Sunday, November 29, 2009

twenty-six

My Thanksgiving holiday was delicious.


It was a fun week with family and lots of old friends.

I ate lots of pie. I took lots of pictures.

I got to see new babies who were adorable.

We snapped a Christmas card photo and ordered boxes of cards.

I also played lots of card games.

We celebrated my husband's birthday. He's an old man of twenty-five now.

We drove about 1,400 miles.

And I got to see one of my oldest friends marry a wonderful man. Some tears were shed, and lots of dancing ensued.

There are dozens of photos I want to post on here, and many stories to share, but after all the hustle and bustle of the past few days, I need to relax for a day or two.

Tomorrow I turn 26. That sounds very old and mature, yet I don't feel that way.

I am celebrating with my husband by painting the bedrooms in our house, and eating pizza.

I really can't think of a better way to spend my 26th birthday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I know I take pictures like this a lot. But they're my favorites.

And these shoes happen to be my favorite shoes at the moment.


Leaving tomorrow for Thanksgiving in Massachusetts with J's family.
Looking forward to it, but I know I'll miss my mom's sweet potato casserole.
Save me a little bit, mom!


Off to bake a pie & pack.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving To Do's:

We leave for Thanksgiving in Massachusetts at 4pm on Tuesday. We're driving up the east coast and hoping to arrive at some time in the wee hours of Wednesday. We'll be there for about 48 hours before we're waking up on Friday around 3AM to turn around and drive back to Virginia for a wedding. Between now and then I have about 200 little things to take care of.

I need to pack, obviously. And not only for our time in Massachusetts, but for the wedding we're attending back in Virginia next Saturday and the rehearsal dinner the night before. I bought a dress for the wedding the other day from Target (my bank account was happy) and it's so cute. Might even double for Christmas party dress. But I digress, we're also hoping to get a little family photo taken over the break for our Christmas card, so at some point today I need to pick out outfits for that. I can't have us clashing in our Christmas card photo!

Today I'm headed to the grocery store to buy ingredients for pecan pie. Pecan is my favorite pie, and I typically eat it as my "birthday cake" each year since my birthday always falls right around Thanksgiving. As I type this, J is sitting at his computer calculating calories in it, per my request. This will probably bring on a cry fest when he tells me one slice of pie has 1,110 calories and 80 grams of fat. I will still eat it, but this way I'll remember to only eat 1 piece instead of 5. Not that I've done that in the past...

*This just in, don't read unless you like expanding the size of your hips and bottom...

PW's pecan pie and pie crust has 947 calories and 65 grams of fight in an eighth of the pie. Sorry to ruin your day! It looks like I might need to find another pie crust recipe that doesn't add 600 calories to a slice.*

At some point, I need to get my eyebrows waxed. If I look back on how long it's been, we might be looking at months in double digits. Oops?

We need to do laundry. At the laundromat. Our last trip! Which brings me to our next thing to do, get the keys tonight to our new house WHICH HAS A WASHER AND DRYER, PRAISE THE LORD! But today we're making one more trip to our laundromat down the street to have some clean clothes for the week.

And somewhere in this busy day, I need to find time for the gym, and more importantly I need to come up with something for my kids to do for 2.5 days of school they have this week. I know they're gonna be off the wall since they have a break coming up, so this week is a lot more behavior management than teaching.

The thing I'm looking forward to the least is bathing the dog. She's a total spazz in the bath, but she needs one. And more importantly, I don't want her being the "smelly" dog on Thanksgiving day. That would be so embarrassing.

So I'm off! Off to accomplish a thousand little things and maybe find a little time to enjoy the rest of my weekend.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Layla-Cakes

Layla is a rescue dog who I got in the summer of 2007.

A friend of our family is involved with dog rescue, and she rescued Layla from a home where she and her brother sand sisters were left outside with a dead puppy in their pen. I wasn't truly looking for a dog, but I was toying with idea. When I met her though, I had to have her!

We're not sure what she is exactly. Our best guess is plott hound, and maybe some lab? Not a hundred percent sure though. I'm happy calling her a mutt!

I can't imagine life without her now. I know she's "just a dog" but we totally treat her like our baby. She's spoiled rotten, but I don't mind. My mom says she has "only dog syndrome", because when we go to their house, she won't allow for my parents' dogs to have any attention. Like I said...she's a little spoiled! But we love her!

This is the first day I met her...

The day she came home with me.

She used to be so little!



Go here to read other people's pet posts!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

pantyhose

Today I wore a cute wrap dress, a ruffly denim jacket and ballet flats to work. I topped it off with a favorite necklace, and I thought I was looking pretty good. Since it's getting chilly out, I added pantyhose to the outfit. I've got a dozen pairs of tights but none went with this dress, and I knew I couldn't show my bare, dry legs in public, and more importantly, I knew I'd be freezing if I didn't have something on my legs.

Around 3pm, an older, not so stylish coworker says to me, "I'm so glad to see that you're wearing hose. I thought they were out of style."

?

Would anyone care to explain this statement to me? Are hose really out of style or should I not trust her judgment? I was a little baffled, and then I spent the rest of the day wondering if people were snickering at me behind my back since I was so unstylish.

So, my fashionista readers (because I know there's a lot of you), please fill me in. Am I really out of the loop and wearing something that has been exiled from fashion this season, or do I just have a coworker who talks too much and didn't know what she was talking about?

Edit: Well, after reading a few comments, it turns out that I dress like an old lady. Great. Apparently I missed this little memo. Looks like I need to invest in more tights, tan my legs in the winter, or stop wearing skirts and dresses this time of year.

HOWEVER, my bff and former roommate who I consider to be my style consultant just told me via gchat that it's okay to wear hose. After a long explanation of the history of women and hose, she says they serve a purpose:

and it serves a purpose:
it lets you shave less
hides paleness
prevents blisters
so it's not a faux paus, but it now associated with being old-fashioned
so it's a tradeoff


So...I'll still leave it up for debate, but I'm pretty sure I'll be wearing my hose again, regarldess of how "conservative" or "old fashioned" they may seem. I'd rather be considered "old fashioned" if my other option is cold and pale!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

kidney beans & chorizo

My husband and I both cook in our home. We take turns, which makes everyone's life a lot easier. But the funny thing is, we don't share recipes. He has his recipes, I have mine. There is no overlap. If I find a recipe and make it, it's mine. He'd never dream of cooking one of my recipes, and vice versa. I'd never in a million years make his spaghetti.

Every Sunday when J and I make our weekly meal plan, he usually asks me what meal of his I'd like for him to make. Every Sunday, without fail, I always respond by saying kidney beans and chorizo. And then four out of five times he tells me no, because he "just" made it.

Last week, I finally got him to cave and make it for me, as it had been at least four weeks since we'd had it. Entirely too long by my standards. It was delicious, as always, and while it's a simple and basic meal, I could eat it daily and never complain.


We serve it over rice, and we usually don't include the mint, as it's a bit pricey, and the dish is great without it. So without further ado, Baked Kidney Beans and Chorizo!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Uprooted

The storm has passed and we're safe and sound. Yesterday was a gorgeous day in the high 60's, and the sun finally came back out. And the rest of the week is supposed to be lovely fall weather. Something that we are all happy to see after 5 full days of rain!

Over the weekend, J and I walked around our neighborhood, and it's quite the mess. We were fortunate to never lose power, but a lot of people weren't so lucky. Power lines were down all over the place. And unlike a few people as you can see below, are cars were left untouched. They're muddy now and covered in leaves, but nothing that can't be cleaned up!






And then a few houses down the street, we see this pole down because of the tree in the pictures above. Again, our little neighborhood is a bit of a mess.

Another block down, we have this tree down. Not as bad, but still blocking the whole street.


Our hot water was out for about 48 hours, but it's back, and now we're clean and happy! Hopefully in a few days most of the neighborhood will be picked up and clean. The streets are full of debris, but at least it's drive-able.

Thanks goodness this storm has passed!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Up!


Last night J and I watched Up!...and I bawled like a baby.

This little Disney/Pixar movie broke my heart. While it was a happy movie, there's something about old people that makes me sob. My poor husband saw a side of me that he had heard of from my family members*, but he had never witnessed 'til last night. My uncontrollable crying may have made him a little uncomfortable and he may have laughed at me, but I know he was holding back tears. He'll deny it, but I could see the glisten in his eyes.

Back to my original point, which I have strayed so far from, if you haven't seen this fine film, it's totally worth renting. Even if you're a twenty-five year old cry baby like me. You will still love this sweet film. Especially if dogs and old people have a special place in your heart.

*When I was a l
ittle girl younger, I was the one in my family who cried through out just about everything we watched. My mom couldn't even let me watch Oprah alone, because it was destined to upset me. The worst, though, was Heidi, starring Shirley Temple. There are horrendous stories that my family will share about me watching this movie as a child. I tear up just thinking about it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

November Nor'easter

Here we are on day 3 of the November Nor'easter in southeast Virginia. We've had wind around 60 mph howling outside, and enough rain to build an ark. While I thought I was going to have one day off this week, turns out that I've got a five day weekend instead. It's been nice, but I'm sure I'll be a whiny baby when they take days away from my spring break to make up the days we've missed.

My very brave (and slightly crazy) husband chose to take a stroll around the neighborhood yesterday, and here's what he came back with on the camera.









And he was a hot, wet mess when he returned...I told him he needs to stock up on some more rain gear if he's going to walk around in storms like this.


Now, back to hanging out in my sweats and watching more tv! We're part of the lucky few who still have power. No hot water for the past 18 hours, but I'm okay with that. Showers and dish washing can wait!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Eggs are for suckers.


(thank you to my husband for sending me this ridiculous video)

Seriously?

Who buys these contraptions? I can't even tell you the last time I got an egg shell in my food.

And please do share if you crack your eggs by slamming them down on the counter top. There's not a single person I can think of who cracks eggs this way.

PS...I'm home again today due to the storm. Our city has streets that have flooded pretty badly, and the 50+ mph winds were enough for them to cancel school.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

On my day off I have done the following:
  • Took my car to the shop for an oil change
  • Came home and made these for breakfast. Notice the boxtop! PS, does anyone else love the sound of popping one of these cans as much as I do?
  • Cleaned out my closet after being inspired by some other bloggers who have been on a roll! I'm determined to not move anything next month that I don't really need.
  • I played with my scrapbooking stuff. I wish I had more time for this.
  • I made tomorrow night's dinner...tomato soup mac & cheese! I figured with all my extra time I'd get a jump on things and have tomorrow night's supper ready to pop in the oven. There it is in all of it's tin foil glory.
  • Followed by tonight's dinner! Angel hair pasta with sun dried tomatoes and goat cheese. Oh my friends. Try this. It was easy and delicious. I'm a big Giada fan...anyone else? She tends to annoy me on her show, but everything I've ever made by her is wonderful.
  • Oh, and did I mention I did it all in my sweats and rain boots thanks to the nor'easter we've got blowing outside? We've got a serious storm outside and it's still going strong. A few schools have already closed tomorrow and I'm crossing my fingers. I know it's not likely, but a girl can dream! So, here's to another glass of wine while I watch the CMA's and hope for another day home tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Good Things


* I have no school tomorrow in honor of Veteran's Day. To take advantage of this lovely little day off, J and I celebrated by going out to eat at a local favorite restaurant. It was the perfect evening in the midst of a lot of craziness.

* Last night we had this baked potato soup for dinner. It's so easy and so delicious. Make it and you will be happy you're alive!

* I am slowly learning to run. I laugh as I type this. I've always hated running. I'm the girl who cheated my way through running the mile in high school gym class because running has always been a miserable, painful experience for me. Since reading so many "healthy living" blogs, I've picked up some tips and I've become motivated. In the past month, I've started short running intervals and I (believe it or not) sort of kind of like it. I'm slowly working my way up, and I'm liking what this is turning into.

* We are in the process of finding a new home. We're still renting (that's another story, feel free to ask for our reasons of renting instead of buying), and we may have found where we're moving. I'm hoping it works out, as we'd love a backyard for the dog, and a whole house wouldn't be bad either.

* Did you watch Sesame Street as a kid? Today is their 40th birthday. I loved Sesame Street as a little girl, and only feel it's necessary to pay tribute with this classic video!



...and of course my favorite muppet....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

1989: Troop Beverly Hills

I need a light hearted post. Work is stressful and overwhelming, we're trying to find a new home (that's a whole 'nother post), and the weather is getting colder. I need something to make me happy.


Back in the 90's (and let's be honest, today too), this was one of my favorite movies. I have so many memories watching it at sleepovers and with my sister. When I saw a friend mention it on facebook today, I found a sudden urge to go rent it. It's been years, but I bet I could recite half the lines.



Anyone else grow up loving this movie? Or any other movie you want to share about that you loved in your grade school days? Please share so we can reminisce together!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Blog Love

This past Friday at our Virginia blogger meet up (which was so wonderful by the way, go here or here for a recap!), we discussed blogs we read and love. Turns out there are a lot of great blogs I'm not reading, and I was shocked by the fact that some of these girls didn't read some of my favorite blogs!

I got into blogging when I started reading scrapbooking blogs. After my wedding, I found this amazing circle of newlywed bloggers, and I've moved in that direction since then; however, I still follow many of those "scrapbooking" blogs that originally motivated me to start my own blog.

So I give you today, the 5 best blogs that you might not be reading (according to Rachel)!

1. Stephanie Howell: She is a mother and the wife of a soldier, and her strength and outlook on life is more than I could ever hope to have. She's funny, adorable, has the best clothing, is one of my scrapbooking icons, and her little girls are two of the cutest little things I've ever seen.

2. Ali Edwards: If you're a scrapbooker, you obviously read this. If you're not, you should still check her out. Ali's blog is inspiring and beautifully written. It's one of my favorites.

3. nienie: So many words I could use to describe this woman. But where would you begin? Just check her out. You'll be so glad you did.

4. Simple Thoughts: Paige is such a woman of strong faith. She writes from her heart and takes the most gorgeous pictures of her girls. I hope when I have daughters one day, that I'll be half the mom that she is.

5. And last, but definitely not least...Pioneer Woman. I know 99% of you already read her, but Whitney had no idea who she was at dinner the other night, so I'm sure there are others of you. Her blog has taught me so much, from recipes to photography tips to how to help a cow give birth. It's hilarious. And I tell my husband daily that I want to move to a cattle ranch. If you are part of the 1% that isn't reading her blog, now is the time to start!

Is there a great blog that you love that I need to start reading? Please share!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Play On

After a rousing day of nine more parent teacher conferences, I stopped at Target on the way home and bought this for myself...


I've already given it a good listen and I'm loving it. Not that this is a surprise. I've always loved Carrie's music. I have a serious girl crush on her. My hairdresser from my hometown has a sister in Nashville who was a backup singer on her last tour (I know, this practically makes Carrie and I BFF's), and I loved getting my haircut by this gal so she could tell me how her sister and Carrie go to yoga together. Maybe it's more of an obsession than a girl crush.

Either way...back to my original point, this is a great CD! Go to Target and pick it up for $9.89!

Monday, November 2, 2009

womp womp

Remember when I whined about my favorite lip gloss and how they've discontinued it?

This picture of my friend says it all.


Thanks to her, I was introduced to this incredible lip balm, and thanks to her I now mourn the loss of it. After reading my post last week, she was inspired to use her macbook photobooth to respond. I'm telling you guys...this balm has changed our lives forever.

In other news, my husband is out of town for the night and I've had fast food and marshmallow fluff for dinner. Judge me if you like, but it was delicious and well needed after 7 parent teacher conferences today.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hello, November

November is here.
I read this post by Kara this morning, and I was inspired.


November for me means birthdays, pecan pie, a break, weddings, new boots, cinnamon, an extra blanket on the bed, finding a new home, elections and victory parties, starting this and finishing this, sweet potato casserole, camp fires, big sweaters, coffee and magazine reading,chilly evening family walks around the neighborhood, deadlines, 12 hour drives to Massachusetts, and moccasin slippers.

November is absolutely my favorite month of the year. Glad it's here.