Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | July 14, 2014

Mi Casa es su Casa

So I finally got around to taking pictures of our tiny house the other day. I wish that I had done so of our little home in downtown San Diego before we left because I just loved our little place there. We moved from a historic 1900 craftsman style house in downtown SD that had been subdivided into a 550 sq ft apartment on one side. Now we’re in a historic 1920 farmhouse cottage that’s been subdivided and our apartment is 600 sq ft. We gained 50 sq ft! Yay! We live in beautiful historic neighborhood Laurel Park in downtown Sarasota. We love being near everything, and as soon as Shawn’s office moves to it’s downtown location, Shawn will be back to a 5 minute walk to work. In California, our rent was probably about twice as much as many pay in mortgage. Here in Sarasota, it’s not so different. But it’s worth it because we don’t want the 30 plus minute drive to Shawn’s work. So here’s out little place in all its glory.

So, when you walk through the front door, you’re walking into our bathroom area. That’s because it used to be a sunroom. We hung a drape from the ceiling on the left so that the sink area was blocked from view and installed a bi-fold door to add some privacy to the room.

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Our little bitty bathroom doesn’t have much space, but I’m glad there’s a frosted window in there so that it’s airy and light. Dark and small is not a good combo. We decided to do a drape in front of the sink instead of a room divider. We imagined the partition getting knocked over many times. The bi-fold door was an inexpensive easy solution to add some privacy.

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Love windows in a kitchen. Yep, our Christmas lights are still there. I haven’t used them since January. Our kitchen fits one person comfortably. 2 people is a dance. 3 is company. This allows me to be very hospitable, but another reason why I may shoo you out of the kitchen. (Ahem, Sonia.ūüėČ I’m very happy the owner installed lots of cabinets and shelves in here.

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The owner built in shelves and storage space everywhere. That’s a huge help to someone who loves books.

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In our downtown apartment in California, we had to take apart our dining table and store it under the bed. It’s nice to be able to use it now. Love the deep cabinets behind the table. They’re original and are a wonderful space saver.

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Spin in a circle and there’s our little living room. I like to think of it as snug and intimate… just the right size for having good conversation and sitting close to the TV. We also added our own storage solutions.

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Shawn is kind. He let me have the little closet that’s at the entrance to the bedroom. We also managed to squeeze in my writing desk that is accompanied by my mini laptop and where I oil paint. It’s nice to have when I’m inspired to write or paint.

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The bedroom is just big enough to get everything in. We don’t walk through the bedroom, we shuffle.ūüôā Shawn’s clothes hang over my reading chair and I find that comforting. I’m a weirdo.

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Well, that’s how we make 600 sq ft our home. I love being here when Shawn gets home. Dinner’s ready. House is tidy. It’s certainly a different lifestyle… to be downtown, to save up for a large down payment on a house soon, to be a home-maker. It’s just right for us.ūüôā

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | May 5, 2014

Update to the Fishing Kayak

We’ve made a few modifications to our kayak.

 20140503_151049 20140503_154351 Shawn added these grooves

to the side and colored them in so that we’d have a simple way of measuring our fish. A line for every inch and a circle around a line for every foot.

20140503_154213Shawn then added some bungee straps to the side of our tackle so that we could mount our lantern/torch for navigation at night and for me

to see what I’m doing in the dark.

Then Shawn secured pieces of the float noodle to our bait bucket so that it now stays straight up and down in the water.

Then he added 3 x as many holes for aeration, and for the bait bucket to drain quick and submerge quick.

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Saturday evening, Shawn tested the spook jr he purchased and caught a snook. Sunday morning, we arrived just before the sun. First cast with the spook, Shawn caught an over the slot red, 27.5 “. Then later that day, a 26” snook; just 2 inches shy of being in the slot, on a gulp shrimp.

It was a good weekend, despite a crazy girl kayaking through my fishing line. I guess she couldn’t see the big bright yellow bobber floating ¬†just off the ¬†front of my kayak. And maybe she didn’t hear me say “Watch out! You’re going through my line”, as I’m frantically trying to reel in. And when she stopped, then proceeded to paddle forward furiously, I’m thinking maybe she knew better than to listen to Shawn telling her to paddle backward so the line wouldn’t get drug out and the lure slide over her legs and get a hook embedded in her skin…

and despite getting a 36$ parking ticket for parking in what is normally a good spot to park in the park, but that day the city had planned some road improvement there, and put barricades up around that area. The barricades were down when we got there that morning. The evening before, we had seen someone move the barricade to load up their kayak. We had asked a cop that was parked next to our car if the park was closed, and he said it had been because of a water spout that day. So the next morning, being that there were no water spouts, and the barricade was off to the side, we thought it was fine to park in the normal area. At least they didn’t tow our car… that’s our $36 contribution for parking improvement.


(Apparently, Shawn’s Texas A&M Alumni sticker couldn’t handle the salt life. Need a new one.ūüôā

Life is good.

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | April 28, 2014

Man-Powered Fishing Machine

Me and Shawn have always loved fishing. Some of my fondest memories of when we first started dating are fishing on the ponds on our property or walking down the road to Piney Woods lake. Good ol’ country living. Since moving to the Florida coast where the fishing is spectacular, we are totally addicted. Since Shawn’s big 3-0 birthday wasn’t celebrated with a bang because we live out-of-state away from many friends and family, and we had just gotten back from spending the holidays in Texas, Shawn’s parents came up with an awesome idea for a birthday present: book a guided fishing tour. Since the fishing season doesn’t get hot until March, we took our time looking for the right tour and spent just about every weekend exploring every possible area you can fish from shore. We constantly absorbed information walking the areas, looking at maps, talking with seasoned anglers, and watching Youtube videos (our favorite YouTube fishing channel is Zoffinger). ¬†We have been fishing here in the Sarasota area, the nearby keys, and nature preserves since January, and we began to notice more and more how agonizing it was to come across the limits of shore fishing time and again… if only we had a small boat or kayak, we could get to that area, we could get to where we see the fish feeding…

So, with an unexpected work bonus and Shawn’s parents gift, we purchased an angler’s kayak from a wonderful store in Saint Petersburg, called West Coast Kayaks and Paddle Boards.






I liked the name since we moved from the west coastūüôā, and we also liked the price and customer service. We had done a couple weeks worth of research looking at Craigslist ads, reading about different kayaks, and visiting different stores. We purchased our Kayak Friday afternoon, and immediately went to Home Depot and Walmart to purchase things we knew we’d need to get started on customizing our kayak.







We worked til about midnight.¬†20140425_214850¬†We purchased these two Coleman LED lanterns from Walmart, instead of buying more expensive boat lights, to comply with marine vessel regulations if we’re to be out late. I got 2 permanent markers and colored the one you see here for the bough, port and starboard. The other is our stern light.






I made sure it had the desired effect. Yep. Bright red and green to be seen in the dark. Don’t want to get a ticket. Next was figuring out how to rig these to the yak.





20140425_215042 Shawn drilled and riveted all night to put additional cleats, padeyes, and hooks.



¬†We bought this bright orange pool noodle from Walmart to fit as an anchor float instead of purchasing one. We’ll use the rest of it to make smaller floats to hook up to loose items we have to keep out for quick easy access, like our fish gripper and fish bat.

Instead of purchasing an anchor, we purchased a 10 lb weight plate from Walmart, attached nylon rope to it, and attached our float to the end. Now, if the big fish bites, we can set loose the anchor and let the monster take us for a ride instead of breaking our reel, and paddle back to where the anchor is.

20140425_230103¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†20140425_235059¬†Shawn pumping air into the wheels of our kayak cart. Carrying our kayak to the water once it’s rigged up and has all our equipment just isn’t an option.


The next morning we got up early and headed back to Home Depot and Walmart again with an inventory list of more things necessary to finish our projects, and continued working until midnight, again, drilling, sawing PVC, tying bungee and rope…



Shawn almost lost an eye while taking apart a riveter because the spring coil shot out unexpectedly.





Getting there! ¬†¬† 20140426_220049¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†20140426_230226¬† The kitties sat next to the door for hours wondering if we’d forgotten them.


¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Finally, we’ve got just about everything we want done and added on. Enough for us to take her out and do some serious fishing.

Sunday morning, we got up at about 7ish, had our coffee, loaded the kayak, and drove to Ted Sperling Park on Lido Key. ¬†20140427_092850¬†From front to back, our tackle box is strapped to the bough. A PVC pipe is fitted to the back of the tackle box that our port/starboard light is fixed to. A scotty rod holder is mounted in front of the tackle box. High back seats are strapped down with mesh zip pockets in the back to hold items such as water-tight phone case, bait net, etc. Our life vests just rest against the backs for extra cushion and easy access. We bought from Walmart a cheap plastic container that fits into another to hold our bait. One we drilled holes into so when we have live bait, we take it out of the other container and tie it to the side on a trolley rope while in the water to aerate. We have a trolley rope on each side, one for the bait container to be passed back and forth to which of us is fishing with live bait. The other trolley has our anchor attached so that we can change which direction we want to face while anchored. In the middle is where we keep our anchor, underneath our ice chest for fish which is strapped down if we want to bring it. If we don’t bring it, we simply put our fish on a line attached to the side and pull them along. Behind the back seat we have a stand made out of PVC fitted for our lunch box to be strapped down. We have 2 PVC holders fitted to the back of the lunch box, one for our fish net, the other for a PVC rod that we can hook our stern light to. Underneath the lunch box is where our cast-net is stored. Our kayak cart folds down and fits between the seat and lunch box. We have 2 trolling rod holders in the back, 2 scotty rod holders on the sides in the middle, and one scotty rod holder in the front. We bought at Walmart a bright LED flashlight/lamp to use at night and want to add a strap to the top of the tackle box so we can use it for navigation while paddling at night. In the future, we also want to add pontoons for extra stability. All in all, we figure we saved at minimum, 5-600 customizing and outfitting our yak ourselves. The nice angler’s kayaks we were looking at, that were outfitted with some of what we’d want started at around 1500, for a single. For tandem, 2000 plus… yikes!
20140427_100105¬† ¬†She is very stable. ¬† ¬†20140427_100135 20140427_113624¬† Lunch break.20140427_113733¬† ¬†Lots of people out that day. Our yak got lots of compliments.ūüôā I overheard people talking about how expensive our kayak cost. ¬†¬†20140427_113801¬† This is where Shawn caught his first snook the other night. It was 2 feet long and a beauty.¬† 20140427_114907¬† After lunch, Shawn threw in the cast net a few times to catch some bait fish. So far, had only caught a pin and a ballyhoo. The feeding period was starting up so it was time to get back out. ¬† 20140427_130838¬† We anchored where the water was boiling from bait fish and where we kept seeing lots of mullet leaping. We learned from a guy that we watch on Youtube that mullet are a good sign for redfish because they churn up what they like to eat. Bam! A beautiful 25 inch red caught on white baitfish. It was really pulling the drag. Our 10 pound anchor worked well. Several hours went by fast and after getting used to the feel of our kayak and paddling in sync, it was time to pack up and head home. Can’t wait to get back out there!

20140427_191059This red made some nice big filets for sandwiches and salad. As always, ‘we thank you for your sacrifice.’

Life is good.ūüôā

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | December 16, 2013


Shawn and I love celebrating our back to back anniversaries. December 12, eight years ago, we went on our first date. It wasn’t a nervous big first date. We’d been hanging out for a while as friends and had known each other at the place we both worked at a year and a half earlier. When I first realized that I liked him more than just a friend, I panicked because I didn’t want to spoil a really good friendship that was growing. Happily, Shawn called me up one night and told me he wanted to date me. 3 years later, Shawn took me to a very special place from my childhood to celebrate our dating anniversary. My grandparents used to take me to this fabulous fancy restaurant called Dakotas in downtown Dallas. After a wonderful dining experience, as dessert, a plate was placed in front of me with the little black box, cueing Shawn to kneel and ask for my hand. We were married 1 year and a day later, December 13, 2008.

Because we’d celebrated our 5 year dating anniversary big, we wanted to do something special for our 5 year wedding anniversary. We’ve been very fortunate to live in some beautiful places the past couple of years, so we picked nearby St. Petersburg to do our celebrating. We stayed at a bed and breakfast, the Larelle House in historic downtown St. Pete. 524752_10104204938406604_1431851199_n 558091_10104204938157104_1756788422_n 1441388_10104204936245934_856650821_n 1463106_10104204937498424_367170815_nThursday night we celebrated our date anniversary up the road from where we live in downtown Sarasota at Hyde Park Steakhouse. The next day we headed out after lunch in downtown to St. Pete where we explored the neighborhood, made friends with the B&B kitties 1459144_10104204566671564_1628367453_n 1461856_10104204564605704_734319760_n, met the local dolphins, and walked to a nearby place called The Moon Under Water.1463997_10104207113817064_475136862_n The next day we walked to a jewelry store and Shawn helped me pick out my anniversary gift.1476329_10104204563837244_900420691_n I had meant to surprise Shawn with a watch but had accidentally left it in the window to charge. It’s a Citizen Eco-Drive. The next day after breakfast1497656_10104207114505684_681266609_n, we explored more of the neighborhood1467230_10104204938606204_540268050_n 1467259_10104204935891644_763263814_n 1483126_10104204939045324_1577893384_n and shops until it was time for us to head to the Imax where we watched The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in 3D. We feel so blessed to have each other as best friends/life partners/soul mates. He is truly the love of my life and the champion of my heart.

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | September 3, 2013

Laboring on Labor Day

Spent labor day in the kitchen.ūüôā All is well in the universe when i’m back in the kitchen where i feel most myself. When i’m not cooking, you could suspect something is not right. My sweet hubby helped clean up after my big mess. It’s a lot harder and a little more expensive eating healthy, but totally worth it. Back in SD, Shawn had been getting headaches every day for months. Even on prescribed B-12, he was still getting headaches off and on, as well as end of the day nauseousness. He hasn’t had either since we changed our diet. Yay!

Shawn juiced a whole bag of oranges for the next day. I spent the first half of the day chopping onion, dicing tomato and chili peppers, and juicing almonds.

Beans and almonds soaking, veggies simmering. A good day int he kitchen.

Beans and almonds soaking, veggies simmering. A good day int he kitchen.

Then Shawn manned the grill for dinner. We had peppered steak with pepper-jack cheese melted on top, topped with guacamole. Beans that had been cooking all day (not out of the can) and spanish barley on a sprouted grain tortilla. Shawn said these were the best batch of beans I’ve made yet. For dessert, chocolate-chip cookie, made from homemade almond flour and homemade chocolate chips (I used coconut sugar and organic grass-fed cow butter), and a glass of almond milk.


I milked almonds.

I milked almonds.

It seems like it’s taken a couple months to adjust to a sudden move and transition: a new environment, a new climate. After the first month feeling like vacation, to realizing this is going to be our new home, I’ve been allowing myself to get super stressed over finding a new home and the suspense of getting all the details of our move ironed out. Shawn has been so patient with me. After all, this is what we’ve wanted, an adventurous life, seeing different areas of the country. So with all the bumps and twists and turns, I know that at some point, we’ll be able to kick our feet up, lean back and say,¬†

Evening thunderstorm. Almost every evening, a thunderstorm rolls in. Sometimes every afternoon. And if there's a tropical depression, it rains all day for days. But even in so, the sun comes out every day. It's the rainy season here. I don't mind, coming from San Diego where there's almost never a thunderstorm.

Evening thunderstorm.
Almost every evening, a thunderstorm rolls in. Sometimes every afternoon. And if there’s a tropical depression, it rains all day for days. But even so, the sun comes out every day. It’s the rainy season here. I don’t mind, coming from San Diego where there’s almost never a thunderstorm.

“We’ve arrived at our new destination. Let’s enjoy the journey, as well as the destination. And look forward to the new adventure on the horizon.”



Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | June 14, 2013

Lost Driver’s License

When we landed in Tampa and got into our rental car to make our way to Sarasota, I reached into my pocket to pull out my phone and driver’s license and discovered my license had fallen out sometime during our flight from San Diego to Dallas or from Dallas to Tampa. Normally, after making it through the check point, I typically slip my license in my back pocket where it most likely won’t slip out. My shorts didn’t have back pockets and because my purse was stowed away in my carry-on, and my thoughts were preoccupied on my scared cat in her carrier, I slipped it in my front pocket where I had my phone and boarding pass…

So, after contacting both airports and American Airlines in both terminals, I made the call to the “friendly” people of the California DMV.

After going through the Cal DMV automated system for replacing lost or stolen driver’s license Out of State, I am connected with a person…

California DMV: this is __, how may I help you?
Me: I lost my driver’s license in transit out of state. Neither airports or aircraft were able to find it.
California DMV: yes, how may I help you?
Me: ?… I lost my driver’s license. That is the problem I need help with.
California DMV: Do you need a replacement? Are you needing to drive?(exasperated tone)
Me: (Lord, help me.) Yes ma’am. I need to be able to drive. I do not have it because I lost(emphasis) it.
California DMV: Are you out-of-state?

Seriously DMV?? Glad my paper license is on its way(who knows how long that will take) and my license has been flagged lost or stolen. One dreaded phone call to DMV down, a dreaded appointment at DMV to go.

Why do I say dreaded? When you walk into this place jam packed with all types of people, who have been waiting for over an hour and more: kids screaming, people staring you down because you made an appointment, and it looks like you’re cutting in line, the most questionable looking people congregating in groups you have to squeeze through or around and trespass on their turf…
any extended amount of time you spend here, and you feel your soul slowly ebbing away. This is probably why a certain someone I know, has failed to return to this place to get their driver’s license after going through the 2 plus hour process(with an appointment) with me.

Fellow patrons who must brave the lines at the Cal DMV, behave nicely to the people behind the counters, even though they may be rude, because that job must be excruciating.



-Where  deep south meets paradise.

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | April 26, 2013

Beautiful Grace

Shawn is out playing golf, preparing for a day of “schmoozing” important clients on the golf course next week. I am sitting in the living room staring out the window watching the brilliantly dark pink Bougainvillea that’s rustling in the wind, being illuminated by the sun and speckled with shadow. The breeze that comes through the window is so relaxing. It’s in these quiet moments that God speaks to me through His word and I reflect on His truth.0426131537

In everything ugly, I see the sinfulness of man. But in everything beautiful, the forgiveness of God. For with sin, comes judgement. And with mercy, forgiveness. How can judgement and mercy both spring forth from love? God’s grace.

I look around and wonder, How can man possibly fathom or comprehend such amazing grace? But we are surrounded by glimpses and reflections of God’s nature, just as we are surrounded by the powers that would seek to distract us from this awesome truth. The hard things we endure: sickness, death, the loss of innocence, hunger, disaster, war… all a shadow that would seek to block the light. Yet if we stand still and listen, and look past the horrible and bad things, we see something else. Something that overwhelms all these things that seem so big in our lives. Choose to focus on the beauty around us, for it is merely a reflection of the things He has in store for us.

I lean on His understanding and reflect on this truth found here…

Romans 5…

“Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man,¬†and death through sin,¬†and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned‚ÄĒ

To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Consequently, as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.¬†But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,¬†so that as sin reigned in death,¬†so also grace¬†might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life¬†through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Lord, I thank you, for when this perfect world was made imperfect by sin, you provided something even more beautiful than the most beautiful thing we can comprehend now, and more beautiful than how the world was then… your grace.

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | March 7, 2013

Moving to the Heart of the City

This picture and others are posted on my Facebook page. I will get more photos once we finish moving in. I apologize for the near picture-less blog.

It’s been a while since I last posted. In a nutshell, between Shawn’s very busy schedule and my being a house-wife, not much has happened worth blogging. Shawn’s career is expanding and the more it expands, the better we feel about my decision to stay home and support him on the homefront. When ever I start feeling like I¬†might go back into the workplace, Shawn will get slammed with major deadlines, and I feel better about being home and providing a peaceful and quiet atmosphere for him when he comes through the door, often-times anywhere from 8:00 to midnight. Fortunately, the really late nights don’t happen too often. But we’re grateful for the busy job. If there’s work to do, there’s a job he keeps.

We are also so grateful for the friends we have made here. They are the support we lacked when being out here the first several months.

We love our YMC peeps!

Our trip out to Texas for the Christmas break was wonderful. The cold and rainy weather didn’t dampen our time with family, and we at least got one snow day. Another birthday for us came and went. Another year older, and I don’t feel like I’m approaching the year 30.

Me and Shawn are moving along in the San Diego chapter of our lives. We decided a few months ago to let our lease expire at our Point Loma residence and find a place closer to Shawn’s office and not be paying as much as we were. Rent in California is something we haven’t quite gotten used to. Our two bedroom townhouse, with a slightly smaller square footage than our townhouse in Euless, Texas costs us twice as much as what we were paying. It’s not a matter of affording, so much as it is a matter of not wanting to pay that much for something we don’t own.

Shawn takes public transportation to work because gas is normally over 4 bucks a gallon here and his work reimburses him for purchasing a bus pass every month. But even as close as we thought we were to downtown, it was taking Shawn about 45 minutes to get to work, an hour and a half to two hours at times total out of his day. When you work on average 50 hours a week, sometimes more, the last thing you want to do at the end of your day is clamber onto a city bus.

The place we found and are in the process of moving into, allows Shawn a five-minute walk to his building and shaves off more than 300 dollars on rent per month. We have a prized parking spot in our fenced courtyard that Shawn’s work reimburses him for. We hope that in 2 to 3 years time, if we are still here in southern California, that we will have saved up enough for a large down payment on a house in one of our favorite neighborhoods.

It’s been a crazy first week, being partially moved in. We’re the first tenants to live in this half of the house, which has been subdivided. The lady that used to live here ran a salon in the front half and lived in the back half. She moved out and still runs her beauty salon, and the owners of the property subdivided it. Sorry for no pictures in this post. The pics we took are posted on my Facebook page and won’t be posting any more until we have all the furniture moved in and our place is set up. The place is very cozy and charming. It reminds me of a country cottage. All the houses here on this lot are historic, so no changes to the outside can be done. Not many changes have been made to the inside, happily, so it retains all its charm from the early 1900s. We are going to have to be creative when it comes to stowing away all our things because we are losing an extra room which is why we sold Shawn’s desk. As small as it feels, it’s still considered roomy for downtown.

Yesterday was quite the whirlwind of putting the finishing touches on making this place ready for complete move in. The day before yesterday, the maintenance guy was here doing various fixes most of the day. Yesterday, the maintenance guy, the AC technician, and the electrician showed up to pay me homage. Hopefully, all is done. Around 2:00, I scurried over to the other place to do some much-needed kitchen cleaning, (dirty dishes in the sink after a few days really stink) and grabbed some more things to make our partial move more comfortable. The cats are so happy I brought in their cat tower. They’ve been very vocal in the evenings lately because this place doesn’t smell like home yet, lacking all our furniture and we’re keeping them locked out of the bedroom because we’re sleeping on the air-bed. We’ve had to patch it up several times because Cutie hides under the blankets while people come and go to do maintenance. And if fish can be happy, they are happy to be in clean water and to be part of the family again.

Today, since I’m not expecting anyone, I anticipate a day full of getting chores done in our new place once I’m finished blogging, then going over to the other to finish cleaning. Other than sleep deprivation, we’re both doing good. The cats have made sure to wake us up at intervals to let us know they’re not happy being locked out. We woke up several times last night to our air bed sinking (apparently, Shawn didn’t find all the new holes Cutie punched in yesterday). We’re still very excited to be moving here and know things will all pan out.

We are also very excited to be hosting my sister, Alex, and the kids this weekend. Sunday can’t get here fast enough, but I’m thankful for that. We need at least one real good solid sleep and we’ll be ready to get this vacation at home in San Diego started.

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | October 1, 2012

Back to my Roots

“You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.” Davy Crockett

The big pond on our property.

This quote is proudly¬†embroidered on a cap my dad loves to wear, especially when going out-of-state, and it about sums up the way a lot of Texans feel. Of course, I wouldn’t tell anyone to do that, but I do love my lone star state.¬†We’ve been in California for almost a year, and that piece of East Texas country was stirring in my heart.

On the far east side of the property.

First stop, Austin. Final stop, Dallas.

Having so many visitors has been great. But with each visit, came a little bit of longing of getting back to my roots. So with Shawn back from his training in Dallas, the following week we were able to fly out together.

Shawn spent the weekend with his family & then flew back to San Diego, where he had to spend the following week without his loving wife to come home to. I spent that week with my family, missing my husband so much, but enjoying the green rolling hills, pines, big oaks and dogwoods.         Getting reconnected with my family and the land I grew up on was just what this country girl needed.

Shawn’s parents picking us up in Dallas.

Our friends, Chris & Lydia’s kids, Otto & Meredith.

My nephew, Hayden, & niece, Teagan.

Once you pop, you can’t stop… until you fall asleep.

My big sister, Bri, on her 30th bday.

Tiny Teagan and her daddy, Alex.

Playing hide-and-seek. Hayden definitely won. He crammed his 4’9″ eight year old self into this wardrobe and stayed put for about 10 minutes.

Getting some quick quality time in with my niece, Bella, at TCBY.

My best friend from high school, Kim, and her little boy, Max.

Saying “bye” to my dad before leaving for Dallas.

Me & my mom hanging out before taking me back to Dallas.

It’s taken a while to adjust to a new city, but there are so many things to do here, from exploring the wild beauty of the mountains to the crashing waves of the coast. The food is so amazing, I’ve been working out like crazy and cooking healthy during the week so I can get back to my pre-moving to California shape. The pace and lifestyle are so completely different, it was refreshing to get back to the farm, kick back, and see the stars for a change.

Gumbo greeting me on the front porch of my parents’ house.


As much as I’ve enjoyed the adventure and look forward to where we might be in the next few years, I’ll always love my dear home state and the country where I grew up.

First stop in Texas, Whataburger.

Posted by: thedresslersinflorida | August 22, 2012

Dating in San Diego

We’re at a pretty wonderful stage in our lives. Shawn is working for a firm that¬†is challenging and fulfilling. I am currently not working, which means I get to focus all my energy in our relationship, being a home-maker, and yes, I have time for hobbies and going on 10¬†mile walks. People used to ask what I liked to do in my free time and I’d say, what’s that? I work full-time, go to school and I’m married. Now people ask, what do you do with all your time? But I’ll address that in another blog.

Between Shawn’s busy work schedule, hosting out-of-towners, and working on our tans, dating had become pretty sporadic. So, a couple of weeks ago, we initiated operation Date Night. Every Friday or Saturday, we go on a date. Our first official date night, we went to Point Loma Seafoods. They have the best seafood we’ve had so far, they’re priced good, and they’re right on the bay. After that, we drove to Seaport Village, went through most of the shops, and had desert at the Pier Cafe. They have one of our favorite desserts: the banana boat-a warm and delicious blend of creamy cheesecake and chunks of tree-ripened bananas wrapped in a crispy-fried shell, served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The coffee drink we ordered with our dessert, nasty! It had so much alcohol in it…. when you sipped it, it tasted almost sweet. Then you swallowed, and it was like it turned into fire running down my throat followed by such a bitter after taste.

This past Saturday, Shawn wanted me to experience the trolley system. So we took the trolley from Old Town and made our way up to Santee. It was pretty neat. I love trains, so this kinda gave me that experience. However, we sorta got off on the wrong foot. While Shawn was purchasing my day pass, I was busy texting a friend about plans later that afternoon. Shawn handed me my ticket, and I absent-mindedly¬†stuck it in my back pocket while continuing to text. When our trolley arrived, I didn’t even remember Shawn handing me my ticket. I checked my wallet, purse, FRONT pockets and swore that I didn’t drop it, and kept asking Shawn if he was sure he handed it to me. We missed our trolley, so 15 minutes later, and another purchased day pass later, I jokingly said that I’d probably find it once we got on the trolley…. while saying so, absent-mindedly¬†putting my hand in my back pocket and discovering the ticket. Ohhhh¬†I was so mad at myself. I think Shawn was pretty ticked too. I vented while Shawn remained quiet. So we took pictures knowing we’d probably laugh about it later. We stopped at some of the nicer stations. My favorite stop was at Mission Valley where we did the river walk around San Diego River. We got to Santee and it wasn’t very “happenin”, so we took the orange line back to down town. The orange line…. more like the ghetto line. Lots of questionable people. One guy was escorted off because he was bleeding…. profusely…. But, we survived it and now I know why they joke about the orange line at Shawn’s work. I also now know where we will NOT be living.

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