Thursday, November 18, 2010

Holiday Countdown!

It's been awhile since I've posted, life gets in the way sometimes! But that's okay - not too much to update on, although we have had some recent excitement. Jared and I survived our first bout of sickness as a married couple. It started off with him getting the stomach bug. I thought I had managed to escape it's wrath, but lo and behold a week later, guess who wakes up with it Monday morning?! Of course....great way to start off the work week. At least it sparred me for the weekend of Jake and Amber's wedding!

Speaking of which - OMG Can you believe it?! My little brother is ALL grown up! He and Amber had a beach wedding in Orange Beach last weekend and the weather was perfect! My mom and dad have married off both of their kids in 2 months. 2010 has definitely been an eventful year...and we thought 2009 was crazy, ha! 2009 definitely started off not so great for many, many reasons but it turned out to be one of the best years of my life. 2010 has just been awesome. I remember Jared telling me on New Year's Day that 2010 was going to be our year. Little did I know what he had up his sleeve ;) Gosh I love my husband. I am SO incredibly blessed. I thank God for bringing him into my life everyday. Marriage is just incredible & I'm so thankful I get to experience it with him. Everytime I hear this song, I just think that it must have been written for me. Lindsey's mom told me that same thing when I saw her last weekend...I just had to share:

Anywho, enough of the mushiness - It's my favorite time of the year! I'm listening to Christmas music right now actually, haha! I love love love the Holidays! I don't know if it's the decorating, the food, or just getting to see people I care most about...I guess all play a role :) I'm so ready to kick off Thanksgiving next week with a trip to Jonesboro, Arkansas to see my MIL and FIL :) Jared and I are decorating our 1st Christmas tree this weekend, eek! I can't wait. We still need to buy more ornaments & stockings. Does anyone have suggestions for tree skirts? I really want one that's embroidered or monogrammed. I guess I can have that done anywhere, but I refuse to pay for the ones at Pottery Barn - I love that store, but those are outrageously expensive!

Today is a very special day - it's my daddy's birthday & my best friend's. Small world, aye?! I made my dad a homemade buttermilk chocolate cake (stayed tuned for the recipe, promise to post it soon. It is to die for!) and we're going over there to have dinner with my family tonight. I'm so thankful for my amazing father. He's 77 today! Dads really play such a big role in their children's lives. How blessed am I to have had 24 years with this amazing man? Here's to many, many more! <3

Also can't forget my Lindz!

Love you so much & sure do miss the heck outta you!!

I try to use wedding pictures whenever I can, lol. Hard to believe we've been married for 2 months already! Time flies...I think we need to buy a dog!

I'm sure I won't have time to post until after Thanksgiving, so HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of you! Hope everyone has a blessed holiday with their loved ones!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weekday Woes

Why does it feel like the weekdays drag by, but the weekend is gone in a blink??? I guess that's why life seems to go so fast - we're always looking forward to the weekend. It's kind of sad, isn't it? Anywho, speaking of weekend, I had a super productive one. But this coming weekend, I am just going to C H I L L! I ended up being able to tackle the dining room "china cabinet". Here's some before and after. It was REALLY needing some color. I'm apt to make a few more changes, but for the time being, this will suffice :)

Before - boring!


Much better, right?! I ended up using a plate left over from one of my bridal showers, cut it down to size & put it in a frame. The blue and black go perfectly with my theme here...And I was even able to use a wedding program to put in the monstrous teal frame at the top. Can you tell what my favorite color is?! :)

I'm trying to make my meal plan for the week (I usual do this on Sundays, but this Sunday was so busy that I didn't have time). If anyone has any recipe ideas they'd like to share, I am all ears! I'll start posting this on here & helping all of you out with some ideas :)

Tonight is plyometrics night for my P90X workouts. Ugh totally dreading that. It's a love/hate relationship - love the results, hate the hurt involved. Anyways, happy almost humpday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

TGIF & Chicken Spaghetti

Whew, TGIF, y'all! This week has been so crazy busy. I'm so pooped, but this weekend is slammed too. I thought it would slow down a bit after the wedding, but nope. Not yet anyways. At least I have some fun activities planned, not all work. My momma's birthday is Sunday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Momma! She's the best in the world :)

I have a feeling the majority of my weekend will be spent in the kitchen. It's my turn to bring breakfast to Sunday school, so I'll be making pumpkin muffins Saturday (see my post below for the recipe) along with cooking filets and baked sweet potatoes for dinner. I'm also baking my mom's birthday cake, but that can wait until Sunday afternoon. Her request is (of course) my carrot cake. I must admit, I make a mean carrot cake. I never even liked it until I had mine. It's 100% homemade with homemade cream cheese icing - YUM! Maybe I'll share that recipe too :)

OH! I almost forgot...I had many requests for the chicken spaghetti recipe, so here it is:

-2 chicken breasts with bone in or whole chicken (depending on how many people are eating)
-1 small pkg velveeta, cubed
-1 can rotel tomatoes
-package of spaghetti noodles (I use whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 350. Cover chicken with water, season with salt and pepper and boil for 30 mins. Remove chicken from water and tear it into little pieces. Meanwhile, bring the broth to boil again and cook spaghetti as directed on package (I only cook about 1/2 the pkg for me and Jared). Once finished, do not drain. Add velveeta and stir until melted. Add can of rotel and shredded chicken to noodles and cheese. Pour into 9x13 baking dish and bake at 350 for 30 mins. I broil it for about 3 mins to brown the top.

If you don't want to bake it, you don't have to since it's already cooked. But I like it baked:) Also, you can chop up onions, bell peppers, etc. if you want to add those in. Hope you enjoy! Please let me know how it turns out. It's a family favorite for us. It should look something like this:

If I can squeeze it in this weekend, I was really wanting to redesign the dining room. We have this weird shelving in there - it's not quite a built in china cabinet and not quite a book shelf...but I think I finally have some ideas for it. Here's some inspiration...

I hope to have some before and after photos, but we'll see if I tackle this project this weekend.

In other news, our house is split this weekend - it's the Ole Miss/Arkansas game, GO REBS! I love the Hogs, but was born and raised on Ole Miss football. I mean, my dad went there when they were National Champs (if that gives you any sort of timeline), so his love for the Rebels has been around for awhile! I guess it kind of worked out that I have a 12:00 luncheon I have to attend on Saturday. But I am sad I will miss the game. Hey, that's what DVR is for.

Hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Fall Y'all!

I'm feeling pretty festive about the fall season - I love pumpkins, mums, wreaths, football, the warm colors, comfort foods & of course decorating the house. Now if only the weather would cooperate! I'm so cheesy, I know. So, to take advantage of the one time of year that I can make these seasonal muffins, I baked a batch of pumpkin muffins last night...YUUMMMMM, they are so good & moist! Jared had 3 after dinner. They're not Eat Clean, but they're not too terrible for you either. My cousin's wife, Jill, gave me this recipe a few years ago when I was in Oxford for the Ole Miss/Alabama game.

-1/2 to 3/2 cup of sugar
-4 egg whites
-1 snack cup of unsweetened applesauce
-1 tsp of cinnamon
-1 can pumpkin puree
-1 pkg yellow cake mix
-1/4 cup water

Preheat over to 350º. Mix all of the ingredients together, except water, & beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add water last and continue beating until smooth. Batter will be thick. Pour into cupcake pans (makes 24) and bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes (or until toothpick inserted in center is clean). They should end up looking something like this:

They are so good! You can eat them just like this for breakfast or a snack or whip up some cream cheese frosting and make them a desert :) Either way, you can't go wrong!

Also on the topic of fall, I am obsessed with candles, scentsy, or anything that will make my house smell good all year round. But at this time of year, I am especially partial to cinnamon and spice smells. Lo and behold, my weekly shopping trips to Publix (which never disappoint, I am obsessed) resulted in my new favorite smell - the Cinnamon Broom!

This little thing right here is amaaaaazzzzzzzing! And you never even have to light a candle or flip a switch to turn any warmer on. All you do is set it out and within minutes your whole house will smell like cinnamon. But beware, it can be a little overpowering in the beginning. I had to throw mine in the laundry room for a few days, haha! You can find them in the produce section or around the flowers. Just another reason why I love Publix so much :)

On my lunch break today, I went home to find a visitor outside my front door.

This is Limone, our neighbor's cat. It looks like his new hangout is our front porch:)

Hope everyone has had a wonderful day! <3

Monday, October 11, 2010

Let's Play Catch Up!

Well, life is back to normal! This post may be a bit long seeing as how I have hardly been on here since I started the blog.

I have been a married woman for 23 days. The wedding & honeymoon were both AMAZING! It's too bad that life can't always be as sweet as it was in St. Lucia - waking up to breakfast in bed every morning, dates every night, laying on the beach all day without a care in the world. Ahh, reality hit hard when our alarm clocks went off the Monday we returned signaling that we were back in the real world & it was off to work we go. Here are a few photos to share the beauty of St. Lucia. If you haven't been, you should seriously consider planning your next vacation there.

When we first arrived in St. Lucia

Isn't this beautiful?! Looks like my background image on my computer. This was taken while we were on a walk outside of our resort.

Sharing a kiss on top of a mountain we hiked :)

After zip-lining through the rainforest. We know you're jealous of our outfits!

Horseback riding on the beach.

And lastly, our beach at the resort - beautiful.

It was the trip of a lifetime. I have many more pictures and if you're my friend on facebook, stay tuned for a whole album (when I find the time).

Now, on to wedding talk...Our wedding day was everything I could have possibly imagined. It was so beautiful, small & intimate, emotional, and perfectly us. We are such saps, I tell ya. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house when those vows were said. Pastor Traylor preached a beautiful ceremony & hopefully touched the lives of everyone in the church. The weather was gorgeous, although a little hot but thank goodness for no rain or hurricanes! I loved having all of our closest family and friends there, just wish I could have spent more time with everyone. Our vendors did an amazing job & everything came together perfectly. I couldn't have imagined it better! Here are a few pictures from our AMAZING photographer, Patsy Brown (A Thousand Words Photography). She is incredible!

Seriously, this picture is worth a thousand words! It totally captures the essence of the whole day

Man oh man, how blessed am I?!

For my wedding present, Jared gave me a new study Bible (NASV) with my married named inscribed on the front. He wrote the sweetest message on the inside panel that brought me (and his mom & sister) to tears. It is such a blessing to be married to a man that absolutely adores me and works as hard as I do to keep our relationship founded in Christ. I think we are a match made in Heaven ;)

Giving ourselves to God, living by his teachings, and consulting Him to help guide us has made an indescribable difference in our lives. Once you completely submit your life to God, he truly works in you. I'm so happy to say I reached this point in my faith about a year and a half ago. I was always a Christian and God was in my heart, but he did not dwell there. (Ephesians 3:16-19) That word dwell is so significant - think of your home and how you signify it as your dwelling. When God can dwell in your heart, He is truly at home & in return, you are at home with God. This was a topic in our Sunday school class yesterday & it really moved me.

We've been going to a Sunday school class designed for engaged/newlyweds at our church for about 5-6 months now. We absolutely LOVE it! It is so helpful and incredibly beneficial to our relationship plus we've made some really good friends. It's designed to teach lessons from the Bible specifically about relationships and marriage. I would recommend it to everyone who is at this point in their lives. It's at Olive Baptist Church at 9:30 Sunday mornings.

Now that life has slowed down a bit, I plan to post on here more often. You'll see much more of our everyday life plus more decorating and cooking tidbits from me (my true passions!) I'm making pumpkin muffins tonight (they're healthy & delicious!) so stay tuned for the recipe.

Hope everyone has a blessed Monday! =)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wedding Week!

We're going to the chapel and we're gonna get ma-a-arried! YAY! The countdown is on (well, it has been), there's only 5 days left until "I do"! It's so very hard to focus on the task at hand because I have a million and one things to do. Work is slammed and after hours are as well with workouts, planning, eating, etc.

I really can't believe the big day is almost here. I'm getting butterflies just thinking about it. Time has passed so quickly, but we did have a short engagement. Everything has just fallen in place and I pray all goes well on the day of. I know I've been slacking on posts, but life has just been so busy. I'll update more when things calm down a bit :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Moving Out, Moving On

Yesterday was a very eventful day - won't provide too many details but let's just say God was watching over my family (as He always does) & I am so thankful for that. Prayers do get answered, people!

After an eventful morning, I went to my apartment one last time to get the last items out of there. Such a bittersweet thing - I'm beyond excited to take these next steps in my life, but it's a little sad to leave. After all, I have many good memories there. It was my first place, first time living on my own, GREAT location in the heart of downtown & it will always hold a very special place in my heart since Jared proposed to me there. I am truly blessed that I found that little house on such short notice. It was perfect for me. I took a few pictures to commemorate & share.

The front

My living area

My little galley kitchen

The courtyard outside my front door

Ahh I will miss this little house & the neighborhood! But like I said, I'm so happy to take the next step in life & I absolutely can't wait to marry my best friend! Plus I love North hill as well and having more room in our rental house + all hardwoods = easy cleanup & more room to decorate ;)

This Memorial Day weekend we are headed to Jonesboro, AR to visit Jared's family. I can't wait! I love them & wished we all lived closer to one another. Maybe one day ;) Hope everyone has a wonderful 3 day weekend:)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

First Entry!

I'm new to this whole "blogging" thing, but I thought it would be a great way to keep up with the hustle & bustle (and provide a little insight to our everyday life).

Today's a pretty special day. My best friend and her family are on their way home! They live in Italy and I haven't seen them in a year. I'm super excited! Love you, Lindz! Here's a blast from the past...

We've been best friends for 20 years now. This is one of my favorite photos of all time :) In a matter of months, we can take another picture just like this but I'll be in my REAL wedding dress & she in her Matron of Honor attire. I am so blessed to have found my lifelong best friend at 4 years old. Stay tuned for more updates :)