Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | September 21, 2011

New Ideas

I think my creativity levels just spiked. Yes, it’s still the same old me, but suddenly I’ve become ridiculously interested in all things crafts. Blame it on pinterest, but I’ve caught the bug. Perhaps it also helps that I’ve been invited to a weekly craft night, something I’ve considered for weeks and worried about what I might bring to work on. You see, I managed to get a B in art class. We’re talking junior high, all A’s except for art (and occasionally science). Who does that? Since then, I’ve avoided paint, pencils, markers and glue unless I felt like doodling on an envelope before sending it out. (True story: I did color my envelope containing my check for taxes to the IRS one year. I never heard any feedback though.)

Lately, it’s as if I was born to waltz through the aisles at craft stores. Not only that, but to actually make things afterwards! (It’s that follow-through that can sometimes get you.) Over the weekend we put together a puzzle…what does this have to do with crafting? Just wait. Yesterday I made a scarf out of a test t-shirt from the shop. Today I dived in full-force and went to Michael’s AND Walmart to stock up on the essentials I haven’t used since I lived with my parents: glue gun, modpodge, nails, ruler, etc. Then, get this, I came home and nailed into our bare and lonely walls in order to finally hang some photos. What?! Scott continued to watch Netflix (cough, what the heck is the deal with them anyway?) and then at one point asked me what I was doing, to which my response was, “Applying modpodge to this puzzle while I wait for the glue gun to heat up.” Multi-tasking with crafts? Yes, me. I don’t think he knew what hit him.

I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’m excited to see where it might go. Recently I realized the easy access I had to a variety of t-shirts and have been on the hunt for some t-shirt related crafts ever since. Scarfs, hair pieces, pins, it’s all possible. Before you know it, our house will be one big t-shirt explosion. The only exception being that 500-piece puzzle we did on Saturday night. I think it’s obvious that my cool factor has raised significantly since I started this crafting thing.

The evidence:

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | August 31, 2011

Back to Work

Last week I started my new job. As if surgery and Germany wasn’t enough of an adventure for the month of August, I might as throw in a new job. I just stated working at 8|7 Central which is down in the East Village. It’s a screenprinting and design shop full of somewhat scruffy (but nice) guys. Yep, that’s right, I’m the one and only girl. My first day went a bit like this:


Just picture it – a little lost girl like me surrounded by all of these hipsters who know about all the cool things I never knew about. Things like Flour or Zombie Burger or Zanzibar. When I confessed how behind the times I was they gave the same appalling response Annie got when she mentioned never picking up a racket.

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly like that. My first day primarily consisted of evaluating their website for improvements and trying to avoid the infamous bathroom (I lasted an entire 3 days). It does however seem like a place I will enjoy in the long-run. We’re still getting a handle on just what my specific duties will include, but I’m excited to meet clients that are really involved in the Des Moines scene and ready to take some drastic leaps with their businesses. More to come once I figure out just what I’ve gotten myself into.

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | August 6, 2011

Show and Tell

And when you least expect it – I’m back! Days of cabin fever has driven me to a point of realization: I miss blogging. I truly do and like all “back-to-school” resolutions, I plan to be better about it here soon. While I am not about to head back to the classroom, my life is making some crazy changes in the month of August (plus, who can pass up some fresh pens and paper? Coupons came in the mail today and I have my eye on some 15¢ spiral notebooks…)

Why the cabin fever? What’s all this about change? Well, let me start by saying I think we’ve figured out my little health issues. It was green and only worked at 15% percent, that’s right folks, my gallbladder was up to no good. So, as of Tuesday it is no longer a part of my life. Just like that. Recovery has been good and bad but let me just say that a person can only watch Netflix for so long before needing some contact with the outside world. Sheesh.

Assuming I’m good to go by Wednesday, we will be leaving the country. No joke. Just for a week, but hey, it’s been awhile and I’m looking forward to seeing a place I’ve never been to before. And then, when we return I will be settling into a new job. Yep, told you my life was about to change. If I keep my promise to get back on the blogging train, you’ll hear more later.

But what really inspired this blog? The reminder that despite it all, we’re still young, poor and in love. Tonight I insisted on something other than gluten-free waffles, and we had high hopes of a Papa Murphy’s pizza knowing that I may or may not pay for it later. Unfortunately, we were 37 minutes too late and are just now stuffing our frozen (ahem, but organic) pizza into the oven. Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there for us wild and crazy kids on a Saturday night. Oh no. As lucky home renters, our landlord just put in a new stove today. The only problem is that it has some sort of crazy gas leak, leaving us no choice but to splice that pizza into pieces and jam it into our toaster oven. Don’t forget about dessert. While rounding the corner to the checkout line, Scott quietly mentioned his love for Swiss Rolls. Now we are generally such good little eaters, especially Scott, but knowing he’s had to help me out all week while I laid on the couch, I couldn’t stop him from such a treat. There you have it, partially baked frozen pizza and chocolate covered corn syrup. We’re all about the fine dining tonight. (Note: I will not be chancing it on Little Debbie just yet.) All this business about health issues, insurance, bills and jobs was getting to be a little much. One can only pretend to be a grown-up for so long, right?

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | June 11, 2011

Forecast: Rainy with a Chance of Flooding

Thursday night was date night – something we hold dearly. We made fools of ourselves as we attempted to swing dance downtown. At the end of the night, we darted to the car and got completely soaked. It had been raining all day and had even hailed that morning and evening. We like rain, really we do. But around 11:30 p.m. when Scott walked down to the basement we formed an entirely new opinion of the precipitation situation.

Let me tell you about our home. We rent a cozy little house with 700 square feet. Yes, two of us live here….I said it was cozy. Naturally, the basement (which is not included in the square footage) has become a place where we put things. Since we moved in, Scott has continually been adding more rugs and instruments, converting the once drab unfinished basement into a home recording studio. Not to mention, there’s a laundry and storage area down there. Not anymore.

The house has not flooded in the past year we’ve been here, so we didn’t even consider it. But suddenly, we had a mess on our hands, or on our floor rather. Thankfully, we have a tiny shop vac, but it is no bigger than your average vacuum cleaner. For the next hour and a half we moved a few things around and attacked the corner holding the most water with the shop vac. Stupidly, we hoped pushing things to the center of the room would save them and we spent our energy doing that instead of relocating everything upstairs. We were going to tackle that ever-growing pool of water and not give up all night. Well, until this scared little girl found herself in the corner of a dark basement too frightened to move. The power, which we heavily rely on, apparently couldn’t handle the storm either. As a child (around the age of eight), two of my cousins turned off the lights in my grandparents’ basement, leaving me alone in my cries for help. Dark basements are not exactly my favorite place to be.

Having only one tiny flashlight that would hardly suffice for a little bedside reading, we started lighting all of the candles we used for centerpieces at our wedding reception. I knew there was a good reason to keep the boxes and boxes of centerpieces. Candles were everywhere as we stood together in a dark basement listening to the water drip, drip, drip. For a moment it reminded me of being in an underground cistern. It was romantic…? Then I remembered that I was not in Istanbul, Turkey, nor was this a beautiful thing. Candles or not, there was not much we could do…or see. That left only one thing to do – eat a bowl of cereal and watch an episode of  MadMen on our fully charged laptop while we waited for the power to kick back into gear. We were determined that no matter how late, we’d go back to saving our basement possessions when the lights back came on. 2:30 a.m. came around and sure enough, the lights flickered on as we rolled over and said, “Forget it.”

So, my wonderful husband spent all day Friday moving everything upstairs while I sat in my cube at work. We’ve acquired a few more shop vacs and have been running three simultaneously (hello high electricity bill). I don’t think we’ll be hosting any parties anytime soon (other than basement pool parties) as the upstairs is packed full with what used to be downstairs, leaving no place to sit. Currently accepting real flashlights, storage space and prayers that the next four days do not actually spit more rain out as the forecast predicts.

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | May 31, 2011

Cookie Monster

Opening up about my new diet and mysterious stomach issues has brought on an entire slew of diagnoses from friends, family, co-workers and general party-goers. It’s actually mildly humorous. I’ve been learning a lot about the digestive systems of each these people. My conclusion? Everyone has had diarrhea or constipation at some point in their lives and consequently, has now told me about it.

If you are like my husband, that last blog left you wondering, “What’s going to happen next?!” Even though he happens to live with me and clearly knows all about my health, it’s nice to know I have at least one captive listener. Well, so far so good. I have still felt sick here and there, but no more than when I was taking all of the medicine I’ve been prescribed in the past 6 months. Plus, I’ve discovered just how red beet juice can be – it stains everything.

I have been pretty good at sticking to the list of “no-nos” (eggs, gluten, meat, dairy, alcohol, chocolate, etc.) but have started missing some of my favorites. As much I love eating beet juice and cucumbers with a side of lemon juice, I’ve made a short mental list of what I will one day eat again. My intention is to do this diet rather intensely for a few weeks and then slowly add small amounts of meat or gluten. Because honestly, it’s quite inconvenient to go to someone’s house or a restaurant and literally feel like nothing is a possibility. Ideally, when that day comes (when I can go back to eating more than  just essentially baby food and vegetables), I’ll know just what to start with… chocolate chip cookies, lasagna, tortellini, mac & cheese, pizza, chicken tortilla soup, turkey sandwiches, more chocolate chip cookies…

The cookie dough in the fridge expires in August, so hopefully I’ll be better by then!

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | May 26, 2011

New Foods

As some of you know, I have not been feeling well since the 2011 ball dropped in Times Square. It’s been a peculiar thing, something even my doctors weren’t really sure what to do about. But after a long night last night and hours and hours of internet searching, I’ve at least found something to try.

Attention: This bread-lover and bland eater is going to go out on a whim and change the look of mealtime. While I don’t consider myself a completely unhealthy eater, I’d just rather call it my “European” diet, which naturally consists of breads and pastas. From now on, there will be far less delicious breads, warm pastries or sugary sweets involved on my plate. Overnight I have gone gluten-free (NOOO!), dairy-free (I’ll miss chocolate), egg-free (even though my mom works for the egg council, sorry mom) and caffeine-free (I can handle that) as well as cutting out a bunch of other things normal people eat like oranges or nuts. I may also be going meat-free, but I’m not quite willing to fully agree. Instead, I will be eating green beans, beet juice and a side of olive oil.

Today’s meals consisted of Chex cereal with soy milk, cucumbers, a pear, gluten-free crackers, green beans, lemon juice mixed with flax seed oil, rice-based noodles with nutritional yeast and beet juice.

What it comes down to is a 6-month upset tummy and too many meds that aren’t doing the trick. At this point, what have I got to lose? (Other than my favorite foods). It should be interesting. One day down and an unknown number to go.

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | May 19, 2011

Baby Talk

Almost immediately after getting hitched we were asked when we’d have kids. As if getting married wasn’t enough of a transition, accomplishment and life stage in itself. While I wondered what I’d talk about once I was no longer consumed by wedding details, I’m happy to report that I manage to talk about normal every day things such as work, weather and weekends. But it seems people still want to talk about major life decisions, so why not throw a couple kids into the mix!

You want a glimpse at our new little family? Here’s what we’ve got –

Kid 1: Art. No, not the hobby. Art is the name of our beta fish. Believe it or not we have quite the adventures with Arthur, Art for short. We talk about his eating habits, give him toys and show him off to all our friends. Some of the marbles from our wedding centerpieces are at the bottom of his glass bowl. Scott found a funny looking figurine at church that oddly resembles Moses  and put it in there instead of the standard fake greenery. On lonely days Art will snuggle up between Moses and his staff as if getting a hug. It’s the cutest thing. Being proud parents, we tell this story at parties, don’t worry.

Kid 2: The garden. Seriously people, I’m not weird enough to name my garden (although I will admit to having a plant in college named Lloyd). After spending hours weeding in the fall, followed by another several hours weeding our 2×4 plot (approximately) this spring, we were able to put in some vegetable plants. Nothing to show for the fruits of our labor yet, but one day we hope to have tomatoes, peppers and squash. That is, if the bunnies don’t get to them first. Then one day we can shake our heads like any good parent and say, “I can’t believe our babies are all grown up!”

Kid 3: Err, kids rather. Every morning when I open the garage door I am greeted by a chorus of tweeting. This has nothing to do with social media, but rather the birds’ nest tucked in the corner of the garage. At first I thought maybe the garage door had taken on a whole new personality, but no, we were just adding to the Gratton family. Needless to say, we can’t wait until these kids leave the nest and spread their wings in the real world.

So there you have it – all the additions we can manage for now. Next time you ask about babies on the way, expect to hear the latest on Kid 1, 2 or 3.

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | April 6, 2011

False Alarm

After a good long day, it’s natural to want nothing more than a good long shower. That’s just what I decided to do earlier this evening. Right about now, you may be wondering where this post is going. Well, let me assure you that it does not dwell too much longer on my shower, however it does play a part in this story.

So there I am in the shower when suddenly, it sounds like a truck is backing up into our house. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

I think to myself – Are we about to find ourselves surrounded by a pile of ruble as a truck crushes our tiny little house? What the heck is going on here? We have a chain link fence for goodness sake!


I poke my head out, half expecting to see a truck on my bath rug. Instead I seeing Scott pulling a battery out of the smoke alarm. Well, great. Problem solved. Wait, what?! Ack! Is there a fire? Are you really expecting me to run for my life and expose myself to our incredibly busy street?

Jumping out of the shower, I grab a robe and then return to turn off the water. If you haven’t caught on yet, it was one of those slow-motion frantic moments. But the beeping stopped…so was there a fire? Feeling cold and without shampoo, I returned to the shower and demanded Scott double check the house for flames. If you’ve been to our house, you’d know how ridiculous of a request this was.

Two seconds later I hear, “STATUS UPDATE: No fire in the living room!”

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | March 14, 2011

Mixed Signals

Desperate times call for desperate measures –


Our tv antenna

Do what you gotta do for the season finale...

Every time a truck drives by we lose signal.

It’s been too long, but have no fear because our life remains ridiculous. I must admit, I’m having a hard time figuring out where this blog is going, but until then I’ll keep you posted on the little details that remind us we’re young, poor and in love.

Posted by: Samantha | Moving Peaces | January 2, 2011

Married Christmas and Happy New Life!

We have entered the new year, enjoyed a year’s worth of Christmas goodies and have officially crossed that “quarterly” anniversary. What, you don’t celebrate every three months of marriage?

As promised, we cherished every moment of Christmas. In addition to our stockings and fun gifts, I’ll never forget being locked out of my own house on Christmas Eve. Yes, my husband loves me, but yes, he did indeed lock me out while I was shoveling the driveway. Apparently, after shoveling most of it together Scott ran into the house for something and out of habit, locked the door behind him. Being the great wife that I am, I continued to clear out the driveway for another 20 minutes while it snowed before deciding to go inside where I’d left the TV on and the space heater running. I trekked across the street to find one of our unknown neighbors to borrow a phone. It’s always good to introduce yourself with, “Hi, I’m Samantha. Can I use your phone? My husband locked me out.”

New Year’s was celebrated all weekend long as we were in the wedding of dear friends, Nick and Michelle. With the wedding on Saturday (1/1/11), we had the rehearsal dinner on New Year’s Eve and decided to ring in the new year with New York at 11 p.m. CST. Saturday was like walking down memory lane as we got ready, took pictures and sat at the head table, only this time, a few spaces to the left. I decided not to bother the bride with small details such as my case of strep throat. Instead, I took my antibiotics, teared up as I watched my friends exchange vows and danced the night away in heels that pinched my toes in only a way a bridesmaid’s shoes could.

By today we had no option but to take the air mattress we’d set up for out-of-town guests into the living room and veg out all day. Our agenda after church was the following: play Wii, watch some Netflix and take in 2011. The diet of the day consisted of cereal, leftovers, rice and a few clementines. Okay so, I’ll never write a food blog. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to what new things 2011 has in store.

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