Tuesday, December 18, 2012

American Girl and the Birthday Girl

My daughter turns 10 years old this month so when I asked her what she wanted to do for her birthday she said she wanted to take a trip with me and her daddy to Atlanta to the American Girl Store and get a new doll.

So instead of a big party we took her down to Georgia for the weekend and went to the American Girl Store. All I can say about it is....it wasnt just a trip, it was an experience!!!!! We had the best time that weekend and we LOVED the American Girl Store!!

The Hotel had an American Girl package that included Abby's own check in, a room with American girl decor and a free bed for the dolls (we got to keep!). They also gave Abby cookies and milk at bedtime and a free snack from the snack bar.

What a fun weekend we had! Here are some pictures from our trip!

Happy Anniversary!

On December 5th we celebrated our 14th Anniversary!!! I cant believe its already been 14 years since we said "I DO". WOW, where does the time go?

I will never forget the first time I laid eyes on my husband. I was in Nashville TN for some job training and he came walking into the class and that was it for me! We talked during breaks and he followed me to a resturant that I went to for lunch (what a stalker! LOL). Then that night we went to downtown Nashville together and well thats all she wrote really! We spent the entire week together and started long distance dating after that. 4 months later he asked me to marry him and 11 months after meeting we were married!!! One advantage of marrying young is I feel like we have grown together and raised each other..LOL Its not always been an easy road or all fun and games but I wouldnt trade it for anything in the world. This man owns my heart and I love him so much. Heres to another 14 years of loving each other and spending everyday with my best friend!!

This has been one of my favorite quotes since I first read it...always makes me think of my husband!

14 years ago....wow we were just young kids with no clue what we were doing! I was 20 and he was 21!

14 years later......more in love than ever and I'd like to think a little wiser!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Its Beginning to Look Alot Like....well you know! LOL

Merry Christmas! I can't believe its already December! WOW, where did the year go? Well I have been busy decorating the house and making yummy treats this past week. My first project was to make something to hang on my front door and forgo the wreath which is what I have always had and I was kind of tired of it. I wanted something different and cute and I found this Holiday Frame on Pinterest.

I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased an open frame (they were half off this week), ribbon, and ornaments and this is what I ended up with. I love it so much! I can also just snip the ornaments off of it and change it for each holiday or season. Very simple and fun to do!!

I also got a yummy treat recipe from my friend and I call them Holiday Pretzels..not sure what they are really called...LOL

You just take square pretzels and melt a Hershey's kiss hug on top of it (or any flavor Kiss)in the oven until soft, about 4 or 5 mins on 200 degrees then top with M&M's. DONT walk away, keep a close eye on them.
So good and very easy to make. These are not diet friendly so I hope my family eats them all soon so I cant eat them!

Our Christmas Tree!

Annual trip to The Fantasy of Trees...we love this event!

Peacock Tree....this year I put up a new tree in the dining room and decorated it with peacock items. I love it, its so cute!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

I recently came across a recipe for Baked Potato Soup on Pinterest. The link took me to Cook.com so thats where this recipe came from. It is the BEST potato soup ever!

I'll post the recipe then some things I did a little different and what I plan to do different next time.

Easy Crock Pot Baked Potato Soup

5lbs of potatoes (Diced and Unpeeled)
1 medium onion chopped small
5 teaspoons of minced garlic (I used the king in the jar)(I only used 4tsp..I felt 5 was ALOT of garlic)
64 oz Chicken Broth
16 oz Cream Cheese
1 Tablespoon seasoned salt

Optional toppings: Shredded Cheese, Bacon bits, and green onions

Add potatoes, onion, garlic, chicken broth, and season salt into Crock Pot.
Cook on High for 6 hrs or Low for 10 hrs (I cooked mine for 10 hrs)

After 10 hrs Add Cream Cheese and mix well into soup. I used a potato masher to mix it into the soup.

Stir well until all the cream cheese is melted and mixed in, the broth will turn white.

After I put the soup into the bowls to eat I added shredded cheese and bacon bits on top and it was just like eating a loaded baked potato!!! So Yummy!! and SOOO EASY!

I started mine at night and let it cook all night.
I left the crock pot on Warm all day and let the soup just sit there until dinner time.

What I will change next time:
I will leave my potatoes larger. I diced them into very small pieces and I think larger chunks would taste better.
I will use a little less chicken broth....64 oz makes it very soupy.
Like I said before, I used 4 tsp of garlic instead of 5. 4 tsp of garlic seemed to be perfect.

I served mine with biscuits but cornbread would be good too. Maybe even some Mexican cornbread!!

I hope you enjoy, I know I will definately be making this again!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Cabinet Redo!

Well, Im at it again! I spent the entire day repainting my 70+ year old Hoosier Cabinet. When I got it a previous owner thought it should be trimmed in a funky green...not my style and it didnt match my kitchen either!

I decided to paint it back all white. I used a Satin finish Bistro White to repaint it. I also felt it needed a "pop" of color so I spent a week going back and forth on what color I should use. I didnt want to trim the entire cabinet like it was before so I opted to paint the back panel and the inside back panel Yellow.

My only issue was apparently the paint that was used before I got it was some really harsh stuff...it wouldnt sand off, I used steel wool and it still wounldnt budge, so I just decided to start painting. It took 4 coats to cover that funky green and brighten the white..the dirt that wouldnt wash off was sooo hard to paint over, it just kept coming to the surface...but I finally got it!!!!

Yes what I thought would be a quick easy spruce up turned into an entire day of painting Hell!!! LOL But I am glad I tackled it today and now it looks so pretty!



Back panels in yellow...I thought it gave it a good "pop" and kept the vintage look.

When I got it, we found that someone had written a recipe on the inside of the door. After looking it up and talking with my mom we have decided its a recipe for Chocolate Gravy!!! So I DID NOT paint over it. and at the top of the door is a phone number someone had written down. I dont think I will call it but I opted to keep it as well!!! So cute...I guess they didnt have paper and used the cabinet for note taking..hahaha!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Wanna Be Interior Designer...

I like to pretend I was an interior designer in another life. Although, maybe not a great one...but anyway...LOL....I found these plates at a local store and a friend of mine had told me about these awesome plate hangers that just stick to the back of the plate and you can hang them on the wall sooooooooooo....this is what I ended up with. I like it!

Also, I have been searching for an antique Hoosier cabinet for a long time. My aunt has one that my grandfather bought my grandmother when they first married. Of course, she will not part with it so I started looking for my own. These babys are NOT cheap and everyone I found was super expensive or had the old timey flour bin and sifter missing. I refused to buy one that had the sifter missing! So I basically gave up...it was a lost cause, I was never going to find one....well I got a call last night from my Dad and he said he had found me something at an auction and he would be bringing it to me this morning...hmmmmmm....OMG...its a Hoosier Cabinet!! That has the flour bin and sifter still intact!!! Yes, she needs a new coat of paint and some TLC but its the best one I have seen! I love it and cant wait to freshen it up, but I couldnt just leave it in the garage, I had to put it in the kitchen!!!!

Flour Sifter....its the original!

Door still has the original wire inside it!

Photo Shoot...LOL

Ok as you all have already read----I am dieting!! LOL So far to date I have lost 65 pounds!!! Yay me!! I would still like to lose about 20 more! My husband decided to play "photographer" a few weeks ago and he took some pretty good pictures of me. I have spent the past 10 years hiding from the camera so this was "huge" for me to put myself out there like this. I saw a segment on one of the morning shows about how moms are realizing they are not in photographs with their children because they dont like the way they look. I was guilty of that as well, but I did often get in photos, I just felt horrible when I saw them! HA! Although, I used to kid around with my mom that I had the opposite of anorexia....no matter how bad I looked in photos and the mirror I was always like "dang I look good today!" LOL

So here's my husbands handy work as "Mr. Photographer" for the day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Diet

After seeing this photo of myself on New Years Eve I came to realize that I was slowly losing control of everything about me. Especially my health.

So January 23, 2012 I started my diet. Some people may be embarrassed to post their weight or pant size but the way I see it if it helps someone who is struggling then there is nothing to be embarrassed about right?

On the morning of Jan. 23rd I stepped on the scale (which I purchased the night before at Target because I didnt own a scale)to see a number I was not happy with. I weighed 202 pounds and I was wearing a size 18 in pants and most of my tops were XXL.

I decided that day to count calories and start exercising. I used an online calorie counter to see what I needed to eat to lose weight. It said I should eat 1650 calories a day to lose 1-2 pounds a week, so I dropped my calories to 1400 per day. I started walking on the treadmill that night. I was only able to do about a mile at no incline.

After Day 1 I pretty much felt defeated. That feeling did not go away for a long time.

It seemed the harder I worked the slower my progress was. After the first week I weighed in and had lost 1 pound...OMG...I wanted to crawl in the closet and never come out. I thought I would never lose the weight I needed to lose.

I didnt really set a huge goal. I started out saying "when I lose 10 pounds I will set another goal". It took me about a month to lose that 10 pounds and the emotional stuff you deal with is far worse than the food and exercise.

I cant count the emotional breakdowns I had those first few months. I was ultra sensative to anything anyone said, I felt like we had food and I was denied eating it, I felt alone and defeated on a daily basis.

On top of all of this I had two kids to raise and take care of! What was I thinking taking on such a task with all the other stuff I had to do??

Our life consisted of daily trips to McDonalds, Sonic, pizza joints, etc...who has time to cook with kids, extra activities, and life in general???

Having to learn to cook was extremely hard...meal planning, what will the kids eat, what will my husband eat, what CAN I eat..it was torture!

But somehow I managed to defeat my emotions, lack of cooking skills, limited time for exercise, and negative attitude and 6 months later I am weighing in at 148 pounds and now a size 8!!!!

OMG a size 8!!!! Who would have ever thought that 6 months ago. Im not going to elaborate on how I did it or what all it took because I am in the process of making an entire blog dedicated to telling busy women and moms that you CAN take care of yourself and your family all at the same time. So stay tuned for my new blog but I just wanted to tell everyone what I have been up to lately.

Oh and in the process of all this.. we ended a school year, my daughter was in a play, my son was in the hospital and ended up having surgery to remove tonsils and adnoids...so you can say we have been extremely busy this summer!

6 months later and ALOT of hard work!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fifty Shades.....

So YES, I have to admit that I was sucked into the world of Christian Grey and Ana Steele last week. WOW, what a ride that was. Its been YEARS since I couldn't put a book down....especially 3 books. A friend of mine told me about these books by E.L. James so I thought...OK I don't have anything else to do after the kids go to bed, I will check them out.....BAD (or GREAT) Idea!!! I stayed up until 3:30am reading Fifty Shades of Grey, the next night I stayed up until 4:00am reading Fifty Shades Darker, and on the third night I was running on pure adrenaline at 5am when I finished Fifty Shades Freed.

I do have to say these books are not for the weak...or anyone who embarrasses easily! I was Fifty Shades of Red after reading these books but I will openly admit I enjoyed EVERY LAST MINUTE OF THEM!!!!!

Some circles are calling it "mommy porn" and some call it "erotica" honestly, I don't know what to call it except pure uber romance!!!! There were times while reading these books I could feel my heart pounding waiting to see what would happen next. I laughed, cried, gasped, and dropped my jaw so many times I cant count.

My husband has enjoyed me talking about these, he's made fun of me, and actually suggested I may need to be DE-Greyed!! LOL

Apparently their are talks in the works to make this into a movie. I honestly cant see it on the big screen. Showtime or HBO maybe. They pulled the Tudors off so I think they could make a great series with these books. There are some VERY graphic scenes that I don't know HOW they could pull off without ruining the books but I kind of hope they do try to film it.

Alot of blogs and circles are talking about "who would play Christian Grey?" or "who would play Ana?" I am still at a loss for who would make a good Anna. I was sold on Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing Christian until I saw a photo of Henry Cavill....who also starred in The Tudors...to me this photo IS Christian Grey and Ana Steele!

I cant wait to see if there is a 4th book or if it goes to the big screen or if they make it a series...who knows but I guess I will just have to wait and see.

It was a great read...I'm so glad I read them and will probably remember these books for the rest of my life...WOW!
Oddly enough, these books have made me appreciate my husband so much more and I am so thankful to have the kind of marriage I do...even if I do see a little "Fifty" in my husband from time to time...its a good thing!!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Diet.......UGGGG!!!! :)

So I have to share with sad news with everyone that I am on a diet!!! I hate the word "diet" and I am not the type of person who "diets". Well, after I had Brady which that pregnancy was full of eating right and taking insulin injections in my stomach daily....my drs told me my health would NOT recover from his pregnancy the way it did with Abby. and it DIDN'T!!

I gained so much weight after I had him because my body had been through so much and I was on 100 units of insulin a day for 32 weeks. So I couldn't lose the weight I gained with him, and I gained even more after he was here!! The last trip I made to the dr....my blood sugar was high, my blood pressure was high, my weight was at an all time high and I felt helpless!! So of course I went into denial and said there HAS to be something wrong with me, I don't eat that much!!!

I enjoyed the holidays and said like every other human...JAN 1 I am going on a diet...well I didn't! LOL

Well, about 3 weeks ago I noticed my pants were tight, I was so tired I couldn't walk up the stairs without having to sit down when I got up here, my face was covered in acne like never before, my hair was falling out, and I just looked awful. SOOOO I said to myself...I cant do this anymore, its time I took control of my own health!

I spent about 2 days mourning the old me then I realized, there is no miracle diet, no miracle pill, no miracle diagnosis to make me feel better. I did alot of research on what the best approach for me would be. I decided counting calories and walking on my treadmill was my best option. I can eat what my family eats just smaller portions and my treadmill is always available for use!

THE BIG DAY!!! JANUARY 23, 2012...I started my diet! The calorie calculator I used said to lose 1 pound a week I needed a calorie intake of 1650 calories a day. Well, I dropped it down to 1400 calories a day to start, just to see how I would do. The first few days were KILLER, I was so hungry!! I thought about food and eating from the time I got out of bed until I went back to bed that night. I noticed something about myself...my stomach was growling.....I couldn't remember the last time my stomach growled! I hated it!!! I thought about quiting probably every 2 hours for that first week!

When I weighed 7 days later I was shocked.....I had lost 7 pounds...WHAT???? No way! I was beyond happy. I couldn't believe just cutting my calories and keeping a food journal had made such a difference.

The next week wasn't so pretty!!! I was still hungry alot but I was also very irritable! It was a rough week but I never went over my 1400 calories a day and I added my treadmill in the mix to! I weighed and I had lost another 3 pounds!! 10 pounds in 2 weeks...WOW!!!!! I was impressed!

This past week I weighed and YEA...another 4 pounds GONE!!! So counting calories and walking on my treadmill in 3 weeks I lost 14 pounds....its a miracle really!!!!

The hunger pains are not as bad, the irritability isn't as bad, but I do have my good and bad days. But I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings with this lifestyle change.

I haven't set a BIG goal, I am going pound by pound and using every 10 pounds as a milestone!!! I will definitely do diet updates and let you know how I am doing. Its not been easy, BUT its easier than I thought it would be!

14 pounds GONE......here to my next milestone of 20 pounds GONE!!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentines Day Brownies!

Valentines Day is probably one of my favorite days!! Yes I know its NOT Feb 14Th yet, but I'm just getting a head start on it!!!! Tonight Abby and I made heart shaped brownies! Abby LOVES brownies, they are her favorite dessert!! So in honor of Valentines Day.....here are our brownies!!!!!!

Drum roll please......................

Baked and ready to go!

YES the cookie cutter worked!! I was worried they would fall apart!

Add a little powdered sugar and a homemade stencil and look what we have!


this is "brownie scraps" as Abby calls them and she added a little powdered sugar to them and now they are ready to eat!!! LOL