartment, when boxes are still unpacked, furniture is scarce and there's no internet connection. It's like the first few days on a new job, always unsettling and nerve racking before you adopt your routine. I've tried to make peace with it, knowing how quickly a place can feel like a home. And I'm glad for the time of year, when the leaves will start to grow orange and red, and the weather will turn from warm to crisp. The holidays too, will come tumbling fast as they always do. This move will hopefully be like college,  a few years away, dotted with many trips back home. Nothing is forever and all I can do is witness where life chooses to take us. We're certainly taking the road less travelled, but there's a certain level of excitement in doing so. I was complaining to my husband just a month ago how boring life felt. How stagnant everything was becoming, as if we weren't really progressing in any sense. Well, this is it. Here we go. Hold on tight.

And did I mention the irony in everything surrounding this move? The less than stellar work atmosphere my husband was experiencing, the meeting he was dreading that was pushed back from a day before his interview, to a few days afterwards. The call he received confirming his offer, just minutes before that delayed meeting. The night we decided to walk up to a local restaurant and discuss the possibility of moving our lives and, ironically, the bartender asking the two of us, out of a crowded bar, which channel the Phillies game was being broadcast. How she turned to the channel moments later - how we noticed with curiosity that the Phillies were playing none other than the Cincinnati Reds. This is the road less travelled, but it really feels like the only one before us. If things were meant to be, I would say there is a very strong sense that we're supposed to be making this decision. This trip is where we're supposed to go.