Thursday, November 28, 2013

In All Things, Give Thanks

I am somewhat obsessed with taking pictures of the road. I don't even know why, they are not that spectacular of shots or even that different from one another. But one of the many things I love about living in America is the freedom to just jump in the car and go. There is just so much to see from the passenger seat. I am a fan of the great American road trip.

I remember when my friend Jana and I were on our road trip to move me back to Alabama, I would tell her she didn't have to stay awake for me, she could sleep if she wanted to. And she said she didn't want to sleep because she didn't want to miss anything. That is a beautiful sentiment, and one I share.

This thanksgiving has been a little weird. Being that we are on the road, traveling to Texas, to attend a funeral, instead of spending time relaxing as a family. And at times, I have felt very jealous and very sad when I've have read other people's post about what they are grateful for.  I haven't felt very grateful this week, when usually I'm bursting with gratitude. But I wanted to make a list of things to be grateful for anyway. 

So here it is.

I am grateful for my husband, my closest and truest friend. I am grateful for living closer to my family and friends, I know what a blessing that is, after being in California for so long. I am grateful to be employed in the field that I wanted to be a part of since I was 14 years old. Second to that, I am so happy for the people I get to help every single day.

I am happy that we are able to muster up the funds needed for me to have baraitric surgery in the new year,  and I am hopeful for all the opportunities for good health, and a new start that losing weight will give me. 

Most of all, I am grateful for my faith, which gives me such a peace and comfort about all the bad things that happen in life. 

And I'm thankful for this little blog and my own little corner of the internet. Sometimes I wonder why I keep blogging, but then I can look back and read about a day or an anecdote that I had forgotten all about, and I can't see a future where I won't want to keep track of these memories. Big or small.

Lastly, I'm grateful for my friends that I've made through this blog, and a big thank you to all that continue to read along.

I hope your day was blessed.

P.S-I am not grateful for the sorry showing of the Packers today vs. Detroit. What the heck Green Bay?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili


Sometimes I think I should try to cook more meals that don't involve my crock pot. But I love my crock pot, it is sooooo easy and it makes food taste sooo good and it makes my house smell soooooo lovely. So then I think whatever, I'll just keep cooking in my crock pot. 

Last week, I pinned this recipe and couldn't wait to try it. And it was the perfect thing to throw together while I was getting ready for our trip to Texas. It was soo delicious. I thought I would share the recipe with you guys. 

By the way, I brined the chicken first, I never put chicken in the crock pot without brining, because I feel like the chicken dries out so easily in the crock pot.

  •  2 frozen chicken breasts
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes (with green chilies)
  • 1 can undrained corn kernels
  • 1 can drained and rinsed black beans
  • 1 package Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese

  1. Throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook for 6-8 hours, stirring once or twice to mix in the cheese.
  2. Shred the chicken and serve over rice (if desired). 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hello Dolly & Ol' Heidelberg Cafe

My mom and I had bought tickets to see Hello Dolly a few weeks ago, and we decided we should still go. I'm really the type that doesn't like to sit around and feel sad. I like to do something. And I'm so glad we went. It was just the perfect thing to do. Hello Dolly is just such a happy and upbeat play. I don't like I could have seen something heavy like Les Meserables. It would be too much.

I loved the 1840's costumes and all the dancing. It was funny and the songs were catchy. And best of all it starred Sally Struthers!  I have loved Sally Struthers since I was a little girl watching All in the Family reruns on Nick & Night. But my favorite role she has had would defintely be Babbit on Gilmore Girls. 

She was so funny, and so perfect for the role. There was one scene in the play that was the funniest scene I have ever seen in any Broadway play. And I've seen tons!

After the show, we went to Ol' Heidelberg Cafe for some delicious German food. We started our meal with a fruit & cheese plate, and then we had schnitzel & German potato salad (my favorite) & sauerkraut. We finished with a fresh strawberry & cream cake. Which I'm not sure is particularly German? But delicious never the less.

When I got home, Adam and I nerded out by watching the Dr. Who 50th anniversary special. It was awesome. It even featured Tudor England, my favorite period of history ever! 

 It so nice to be finding these simple little joys.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

So Long, Farewell

Tonight, November 22nd, 2013, my grandmother, Martha, passed away. It was not unexpected, it has been coming for a couple of weeks now. But being ready for it, and wanting it to happen, so she could be in a better place, doesn't make it any easier.

Today I went to lunch with my mom after work, and we did a little Christmas shopping. We had no idea that tonight would be the night. But we spent the whole time reminiscing about grandma and the silly things she said. Nothing but the best memories, it was like subconsciously we knew. It was a healing talk. 

Earlier tonight, when I was sitting on the couch with Adam playing Lego Lord of the Rings, I heard my phone chime. And I knew. It was just a simple text, "She's Gone." I cried while Adam held me for a good 30 minutes, and then we picked up the game controllers, and played. In silence, but we played. Because what else was there to do? Grandma wouldn't want me to cry, Although I'm sure there will be plenty of times I will cry in the upcoming weeks.

I no longer have grandparents and that is a tough truth to swallow.

My grandmother loved golf. She was a socialite, who was known by everyone in town. We could never go anywhere, where we didn't run into someone she knew. She loved Mexican food, a trait she passed on to my mother and me. She was funny without ever meaning to be. And the last time I visited her, she kept telling everyone at the nursing home that I was a Psychiatrist, and after a while I stopped trying to correct her, because it made her so darn happy. 

She introduced me to my favorite movies, Gone With The Wind and The Sound of Music.

I miss her already.

Rest in Peace Grandma, you blessed my life in so many ways.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Weekend Report

This weekend we ate cracker barrel to go for dinner, while alternating between first season episodes of the West Wing (his choice), and The Gilmore Girls (my choice). We went for haircuts, I took off a few inches, and waxed my eyebrows, which were threatening to overtake my face. Adam managed to accidentally steal the hairdresser's phone (being that we have near identical cases).  We then thought about how stealing someone's phone, would be a really awful start to a romantic comedy. We returned the phone of course.

I spent a few hours at work catching up on paperwork (blah), while Adam got the oil changed in the car. But most importantly of all, we managed to finish the second installment of our Lego City collection (here is the first).

It is something like 2,000 pieces, and it took us two days and numerous hours! I love it so much. I just love all the little touches in the pet shop and apartment buildings. I think my favorite thing is the flowers in the window boxes. If I lived in a NYC style apartment, I think I would have to have flower boxes. Plus a fire escape outside my window, where I could star gaze or sing Moon River while strumming a guitar ala Audrey Hepburn.

Building legos started as Adam's hobby, but now I'm so into it too. We even put lego sets on our joint Christmas list. Now if only Adam could learn to love my hobbies. But I just don't see him watching reality TV, cooking, and taking up 5ks for fun.

My First Vendor Event!

It been about 8 months since I started my little Scentsy business, and it has been a lot of fun for me. And lately I'm really starting to earn some money!  So a few weekends ago, Adam and I loaded up the car and drove five hours south to Jackson, Mississippi, to hang out with my friends from college (and now Adam's friends too), Jana and Austin. Jana started selling pampered chef a few months ago, and she invited me to a vendor event a local church was having. So I thought it might be a fun way to meet some new people, make a little money, and of course spend some time with friends!

I didn't have high expectations for the event, since I had never done one before. But it cost 25 dollars to participate, so I figured if I made that back, I would be happy. Well, I did make that, and surpassed my goal. But better than that, I learned a lot about how to work a vendor event, and I know I will do better next time. 

One thing I learned is that it is great to have a conversation piece! Jana and I took that wooden hippo to the event and everyone loved it, and would stop by just to comment on it!

After the event, we went back to Jana's apartment, and we had delicious homemade pimento cheese sandwiches and white chicken chili, she had made in the crock pot. We took naps, and we just spent the evening hanging out. I think a test of a good friendship, is you don't have to do something to have fun, all you have to do is be together, and it is a blast. 

I also thought this would be a good time to show a little of the holiday scents that I am loving right now (and as always if you are interested in anything, email me, go to my website, send a carrier pigeon, hire a sky writer or whatever).

By the way, Christmas Cottage and Pumpkin Roll are definitely my favorite holiday scents!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Join Our Christmas Ornament Swap!

I love Christmas and I love new Christmas Ornaments, so why not have an ornament swap?

I am so happy to have Kyetra from Sweet Tea & Lollipops as my co-host!  We got paired together a few months ago on a Cara Box and she invited me to do this Christmas Swap with her, and I really thought it was a lovely idea. The rules are simple. Sign up now until November 27th.  Matches will be sent out on December 2nd.
  • Get to know a little about your partner and what kind of Christmas Tree Ornaments they like.  Be sure to find out if they have a theme to their tree.
  • Purchase an ornament or ornaments for your partner.  
  • Packages should be a minimum of $10 with a maximum of $15.  
  • All packages should be mailed out by December 16th, and include a Christmas Card for your partner.
  • Come back here to link up on December 23rd to show off what you got for your tree.
  • Tell your friends!!  If you know someone that would love to join, send them over.
To join, just fill out the form here.

Please join, we are going to have a lot of fun! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Weekend Report

Today I made the best white chocolate hot cocoa in the crockpot (from this recipe), which I topped with the trifecta of greatness: whip cream, chocolate sprinkles, and peppermint pieces. I can't even tell you how comforting and delicious it was. So much better than anything you could make in a swiss miss packet. Although it did not do much to abate the sting of the horrendous Green Bay Packer loss today. 

This weekend was a pretty quiet one. Saturday, we went out to eat and spent a few hours doing some Christmas shopping for our families.  And when I got home, I had the best nap. Although I had the strangest dream, where I was basically stalking Kourtney Kardashian. Which is stupid, because she is one of the least likeable of the Kardashians. Yes, I have a running list of the most likeable Kardashians. Ths list goes something like Khloe, Kendall, Kylie, Bruce, Rob, Kim, Scott, Lamar, Kourtney, Mason, Penelope, Kris, and North (North is only last due to her oh so silly first/last name combination).

Other highlights of the weekend? Working on one of our big lego city pieces, reminiscing about the Goosebumps series (remember A Night in Terror Tower), watching old episodes of The West Wing, and playing Mario on the Wii U.

Now I'm feeling a little bit of the Sunday night, "I so don't want to go to work tomorrow, but I have to because I enjoy eating and sleeping with a roof over my head" blues.  Here is to one relaxing weekend and hoping the work week flies by.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Life Lately Via Instagram

Lots of pumpkin pie bagels with new york style cream cheese and orange juice for breakfast from Panera. Yum.

Even more time spent stuck in traffic on the Decatur City Bridge going to work, which always manages to make me a few minutes late, despite my best efforts.

I picked up this monopoly junior for my kiddos at work, so I could do a little play therapy with them, while enjoying a version of the best board game ever. Therapist Brittany is in the house!

Enjoying a little bit of success lately from my first foray into Fantasy Football, I'm on a four game winner's streak y'all. I woke up to this note after my first match, which ended in a loss.

I'm was so happy that I finally carved out a place to store my jewelry properly. It is just a little place in my closet, but having it out and displayed has got me wearing more of it.

Adam bought us matching Green Bay Packers' Socks to wear during games! He thinks they are good luck. And last week I forgot to wear them and we lost, to the bears, and Aaron Rodgers got hurt. So there's that.....Adam totally blames me!

And speaking of socks, I bought these cozy ones the other day and I am in love with how comfy and warm they are. And when I pair them with my sweatpants, it just encompasses a little bit of what I love about this time of year.

How adorable is my new fall scarecrow warmer from scentsy? I AM IN LOVE WITH HIM. And my favorite scent right now, Cider Mill.

My breathe has been taken away by all the gorgeous fall colors in the trees. They are just everywhere, and I'm wishing they would never go away! I'm constantly stopping to take pictures. 


Like give me a break, I get to see this view every single day! I just love Alabama.

Just a little hint and preview of what the New Year holds for me....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Junk Gypsies, A Prehistoric Princess, & Halloween 2013

This really was a great Halloween.  I got so much in the spirit this year and got excited about wearing costumes. I don't really remember the last time I even really wanted to wear a costume! At work this year, my coworkers and I decided to all go as Junk Gypsies. I had no clue what a junk gypsy was, but apparently they are two famous girls, that use people's junk to make fabulous things, and even designed Miranda Lambert's wedding. And apparently you become a junk gypsy by wearing tutus! I was all for that. 

Halloween morning, I put on my tutu and stopped to get some gas before heading off to work. I was pumping gas and briefly worrying about whether my other coworkers would follow though with our plan, when a lady, clad in her pajamas, approached me.  She immediately took in my outfit and started in with, "You're so Brave, You're so Courageous." I felt this was a little over the top being that I was just wearing a tutu on Halloween! I muttered something about how my whole office was doing it, while she stroked my tutu and popped my personal space bubble. I was so happy to get out of there, I didn't even fill my tank up all the way!

I had a fun day in work, being in costume. Although I had a moment with a teenage client where I actually had to explain who Madonna is (I was wearing a Madonna T-shirt)! I was shocked. I felt a little like Adam when he realized my nieces had never heard of the movie Speed. It likes that moment when you really know you are getting older, and the next generations have no clue what made your generation cool.  Or you realize their Lady Gaga is your Madonna, and your Indiana Jones is their Twilight and Hunger Games. 

After work, Adam and I headed over the my mom's to hand out candy to the trick or treaters! Unfortunately, it was a rainy night so we didn't have the onslaught of trick or treaters that we usually have, but we had enough to make it fun. Everyone loved my costume, a Cave Woman, or like I like to say, a Prehistoric Princess. I especially loved my brunette wig complete with bone barrette. And my mom dressed up her lab as a hot dog. She was so cute, every time she would get too excited, she would wiggle out of it.  Unfortunately, Adam didn't dress up, but I would have loved for him to my caveman!

Halloween is such a silly holiday, but it is a fun one. And I think we did Halloween right this year!