Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Social { 6 }

Hi y'all! It's been a busy weekend home alone with the boys, and it's not slowing down just because it's Sunday. Today I'm leaving to go to OKC for work until Wednesday, so Joey (who is coming back today) will be home alone with the boys. I tell you one thing, there is never a dull moment at our house, that's for sure!

Sunday Social

I'm linking up with Ashley and Neely for another Sunday Social. We're going back to high school/middle school!

1. What was your biggest middle school fashion mistake?
Oh gosh, only one? Let's just say that I wasn't quite the fashionista back then. I wore mostly discount clothes when most of my friends were wearing things from The Buckle, PacSun, and countless other stores from the mall. But, one of my outfits that I wish I could forget would be these overalls that I had. Now, overalls were cool back then, but still.... I had these brown velour "Tigger" overalls. Yeah... that's right, "Tigger". Ugh... it was terrible. At the time they were fairly cool. Well, probably not, but they were to me. 

2. Who were your best friends in high school? Pics?
Jackie Jo was definitely my best friend. I also spent a lot of time with Rosa, Lisa, Laura, and Melissa. 

Jackie Jo (right) and I on the first day of school our senior year. 

Jackie Jo (right) and I at homecoming. 

Jackie Jo (left) and I on our last day of school our senior year. Apparently I really liked wearing yellow and she really liked wearing pink. Haha!

3. What was a typical weekend like for you in high school?
Well this is just going to show how pathetic I was... but a typical weekend was: Friday night - my step-mom brought home pizza and calizone from Mazzio's, Saturday - We went to Poteau to the bank, Western Sizzlin, and Wal-Mart, Sunday was church and time with family, and everything else was homework, chores, or working on some project. 

4. Did you have any boyfriends/girlfriends? Tell us about that.
I had a boyfriend the start of my freshman year, but had to break it off soon because my parents said I was "too young" to have a boyfriend. I didn't have another boyfriend until my senior year. His name was Daniel and he was a guy I knew from church camp and youth events. It only lasted during my senior year, and then I broke up with him during the summer. 

5. Did you have any secret codes with your friends? Spill your secrets!
Hahahaha... yes. Yes I did. Jackie Jo and I had code names for the guys we liked. We called them names of country musicians like Clay Walker, George Strait, and John Michael Montgomery. So we had C.W., G. S., and J.M.M. There were probably more, but I can't remember them right now.

6. If you could relive one day/moment/experience from middle school or high school, what would it be?
Hmm... I loved high-school. I mean, it had it's rough spots, but I loved it. It was fun. But as fun as it was, I don't know if I'd want to relive too much of it. Although, my last basketball game might be a good moment to relive. If we had won, we would have gone to the State Tournament. At the time, I really didn't realize that. I'd like to go back and replay that game... just to see...

And that's a wrap! You should join the link up! Super fun! If not, well, share your answers anyway in the comments below! :) 

Friday, February 22, 2013

weekly loves : february { week 8 }

Hi y'all! Goodness, I'm behind! I haven't posted a weekly loves post since week 5 and here it is week 8! Goodness gracious! Also, we're already 8 weeks in to the new year? Say what?! 

I've also been behind on posting this week. So sorry. Not because I don't have anything to post about, but because I'm so busy with life right now, that I'm having trouble finding the time to blog about life. Any of you other bloggers out there know what I'm talking about? Surely I can't be the only one. Joey is leaving today to go to New Mexico for the weekend for a youth leadership retreat. He's coming home Sunday, but I'm leaving Sunday to go to Oklahoma for work and won't be home until Wednesday. So getting everything organized and planned, booking hotel rooms (that was a nightmare), and getting stuff done here before he leaves has been quite an adventure. Throw in the fact that our high school girls are in the playoffs and we've been going to watch them play, it's definitely been an adventure!

Anyway, on to the weekly loves!! Although, maybe I should call it monthly loves since I'm going to be doing some catching up on this post. ;) On to the monthly loves!!

I love that on Monday I'll be in OKC and will get to visit my dear friend Ashley! I'm excited to see the jewelry shop that she manages, I'm excited to go out to dinner with her, and mostly, I'm excited about GIRL TALK!! haha. 

I love getting quiet time to read! Since I'll be in a hotel room for 3 nights, I thought I'd bring Nicholas Sparks along with me. Just can't decide now which one I want to read first... Any suggestions?

I love that BB watched Singin' in the Rain with me last Saturday. TCM was showing Singin' in the Rain, followed by Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (what a perfect day), which are two of my favorite musicals AND two movies I watched over and over when I was young. I always associate these movies with good feelings, so of course, when they were on Saturday I had to watch them. And it didn't take long before BB was pausing in front of the TV for longer and longer periods of time, being drawn in by the magic of Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor. 

I love date nights! Since Joey and I are about to be separated for several days, we thought it would be fun to go on a final date night before he left and then I left. So last night, we went out for dinner, went grocery shopping (at the new Market Street in town), and then went to this new (to us) place called The Choc'Late Mousse Pie Bar. It's a charming little dessert place where all their pies come in mousse form. And you can get it in all different sizes, with all different crusts, and REAL whipped cream. It's pretty heavenly! I got Milky Way flavored pie with chocolate crumbs on the first later and Nilla wafer crumbs with pecans on the second layer. Joey got Snicker doodle pie with graham cracker crust on both layers. We got the piefait sizes and neither of us came close to finishing. I don't know if we could have finished the smaller ones either. 

I love getting organized! I'm still working on both of the boys' room makeovers, and one of the things I needed to do was go through their clothes, sort clothes that don't fit into appropriate boxes, and organize their closets and drawers. This past week I got a big chunk of that out of the way. Also, note to new or soon-to-be moms: Hold on to those diaper boxes. You're going to collect a ton of them, and no, you don't have to save them all, but hold on to several. They are sturdy, have handles, and as your kids get more clothes and outgrow old ones, they make the perfect boxes for organizing the old clothes by size and/or season! I keep about half of our diaper boxes and always find useful things for them. Right now I'm also using some for various things to put in a garage sale later! Win-Win-Win!

Side note : I don't love that my boys are growing so fast I'm having to constantly switch out clothes, but it's also fun to watch them grow and learn new things every day. 

I love white cake. Just plain ol' white cake. I discovered this last year when I made hundreds of cake pops for our Annual Easter Egg Hunt & Cookout. I couldn't stop eating the plain white cake balls before I even had a chance to decorate them. This week, I decided I wanted a white cake. And then I wanted strawberries with it. And then, it morphed into this delectable white cake with chocolate frosting and strawberries. Delicious! Seriously, one of my favorite desserts ever now!

I don't love getting new Bibles. I hate that I lose my old notes and things. But I really love that I got this new Bible. It's a different translation than I've used before, and it's really thin and the cover is oh-so-pretty. I just love it!! And since one of my goals for the year is still to read the whole Bible in one year, this pretty thing will be easier to carry around than my huge old Bible, so maybe I can get more reading done. :) 

So what do you love lately?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

8 Life-Lessons from Hollywood

Because 10 would give Hollywood too much credit. 

Because someone else has probably already done 10. 

Life-lessons are usually not very fun to learn. Learning them usually means lots of crying, saying goodbye, or at least some hurts of the heart. And it seems like we have to learn these thing over and over and over again. For some reason we keep convincing ourselves that this time, the relationship will work. This time your plan won't backfire. This time, that 3/4 length-sleeved shirt with pre-rolled sleeves and a button will not annoy you and make you end up hating your entire closet. Okay, maybe that's not so much a life-lesson but seriously... why do I keep buying those shirts?!?!

Sometimes, though, the lessons don't have to be so painful. Sometimes, all you have to do is pop in a movie. Hollywood gets a bad rap for being full of trash. But sometimes, Hollywood can be very educational. 

Here are 8 life-lessons we can learn from some of my favorite flicks!

-- Don't forget to fight for (and help) those who cannot on their own. (Ever After) See also : Don't be afraid to rescue yourself instead of waiting around on Prince Charming to get his act together. 

-- Give people a second chance. (You've Got Mail) The part where he asks if she wants honey, but just by saying "honey?" and it sounds like he's calling her honey... swoooooon... gives me warm fuzzies every time. 

-- Don't judge a book by it's cover. Or a person by their outfit. (Pretty Woman) Let's face it, we've all wanted Richard Gere to take us on an outrageous shopping spree after seeing this movie. But it's also important to remember that just because someone is wearing fine clothes, does not make them a fine person. And just because someone is wearing "hooker" clothes, doesn't mean they aren't worth your time and attention. ;)

-- Nothing ever stays the same forever, so cherish every moment while you have it. (The Sandlot) This was one of my favorite movies as a little girl. I remember watching this at a friend's slumber party and ALL of us girls had a major crush and Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez. But now that I'm older, I can't help but feel melancholy and nostalgic when I watch this scene. I wish I had known as a little girl how fleeting childhood really is, and had soaked up the experiences more and more. 

-- The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. (Elf) See also : It's perfectly okay to believe in magic. 

-- When you realize your dream, go for it. No matter what obstacles you may face. (Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken)

-- True love can do anything you want it to. (The Notebook)

-- And when it comes to marriage, remember that there's a history to it, and always, ALWAYS, choose Chow Fun's. (The Story of Us) (Sorry for the terrible video quality, but you still get the idea.) This is a great movie about marriage. There's language and adult content, but really, it's a fantastic movie about a couple who while their kids are away at summer camp, separate and contemplate divorce. In this final scene Michelle Pfeiffer is declaring that she wants to go to Chow Fun's instead of going home to tell the kids about their parents' separation. But she's not choosing Chow Fun's because she is putting off telling the kids, she's choosing Chow Fun's because she's choosing her commitment to her marriage. If you live near me and want to borrow it, I'll totally loan it to you. :) 

 So there you go! Don't you feel so much wiser now? And without all the heartache that life-lessons usually bring. Well, except when watching the final scene of The Notebook. That still breaks my heart. But in a good way. 

Do you have any other life-lessons from Hollywood that you would add to this list?

Monday, February 18, 2013

goodies : succulents

It happens every year. Once Valentine's Day is over, I take down my Valentine's decor, put out my Easter/spring decor, and get spring fever. Bam! Just like that. Now, just because I have spring fever, doesn't mean the west Texas weather knows that. We always have a few more cold snaps before Easter, but I know that longer days and being outside in the fresh air is just around the corner.

I love having plants inside and outside of our home. I have 5 ivy plants in our house right now, and I love that I still have fresh cut flowers from Joey decorating my office. :) I love ivy plants because they are such low maintenance. I just water them once a week or every other week and they just keep growing and growing. But, it's not rare that I still forget to water them and they start wilting. The great thing about philodendrons is that they always bounce right back! But if you're like me and would love a few houseplants, but can't take on the responsibility of an ivy, maybe a succulent is right up your alley. Succulents are even lower maintenance than an ivy, and they are just darling! I didn't always think so highly of succulents, but I guess I hadn't seen them at their full potential. But you can hop over to my Garden Glory board on Pinterest and see just how gorgeous they can be : 

Gorgeous right?!?! Seeing succulents combined with various flowers, or by themselves in pretty little containers, how can you not love them? And like I said, succulents are very low maintenance. They need quite a bit of light, and a little bit of water. In fact, it's better to underwater than to overdo it. 

If I've convinced you that having a succulent in your office, home, or home office is what you want, you can easily find what you're looking for on Etsy. Yep, that's right! That wonderful website of handmade/vintage goodies (and supplies) also has a lot of live plants you can purchase. Some come in cute containers ready to display, some come by themselves. And you can find them in large quantities (because they are popular at weddings) or small quantities of just one plant at a time. Here are a few gorgeous goodies that I found : 

An unfinished wood planter is just begging to be decorated. Color-blocking? Polka-dots? Keep it simple and understated? However you want to do it, it's a great way to start your succulent garden. 

Isn't this gorgeous?? This pretty blue succulent also produces pretty orange bell-shaped flowers in the spring. 

If you have limited space, want a cute display on your wall, or just have a love of vertical gardens, you can even buy your vertical planter on Etsy. 

4 succulents in blues and grays to start your succulent collection or to add to what you've already started. 

How lovely this would look in the middle of a table! Or even on a bookshelf!

You can purchase this lovely DIY kit for your kids to do on a rainy day. Or for you to do when you want to play in the dirt, but only have 5 minutes. 

I'm definitely thinking I need to start a succulent garden. My ivy plants need something else to jazz them up! 

Do you have any houseplants? Are you a succulent-lover now too?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

YAY for Valentine's Day! It's definitely one of my favorite holidays, but I know I say that about nearly every holiday. It's okay, I've come to terms with my exuberance for every holiday, season, and just any reason to do something magical. 

Yesterday was the last day of our 24 day challenge. So when we woke up this morning we weighed and measured before doing anything else. (More on the results later...) And then I made a special breakfast for my boys. 

I got the idea here, but then made my own changes. I used Pillsbury pre-made pie crust, cookie cutters to get the heart shapes, JiF chocolate hazelnut spread (which I've decided is not as good as Nutella), I rubbed egg whites on the top crust, sprinkled with colored sugar, used a fork to make the "ruffled" edges, and baked at 375 degrees until golden brown. They were delicious!!

I made a smaller batch and mixed strawberry jelly with the JiF spread and then repeated the above steps. I can't tell you if they were better or not than the chocolate-only pastries, but Joey said they were. That's right. He ate the entire batch!! But, I guess that's a good sign. 

Here's BB's plate. I sliced some strawberries for us as well, and took a couple of thin slices and used the heart-shaped cookie cutter on them to make heart-shaped strawberries. So pretty! BB ate every bit and said "yummy, yummy" the whole time. haha. Oh that boy. He sure makes a Momma feel good about her cooking. :) 

And from Joey I got my carnations that I wanted! YAY! You might remember my request for Valentine's Day carnations here.  

Oh Joey... bless his heart, he's not good at buying gifts. He doesn't listen well enough to pick up on "hints". I have to pointedly, directly tell him exactly what I want. But, it's okay, at least he tries and wants to get me something. Better than the alternative of him not caring enough to buy me something. 

So while he was shopping I had to text him a list of ideas for gifts I would like and told him to pick any of them. He did, he got me the Safe Haven book I wanted, but he also surprise me with a box of chocolates and The Lucky One, also by Nicholas Sparks. YAY! And a weighted workout ball. That wasn't on my list and it feels funny to get a workout ball for a Valentine's Day gift. But oh well, I'm still thankful for everything and I know I'll use that ball soon. Time to get fit! ;) 

Oh, and I gave Joey his Valentine's Day present weeks ago... a brand new fire pit! He's been wanting one forever, and I finally got it for him. :) He was very excited! 

And as for our plans for today, we're going out to lunch because a friend so graciously offered to watch our kiddos. YAY! Then maybe this evening we can sit outside under the big Texas sky full of stars, next to our new fire pit. :) 

It'll be a fun-filled day for sure! I hope your day is full of fun and love as well!

What are your plans for today?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

recipe : roasted brussel sprouts

Hi y'all! This whole cooking and eating thing is getting out of hand. Last night I was laying in bed, trying to go to sleep and I just kept thinking about what I was going to cook for dinner tonight, things I might try, other things to cook on other nights, my brain was all about food!!! And not because I was hungry or anything, I just wanted to cook! Maybe I'm becoming more of a cook/foodie than I had previously thought... 

Anyway, today I'm sharing with you an easy side-dish recipe. As a kid, I always heard that brussel sprouts were disgusting. It was my understanding that kids do not eat brussel sprouts. Well, either I'm an adult enough that I've become immune to the "disgusting" taste of brussel sprouts, OR I was totally misinformed and brussel sprouts have been delicious all along. 

Back in November, I was watching LIVE! with Kelly and Michael and Gelman made roasted brussel sprouts. They looked delicious, it looked easy to do, so I kind of tucked that away in the back of my mind. Then in December, we were coming home from Joey's parents for Christmas, we stopped at the grocery store because I knew I had no meat thawed out for dinner, and since I had been thinking about my 13 in 2013 project, namely, trying new things, I decided to grab a few new items to try for dinner. One of those items was brussel sprouts. Pretty bold considering I had never even eaten them let alone cook them. But, why not? What's the worst that could happen right? Now, I didn't use Gelman's recipe (do I ever use a recipe?!?!), but I did make my own version. Hey, go big or go home right? And they were delicious!! So, just in case you love brussel sprouts, or (like me) have always been misinformed and never tried them, here's an easy recipe for your to try. And don't worry about cost... brussel sprouts are CHEAP! You can get them right now for very little, I think I pick up 10-15 brussel sprouts for one $1-2. And that's plenty for our family for probably 2 different meals. 

What you need : 
brussel sprouts
olive oil
sea salt

What to do : 
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 
2. Rinse and dry your brussel sprouts. 
3. Trim the stem a bit, then quarter each sprout. 
4. Place in a mixing bowl and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. You don't need a lot, so just add a little bit at a time until they are lightly covered. Keep your bowl out, you're going to need it again.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and stir a bit.
6. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. They will start browning at this point and that's what you want. 
7. Remove them from the oven and put back in your mixing bowl. Add 1/8-1/4 c. parmesan (depending on how many sprouts you are roasting) and stir to evenly coat all the sprouts. 
8. Spread them out again on your cookie sheet, return to the oven, and bake for another 10 minutes or so. 

And that's it! This makes a really yummy side dish, or appetizer. (I've used it for both.) Joey didn't know if he liked brussel sprouts and he loved them. BB, our toddler also loves them. And I served them when we had some friends come over for dinner, and one of them had tried brussel sprouts before and didn't like them, but he really loved mine. So see? You might just like these little things after all! And like I said, they're really inexpensive. AND special bonus, right now they are in season! So, there's no better time to try them out then right now. ;) 

If that isn't enough to convince you, I always like to look up the health benefits of foods and here are some of the health benefits of brussel sprouts : rich in protein, dietary fiber,  zero cholesterol, rich in anti-oxidants, immune modulator (they have an anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent in them), good source of vitamin A, excellent source for vitamin K, and you can see all of that plus read more about these little wonder sprouts here

Have you ever tried something you thought you didn't like and end up loving it?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day Gift Guide : the decor enthusiast

Happy Tuesday!! Only 2 days left until Valentine's Day. And then, sadly, I will have to stop daydreaming about hearts and put away my Valentine's Day decor. Do you have decorations for this lovey dovey holiday? I do! I love it! Today I'm bringing you another gift guide, this one, for the decor enthusiast, like me! 

Valentine's Day Gift Guide The Decor Enthusiast

1) Painted Mason jars. Visit the shop to see ALL the gorgeous color combos she puts together! 2) I love getting flowers. I used to not like it, but that was before I had someone to give them to me. Still, If I had a choice, I'd pick a live plant over cut flowers. And this pot is just darling! 3) Would these be cute hung in a window? 4) Visit this shop to find LOTS of amazing water color quotes. Gorgeous! 5) Ruffles + Hearts = Overload for me. Like I can't contain how strong my love for this pillow is. 6) Because not everything has to be red. But then again, if it does, you can visit the shop for more colors. 7) How darling! 8) Available in various states and colors. 

Oh be still my heart! I am just head over heart (see what I did there) for all of this decor! Next year, I'm totally getting my craft on in December/January and make some new decor to freshen up what I already have. 

Do you decorate for every season/holiday? Or are you more of an everyday decor kind of person?

P.S. I have one more gift guide coming up tomorrow! Stay tuned!

Monday, February 11, 2013

sunday social { 5 } on Monday...

Hi y'all! What a whirlwind weekend it's been! But so much fun! We left Friday evening and went to Ruidoso, NM, for a Leadership Retreat. We only stayed one night, but it was so nice to be kid-free for 24 hours, spend some time on the mountain, and get to spend time with friends. We got home after the kiddos were already in bed on Saturday night and soon went to bed ourselves after being completely worn out. Waking the kids up yesterday morning was wonderful! They were so excited to see us! Makes my heart melt.  Yesterday was church, working on things around the house, church again, and then I made a trip to Lubbock to get groceries. So forgive my tardiness for my Sunday Social, but I'm here! :) 

Anyway, time for another link up with Ashley and Neely for Sunday Social!

Sunday Social

1. What was your first car?
A white Ford Contour Sport. It wasn't fancy, but it was mine and I loved it. 

2. Who was your favorite childhood teacher?
I went to the same school head-start through high-school graduation and I had a lot of really great teachers. Some that taught me a lot about the actual subject matter, and some that taught me a lot about life. I would say that my favorite teachers were the ones that taught me a great mixture of both. It's kind of unfair for me to pick my uncle since he had more opportunities than others to teach me, but in all honesty, I have to say he's my favorite. The lessons he taught me in school were excellent. I still use a lot of it today. Interestingly enough, he was a math teacher. And I remember being convinced that I would never use that stuff again. And besides the school lessons, there were also a lot of life lessons taught in his class room. And those were probably the best ones. 

3. Were you involved in any sports/extracurricular activities? 
Um... Yes, yes, yes, and more yes! I was involved in just about every club and activity on campus. It was a small school so, that was to be expected. 

I'm 24 in the black. This was taken my senior year at the LeFlore County Tournament. We placed 3rd that year. 

2nd from the left (in case you can't recognize me). This was at home-coming our senior year. It was funny because all 3 of us home-coming attendants wore dark blue, sparkly dresses. Completely unplanned. 

On the far right, number 24. This was our senior night.

Playing our conference and district rivals, the Bokoshe Lady Tigers at the District Tournament. I'm right in front, number 24. 

Another picture from our game at the District Tournament. I'm the one taking an elbow to the throat. 

But, the elbow to the throat was worth it, because we won!


Our district champs trophy. 

Me after a softball game. OH and here's a picture of inside my first car! ;) 

4. What was your favorite birthday party?
At Chuck. E. Cheese and I think I was turning 11. We were keeping it small so it was just me and one other friend because my other friend that was supposed to go got tick fever and was in the hospital. 

5. Who was your teen celebrity crush?
Easy... Nick Carter. I was a HUGE Backstreet Boys fan and Nick Carter was my favorite!

I totally had this picture up on my wall. Which was kind of a shrine to all things BSB. Don't hate. 

6. What show/movie did your parents not allow you to watch?
My parents really didn't care what I watched. But they controlled the TV every night so I didn't really have any options. But I do remember at my grandparents' house after Wheel of Fortune or something Roseanne would come on, and as soon as they heard the harmonica playing in the very beginning of each episode, we had to change it. They did not like that show at all. Haha. 

And that's it! I know I'm late, but I just couldn't pass up this Sunday Social because the questions were so much fun! :) 

Do any of my answers surprise you?