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!