Monday, October 31, 2011


Growing up, we didn't celebrate Halloween. I still don't agree with the holiday but I do dress up. The residents get a kick out of my outfits and I am doing it more for the laughs and smiles than anything else. With that said, here is what I look like today:

I have on the crazy Halloween vest I purchased at Goodwill for less than $1, the black sequin skirt I got for $3 and the orange and black striped tights I got on ebay a few years back. Altogether, the outfit and jewelry were less than $10. Ha!

Giveaway Winner

The winner of THIS giveaway was....

Matt and Chelsea

I used to pick a winner and it picked number 6. Congratulations! You have 5 days to contact me. I will ship the Vera lot out immediately after I hear from you.

I will be having another giveaway this Friday.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A day ripped from the book that is my life

As most of you already know, my husband & I manage a retirement community. We work a week and then have off a week. On our weeks off, my life is slow and wonderful. It is a complete 180 turn from what my weeks on look like. Here is how most of my days go.

5:30am - The phone rings at the retirement community. It is a resident needing us to call 911. They think they are having a heart attack. I call 911 and then go upstairs to the apartment. The resident is taken to the hospital. I later find out that it was a pill that didn't disolve properly and was partically stuck in his throat.

5:45am - Open the building, make coffee. We make an amazing amount of coffee here and we have to make it before every meal and super early in the morning. I am doing this in my robe and I look terrible. Atleast 4 people have seen me including a paramedic who made a joke about my robe.

6:30am - I finally get dressed for the day.

7:30am - I open the office and the day "officially" begins.

8:00am - Breakfast! During each meal my husband & I pour coffee throughout the meal, put fruit in the fruit basket and coffee in the coffee urns for the residents. All meals are a "sit-down restaurant style" but we rarely sit. I am wearing my homemade Steelers skirt and it gets the approval of the residents.

9:00am - I am back in the office. One of my tasks today is to call some of the residents who haven't brought back important forms. I literally have to yell what I am saying for several residents who are near deaf. Only one resident brings back the form out of 30+ I call. I now have to go to 30 apartments to get the forms. This will take approx. 10-30 minutes for each apartment depending on how talkative the residents are.

10:30am - A resident has locked herself out of her apartment. This happens no less than 5 times a day. I go and let her in. She hugs me.

11:00am - We answer the phones when they ring since our receptionist has off on the weekends. Someone needs us to open storage. I open storage. She is thrilled.

12:20pm - We start pouring coffee for what we call dinner. Everyone else in the world calls it lunch. My skirt gets many oohs and ahhs.

1:00pm - All 140 residents and a few guests are eating dinner. Wild turkeys are spotted outside the dining room. People turn in their seats to watch and a hum spreads over the dining room.

1:45pm - Dinner is finished. A resident comes up to the fruit bowl to pick out a few pieces of fruit and puts them on the top of her walker. She takes a few slow steps and orange rolls off. She bends to pick it up. I offer to get her a new piece. She declines and puts it back on the cart. She takes a few steps. It rolls off again. Sigh.

2:00pm - My husband goes out to buy a heater since one of the resident's apartments is too cold. She is excited for the heater.

3:00pm - A group of elderly guests comes into the office looking for the party. I state I don't know about a party but there are people upstairs having fun. They say that must be the party. They go up.

3:30pm - The group of guests come back down. That was not their party. They realize their party is at another building. I'm not sure what they were doing for the last 1/2 hour.

4:00pm - There is a call from one of our servers that was supposed to be working tonight. This means that I will have to serve supper to the residents. We use local high school students to serve on the weekends and they are not great about showing up. I serve atleast a couple times a week because of this.

4:10pm - My husband turns on the Steelers game in the TV room & pub.

4:30pm - I go upstairs to take a quick bathroom break and change shoes because mine are new and are hurting my feet. On the way a resident thanks me for helping with a bloody nose yesterday.

5:00pm - We start getting ready for supper.

6:30pm - During supper we had a resident throw up. I clean the vomit.

7:00pm - A few residents stop in the office to thank me for putting photos on the in-house TV of the turkeys and yesterday's snow.

8:00pm - The office is now offically closed and all the staff have gone home.

9:00pm - We lock the building and set the alarm.

9:10pm - I am asleep. Hopefully it will be a quiet night with no emergencies and I can get some sleep before another quiet day.

Vera Bradley Giveaway Reminder...Ends Tomorrow!

Just a reminder that THIS giveaway ends tomorrow!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The first snow of the season

Today is October 29, 2011 and it is snowing. This is the first snow of the season. I put on the only coat I have at the retirement community (which wasn't warm enough since I wasn't expecting winter to come so fast) and took a quick walk outside.

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to my blog. This is my third month of blogging and I think I like it. It will be fun to look back in a few years and see what I wrote. Honestly though, sometimes it is a bit of a pain. It seems like I have to learn a whole new language: the language of blogging.

My name is Mellissa Rose and I am 31 years old. I have been married to a wonderful guy for 9 years now and next year we are going to Ireland to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

We have been to 39 of the 50 states and a few other countries. We are able to do this because of our awesome work schedule.

We work together to manage an independent retirement community just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. The schedule is one week "on", one week "off". On our "on" weeks, we live on-site in a tiny 1 bedroom apartment where the toilet doesn't flush well. On our "off" weeks, we go back to our home in a tiny little rural community about an hour and a half away.

I have very little patience and I crack my toes. Oh, I wish I could stop but I cannot. I also drink too much diet soda. And I have no will power when it comes to cheese or salt.

My husband and I have completely re-done our 1980's home in the last three years. Everything from building new walls to re-doing three bathrooms to painting cabinets has been done. And in 2012, we will look at the outside.

In theory, I love to craft. In reality, I have very little patience to learn more than the basics. I can knit a straight scarf. I can scrapbook basic pages and cards. I can paint and draw well...but not great. I have dabbled in almost every aspect of the crafting world.

I am not a good cook. My ideal meal consists of an item you can make in the microwave in less than 2 minutes. But I do love to bake and give away the goodies.

I love the Gulf of Mexico. My husband and I go down every year for a few weeks and it is heaven. We love to watch the dolphins jump only feet from us and float on rafts.

I have a profitable hobby selling on ebay. I go to thrift shops in the area and buy clothing. I then re-sell it on ebay for a profit. Some of my posts are tips on how to sell on ebay. Others are about nothing in particular.

Thanks for stopping by - I appreciate it!

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm not ready for SNOW

Could someone let the weatherman know that it is way too early for snow? I want the warmer weather of summer back. I'm not ready for winter yet. Here is a cut & paste from for our area:





Did you see that ... 5 to 9 inches?!? Ugh.

My husband and I are at work anyway and so we won't be out of the building for a week. When we are at work, we are truly in the building since we live on-site. So I guess I don't mind the snow as much but by next Friday, it better be 85 degrees and sunny again.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ponytails for a Cause

We are headed back to work today but while I am waking for the hubby to wake up, I did a bit of ebay shopping.

I came across these hair bands in a magazine a few months ago and then forgot about them. There is a group of 8th graders selling them on ebay and 100% goes to Save the Children.

I got a bunch for me & my sister. Here is the ebay auction: LINK.

You can wear them in your hair or on your wrist. I usually use Goody hair bands but they don't look great on my wrist - where they are about half of the time. Plus I have heard that they don't leave a mark in your hair. We'll see about that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Super Fun Day

I had a great day! Every day I wake up feeling blessed...especially those days I do not have to go to work. Today was one of those days. I have so much to be thankful for.

Imagine waking up when you are no longer tired and not based on an alarm clock, eating your favorite food for breakfast, spending however much time you want in front of the computer, throwing on jeans and just a touch of make-up and GOING SHOPPING at your favorite places. Did I mention you have money to spend?

That was my day. My husband and I were blessed with a large bonus from work and we decided that each of us could use it however we wanted. I thought about new counter tops (they were $3000 and up...that would be a no!), siding for the front of our home (we will probably still do this in the spring time) and special items for around the house that I wouldn't do otherwise. I went with the latter.

We purchased wood blinds a few days ago and installed them yesterday. The other day I was searching and searching for curtain rods that I loved. I went to Target and picked out something that was okay but I wasn't "in love". Then I went to TJ Maxx and found an entire end cap of curtain rods. This is highly usual in the TJ Maxx I go to. In fact, I have never seen curtain rods there and I shop a lot. They were perfect! And guess how many they had...exactly the number I needed (4).

Today I went to Goodwill and found a bunch of stuff to sell and a few things to keep. Then I went to the Salvation Army where I learned that everything in the store was 1/2 off. I found more for ebay.

I then went to TJ Maxx and found a few items for the Christmas lists. I stopped and got fries at Wendy's (yum!) and then went to Wal-Mart. I had left over Covergirl coupons and I got 10 blushes for FREE. I told my mom that when she and my sister come for Thanksgiving that they are going to get a bunch of blushes. What in the world would I do with 10 blushes?

After shopping I came home to find my husband hard at work. I think he works harder when we have off then when we are at work (kidding...but only slightly). He was sanding a few doors that stuck and repainting them.

We spent some time together and then I finished sewing a Steelers skirt for work. An elderly woman from England use to make bibs for the other residents. She had left over material and so she gave it to me. I had JUST enough to make a skirt. I purchased elastic for about $1 and so this skirt cost me just $1!

After finishing the skirt I watched an episode of Ugly Betty on Netflix (I may be addicted to this show!).

And then I hung up my curtain rods and drapes. By myself! (Hubby is at a band rehearsal). Go me!

Here is the before with valances:

Here is the after:

The night ended with making Betty Crocker cupcakes. I forget what they are called but they have the middle filled with marshmallow icing. I only ate two. I wanted to eat all 12 though. I am giving them to our mailman who picks up hundreds and hundreds of ebay packages a year as a small thank you. I try to do this throughout the year instead of just giving a gift at Christmas.

I have about an hour left before I drop and I am going to spend it reading a book in bed. A good book.

I hope everyone had as good as a day as I did!

Christmas Shopping

My mom and sister are coming to our house for Thanksgiving this year. My husband and I usually go to New York to see my extended family. I will truly miss seeing them next year. But I am looking forward to seeing my mom and sister. It has been several months since I've seen them last.

My family has a tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts at Thanksgiving. This started years ago when my husband and I realized we would be working for Christmas but off for Thanksgiving. This will be our fourth year in a row working Christmas and we don't mind at all. Christmas at the retirement community can be a lonely thing for people without family. So we try our hardest to make it a happy one for those folks.

I have been busy shopping for gifts this last week. Shopping for my mom and sister is fun. Shopping for my 85 year old father-in-law...not so much. But, I have almost finished shopping! Since we are home only every other week due to our work schedule, we only have one more "off" week before they visit. This means that next time we are off we will be decorating for Christmas and wrapping gifts.

Have you started shopping? Or are you a last minute shopper?

And remember, these would make a great gift! I will be picking a winner on October 31.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Boring Day

My day was full of finishing projects that I have been putting off. I updated the rest of our outlets & light switches, including a really hard GFI outlet in the bathroom. Here is a photo:

Notice the blue paint in my thumb?!? I touched up our kitchen paint after putting the top coat on the countertops. I also touched up the white paint on the cabinets.

My husband was good enough to help me install new wooden blinds in our guest room. It took forever...well...only about 1 hour but it felt like forever! He also patched the holes made by the old drapery rods since I bought new curtains and rods for the room.

I spent the rest of the day listing on ebay since all listings today were only ONE PENNY instead of the usual 50 cents or so.

I also got in a walk - about 2.5 miles. Mind you, I haven't showered yet but I plan on it before going to bed.

Tomorrow I am going to work on cleaning out our closets. I still have so many things that I don't need. I must own atleast 50 shirts alone. Why in the world would I need so many tops? I don't. And I am hoping to (again) downsize. I may even go get a hair cut.

This is the week of errands.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Deal: Shark Steam Mop - Shipped for under $40

I have one of these and it works great. My husband and I both love ours. We have a vinyl kitchen floor, faux stone tile bathroom floors and black & white checkerboard vinyl tiles in our laundry room. It cleans wonderfully.

The cord is long enough to get our large kitchen and the steam lasts about 20-30 minutes.

I paid around $100 for mine a couple years ago. Here is the same model I have for under $40, shipped.

Daily Steals Website

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Painting the Kitchen Countertops: Giani Graphite Paint REVIEW

Last winter we gave our 1980's kitchen a face lift. This is the before:

We started by painting the cabinets white. This was fairly easy. We primed 2x and then painted 3x with Behr Pure White. My husband took care of the sanding. We did take the faces off the cabinets.

Our countertops were your basic laminate. We priced all our different options and granite was going to be roughly $3000 installs and honestly we couldn't find any color option we were in love with. This is a lot of money to send without falling in love. We did find quartz we could live with, but the price was even more expensive.

Giani sells a paint kit for $70 on their website (and now at Wal-Mart) that you can paint your old kitchen countertops. It includes almost everything you need. There are different colors you can create. The first time around I chose the black. We lived with this for several months and then realized we should have went lighter. I then purchased a sand color.

I did it last time we were off and although it was nice, I am trying it again this week with a different stamping technique and a few added acrylic paint colors I picked up at Michaels.

The first step is cleaning the countertops very well. Then tape off the countertop.

Then you paint the special black paint that is included in the kit. My countertop took two coats. The paint goes on quickly with the included roller. You just need a tray. It also includes a foam brush to get in those areas that are hard to roll. Once you paint the first coat, wait one hour and you can do a second coat. Here is what it looks like after the black primer:

Then wait overnight for the primer to dry.

The second day you stamp on the three included mineral paints. There are three mineral paints included with the kits. With the sand, there is brown, gold and white. There is a sponge included. You dip the sponge in the first mineral paint (they are labeled which one goes first, second and third) and then sponge it on the countertop. You do this with the next paint and then the third. You do not wait until the paint dries but you dip the sponge into the paint one right after the next. This mixes the paint on the countertop to get a better look. Here is what this looks like:

Once the sponging is finished, you wait overnight until the paint dries.

The third day you put on a clear top coat. It is very strong and will protect the countertops for many years to come. I once dropped a bowl on the countertop and nothing happened to the countertop. And then the clear top coat needs to dry.

If you started the black primer on a Friday night, you could do this in one weekend.

This photo shows the entire countertop, before the topcoat and touching up the areas where the tape didn't do a great job.

Here is what the kit looks like:

I highly recommend this kit. Their website shows what kinds of stamping you can do to create different looks. You can add any acrylic paint into the stamping to add different looks. Martha Stewart now makes glitter acrylic paint so you could even add sparkle to your countertop. For $70, you get an entirely new look.


As of October 9, 2012 (about a year later), the countertops still look brand new. The top coat has really stood the test of time. I am still loving the results!

UPDATE (10/16/13):

Two years later, our kitchen countertops look just as good! The topcoat has really held up. I would HIGHLY recommend painting your countertops if you don't have the money to put in granite!
The $70 for this kit is a great deal.

We did have a new floor put in this year and our kitchen has never looked better.

Here are a few photos I took this morning (two years after I originally applied the kit). Remember, this is paint over an ugly laminate counter top. I'm still impressed. Ha.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Giveaway...Vera Bradley Lot - CLOSED

This giveaway is for a lot of three Vera Bradley items, all in the "Sittin' In A Tree" pattern.

This giveaway will go through the end of October and I will draw a winner on October 31, 2011. These are great to keep or give as gifts.

Here is what you receive

1. Day By Day Three Journals with 80 lined pages. This is a set of three mini journals in a boxed set. Great for making lists!

2. Life In Progress Journal with lined pages and pockets.

3. Magnetic Personality Journal with lined pages, ribbon bookmark and magnetic closure.

Here is how to enter:

1 chance - Follow my blog
1 chance - Comment on any post other than this one
3 chances - Add my blog link to the side of your blog or let me know if it is already there
2 chances - Post my giveaway on your blog

Total of 7 chances to win!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


There will be other photos but this was a quick shot my husband took last night. Our costume party at the retirement community was a blast. We had about 35 kids attend (grand & great grandchildren), a magician and awesome snacks. I am proud to say I didn't have a single snack!

Here are my home made wings, made from two wire hangers and green tights.

Along with my home made wings, I made my head wreath, bracelet & wand.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Adorable baby costumes

Tomorrow I will post a photo of my husband & me dressed up in our Halloween costumes but for today...babies in costumes! Seriously, these are some stinkin' cute kids!





Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dressing Up...

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I loved themed days because that meant I got to dress up. And I loved dressing up as a child. It has stuck with me as an adult.

I remember hat day, opposite day and field day where you wore all the same color as the rest of your team. I believe I remember dressing up from a decade as well (70's day, 80's day, etc). We even had themed days in college.

Yesterday I tried on my Halloween costume and it brought back so many wonderful memories. As a manager of a retirement community, I try to bring the fun of dressing up into the community.

We have had Western Day (I dressed like a cowgirl), many hat days, Halloween, New Years Parties (wearing fancy dresses!) and color days where everyone wears different colors and I tint the water the color of the day.

Today the Steelers play and my husband & I are dressed in black and gold, as are many of the residents.

I am blessed I am in a job where I can wear ugly Christmas sweaters, tops with hearts and pink striped tights for Valentine's Day and bunny ears for Easter. I love that older people think that sparkly sweaters are beautiful and compliment me on my wooden leaf necklace.

The following sweaters are currently listed on ebay but if they don't sell, I plan on keeping them. Some even light up!

I have a friend that is also a co-worker. Last year she came into the office wearing a sweater that looked like Christmas threw up on it. I mentioned that I loved her sweater (it was so ugly it was amazingly awesome). My husband mentioned the fact that I had been selling ugly Christmas sweaters on ebay for the last couple of weeks. She said she had never heard of ugly Christmas sweaters. Oops!!!

I literally have collected dozens of Christmas sweaters for myself from thrift stores over the years. Although I am not a fan of the colder weather, I am excited for the dress up season: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Three Questions

I am currently reading the book Between the Tides by Patti Callahan Henry. We have an on-site library at the retirement community my husband and I manage. It has thousands of books which is great for me since I love (love!) to read and go through books very fast.

Two characters in the book are discussing three questions. The questions got me thinking and I had to stop reading. What would your answers to these questions be?

1. What do you want to be doing when you die?
2. If you die today, what will you regret not having done?
3. What do you want your tombstone to say?

As a Christian, I believe there is a heaven and I am actually looking forward to someday being there. But I do want to make this life count. My answer to the first one would be serving others. I love to make the seniors at the retirement community happy.

The second question is harder for me to answer. I love my life and so I don't have too many regrets. At least not too many that can be fixed. I think one of my answers to this would be getting a tattoo. I have wanted one for awhile and now that I am 31, I think the time for the scroll on the lower back is up. I think I would like something on my upper bicep area though. Perhaps a quote that means a lot to me. But I am afraid of the pain.

The third question is, in my mind, the least important. Not many people read tombstones anymore. When I was going to Lancaster Bible College there was a cemetery close by that I would visit. It was peaceful to walk through. My husband and I are both body donors so I am pretty sure I won't have a tombstone. I think a better question would be "what would you like to be remembered by?".

How would you answer the questions?

music making mommy