Wednesday, December 30, 2009

SURPRISE!! The Brocks surprise The Carrolls for New Years!

Here is the big surprise I had you all waiting on! My immediate family members thought I was pregnant. UMMM, no.

Big Daddy and I decided to just pack our things and head NORTH for New Years. At first I thought it was crazy, but then the more I thought about surprising my family, the more I thought how awesome this is going to be! What a FANTASTIC way to ring in the New Year!!

I LOVE SURPRISES! This one took the cake. Shawn is CONSTANTLY getting surprised {and surprising} her family, so she was a big encouragement to 'just do it'. I'm happy to say, it went BETTER than planned and I think the video will speak for itself!

SO for the next 3 days, we'll be lovin' on our family here in Atlanta!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, y'all!

Stay tuned ...

I've got a BIG SURPRISE to post later!!




Saturday, December 26, 2009

Little Drummer Boy

This is a video I took during our Christmas Eve service at our church! It's AMAZING .... promise you'll enjoy it!!

Hope you all had a WONDERFUL and Merriest of Christmases!! We had about 50 people over on Christmas Eve and it went perfectly! Will post pics later this week!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekend in Orlando/Jacksonville

The first weekend of December, Princess had her first cheer competition! We were SO nervous because we had a rough year with our gym last year ~ decided to stick out because we now have a new owner that we LOVE. The new owner is awesome and really has a passion for this, so it's like a whole new cheer gym.

The girls did great - they hit every stunt and placed 2nd place! The team that won 1st TOTALLY deserved it, too - so it made it a nice competition.





We decided to head to Jacksonville to watch the Gator game, since we were only about an hour away! We met up with GRITS and Just Dandy and watched the game at a really fun restaurant! I met these girls on Twitter and blogging (yes, I really did) and met up with them and 6 other girls in Atlanta. We have gotten to be great friends, so it was nice to see them again. It's no secret our Gators played like highschoolers and pretty much HANDED the title to Alabama, but it is what it is. Big Daddy and Wild Child were at the game and said it was pretty painful to watch in person. We LOVE Tebow and can't wait to see what he does next.


Princess and GRITS - Princess kept us in complete and utter hysterics the whole weekend. Seriously, the stuff that came out of her mouth was killing me .....




It was a great weekend, short of the Gators losing! We had a wonderful time and look forward to heading back to Jacksonville sometime SOON!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Seriously Adorable Frame Winner

The winner of the "Believe" frame is:


Tricia ~ please email me your address so I can get this shipped off to you!

CONGRATS!

Random.org was used to generate a number - I used 1-10 {after removing Shawn's comment} and it chose #4

Thank you all for entering!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Believe ....

I'm hosting a giveaway and the 'prize' is something from one of my favorite people! Shawn, one of my best friends, is a fabulous artist. One of her most popular items is the canvas frame.

Take a look below at several of the designs she has created:


A fall-themed frame - I LOVE this cute little scarecrow!



These precious little birds make my heart happy! I LOVE THEM!


How cute is this summer frame? Would look perfect with your beach picture inserted in the frame!

This is one of my favorites too - would love to rotate out pictures of the kids from Halloweens past.

This is a custom piece she did for a customer!


A birthday frame!


WHO doesn't LOVE a fleur de lis??


One lucky reader is going to win the adorable "Believe" frame below! This one is designed to be placed in an easel, but I'm sure if I ask nicely, Shawn will make it into a frame that hangs! You can place your favorite picture from holidays past! It holds a 5x7 picture, too!

The best part is the frames are EXTREMELY affordable and make EXCELLENT gifts! Just $19.95 and they come packaged up in cellophane and ribbon, ready to give! So head on over to Shawn's blog or her website, Seriously Adorable ~ to enter the contest, please just leave a comment! That's IT! Contest will end FRIDAY, Dec 11 at midnight and winner will be announced Sat - so I can get this packaged up and ready for you to enjoy before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

8 yrs ....

Today marks our 8-year anniversary! We were married in Vegas after dating 9 mths - so I guess the old saying goes "When you know, you know".

We've been through some crazy times, some very dramatic times, some wonderful times, but all in all, these past 8yrs have shaped us as a couple. Our marriage has taken work {and y'all are lying if you are saying yours doesn't and it's perfect} ~ I'm happy to say I've got a man that will stand beside me NO MATTER what.




The best part of our marriage so far? These two:

This past year has been great. We have traveled with our best friends to Dominican Republic, we have been to Atlanta many times, we've gone to lots of concerts together, we've grown within (and with) our church, we've deepened friendships and our marriage has gotten closer than it's ever been! It's really been GOOD!

For those of you that don't know, this is my second marriage and Big Daddy's third (EEK!! But honestly, I'm a Lt Colonel - we've been married THREE TIMES as long as his first 2 marriages COMBINED) - I will tell you this: Divorce is too easy these days. Please know this is just my OPINION, but if you can work GOD into your marriage, it will last forever. I truly believe that. There have been a couple times in our marriage that it just wasn't fun, easy or even enjoyable, but because of our FAITH and belief in Christ, we stuck it out and we're in a place now where I know we'll continue to grow deeper together as a couple. Marriage is hard work - but a friend sent this to me today and I wanted to close and share:

The purpose of marriage is not so much to make us happy, but to give us opportunities to grow in virtue and learn how to love by weathering those frustrations and irritations. If we can get over our mindset towards our spouse of "meet my needs", we can appreciate what they are instead of focusing on what they aren't!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

As promised, here is my menu for this week:


Monday - Chicken Katherine


Tuesday - Chicken & Dumplings (in crock pot)

Wednesday - Bear Creek broccoli & cheese soup w/turkey sandwiches

Thursday - Chicken Alfredo, salad

Friday - Baked Ziti, salad

Saturday - Christmas Party and it includes the kids!

Sunday - French Fried Chicken, couscous, green beans

Chicken Alfredo:

Sautee frozen mixed vegetables in a pan, once thawed, add alfredo sauce

Cook chicken breast and then dice chicken into chunks

Add chicken to alfredo sauce

Cook egg noodles as directed

Combine alfredo mix and egg noodles in a pan. Top with panko bread seasoning. Bake in oven on 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Baked Ziti:

Cook 1 lb ground beef and Jimmy Dean Italian Sausage

Drain, rinse and add spaghetti sauce

Cook ziti noodles as directed

Combine ziti and ground beef mixture. Put in pan and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in over on 350 degrees for 15-20 min.

French Fried Chicken (this was a dinner my BFF Amber was fixing the other night when I was at her house ... I have to try it).

Crunch up French Fried Onions and put on plate. Beat up 3 eggs. Take 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts and coat in eggs, then cover with French Fried Onion mixture!

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Is it December already?!?!

WOW ~ I can't believe I haven't posted in over a week! I am SO SORRY!! We have been so busy here at The Brock household, but now that we are in some sort of a routine, I should be back to my regular posting!

Will be back later today with Menu Planning Monday, and then check back later this week for a giveaway, a Christmas tour, and results from Princess' first cheer competition!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Appetizers, dips, and cheese balls, OH MY!

I love food - it's really not a secret. I really love good, country, SOUTHERN food, but since my move to Florida, I have broadened my horizons a bit and realized I can eat, AND ENJOY, some, ahem, what I call ... fru fru food.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I thought I would post some recipes of some wonderful dips, appetizers, etc that I have come to enjoy! I hope you enjoy them too!




Endive Stuffed w/Goat Cheese* and Walnuts


My friend, Stacey - you know, the one that does all my flower arrangements and has no blog, she brought these to a wine tasting this past weekend and they were DELISH!


*I had this the other night and she used blue cheese instead of goat cheese - ALTHOUGH - I really like goat cheese. Blue cheese is just easier to find. You will find yourself chomping on these and going back for more. They are ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! I think I stood over the plate and ate about 10 of them. Seriously. I will be making these for Thanksgiving Day appetizers.


Toffee Dip


I have no picture for this one, but trust me, it's SO good and perfect for fall! I make it and it doesn't last long at all. I normally serve with apple slices and graham cracker cinnamon sticks.



Cheese Ball


This one was introduced to me by Shawn. She makes it and it disappears ...like all the rest of these!


1 pkg Kraft Roka Blue


1 pkg Old English


1 block cream cheese


Garlic to taste


Mix together - put in fridge to harden - shape into ball and serve with crackers!



Baked Brie


This is my go-to now for just about anything I have to go to ... it always goes fast and is quite delicious! I have used many different types of preserves, and I'm thinking cranberry preserves would be really good (if I can find it).

What are your favorite recipes?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Family Christmas Pictures ~ 2009

Once again, the talented Torrie Fagan from Torrie Fagan Photography shot our Christmas pictures! We've been using Torrie since we moved here and she NEVER disappoints!

We had our outdoor location planned for WEEKS ~ and it was the most perfect day for pictures. Until we got to the location and I'm not even kidding, there was a Pioneer Days type fair set up on the grounds. I DIED. I started FREAKING out .... Torrie knows me all too well and said "Listen, let's head over to Hollis Gardens in Lakeland and we'll shoot quickly and get them done" ... sure enough, we pull up and they were actually prepping for a wedding. I'm telling you - it was the quickest 20 minutes and we got a TON of wonderful pictures!!


Me & my Princess


Isn't this gorgeous?

My favorite picture out of ALL of them

Another favorite

I've already designed our Christmas cards - just waiting on one final picture to insert and we're DONE! Once they are finished, I'll be sure to post it on here. I think they turned out GREAT!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Perspective

Seriously ... sometimes I just want to raise my hands to the heavens and shout "WHY?!" .. actually, I'm lying, I did that .. today.


Although I don't understand, I will trust in Him and know it is all for a greater purpose.

I have a friend whom I met through a local charity I have done work with - a sweet friend, whom I have gotten to know over the past few years. We didn't hang out on a regular basis, but we did exchange emails, texts, and an occasional phone call.

She has a precious little girl that was fighting leukemia. This sweet girl just celebrated her first yr anniversary treatment free! She is thriving and growing up to be a beautiful little girl, alongside her older sister and brother.

Her mom, Anissa, fought with her and for her. She became an advocate for her daughter and made sure she received the best treatment possible, all the while trying to provide a normal life for her husband and other 2 children. She is hysterical. Really - I would comment on almost every post she wrote and tell her she needed to be a FREAKIN' SITCOM WRITER! She is FUNNY.

Anissa suffered a stroke before Peyton was diagnosed with leukemia. She said that stroke helped her better understand how to care for her daughter. She recovered 100%. Yesterday, she suffered another stroke - this time massive. She is currently in ICU in a hospital in Atlanta. I am shocked, saddened and really confused. There are times today when I was driving home today and I would just weep. Weep because I am just totally blown away by the events that have transpired and really, just how quickly things can change - in an instant.

So I ask you, storm heaven with prayers for Anissa. She did not have a good prognosis today, but after some visits from her children and the power of prayer {I am certain of this}, she is making improvements. You can follow her via her website, Free Anissa or Aiming Low.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Menu-Planning Monday

I got a little off-schedule last week because Big Daddy was out of town, so we kind of just ate what we had in the house! Now, Big Daddy is on a MASSIVE diet, and he can't really deviate from the diet (that's kind of the idea, right?) - but he REALLY can't on this one. He has his own menu (just think chicken, steak, or salad) and so we are free to eat whatever we want!! YAY!

Monday ~ Spaghetti tacos (it's exactly what it is), french fries

Tuesday ~ Polynesian chicken, white rice, peas

Wednesday ~ Macaroni & Cheese, salad

Thursday ~ cheeseburgers, tater tots, baked beas {I will be leaving to go see New Moon with Shawn}

Friday ~ Chicken Katherine, peas, salad

Saturday ~ wine tasting/dinner w/friends

Sunday ~ LEAVING FOR ATLANTA!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Inspiration Sunday

I decided I would share with you songs that mean something to me - every Sunday.

I'm hoping you'll watch the video - maybe it will reach out to you.

This song is special to me b/c our church actually recorded it ... and it turned out amazing!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"I Know The Plans I Have For You"

We have had .... literally .. an unbelievable week {all good}. Big Daddy and I are in awe of how God is working in our lives. We most certainly believe that we have been brought to a place that has humbled us and we give all the honor and glory to Him. It certainly was perfectly orchestrated ~ and I'll leave it at that.

While we were at church earlier today, we were speaking with our dear friend, and worship pastor, as well as a couple other pastors from the church. Our worship pastor left the room, but came back about 30 seconds later. He said 'I felt God tell me I need to come back and sing this song over you - really, I need to sing it, it's overwhelming'.

This is the song he sang {but imagine it coming from a guy, that sounds like Gary LeVox from Rascal Flatts, but more amazing}.

I snot-cried ... Big Daddy cried ... it was very, very moving.

So I want to take this time to let you know if you're struggling, hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel {and it's NOT a train} - keep steadfast in your prayer and even when there doesn't seem to be ANYTHING to be thankful for - remember to thank God for SOMETHING, the littlest thing - FIND SOMETHING. Most of all - remember to give all the glory and praise to God - praise Him even in the bad times. God will provide the grace and mercy to bring you through.

Jer 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

27 Days of Thankful


I saw this post over at my in real life BFF's blog, Seriously and thought I'd like to join up!


I'm behind, so I'm just going to start today, on Day 3

Today I am thankful for my church.

A place where I can worship freely, bring all my 'issues' to the alter and LEAVE THEM THERE, unjudged.

I am thankful for a place where I have met some of my dearest friends - people I may never have met otherwise and they all live just minutes away.

I am thankful for a place that has changed my life dramatically - and the lives of my husband and children.

I am thankful for a place that accepts me for me - crazy past and all - realizes and understands that my past is just that - my past.

I am thankful for being loved unconditionally by complete strangers.

I am thankful to be given the privilege to worship without persecution and to use my talent and love for singing.

I am thankful for my church - a vessel in which I can be closer to my God and grow deeper in my relationship with Him.

What are you thankful for today?


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Meal Planning Monday

I've gotten lots of compliments/comments regarding my meal planning - although I don't think I have the BEST recipes or the most 'balanced meals' - knowing I've got friends that look forward to seeing it, has really held me accountable to posting each week! ... so here we go!


Monday ~ pre-made meat loaf from our local grocery store (If you have Publix in your neck of the woods, go back to the meat department. They have a LOT of pre-made meals and their meat loaf is TO DIE FOR! It's so good and only costs about $5) mashed potatoes/gravy & peas

Tuesday ~ Fiesta Chicken Casserole, salad

Wednesday ~ Pork Chops, scalloped potatoes, green beans

Thursday ~ Chick-fil-A night (Princess has cheerleading until LATE, so we'll be eating out)

Friday ~ dinner plans with friends

Saturday ~ Crock Pot Lasagna, french bread, salad (yes, we eat A LOT of salad)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I have died and gone to heaven ... almost.

For the latter part of my adult years, I have struggled with having perfectly smooth, silky hair. My hair is THICK and has a bit of a wave to it. I can flat iron it, put every product known to man in it, step outside and POOF!

I had been wanting to do some form of chemical straightening for quite some time now. It's expensive and I was extremely hesitant because my hair is UNRULY ~ plus, do to some 'economic cutbacks' - I just couldn't justify spending $350 {and that's on the LOW end} to have something done to my hair that I wasn't SURE would work!

Well, we all have birthdays and I was completely SHOCKED when one of our dear friend's SISTER, who flies in from NC every 8 weeks and does hair. She gifted me with the Brazilian Blow-Out!! I could not believe it - I was completely speechless and forced to tears. It really was a wonderful, generous gift.


Here is my hair before: This is straight from blow-dry - very little product.

About 90 minutes later ~ seriously. I could NOT quit running my fingers through my hair. It is NOT a hard process and is COMPLETELY safe for your hair. I put it on Twitter that I was getting it done, and I had several girls message me back, letting me know they had it done and how great it was!! That got me MORE excited ~ and so I couldn't even sit still during the process.

It lasts anywhere from 3-5 mths. I think I can get 6mths out of it because we are going into winter (HA!) and I will not have the humidity. My hair still looks AMAZING and I expect it to look great for months to come!!

SO - if any of you want to get it done, live in my area (email me), Jennifer will be here in December - BUT - if you live in Eastern N. Carolina, Jennifer will take GREAT care of you! Tell her I sent you!

Tomorrow: Atlanta Re-Cap ....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Meal Planning Monday

Today has FLOWN by! It's going to be a CROCK-POT week I think ~ which is great b/c I LOVE the way my house smells when I've had something cooking all day!

Here goes:

Monday ~ Sweet Chili (yes ... again)

Tuesday ~ Chicken & Dumplings thank you to End of Beans for pointing out that recipe - can't wait to try!

Wednesday ~ Taco Soup

Thursday ~ Polynesian Chicken*

Friday ~ PIZZA

Saturday ~ BLOCK PARTY and trick-or-treating with the kids

Sunday ~ Vegetable Soup*

Polynesian Chicken

1 lb chicken breast or tenderloins
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Cook in crock pot ALL day
Serve over white rice, topped w/sour cream and crushed pineapple


Vegetable Soup

Basically, I just throw in an assortment of FROZEN vegetables, chopped up cabbage, diced tomatoes and water & chicken broth - let it cook all day long and serve with cornbread.

Pen-Pals in the 21st Century

I am coming off an amazing weekend - as if this MONTH couldn't be any better!


Do you have bloggers that you chat with, read daily, OH SO WISH YOU COULD meet them in real life?

I do.

I got to meet them too - and boy did it NOT disappoint.

Pretty In Pink Megan, GRITS, Just Dandy, Through Rose Colored Glasses, Petunias Paradise, My Blonde Reality, The Dishy Decorator, and Paisley and Pearls -- and ME -- all met up in Atlanta this weekend and it was an absolute BLAST!!!

Recap coming soon!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I have decided to start posting Menu Plan Monday so I can get organized in my life. We "go" a lot and if I don't sit down, write it out and plan it, we'll eat Chick-fil-A all week. While I'm not totally against that idea, it's just not a healthy option and sitting down as a family to eat is important to me. This is a short week because I am leaving out of town on Friday and Big Daddy will be hanging with the kids. Both have lots of activities planned this weekend, and we're planning accordingly.


Mon: Chicken Katherine (recipe posted at bottom of post), rice, and peas

Tues: Pot Roast in the Crock Pot w/carrots, onions, potatoes

Wed: Leftovers

Thurs: Sweet Chili (recipe posted below)

Fri: Princess has Bday Party, Big Daddy and Wild Child will probably have breakfast for dinner! WC's favorite

Sat: PIZZA!

Sun: Rotisserie Chicken and mixed vegetables

Chicken Katherine
4 chicken breasts
1/2 stick butter
1 package neufchatel or cream cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use low-fat)
1 pack - Good Seasonings dry italian dressing mix
Dash of white wine

Melt cream cheese until smooth.
Add butter, soup, white wine, & dressing mix.
Mix until well blended.
Put chicken in cassarole dish and pour cream cheese mixture on top.
Bake at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Sweet Chili
1 lb ground beef or meat of choice (we've used ground turkey before also)
1 can Bush Chili Magic (I use mild)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chili beans
Brown sugar to taste

Brown meat, drain, rinse and transfer to crock pot
Add Chili Magic, tomatoes, and chili beans - do not drain
Let cook in crock pot for 4-6 hrs. With an hr left, add brown sugar to your liking. We like ours sweet ~ so I add 2-3 tablespoons. Once thickened, serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream!

*** Just got home from grocery store and I spent $58 TOTAL for groceries for the week, including some household items we needed and lunch items for Princess. I inventoried our pantry before I left and ONLY bought what I needed ****

Friday, October 16, 2009

34 years ago today ....

"WE" were born ~ if you haven't guessed it yet, or figured it out ~ I am a twin. Younger by 4 minutes, I wouldn't trade it for the world. My sister, Jenn, is my best friend. We have a connection that is only explained by sharing a womb for 9 mths.
I could go on and on about all the weird things that happen - me calling her and she's beeping in, sending emails to each other at the same time, I even had MAJOR back pain when she went into labor w/her first daughter. Mom called to tell me she was in labor and I pretty much ALREADY knew it.

So Happy Birthday to my Best FRIEND ~ I love you more than you know. I wish you all the joys you could ever imagine and may all your wishes come true!

Random.Org selected comment #12 as the winner of my Birthday Giveway (I deleted one disqualifying comment *NOT MY MOM* and a duplicate before I chose the winner)!

Congratulations to Dana! Email me your address so I can get out this awesome giftbox to you!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Birthday Brunch

Since we all have such insanely busy schedules, I got to kick-off my birthday a WEEK early with a birthday brunch hosted by two very special ladies! Shannon (blogless, barely gets on facebook ... but I won't hold that against her) and Stacey (ummm, the same, but she gets on FB a TEENSY bit more) hosted an absolutely stunning brunch this past Sunday at Shannon's gorgeous new home. I had several of my closest girlfriends attend and let me tell you, I didn't make it out of there without shedding some tears.

I love birthdays. To me, Christmas is celebrated in honor of the birth of Christ. We do not go overboard - ever. My children get 6 gifts each - 3 in honor of the Three Wise Men and one gift each from Mommy (clothes - ALWAYS), Daddy (something camo or hunting related - ALWAYS) and then a gift to each other.

SO with that being said - birthdays are VERY special to me. I love nothing more than searching for the PERFECT gift for someone that I love - and yes, I love my girlfriends. Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing them open their gift or getting a phone call/email letting me know they received their gift and how much they loved it (because yes, I even send gifts in the mail to my girls that aren't local ...). Really, it's my love language.

So Sunday was special to me, not because of all the fabulous gifts that I received, but because I was able to relax and spend some very much needed girl time with some very special ladies. I love each and every one of these ladies and would do anything for them. It meant the world to me that they took precious time away from their families to come celebrate with me!

Enough with the sappiness, here's some photos from the special day:





My place setting ~ yes, I had a tiara and yes, I wore it!

The table set ~ the food was TO DIE FOR! Really, it was so delicious!

Me & my cake ~ I am def a girly girl, so this was so fitting (that is a feather boa wrapped around a decadent cupcake from Publix, if you can't tell)


Me and my gorgeous girls!

** That dress is from the LC Collection at Kohl's - it is SO cute on**

My big day is Friday, the 16th, and I have plans to attend the Brad Paisley concert with my BFF Amber, she unfortunately couldn't make it to the brunch because her daughter had her first cheer competition - and HELLO - I GET THAT!!

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER MY GIVEAWAY ~ winner announced at 10:03 EST on October 16.

Friday, October 9, 2009

BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY ....


It's OFFICIAL!

In just one week from today, I will be celebrating my {ahem} 29th birthday.

AGAIN.

No, really, it's my 34th and I embrace it - it's better than the alternative, right?

SO, what better way to celebrate than do what I love the most?

GIVEAWAY PRESENTS!

I'm giving away my favorite things - yes, this is totally random, but lots of fun!

SO - included in the loot is:


  • Reusable shopping bags (2) from my favorite home store: Homegoods
  • Jasmine Pear hand lotion/hand soap to put right by your sink
  • Cozy, comfy aloe infused socks (Shawn turned me on to these)
  • Adorable note cards & my favorite pen (fine point Sharpie)
  • Chocolate covered sunflower seeds (DELISH)
  • Pink Grapefruit Organic Body Oil (slather this on after you get out of the shower)
  • Pink Grapefruit Organic Body Cream
  • Magnetic Note Pad
  • Cute cards (y'all know I LOVE cards)
  • Pier 1 fragrance set - great for fall
  • MINT flavored candle soy candle (to die for)
  • ADORABLE Connection Cards to set up dates w/your girlfriends!
Not pictured, but still very much included:
  • Wine bag (b/c I can't ship wine over state lines, but I love a good glass of wine)
  • Fall-themed paper plates and napkins
  • Fall-themed kitchen handtowel
Now, if you are a country music fan like me, I will be happy to send you a CD from Big Daddy, because after all, he's my favorite singer - BUT ONLY IF YOU ARE A COUNTRY MUSIC FAN. You will not hurt my feelings if you are not, but I don't want to send it to you if you are not going to listen to it. Fair enough?

SO, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me what your favorite birthday present has been - oh and let me know if you are a country music fan ....you don't HAVE to be a follower, but that would be nice. We'll choose the winner on:

FRIDAY ~ OCTOBER 16th @ 10:03 EST.

If you are related to me (ahem, Mom & Jenn) - you are not eligible to win.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

I REALLLLLLLLLLLLLY want this dress for my bday ...

For whatever reason, I have been on a MASSIVE Banana Republic kick lately .... I keep going back to this dress. I love it, but if I buy myself ONE. MORE. THING. - I'm in BIG trouble.

I know there are some 40% off coupons floating around good for purchase in-store every Wednesday in October, but I don't have one {insert big frowning face here} & my only Banana Republic store is nearly 40 min away.



I mean really, can't y'all just see me in this dress? With tights (snicker, yeah right, like it gets cold enough to wear tights, but anyways) and tall black boots! YUMMMM-Y!

Stay tuned - tomorrow is a BIG announcement (kinda) and no, I'm not pregnant or anything like that - there's going to be a GIVEAWAY!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The pits of hell ...

No, I'm not in a 'bad place' or whathaveyou ... that is what I am calling the workout I did last night.


I'm serious -- I thought I had died and was slung into a fiery, horrible pit of hell for all of eternity.

I have been on a workout kick for a while, but was only going once or twice/week. After an intense Body Pump class this past Saturday, my legs were just killing me {in a good way though}, so I called my best friend, Shannon, who teaches these classes, and asked her if she wouldn't mind getting me into the class she was teaching Monday night. I hesitated when she told me it was a sports conditioning class, because I am everything BUT athletic. She told me it would be fine, just go at my own pace and it would help loosen up my muscles. OHHHH that Shannon, she can not be trusted.

SO I get there a little early after working all day and look around to see it set up like an obstacle course. HUH?? I go to the bathroom before class starts and this was my first indication about how this evening was going to play out. There are 2 bathroom stalls. I went to the bathroom in one (and if you're wondering, I just went pee, b/c I had been drinking water ALL day long in anticipation of this class). Well, when I flushed the toilet, I could hear the other toilet gurgling water ... I opened the door to that stall and notice the toilet is rising, rising, rising and then it starts to OVERFLOW -- with POO POO in the water!! ACK!!! GROSS!! It stopped but not before I dry-heaved and ran out the door to tell Shannon the toilet had overflowed. Course - everyone is going to think it was ME, because I was the last one in there.

We start class and it's good. We do jumping jacks and I am surprised at how good I'm feeling. WOW - I can do this!! We finish our warm up and start the obstacle course. I am picked to do 'running' first -- running ... what? I am not a runner ... really, I'm not. We had to run THROUGH the gym, around the treadmills, and then back into the group fitness room. So I start running at a decent pace. My BFF, Shannon, the drill Sergeant, I mean, INSTRUCTOR, is BEHIND me, yelling at me "GO GO GO" .... I had things I wanted to say to her, but I am a Christian, so I refrained (but yes, I repented because I did think them and that's just as bad). SO we finish the running -- the next 'station' for me was the 'ladder'. You had to jump out and then bring your feet in (like a jumping jack) but there was this ladder on the floor - so it's jump out and then jump IN but your feet have to be INSIDE the ladder. It was a disaster for me. As I'm jumping out and then bringing my feet back in, I *tinkled* a little and then I got to laughing .... and tinkling .. and laughing .... and tinkling. You get the picture. THANK GOODNESS I had on BLACK shorts - but girls, without kids, THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE BABIES! I'm just sayin'.

SO we make it through the ladder course and the next was lunges across step stool thingy -- which was easy for me (at this point, it was easy ...) -- next station was taking a cone, picking it up, running SIDEWAYS but moving your feet over one another -- very confusing -- but I liked that one the best -- only because it was the easiest to cheat.

After that station, yes, I was crawling ... literally, crawling ...we had to do lunges AGAIN but very quickly and in place. OK, so I do 5, then rest, do 5 then rest, rest rest, do 3, rest, rest, rest ... are you following me??

The last station was another set of step stool and we had to jump BOTH FEET up and land on the stool, but land in a squatting position. This one wasn't too bad until my body decided it had enough and I face planted into the mirror. I acted like I had just tripped, but then I knew I had to keep going. I jumped again and my feet did not land on the step stool, but rather on the edge and I fell backwards. I again, just kept going ... mainly because I was so delirious, I don't think I really cared.

Once everyone completed the stations, we moved to the middle to 'tone' ... I was so happy b/c it meant that we could stop and be still for a minute. OHHHHHH no. Satan, I mean, SHANNON, had us do these whacked out lunges where we are holding a weight, we lunge back, put the weight down, lunge the other leg back, put the weight down, lunge again, pick the weight up, and so on -- over and over again. I literally, at this point, was sweating so profusely that I was sure I had sweat all the botox (if I DID botox ... ) out of my forehead and needed to change my shorts! BUT NO ... NO ... once we were done 5 min of toning .. .guess what ... ANOTHER RUN THROUGH THE COURSE!!!

I literally looked at Shannon, with my mouth dropped and said there was NO WAY I could do it. She, being the SUPPORTIVE friend that she is, told me that indeed I could. I was really hoping I would trip and fall during the run b/c the pain I would endure breaking a bone was nothing compared to what I was feeling in my legs, chest, abdomen, plus I'd get to leave and wouldn't have to worry about driving b/c my legs were shaking so bad.

I decided to PRESS ON and continue the course, hitting each station and trying to finish. A couple times I had people asking me if I was ok. I'm not sure what would make them ask me that -- the fact I was laying in the floor, gasping for breath, or that fact that I kept checking to make sure I had a pulse. Not sure.

So we go back to the middle -- to tone -- again.

We have the flex tubes now. The trick here was to fold it in two, thread our hand through and pull out and pulse .... I could barely even get my hand through b/c I was shaking so badly. I totally cheated on that one - I used like a 3lb tension tube. I felt like I deserved that at that point. Seriously.

The end of the class was abs. We laid down (I felt there was an anointing on my mat - seriously - that was the highlight of my day) and did crunches. Those are no problem for me - I was just happy to be laying down. THEN .. we had to lift our legs straight up in the air, and lift our bum ... not so hard until we are doing it side to side ... WHATEVER. I'll keep my muffin top, thankyouverymuch.

Needless to say, I had a phone call this morning checking on me. Shannon and I are still friends - I decided not to hold my lack of endurance against her - considering she is a FREAK of nature. I really only like taking her classes but as long as I live, I will never take another sports conditioning class. EVER.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Birthday Wish List .....

I'm so pathetic .... I can't think of ANYTHING to put on my birthday * wish * list for Big Daddy except that perfume I blogged about last week.

I am either TRULY blessed or boring ..... I'm going w/BLESSED.

I do need a colander .... seriously, a flippin' colander.

I just can't think of anything that I want so badly that I remember to tell anyone - or maybe I do and I just can't remember! ARGH!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Supermodel - WORK!

My girl had the opportunity to model in her first ever runway show last week. If you follow me on Twitter (I had to go private, so still request to follow me, but if you are a freak, or have an inappropriate avatar, I will deny you - SORRY) - anyway, as I was saying, if you follow me on Twitter, I pretty much did a play by play as my girl was strutting her stuff.

She was asked to model for a very dear friend of ours who is also an amazing designer. Bebe needed to show girls age 7-16 clothing and asked us if Princess would be willing to do it. OF course she would -- I was a wee bit nervous b/c my girl can cheer in front of a gazillion people, but could she walk and not fall (we're talking MY daughter here)??

She killed it.






I knew she had it in her, but I was a little nervous she was going to be nervous, trip, stumble, whatever ... something I WOULD do ... but alas, she did not and she did a FANTASTIC job!

Yes, I cried.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm IN LOVE with this scent

I was in Victoria's Secret not too long ago with a friend. I really don't ever go in there but I do love their makeup! I saw this bottle and decided to smell it - I NEVER do that. OH. MY. HEAVENS - it smelled SO good. I sprayed the body mist and then put on some of the lotion.

I kept smelling my hands all day long .... the scent lingered - which I like - AND smelled so yummy for fall! It's not overly sweet. I like to switch up my perfumes and normally have 2-3 that I use depending on what mood I'm in. Maybe Big Daddy will see this and get it for me for my birthday? It IS coming up!


What's your favorite fall scent?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I FALL for FALL jackets ....

We do not get much of a "fall" here in Florida - we do get some more balmy days, but typically, it doesn't ever get very cold. I decided I would cruise the internet for what's * hot * on the fall jacket scene and boy, oh boy, did it leave me wanting to hop on a plane and head to Chicago (ahem ... yes, I really do mean that... it's somewhere I've never been and really want to go).

Anyway, I hit up my old favorites, Gap and Banana Republic. Did y'all know Piperlime is now selling apparel? My heart skipped a beat when I saw this GORGEOUS military ruffle jacket by Free People - it's pretty reasonable too at $148.



Photo Credit: Piperlime

What about this yummy little number from JCrew? I love how versatile this piece is - and yes, I would wear it exactly as the model is wearing it - maybe throw on some nice pants for work!


Photo Credit: JCrew

Here's another one from Piperlime. This is a Tracy Reese jacket and I am seeing GRAY is totally in - which is great, because I love to wear gray. This jacket is pricey, but I also love how versatile it is and can be worn from day to night!


Photo Credit: Piperlime

Finally, White House Black Market always has a wonderful selection of 'sweater jackets' - perfect for us Florida Girls! I foresee this beauty in my closet - VERY soon. It SCREAMS my name! It is ultra girly with the ruffles and will be perfect, again, for day to night!



Photo Credit: White House Black Market

What's your favorite fall piece?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Deeper Still ~ Orlando

As promised, here is my post about my weekend in Orlando at Deeper Still. For those of you that don't know, Deeper Still was a conference where 3 bible teachers, Kay Arthur, Priscilla Shirer, and Beth Moore (MY FAVORITE!!) spoke about different things, thus teaching us to go "Deeper Still" with our faith, understanding, etc.

I was lucky enough to have my sister join me on this conference - as well as my best friend Amber. Our friend Dawn traveled with us and then we met up with Shawn, Danielle and Rebecca. We traveled out Friday late afternoon and got to Orlando around 4:30. We decided to change, freshen up and head down to the hotel for dinner before it started at 7:00. Needless to say, the hotel restaurant was not prepared for the onslaught of this many women, and we sat there for 45 minutes before we kindly put a little bit of money for our 1 Coke (Dr. Pepper really) and told one of the waitresses that we had to go .... we did get a free breakfast the next morning though (THANKS SHAWN)!

We walked over to the Arena and ate hot dogs and nachos instead --- it was good and just a teensy bit less expensive (NOT MUCH THOUGH)!




My sister and me, just before going into the Conference


Travis Cottrell lead worship once it started and this came on the screen. I lost it. Big Daddy and I are in such a weird time in our life - nothing, I'm sure that many of you are going through. Uncertainty, doubt, confusion ..... I seriously believe in divine appointment and believe I was to be at the conference THIS VERY WEEKEND to hear the messages that were taught.


Kay Arthur (I don't have ANY pictures) taught the entire book of Hebrews. This amazing woman is 75 yrs old and BROUGHT. IT. She did scare me a little, but REALLY, in the big scheme of things, what is there to be scared about? She taught us about Resting in Faith -- which is really really important to me and something I am doing as we speak.


2nd day - Jenn, Amber and me - sporting our bling'd out tees courtesy of Ice-It by Bebe Z


This is out of order, but before Beth spoke, this was a painting that was done on 4 panels of glass - Kay spoke about planting the seed - on the OTHER side of the glass, all the women that attended were given an opportunity to write on the glass. It was INCREDIBLE!


My favorite speaker was definitely Priscilla Shirer -- OHHH she is so REAL! I loved her and her message. She taught us about Ephesians 3:20-21 -- seriously spoke 1.5 hrs on just these 2 verses. She 'dumbed it down' as I like to say and I ingested it and have really been soaking in this message. She taught us that God can go BEYOND our BEYOND, all that we imagine and that sometimes God's answer is * no * and we have to be willing to understand that that is His answer, and he has a bigger plan for us - one that goes BEYOND our BEYOND and comprehension.


Beth, Travis and Priscilla on stage during worship - it was awesome!!

Beth Moore taught us about discerning the voice of God. Also, something I REALLY needed to hear. She gave us a list of things to look for - and most times - to follow our gut feeling. It was called "Divine Revelations in Human Encounters". She gave us 4 questions to ask ourselves:

1. Can I trust what I'm sensing? Am I a critical or suspicious person by nature?

2. Am I jealous? Do I feel threatened by this person?

3. Do I have anything selfish to gain for this outcome?

4. Are my emotions clouding my discernment?

If you answer "NO" to any of these questions, then go with your gut. But if you answer "YES", then you must re-examine the situation. THIS GOES FOR PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE!! She really stuck on 2 Timothy 3:5 (yes, I am going to make you look it up).



This was the end when they were doing some straight shooting talk. It was funny and really showed us these ladies are * REAL * people just like us.

Hope you enjoyed the recap! We left shortly after and headed home, stopped at the outlets (no luck except for 2 long sleeve JCrew t's) and then got home and CRASHED!! It was such an overwhelming, spirit filled weekend - I loved it!!

Update coming sooooon!

I have so much to share with y'all from my weekend at the Deeper Still conference in Orlando.

Amazing ... and it spoke right to me.

But first, mama needs to catch up on the shenanigans of this house!

Promise to be back tonight with an update - plus lots and lots of other stuff!!

Have FIRST DAY OF FALL, my sweets - even though it's still 90 degrees HERE!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

....with a grain of salt

So things have been quite hectic over here at Casa de Brock ~ changes left and right. Some good, some kinda making us raise an eyebrow.


It's all relative.

We are taking it in stride ~ and as the title of my post reads, with a grain of salt.

We are all healthy, employed and opportunities are around us, it's just what we choose to do with them. I have an issue that I'm dealing with right now - worry. It grips me more than anything. I have prayed for it to be released, I get 'renewed' and then I fall right back into the pit. Good thing I'm going to see Beth Moore this weekend, huh? {SO EXCITED, by the way}

SO, with that, if you too are gripped with worry and anxiety, here are some tips that I found that will help you:

First of all -- good 'ol scripture:

~ An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up {Proverbs 12:25} -- I find this to be true. A little note helps too - especially an unsuspecting gift card to Sonic also (thanks my sweet)

~ I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears {Psalm 34:4}

~ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. {1 Peter 5:6-7}

~ ...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words can not express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. {Romans 8:26-28}

AND some tips:

~ We generally need 8-9 hrs of sleep per day. Sleep deprivation can increase anxiety (REALLY?!?! I've been getting about 4-5 hrs a night .... this may be a problem).

~ Many people are worried and anxious about events that will actually never happen to them. Relax. Focus on today. Take life one day at a time. (THIS is a big one for me. I actually printed this on several pieces of paper and have it everywhere, along with scripture).

~ Listen to relaxing, soothing music. (This is a no-brainer for me).

~ If at all possible, do something you enjoy. It is good to get some recreation on a regular basis. Take a break. Get your mind off your fears and worries, and have some fun. (AMEN!)

~ Talk to someone. Don't hold all the anxiety inside. (I have a few girlfriends that probably cringe when they see my phone number coming up on their caller ID - but it's how I deal with things).

So that's what I've found and how I'm going to choose to deal with all these WONDERFUL changes. YES! They are wonderful. We know there is a greater purpose. Big Daddy is beyond thrilled and looking forward to our new opportunities!!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my sweets!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Favorite Song Sunday

This is something I thought I'd try ~ we'll see if it sparks any interest.

I'm posting a video of one of my favorite songs -- this one happens to just get me 'going' in the morning -- or helps me get my 'clean on'.

Y'all know I'm a country girl -- yet I can so hang in the city {seriously}.

I love all types of music -- except the jiggy jiggy jiggy kind, you know, with hardcore cussing and stuff -- but deep down, country is still my all time fave.

Here's why .......

Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's all about the packaging.....

I am a packaging 'ho -- wrap something up pretty in cellophane and ribbon and I'm done.

Trust me -- it's amazing what a $2.50 candle can look like all dolled up with ribbon.

I recently ordered some items from an online store called Queen Bee Sauce. They sell 100% salicylic acid (the stuff you use for your face) in a powder form that you mix with your cleanser. I want to try it because my skin is about to drive me crazy. I use VERY good products already, but I'm hoping this will be the extra 'hmph' that I need for 'perfect skin'.

Anyway - I ordered on Tuesday.

TODAY - in my mailbox was a bright purple pkg. I was so excited - b/c I knew it couldn't be a bill!

It was my stuff from Queen B! HOW CUTE!


This was the kicker - INSIDE the pkg, they had a little note thanking me for my purchase, some more information and then a BIT 'O HONEY! Seriously -- SOLD. I thought that was the CUTEST thing I have EVER seen!
Brilliant marketing - yet so so easy. Chad's BFF owns a company and he always puts candy in with his shipment - I tell ya what - it makes you go back!

Friday, September 11, 2009


This image will forever be etched in my mind. I remember exactly what I was doing the morning our towers were attacked. I was living in Nashville - only having been there just a few short months. I was listening to the radio and remember the dj saying that 'something' was wrong and an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center. I immediately called Big Daddy and he turned on the television - he YELLED when the 2nd plane hit - watched it happen.

I went on to work and everyone was talking about what happened. It never, seriously, crossed my mind that this was a terrorist attack. I just didn't think like that. We watched tv in our office for the rest of the day, until our manager just decided to send everyone home. It was very stoic.

That weekend, Big Daddy had to leave for a show in Minnesota. I left and went to stay with his parents. I did not want to be by myself.

During the show - there was no wind. No real breeze.

Big Daddy started singing a song about the flag, called "Red, White & Blue" ~ as he started singing, the flag slowly started to wave. By the middle of the song, the flag was waving - he said like God taking his breath and making the flag wave. After the song ended, the flag slowly fell back to it's original position.

Do you have chills?

I wish I could post the song, but it was never released and I * think * I only have it on my iPod.

So today, I remember what I was doing, the feelings I felt - nothing compared to what those actually in NY felt. I can't even begin to imagine and quite frankly, I don't want to.

Thank you to all our servicemen and women that give their lives daily!

Happy Friday, my sweets! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Fall Dresses

Since I live in Florida, we really don't see super cold weather here. It MIGHT get a little below 60, but not until Feb/March and it doesn't last long. I do not own very many sweaters at all - but I have become a dress fiend. I LOVE THEM!!

While picking up some skinny jeans for Princess, I came across a couple dresses at Old Navy - YES, OLD NAVY - and thought I'd share them with y'all. I do not have a 'favorite' place to shop (except for my jeans). I pretty much just buy what I like. I do like transitional pieces though - ones I can wear all year long. My job is also business casual, so I can get away with more. I do dress nicely for business meetings and presentations - those clothes normally come from Banana Republic - another staple for me because it always just fits so well --- and y'all all KNOW what my favorite jeans are, right?

Here's one my twin sister turned me on to! How cute with the gray/white/black leopard print scarf I just got! I think this will be adorable with some ballet flats. It's a great jersey material, too - AND - it was a steal at just $15.00!!



This is another one I purchased. Lucky for me, I buy all the kids clothes at Old Navy - SO - after we did our back to school shopping, I got some coupons in the mail. I saved 20% AND had another $30 in gift certificates. This dress will be adorable paired with some chunky jewelry and flats. I got it in a dark purple - beautiful jewel tone color for fall. Again - this one was only $15 and it's a soft jersey material as well!

This dress is just 'me'. I LOVE. IT. I love it with the boots too! I didn't get this one, but it's definitely on my wish list! The winter white is just gorgeous!

This is another dress that screams "NATALIE" - it's so me! I didn't get this one either, but I think it's adorable. I'm not sure about the booties though. I have REALLY skinny legs and not sure I could pull it off.

I get emails DAILY about the next fall fashion find - dresses are definitely at the top of the list!

What's your favorite fall item??

Have a wonderful Wednesday, my sweets! Until tomorrow!